The second largest collection of Mayan ruins after Tikal, the Copan Ruinas are about a 1km walk (10min) away from the quaint little town, and quite convenient to get to. Head into the parking lot that’s 1km east from the town and turn left to enter the ruins complex.
We paid the entrance fee ($15 for just the ruins; you have to pay more to see the tunnels and the museums) and headed on in:
It’s a refreshingly open, well-kept plaza of temples. Unlike the majestic quality of Tikal, Copan is restrained, humble, and yet doesn’t sacrifice that feeling that you’re walking through a big part of history.
We found out later that you’re technically not allowed to climb the ruins as much as we ended up doing, but nobody really cared or stopped us:
We found a handful of beautiful Toucans who weren’t afraid of being close to humans:
You only need about an hour or two to see pretty much everything at Copan Ruins. We did just that, grabbed an adequate meal at Picame (get their SMOOTHIES!), and took an hour bus to the nearby Hot Springs ($10 admission fee) where we rested our weary legs. And it’s only been Day 1.
Cross a drawbridge, at most 3 at a time, to get to the springs.
The hot springs have an array of pools of varying temperatures (Cold, Lukewarm, Warm, Hot, and Hell on Earth) to suit your needs, along with a massage spa and a mud bath. Be careful of where you put your belongings, however, as the moment you lose sight of your bags someone else might be looking through them.
We stayed until dusk, as the hot springs close anywhere from 7pm to 10pm depending on their mood. If they let you stay late, they bring out candles to guide you along the springs, but they didn’t do that for us (jerks).
Afterwards we headed back into town, freshened up, and had an amazing dinner at La Terraza, an outdoor rooftop restaurant with a talented on-site executive chef with a constantly changing seasonal menu using fresh ingredients. I didn’t take any pictures of the food unfortunately, but they seriously had some of the best sea bass I ever had.
After dinner we went out on the town to the 3 clubs they had scattered about. There’s something for everyone, including the always welcome and always expected new friends you’d meet along the way (but what’s new).
– At time of posting in Copan Ruinas, it was 75.2 °F – Humidity: 73% | Wind Speed: 6km/hr | Cloud Cover: broken clouds