Valle de Ángeles

It bustles with tourists from the capital on weekends, but during the week Valle de Ángeles maintains the atmosphere of a colonial mining town of centuries past. Sunday is the day to arrive, when you can ride around in a horse-drawn cart or browse among the crafts found under five pabellones (pavilions). It's worth taking time to look for mahogany bowls, reed baskets, woven hammocks, embroidered blouses, bead necklaces, and bizarre ceramic chickens in bright shades of crimson.

Valle is also one of Honduras's blossoming real estate destinations. It hasn't quite achieved Roatán's boom status yet—and we hope it never does—but it is home to a small but growing expatriate population.

It gets brisk out here. Although at 4,300 feet altitude, Valle is not quite the elevation of nearby Santa Lucía, you'll notice a slight chill in the air when you come out here from Tegucigalpa. The unique climate means it's nursery country; on your way here, you'll pass a string of roadside viveros (nurseries) where folks from the city come out on weekends to purchase plants for their houses and gardens.

The old church in the central square lacks the colonial charm of the one in Santa Lucía, but the nearby park has a painted fountain surrounded by lush trees. A comical macaw sometimes plays hide-and-seek on the roof of the bandstand.

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