Copan Ruinas

Just to the east of the town of Copán Ruinas, the Mayan ruins of Copán are without a doubt one of the most important attractions for tourists in Honduras. The tourism industry in the Bay Islands might dispute the methodology of arriving at the figures, but this is the country's most-visited tourist attraction, and Honduras's outpost on the Gringo Trail. Thousands have visited Copán before you—it is often called "The Paris of the Mayan World," and the site really does live up to the hype—and thousands more will come after.

But there is much more to do while in Copán Ruinas than visit the ruins. While the town retains its colonial charm with cobblestone streets and a pleasant central park, it is also becoming a more modern village with fine dining, lots of services, and a bustling, polished tourism industry unlike anywhere else in the country. Taxis here are most often small three-wheeled vehicles lovingly referred to as tuk-tuks, and a variety of local sites can be reached by horseback. Two days is the typical length of a visit here—one day for the ruins and a second day for other activities—but a third day gives you a chance to take it all in at a more leisurely pace. Many hotels put together multiday Web-only packages that include accommodation and a tour of the ruins.

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