By Arturo Sosa for La Prensa
On July 9th of 695 A.D, when Conejo 18th, the thirteenth governor took over the kingdom of Copan over, the city started to stand out as a beautiful jewel among de Mayan civilization. Seventeen kings marked the period of gold in Copan and thanks to them, but especially thanks to Conejo 18th and his work, Copan is now the most studied out of all the Mayan cities.
The first news of Copan that arrive to the west come from a relationship sent to king Felipe II in 1576 by Diego Garcia Palacios which read: On the way from Guatemala to the city of San Pedro, in the first town in Honduras called Copan, there are certain ruins and evidence of a great population, magnificent buildings of such splendor that do not appear to have been built by the natives.
The words of Palacios caught the attention of the adventurous, but it wasnâ€™t until 1839, when John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood that started the now famous exploration trip to Copan Ruins which marked the beginning of the interest in the mayans. After that, great names of arqueology started to make their way to Copan forming a cycle of investigations that goes bad more than one hundred years back. Today, along with investigators, more than 160 thousand visitors a year come to Copan, Honduras to appreciate the greatness of the dynasty started by Kinigh Yax Kuk Mo.
But something has changed in the panorama, now there are exquisite hotel here and there, restaurants and new attractions that offer the opportunity for visitors to stay for three, four or more night without having to repeat the same activities.
Where to Eat?
Travelling to Copan Ruins is a true gastronomical feast. From the high class restaurants to the carne asada stand in the corner of the central park. Hereâ€™s a list of a few places:
The best typical food restaurant in Copan, Mary and her staff create the best pupusas and soups. The prices here are very accessible.
Located a couple of blocks from the park, Nia Lola offers a friendly environment, cold beers, delicious pinchos (Kabobs), and some really good fried beans. As if this isnâ€™t enough, the waitresses are the true queens of equilibrium.
At around five oâ€™clock, a fruit smoothie or a coffee are good options to enjoy the view from a very intimate terrace. Located at Casa Villamil.
La Casa de Todo
Here you will find the best tortilla soup of Copan; this restaurant offers mostly vegetables and chicken. All made with fresh ingredients.
Restaurante Los Glifos
The favorite restaurant to investigators and university students from abroad. Located at the Hotel Marina, this restaurant offers a first class menu and service. They serve the best breakfast and their Marinita spaghetti is delicious.
Where to Stay?
Hotel Marina CopÃ¡n
The favorite hotel for the great Mayan culture connoisseurs such as Professors, arqueologist, investigators, students and Hollywood celebrities.
The hotel has an ideal pool, gym and all the comforts, tour operator, conference room, presidential suite, honeymoon suite and many more amenities.
Hacienda San Lucas
For cosmopolitan travelers; Hacienda San Lucas is located at the top of a hill where the valley and the Copan River dominate.
This hacienda has only a few rooms made out of adobe that offers an authentic lodging Honduran style, along with high hotel delicacy and refinement.
An exquisite B&B, where the discrete elegance captures each visitor. Five bedrooms, pillow menu, plasma TVâ€™s, and steam in the showers. Cigars, coffee, wines, silence and first class service.