Acropolis detail, West Plaza, Copan, close-up


by Eve Andersson

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Copán is the site of excellent Mayan ruins in Honduras, near the Guatemalan border. If you're in Central America and you only have time to visit one Mayan site, you should visit Tikal, not Copán. But if you have time to visit two sites, don't miss Copán because it has very well-preserved stone carvings, archaelogical tunnels open to the public, and the adjacent town is quite lovely and comfortable.

The Ruins

Gran Plaza. Hieroglyphic stairway. East Plaza. Ball court. Cemetery. Covered ruin. Estela H.  Gran Plaza. Stone head.  Gran Plaza. East Plaza. Estela.  Gran Plaza. View of surroundings, from the East Plaza. Acropolis.  West Plaza. Acropolis.  West Plaza. Ball court, from the Gran Plaza. East Plaza. Model of Copán.

The Tunnels

One of the things that makes Copán unusual is that they have two archaelogical tunnels open to the public, the Rosalina Tunnel and the Jaguar Tunnel. Mayan rulers tended to build new temples on top of the old temples, and remnants of these old temples can be seen within the tunnels.

Map of tunnels. Rosalina tunnel. Jaguar tunnel.  Baths. Picture of Rosalina tunnel.


These beautiful parrots are bred at the entrance to the Copán site. Careful, they bite hard!

Macaws on ground. Macaws. Macaw on stump. Macaw biting Eve.

Las Sepulturas

Las Sepulturas is another archaelogical site, less than 2 km from the main Copán site. This is where the Copán aristocracy lived.

Las Sepulturas. Las Sepulturas. Las Sepulturas. Las Sepulturas. Las Sepulturas.

Sculpture Museum

At the Copán site is a wonderful, 2-story Sculpture Museum. The centerpiece is a colorful, full-scale model of the Rosalina Temple, a beautiful temple which unfortunately had another temple built on top of it. The museum also contains much of the original stonework from the site.

The museum is spacious, covering two floors, with the model of the Rosalina Temple extending to the full height. Model of Rosalina Temple, viewed from museum tunnel. Museum.  Depiction of the Rosaline Temple inside of another temple. Museum. Camazotz (a bat god in Maya mythology). Museum.  Container. Museum.  Estella A. Museum.  Altar detail. Museum. Museum. Museum.

Los Sapos

About an hour's walk uphill from Copán is Los Sapos ("The Toads"), the site of ancient carved rocks in, of course, the shape of toads. This is where women went to give birth. The views along the way are as nice as the Sapos themselves.

Los Sapos.  Sapos and guide. Trail to Los Sapos.  View of town. Trail to Los Sapos.  River. Los Sapos.  Hacienda San Lucas.  Sincuya. Los Sapos.  Hacienda San Lucas.  Grinding corn.

The Town

The town of Copán (full name Copán Ruinas) is about a kilometer from the ruins. The ruins and the town are connected by a nice, shaded stone path. The town is quite small, but it's beautiful, the people are friendly, and it has plenty of hotels and good restaurants.

Town. Boy on horse.  Downtown Copán. Town cathedral. Central town square. View from the hotel's outdoor breakfast table. Hen and chicks in town. Internet and laundry. Town market. Bees for sale at the town market. Parque Central.  Fountain. Parque Central.  Statue. Parque Central.  Women washing, men sitting. Soccer game. Town. Town. Town. Woman balancing basket.


Copán is mostly surrounded by farmland, so the most common animal to see is the very cute Central American cow (their ears stick straight out!). There are also many butterflies and a few interesting types of insects like cigar-sized caterpilars.

Very large caterpillars.  Each one is the size of a cigar. Insect at Hacienda San Lucas. Butterfly. Cow looking at me.  Central American cows have cute ears that stick straight out. Cows under tree. Cows following man on road. Two cows on road.

Eve Andersson (


breath taking

I've reviewed all your pictures of Guatemala and Honduras. I must say they're all extremely amaizing. Some of them reminded me of when I visited three years ago and it brings me good memories. I'm happy that you are able to share your experience with the world and that we are lucky to see a part of our world through such beautiful pictures. Thank you. Jannet

-- jannet flores

Thank you!

I am living in Copan and I have not seen such beutiful pictures of this great place. You are blessed!

-- Franqui Linarez


I have just returned from visiting Honduras with 20 students from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA and will contact my friends in Honduras soon. We started our trip in Copan and left our hearts there as we traveled to Tela and finally to Tegas. The warmth of the people and beauty of Copan and mystery of the ruins were unmatched thoughout our journey. We gave concerts at del Campo, the National School of Music and at the National Theater, but singing for Flavia at Hacienda San Lucas was a moment to treasure. I heartily encourage you to visit Copan, stay with Flavia or at the Yaragua Hotel in town. We ate at Tunkel and Tipicos and both restaurants were excellent!I will return and my choir will sponsor one child to attend the bi-lingual school for a year.....maybe you might wish to join us! Till we meet again....Becky Ryan

-- rebecca ryan


Gracias, Eve por mostrarme imagene (fotografias) de mi pueblo querido.

Soy un joven copaneco, trabajando como editor (film) en Los Estudios Churubusco (Mexico) y para mi encontrar tu pagina web con fotos de Copan es marabilloso porque pocas personas muestran imagenes del pueblo.

Gracias y Felicidades

-- Gustavo Madrid

Beautiful pictures


I'm from the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, but I live in Ohio I was very proud to see such a wonderful pictures of my dear country. We have so much to offer. Your pictures are amazing, they just represent the beauty and the history of our country..well done.

Muchisimas Gracias


-- Marbella Caceres


Es un tesoro del mundo , todas las fotos son bellas , me siento orgullosa de esta tierra hondure?a, gracias por darnos otra vision que muchos aun no conocen por su condicion economica.

-- Olivia Dominguez


It is more than fifteen years since I visited Copan, probably my favourite Mayan site. This was before the tunnels were fully open. The great photos remind me of a superb site which I would love to re-visit.

thank you

-- David Taylor

The Beautiful Copan!

Hi Eve!

I just signed up to thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures of Copan in my beautiful country of Honduras, although, I live in Arizona, USA, I hope someday I can go visit Copan and experience the history with my own eyes. Your pictures are beautiful and its somewhat "magical" I should say, it sure put a smile on my face just to see all that beauty. Like the rest of the users in here, I thank you as well for sharing these pictures!, stay cool! and God bless you!!! good luck with all the adventures you have planned in your future!.

-- Carlos Baquedano

great make more

gracias yo amo a estas fotos yo soy de honduras la lima cortes

hagan mas fotos de todo honduras porfavor

-- ingrid flores

Nuestras Maravillosas Ruinas Mayas

Hola.... Solo quiero decirles que visiten nuestras Ruinas Mayas, en Copan Ruinas.. es algo excepcional... si algun dia tiene la oportunidad de venir a centro america visite Honduras, sus playas y sus lugares culturales... Belkys Hernandez

-- Belkys Hernandez


Hi, Eve, I am from Honduras and live in Tegucigalpa, the capital. I visited Copan ruins for the first time seven months ago with all my family. It was an amazing experience. The place is very nice and peaceful. I recommend all Honduras to visit this interesting place and thank you for publishing such beautiful photos

-- Miriam Zavala

Never been there

My friend & I are planning to visit Copan in August, and this is a very nice introduction to what we may find there. Thanks for putting this site together and I look forward to seeing it all. MLE

-- Emilie Daniel


Have been doing extstensive reading on the Ancient Maya, and have visited a few sights, but never Copan. Hope to get there someday. The pictures posted are really amazing. Would recommend the book A Forest of Kings, which really brings several of these ancient civilizations to life as wells as their rulers. I can't say enough about the detailed skill level that these ancient scribes/artisans exhibited. Thanks again for posting your pictures. Rick F

-- rick faich

yes Copan is very very fantastic place, and i feel ORGULLOSAMENTE CATRACHA!!!
Image: untitled.bmp

-- Evelin Days Flowers

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