Things to Do in Honduras:  Archaeology

Because of its geographic location, Honduras has outstanding opportunities for the archaeology buffs.  The crown jewel is the Mayan archaeological site of Copan, located in Western Honduras. Copan not only boasts the largest glyph text of the Mayan World, it is also the site that has been under scientific investigation longer than any other in the region. As such, there is a lot that has been discovered and understood.

Tourist at the Archaeological park in Copan Honduras

Tourist at the Archaeological park in Copan Honduras

Today we understand the Mayan civilization much better, thanks to what scholars have learned about it in Copan!  In addition, there are several other Mayan sites nearby, such as Rio Amarillo and El Puente, both in the department of Copan. However, there is a lot more than Mayan ruins as far as Honduras goes.

Los Naranjos, a small site on the shores of Lake Yojoa, offers an insight to the Lenca culture, which interacted with the Mayas, and provided the artistic and technical knowledge that makes the sculptures and Stella in Copan so unique with their high relief details.

Honduras Schools teach Lenca Dance

Independence day celebrations in Honduras include Lenca Dance shows

Tales abound regarding a mythological city in the eastern half of Honduras, within the dense jungles of La Moskitia. This city, usually referred to as the “White City” or “Ciudad Blanca” in Spanish, has reputedly been found, and the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History is already preparing itself to launch an unprecedented effort to conduct a scientific expedition with international partners to study, restore, and consolidate this reportedly very large ceremonial center.

Honduras Lost City Ciudad Blanca

The University of Houston and National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping team produced this 3D digital topological map, which shows a man-made plaza ringed in red  The site is believed to be the long believed “Lost City” known in Honduras as “Ciudad Blanca” [Credit: University of Houston/NCALM]

It is yet early to determine the origins of the city and the civilization that built it, but everything points to civilizations that came from South America rather than a Mesoamerican culture. Currently, expeditions to Ciudad Blanca are discouraged in an effort to avoid archaeological poaching of the site. La Moskitia Ecoaventuras, a tour operator based in La Ceiba, but which specializes in the Moskitia region, has conducted expeditions to the site.

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