La Esperanza is a small town in Honduras easiest reached from Siguatepeque. La Esperanza’s being considered one of the coldest areas of Honduras is attributed to its high altitude. The Lenca residents add color to this mountain town with their traditional attire and handicrafts.
As is typical in many outlying Honduran cities, attractions here include the central park and historic structures, as well as colonial churches. Hiking is rewarded with great views. One can also visit a small shrine located in a cave just above La Esperanza. Travelers should see the Casa de la Cultura, and the Gobernacion building, which has interesting information about the Lenca community.
Comfortable hotel rooms and nice restaurants are available for travelers to La Esperanza. It is a peaceful environment in which one can relax and enjoy seeing a simpler way of life. Those needing a recharge from their hectic schedules should definitely include La Esperanza in their Honduras travel plans.
La Esperanza Intibuca Honduras General Information
La Esperanza is the capital city and a municipality of the same name of the department of Intibucá, Honduras. The city of La Esperanza is merged indistinguishably with the city of Intibucá, the head of the neighboring municipality of Intibucá. Intibucá is the older of the two cities and was originally a Lenca community, while La Esperanza is the newer ladino community.
The two cities, often called the twin cities, while distinct with separate municipal governments, are generally referred to jointly as La Esperanza, and are separated only by a street that crosses town. La Esperanza is famous for having the coolest climate in Honduras and for being the heart of the Ruta Lenca, a region of Lenca ethnic influence that spans Honduras from Santa Rosa de Copan to Choluteca.
La Esperanza experiences two distinct seasons: the rainy season/winter from May to October and the dry season/summer from November to April. The rainiest months are June and September, and the driest months February and March. During the winter, it rains primarily in the afternoon and the intense showers often make small dirt roads into the surrounding mountain communities impassable. La Esperanza receives average annual precipitation of 1400 mm. Due to its high altitude; La Esperanza has a cooler climate than most of Honduras, with an average annual temperature of 18.6°C (65.5°F). Temperatures in December and January often fall into the 40’s at night. Hail has been reported on occasion, but it has never snowed. In the summer, high temperatures reach the 80’s, but with low average humidity around 76%.
The predominant ethnic group is the Lenca people, who have existed in this region of Honduras since pre-Columbian times. The Lenca are the largest ethnic group in Honduras, numbering just over 100,000. The Lenca once had a distinct language, which is now lost, however other traditional customs still exist such as the production of textiles and pottery, dances, and clothing. The Lenca people, particularly women, can be recognized by their unique style of dress including brightly colored dresses and woven headscarves called pañuelos.
La Esperanza is famous for its daily farmers market, which draws vendors and shoppers from around the department of Intibucá. The Choro, whose scientific name is Amanita Caesarea (Commonly known in English as Caesar’s Mushroom, is a highly regarded edible mushroom in the genus Amanita, native to southern Europe and North Africa. This mushroom was a favorite of early rulers of the Roman Empire), not only is it a delightful family of mushrooms, over the years, and according to history this exquisite food has become the favorite of domestic and foreign tourists in the Intibucá / La Esperanza area of Honduras. With the passing of time it has taking root to Honduran cuisine, becoming partly a fundamental identity and economic support of the Lenca culture.
Choro grows spontaneously in the mountainous areas of Intibucá. It is certainly a safe mushroom and can be consumed in many and varied ways. It appears at the beginning of the rainy season and it is collected in the communities by the Lencas families for sale in the city. During the month of June or July there is an annual cultural festival in La Esperanza known as “El Chorro y el Vino” The Amanita Caesarea Mushroom served with locally produced flavored wine.
La Esperanza can be reached by car or bus from Siguatepeque via Highway 22. From La Esperanza, one can take the road to Yamaranquilla and connect with Highway CA 11-A to reach San Juan, Intibucá; Gracias, Lempira; and Santa Rosa de Copán, Copan.
Parts of the road between La Esperanza and San Juan are unpaved making them sometimes impassable during the rainy season, but the road is currently being paved. Transportes Carolina operates a fleet of buses, which run hourly to/from Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula making stops at major cities along the way.
There is also regular mini bus service to Marcala, Yamaranguila, San Juan, Erandique, Gracias, and Santa Rosa de Copan all leaving from the main bus terminal near the entrance to town. Chicken buses run to smaller surrounding communities.
The nearby village of San Juan is known for its coffee production and for its proximity to Erandique home to the ancient fortress of Lempira, an indigenous Honduran hero who fought against the Spanish.
La Esperanza / Intibuca Festival Schedules
Artisan Festival (Feria de Artesanía de La Ruta Lenca) – February
Anniversary of the Department of Intibucá – April 16
Wine and Mushroom Festival (Feria de Vino y Chorros) – June or July
Potato Festival (Feria de La Papa) – July
Independence from Spain (Día de Independencia) – September 15
Festival of the Patron Saint, Virgin of Conception (Feria Patronal de la Virgen de Concepcion) – November 29 to December 7
Festivals may include parades, processions, marching bands, food tents, artisan demonstrations, traditional dancing, live music, and fireworks.
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For general information about travel in Honduras, and to see what others who have visited La Esperanza have to say, and/or to tell us your own experiences, visit the La Esperanza Blog
Going to Honduras? Your Spanish dictionary needs to include "Honduras Slang"!
La Esperanza Weather:
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