Tegucigalpa is the capital of Honduras, founded in 1536, with a gold and silver mining center which winds around a valley and over the mountains. Tegucigalpa has a busy commercial area located along the Boulevard Morazán. This is where restaurants, shopping, and such provide a distraction for tourists and busy working individuals during their lunch breaks. Hotels here are only steps away to the hottest nightclub spots for those wishing to party it up after a long day.
The capital of Honduras is ever changing, growing, and modernizing with the times. As you can see, there are many reasons to include Tegucigalpa in your Honduras travel plans.
How Tegucigalpa got its name:
Most sources indicate that the origin and meaning of the word Tegucigalpa is derived from the Nahuatl language. The most widely accepted version suggests that it comes from the Nahuatl word Taguz-galpa, which translates to cerros de plata in Spanish (hills of silver in English), but this interpretation is uncertain since the natives who occupied the region at time were unaware of the existence of mineral deposits in the area.
Another source suggests that Tegucigalpa derives from another language in which it means painted rocks, as explained by Leticia Oyuela in her book “Minimum History of Tegucigalpa”. Other theories indicate it may derive from the term Togogalpa which refers to tototi (a small green parrot, in Nahuatl) and Toncontín ( the name given to the Tegucigalpa Airport ), a small town near Tegucigalpa (toncotín was a Mexican dance of Nahuatl origin).
In Mexico, it is believed the word Tegucigalpa is from the Nahuatl word Tecuztlicallipan, meaning “place of residence of the noble” or Tecuhtzincalpan, meaning “place on the home of the beloved master”.
Honduran philologist Alberto de Jesús Membreño, in his book “Indigenous Toponymies of Central America”, states that Tegucigalpa is a Nahuatl word meaning “in the homes of the sharp stones” and rules out the traditional meaning “hills of silver” arguing that Taguzgalpa was the name of the ancient eastern zone of Honduras.
Visit the Capital City
One of the benefits of visiting Tegucigalpa, is the opportunity to experience its cultural offerings.
There are several museums to see, such as the Museo Nacional Villaroy, in the Buenos Aires district of Tegucigalpa. This museum has archaeological, colonial, and historic findings. The historic Museum of Honduras, which is actually located in the former presidential palace of Honduras, depicts the lives of Honduras’s presidents. Museo del Hombre (Museum of Man), on Avenida Cervantes, is located in another former government building, one that housed the Supreme Court of Justice. This downtown museum displays artifacts of the evolution of man. The Galería Nacional de Arte (National Art Gallery) is located one block south of central park, in the Plaza de Merced, next to the Congressional Building. Military buffs will enjoy the Museo Historico Militar, in Tegucigalpa’s Valle Park, and finally, inside the Banco Atlantida on Miraflores Boulevard, is the “Sala Bancatlan”, which displays a private collection of artifacts, coins, and contemporary paintings by Honduran artists.
Points of Interest
If you want to get out of the city, there are a few close by locations that provide a refreshing day trip. Located north of Tegucigalpa is the United Nations Park, with a small zoo and fantastic views. Up in the mountains, La Tigra National Park will help you escape the heat. Remember to make some extra time during your excursions to include a stop in nearby villages, such as Valle de Angeles, Santa Lucia, Pespire, and Yuscarán.
Tegucigalpa has many exceptional restaurants and hotels, which are priced accordingly.
The number 4 most hated airport in the world; Toncontín International Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Over-priced airplane food will be the least of your worries!
American Airlines landing at Toncontin airport in Tegucigalpa Honduras
When do the most common airport gripes about inefficiency, uncomfortable gate chairs, dirty floors and lousy dining options suddenly become irrelevant? When you’re preoccupied about whether your 757 will actually be able to stop before the runway does. Nestled in a bowl-shaped valley at 957 meters above sea level, the Toncontín airport ‘s notoriously stubby, mountain-cloaked landing strip was recently lengthened another 300 meters following a fatal TACA aircraft overshoot in 2008. The Tegucigalpa airport runway’s improvement; however, was not enough to avoid being named the “second most dangerous airport in the world” by the History Channel. Nepal’s hair-raising Tenzing-Hillary Airport in the Himalayas is the first most dangerous, but receives fewer gripes than Toncontin airport due to its thrill-seeking Everest-bound clientele. Read more about the: 10 of the world’s most hated airports at CNNGo.com Toncontin Airport also claims the number one spot for the Worlds most thrilling Airport!
Book a Flight to Tegucigalpa
You can book a flight to Tegucigalpa online using SOSA Airlines or Avianca (TACA was acquired by Avianca in 2013). Avianca’s flight widget lets you pay for your ticket using Paypal. The websites allow you to book flights to and from Honduras origination points and destinations. Includes schedules, pricing, availability, reservations and booking options.
Taking Off from Toncontin Airport in Tegucigalpa Honduras – Video
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See more About Tegucigalpa
See our complete Honduras Travel Guide for more Honduras Travel Tips
For general information about travel in Honduras, and to see what others who have visited Tegucigalpa have to say, and/or to tell us your own experiences, see the Tegucigalpa Travel Reviews