the sacredMACAWcarved in stone on the ball court


    theACROPOLISof Copan

    • The Mayan city of Copan is located in the Northwest of Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was one of the most important cities of the ancient Maya civilization which existed between 1200 B.C and the arrival of the Spanish in the mid 1400s, flourishing between 300-900 A.D.
    • A traditional celebration took place during a Ball Game which was a basketball-like competition where the winner was sacrificed. This was considered a great honor as much of Mayan culture revolved around life after death where it was a privilege to die so they could get closer to the gods.   
    theBALL GAMEplayed at the ball court
    •  The Mayans are well known for having built a complex society noted for its writing system, architecture, mathematics and astronomy among others things. It was customary for the reigning king to built on top of his predecessor.
    • This method of construction allowed for the discovery of several highly preserved structures such as the Rosalila Temple which still possesses its original red color. Below is one of the tunnels which surrounds the aforementioned temple.

    inside theTUNNELS
    • The hieroglyphics displayed in the staircase found in the acropolis of Copan is one of the main reasons why this Mayan site is considered to be of outstanding universal significance. The inscription found on this structure is the longest known Maya text inscription found in ancient Mesoamerica which details the official history of Copan’s dynasties, rulers, and persons of importance.  
    theSTAIRCASEhas some missing pieces
    • Imposing Stelae, or effigies representing past kings stand tall on the central plaza and together with the detailed work found on its altars, temples, and pyramids, is what makes Copan so impressive as it has allowed for a deeper understanding of this civilization.  
    STELEAof a king known as 18rabbit
    • It has been considered by many as the predominant cultural center during the Mayan period, and therefore, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. 
    • The entrance fee ( as of January 2013) to the Mayan Ruins is as follows: 
      • For Foreigners outside the Central American Region
        • $15 USD Ruins
        • $15 USD Tunnels
        • $ 7 USD Museum
      • For Central American Citizens
        • $8 USD Ruins
        • $5 USD Sculpture Museum
        • $2 USD Regional Archeology Museum
      • For Honduran citizens
        • L. 130 HNL (discount for local students)
      • Prices in USD can also be paid in the equivalent of HNL
      • ID will be solicited at the entrance
    • The Copan ruins lie only a couple of minutes away from the town of Copan. This is a little colonial town with a Spanish-like grid with government offices and the main church surrounding the main square. It has a very safe environment with tiny cobble streets full of little bars, cafes, hotels and restaurants! There is where you will be staying overnight where there is a wide variety of places to choose from for all tastes and budgets. 
    the picturesque town ofCOPAN
    • One place you should visit is the Avenida Centro America. It is located perpendicular to the main square and the municipal office. This street is very lively with souvenir shops and stands as well as bars and restaurants, perfect for finding that special gift for friends and family. Remember to ask for discounts and always compare prices; haggling is allowed.