Copán Ruinas, the most important site of the Mayan civilization - Honduras

August 23, 2019 | By: JC Tours

History of Copan Ruins 

The Mayan Ruins of Copán are located in the western region of Honduras, on a small valley near the border with  Guatemala;  within the department of Copán, one of the 18 departments of Honduras. They were  discovered by Diego García de Palacios. In a letter to the King of Spain, Philip II, wrote on March 8, 1576 while being in Guatemala : "Nearby our way to San Pedro Sula, in the first village named Copan, within the province of Honduras, are certain Ruins and Vestiges of a large population and superb buildings constructed with such skill that it seems that they were never made by people as rude as the inhabitants of this province" The King of Spain did not give him importance because his concern was the exploitation of mineral  so several centuries passed without being know by the civilized world. 

In archives of past years we can found the first attempts of research and studies by the government  of Honduras and Scientific Institutions.These documents were considered as the agreements or contracts for the years of: 1889, 1891 and 1900. They  showed the failed attempts to study the ancient culture that lived in the Ruins. 

According to the records of the national archives, in January 1935, the work was begun on cleaning, repairing and maintenance with the purpose to study of the most important monuments in Copán. All of this,  in accordance with the cooperation between the Honduran Government and the Carnegie Institution in Washington. 

In September 1939, under the government of Dr. Tiburcio Carias Andino, formal labor for the construction of the Copan museum began, in accordance with the plans of engineer Aubrey S. of Trick of Washington. The same repair and restoration workers imposed the need to build this building, because there were many sculptures, fine objects and delicate archaeological jewels, which required the utmost care for its preservation. The work was done in seven months by Mr. Stromsuick, and opened to the public on March 15, 1940. The Municipality of Copán Ruins was created on January 1, 1893 and obtained the status of city by decree law No. 56 of February 21, 1942, in the Administration of Dr. Tiburcio Carias Andino. 

By 1939 when Dr. John Stephens arrived to Copan Ruinas, he mentioned the place looked as a group of huts on the side of the Cecesmil river. Subsequently, new settlements wer stablished in what is now known as the neighborhood of el Calvary.
Because of its international importance, in 1980, the Mayan part of Copán was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. By 1982 the Government  of Honduras declared it a national monument.
In 1987 it was considered in Belize, the possibility of creating a block of the countries that made up the ancient Mayan culture;  therefore, by August 1992 the Mayan World emerges from which Copán is the backbone.  You cannot visit the Mayan World without taking a look at the ancient Science Center of the Mayan Empire.

General Information

Copan Ruinas is a splendid place, has a huge hotel capacity, with paved streets, with all the necessary services to keep you fully connected and with many attractions that make the place a pleasant stay. Copan's most impressive richness is unquestionably  its fabulous ruins of the Mayan Culture in the archaeological parks.
The park where the Mayan Copán Ruins are located is divided into three zones:

1.-The tourist house (built by the tourist office and opened on 18 August 1975); 
2.-The airfield.
3.-The city of the Maya itself. 

The Mayan Ruins of Copán enclose beauty and mystery; beauty by the decorative style, imagination and representation of its great works of architecture; and mystery because, to this day, modern archaeologists have been unable to interpret the writing of their altars and monuments.

Life in Copán Ruins

Life in Copan is totally linked to tourist activity, and small-scale agriculture. The weather of Copán is tropical , sufferinig variations in each season of the year;  the culture of its people is influenced by the way of life of the citizens of Guatemala, due to the proximity to the border of El Florido, Copan.
There are many restaurants that offer various cuisines;  the nightlife of this small town consists mainly of Nightclubs and Bars. In Copán Ruins you can spend a beautiful day with a pleasant rest, because of its peaceful environment. 
From here you can visit many other places, in addition to the archaeological parks of Copán and El Puente, such as: the hot spring baths, natural pools and horseback riding on some of the farms nearby.

How to get to Copán Ruins?

To get to the Mayan Ruins, you must do it by land,  through the paved road that goes from San Pedro Sula Copán. This route is 190 kilometers. In San Pedro Sula you will find the International Airport Ramón Villena Morales, which many international flights are available. If you would like to come to Copán Ruinas you can contact us.

Ask about our packages that include a visit to this majestic place and let us  personalize your visit to our beautiful country. Just contact us.


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