Copan is a small mountain town located in western Honduras, only 12 kilometers from Guatemala and home to the Copan Mayan ruins. Copan features neoclassical architecture and narrow cobblestone streets. Here travelers can enjoy the Copán’s Maya Ruins, regarded as the “Athens of the Maya World.”  The Mayan archaeological site of Copán in western Honduras, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, receives about 100,000 tourists each year who come to explore the remains of this great civilization as well as the nearby coffee plantations.

Ruins in Copan

The ruins were a short walk from Hotel Camino Maya, in the center of town. It was less than a mile and my four year old was able to walk it without a problem. The Copan Ruins are kid-friendly and a great activity for families traveling in Honduras.Exploring the Copan Ruins

At a small visitor’s center you pay and get your tickets.  Tickets for children are $7 and include the museum.  Tickets for adults to go into the ruins and the museum are $22.

  • For our family of five to go on a tour of the Copan Ruins with a private tour guide and visit the Museum of Mayan Sculpture it cost $63.

Then there is a short walk towards a gated entry. It’s here that you will meet up with your guide. The guides are inexpensive and worth it. You pay the guide directly.  Once you get past the gated you come across a handful of macaw birds. They are beautiful.Birds at Copan Ruins
There are many Mayan statues still intact.

Copan Ruins
You are allowed to walk on many of the structures.  This makes it especially fun for the kids.
Copan Mayan Ruins in Copan, Honduras
The hole you see in this picture is just one of many.  They had underground tunnels and a water system.  There are over 4 km of tunnels and for $10 you can go into two of the tunnels.
Copan Ruins in Honduras
The hieroglyphic stairway holds the longest known text left by the Mayans. According to our guide, this washed out and they put it back, but not in the correct order.Stairs at Copan Ruins

At one time it was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The ruins were discovered in 1570 by Diego García de Palacio, but were not excavated until the 19th century. The ruined citadel and imposing public squares reveal the three main stages of development before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century.

Copan Ruins

In addition to this impressive archaeological site travelers can experience the Honduran Coffee Route, that allows easy access to tours of local coffee farms or visit the exotic birds at Macaw Mountain Bird Park.