Copan is a quaint and humble town without much to do other than touring the Mayan ruins. We strolled along the various streets and stopped at a chocolate and tea shop, where a family makes each product from plants grown on site. We tried the traditional Mayan chocolate drink, which was quite bitter and ended up adding a ridiculous amount of brown sugar to it to make it more palatable.
If Tikal was the New York City of the Mayan civilization, Copan would be its hipster, artistic neighbor. The excavated ruins are small, but the amount of sculpted beauty left behind is fantastic. It is the southernmost Mayan ruins and was occupied for more than 2,000. It is well known for the stellas left behind. The stellas are carved tall pieces of stone that were once painted in the same vibrant red as the pyramids. Unfortunately, the red paint harbored toxic levels of mercury, which led to morbidity in the community. While walking around the ruins, we witnessed a mystical sight: multiple macaws taking flight above us, soaring above with all of their magnificent beauty. The macaw is the national bird of Honduras.
On the way to Copan, we stopped a roadside food stand to taste the local dovlada. It is similar to an empanada. The cornmeal based dough is filled with either beans, pork, or spinach and then cooked over the stove.
The typical Honduran dish is the baleada, a large flour tortilla layered with beans, cheese, and cream, which is then folded over. It is basically a huge quesadilla, and a delicious one at that.