Tegucigalpa, Honduras is one of the most temperate and pleasant capitals in Central America.
Founded by Spanish colonists in 1578 on the site of an existing native settlement, Tegucigalpa has been the permanent capital of Honduras since 1880, before which the seat of government had alternated between Tegucigalpa and Comayagua for several decades.
The name Tegucigalpa means "silver hill" in a native language and the area was a center for silver mining under the Spanish Empire.
The best beaches and legendary diving sites may be in located in northern Honduras, Roatan Island, and the other Bay Islands, but a Honduras Tegucigalpa vacation is also worth considering.
Tegucigalpa Honduras (known to locals as Tegus, or simply la capital) is a thriving cultural center, with good museums, restaurants, and shopping opportunities.
Several good museums in Tegucigalpa cover the history of the Honduras. The Museo National de Historia y Antrhropologia Villa Roy traces Honduras's past from independence to the present, with interesting sections on the banana and mining industries.
The newer Museo para la Identidad Nacional covers the entire history of the region, from pre-Colombian times. Art lover on a Honduras Tegucigalpa vacation should head to the Galeria Nacional de Arte; the section of native pictographs is especially delightful.
The best attractions in Tegucigalpa Honduras are the city's many churches. The large 18th-century cathedral of St. Michael Archangel on the pretty Plaza Morazan anchors downtown Tegus.
A few blocks to the east sits Tegucigalpa's oldest church, San Francisco, which dates from the 1590s. Iglesia Los Dolores, La Merced, and El Calvario, are also worth a peak.
A visit to one of the large parks overlooking the city is a must on any Honduras Tegucigalpa vacation. Buses and taxis leave from the downtown area to the beautiful Parque Nacional Unidas El Picacho, laid out to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the United Nations, and the quieter Parque La Leona.
Many visitors begin their vacation to Honduras with a Tegucigalpa flight. The cities airport, Toncontin International Airport, is the country's second largest. Americans can take a Tegucigalpa flight from several major cities, including Houston and Atlanta.
Once your Tegucigalpa flight lands, you will want to find a good hotel in the city. The best hotels are in the downtown area, near most of the attractions, or the safer Colonia Palmira area. Recommended places include the Hotel Boston and the Hotel Portal del Angel.
Cheaper establishments can be found in the Comayaguela neighborhoods, across the river from downtown Tegucigalpa, a less safe area of the city, or near the airport, about 7 miles from downtown.
Tegucigalpa Honduras is notoriously crime-ridden. Visitors should take simple precautions with their valuables and take taxis at night, but are no more likely to see criminal activity here than in many major American cities.
With some common sense, a Honduras Tegucigalpa vacation can be a great way to start or end a trip to this genial Central American country.
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