Copan Ruinas was my first stop in Honduras. Just across the border with Guatemala, it was a shame not to visit another country on my way past. I didn’t expect to stay in Honduras long, but I quickly saw that there was more to Honduras than the media may tell you. Forget the warnings about safety in Honduras, Copan was one of the safest places I visited in Central America! When looking for where to stay in Copan Honduras, I found that high quality but low budget hotels in Copan Ruinas were quite limited. However, the Cuna Maya Hotel Copan ticked every box I was looking for.
The Cuna Maya Hotel Copan is centrally located, just a couple of blocks from the main plaza, and about 25 minutes’ walk from the Copan archaeological site. They don’t have dorm rooms, but for only slightly more than I had paid for a dorm bed in Antigua, I got a private room with a private bathroom, and with breakfast included too!
My double room was small but perfect for me, and brightly coloured so sunshine filled the room even when I was sheltering from the thunderstorm outside. I loved the large mirror, beautifully made from carved, curvy wood, like the rest of the furniture in the room, and reception area. Most bedrooms in the hotel have cable TV, and air conditioning, but I didn’t bother with the TV. I didn’t need the air-con either, I was fine with the fan that was also in the room.
My private bathroom had a rainwater style shower, with hot and cold water (quite a luxury I can tell you!), with towels, soap and shampoo provided too. The most striking feature of the bathroom was the square toilet – a new one on me! With the lid down it made a handy shelf for my clothes while I was in the shower.
Wifi is available in the hotel, and just reached my room. It was stronger in the reception area, so when I needed to download something I just went to reception to speed up the process. In the reception area there is also filtered water available so you can fill up your water bottle to save plastic (and money!), or just have a glass of water as you pass through.
The breakfast was included in my room rate, and was served each morning upstairs in the hotel. The dining area looked like it had great potential for a restaurant, but at least when I visited in low season it was only open for breakfast. Breakfast was freshly cooked, and was different each morning. I enjoyed a baleada (savoury tortilla ‘pancake’ filled with chicken, eggs, beans, cheese & a drizzle of cream), another typical Honduran breakfast of beans, eggs, cheese, plantains and tortilla, and scrambled eggs with tortillas, and everything always came with juice or coffee. It was delicious, and filled me up for the day – after that I only needed a light lunch.
The real bonus of this hotel in Copan Ruins was the friendly and kind attention of the owners. Ivan and Enelda were quick to respond to my initial enquiry through their Facebook page, and then through subsequent emails. They also speak some English, and are always happy to chat and learn more. They can arrange onward transportation via shuttles, but when I said it was too expensive for me they explained how to travel from Copan to La Ceiba by bus, which was my next destination. They also provided a map and recommended places to eat & other things to do in Copan, aside from the Mayan ruins. The hotel had a real family atmosphere too – Ivan and Enelda have three sons, Gabriel, Ivan, and Pablo, who are always smiling and happy to help if their parents were away from the front desk. One of them even carried my heavy backpack to my room, bless him!
While I was staying in Copan Ruinas there was a power cut in the hotel, and the electricity was out in the whole village due to a thunderstorm. The family was quick to provide torches, and we sat in reception and chatted by candle light. It was a unique experience, sitting in the dark, while thunder and lightning crashed and flashed outside. It is quite common for the season though, so don’t be alarmed!
I came to Copan to visit the Mayan ruins just outside the town, the magnificent carvings and stelae here offer a glimpse of the beauty of the Mayan civilisation. The Copan ruins vary from the Mayan ruins in Belize and Mexico, and Tikal in Guatemala because of these delicate carvings. Despite visiting several other Maya ruins, this was the first time I had seen such detailed, and well-preserved statues.
After visiting Copán, I took a bus from Copan to La Ceiba (via San Pedro Sula), to go to the Bay Islands for my scuba diving adventure in Utila. I was surprised by how beautiful and varied Honduras is, as well as being one of the best places in the world for diving, the lush forest, national parks and plentiful wildlife is remarkable. Honduras tourism struggles because of having a reputation for being unsafe, however, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Honduras, finding it safe, friendly and I definitely recommend it! Thanks to Ivan, Enelda and their family, the Cuna Maya Hotel in Copan Honduras was a fantastic place to start my Honduras adventure, and in my opinion, is the best budget hotel in Copan Ruinas.
What I loved about the Cuna Maya Hotel Copan Honduras:
The homely atmosphere, and friendly service from the owners, and their three sons!
The yummy breakfast
The bright, colourful decor
Anything I didn’t like?
If you are looking to socialize with other travellers, hotels generally aren’t the best places to stay, and although there was a reception area, there wasn’t anywhere else to meet other guests. However, this meant I could to get to know some local people, and chatted with the family instead of other backpackers.
Thank you to Ivan & Enelda for hosting my stay in Copan Ruinas. Although my stay was complimentary, all views are my own – and the fact I loved it clearly influenced my review! If you don’t believe me you can also see more Cuna Maya Hotel reviews on Booking.com.
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Last updated: September 6, 2017