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Overview

Gracias was a powerful capital during the colonial era, and its architectural legacy includes several well preserved churches and the Castillo de San Cristobal, which offers a spectacular view from its perch high above the town. Today Gracias is a humble transportation hub for the surrounding coffee-growing region, and a base for tourists visiting the Lenca Trail and Celaque National Park. Sights in town include a small museum and a botanical garden. The nearby hot springs, located on a lush jungle river, are mobbed on weekends. Western Honduras is home to the indigenous Lenca people, the clan of national hero Lempira, who made a valiant ...

Gracias was a powerful capital during the colonial era, and its architectural legacy includes several well preserved churches and the Castillo de San Cristobal, which offers a spectacular view from its perch high above the town. Today Gracias is a humble transportation hub for the surrounding coffee-growing region, and a base for tourists visiting the Lenca Trail and Celaque National Park. Sights in town include a small museum and a botanical garden. The nearby hot springs, located on a lush jungle river, are mobbed on weekends. Western Honduras is home to the indigenous Lenca people, the clan of national hero Lempira, who made a valiant stand against the Spanish back in the day. Some of the traditional ways live on in the remote and picturesque mountain villages known as the Lenca Trail, where you’ll find ornate colonial churches, cobblestone streets, red tile roofs, and the best local handicrafts in the country. Belén Gualcho has a bustling Sunday market, La Campa is famous for handcrafted ceramic pots and cookware, and San Manuel Colohete has one of the country’s finest churches. Celaque National Park is a vast expanse of cloud forest that includes Honduras’s highest point, the 2,870-meter Cerro Las Minas. Hard-core adventurers spend a night or two camping in the jungle to climb all the way to the peak, but day hikers can also enjoy the wonders of the park, which include rushing rivers and waterfalls, orchids and bromeliads and more than 150 bird species — not only the usual toucans, parrots and hummingbirds, but also the rare quetzal and trogon. You may even glimpse a white-faced monkey or an ocelot. Visit the park with a local guide, easily found at Guancascos Hotel and Restaurant in Gracias, a hangout for visitors heading for Celaque.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Westen Honduras, in the Lempira department
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Honduras Lempira
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Dry season (November-April) is the main tourist season. May-October can be wet, but there are far fewer tourists.