Things To Do In Tegucigalpa
The capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa is a city that is growing rapidly and has a few industries that provide work. However, many people are still unemployed and live in the overcrowded shantytowns that line the surrounding hillsides. The city is affectionately referred to by the Hondurans in its prominent nickname “Tegus”.
To have a better understanding of Tegucigalpa, begin your journey through the history of Honduras by visiting the Museo Para la Identidad Nacional. It is very interesting from the start where it discuss in detail the movements of land and sea that gave rise from the pangea, the continent, and Central America, particularly Honduras with the clash between South and North which forms the many creases and current mountain ranges that characterize the landscape of the country. From there, an authentic but very enlightening tour of this story begins in a fairly unbiased view of the events that shaped the country. The 3D Copan Ruins exhibiton is excellent.
Honduras did not get full independence until 1838. Dictators came and went throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, and there were many rebellions. After 1948, the army and landowners controlled the country, but since 1981 there have been several elected presidents.
When To Go:
Tegucigalpa is a tropical country with open shorelines on its Caribbean drift and mountains in its proximity. The most prominent time to visit is December through February, when guests need to escape chilly winters up north. June through August is an occupied time when individuals take their mid-year and summer get-away. The predominantly Christian country celebrates the Easter and Christmas season with a huge rise in tourist arrivals. The unpopular time to visit is the stormy season that occurs from October – November; avoid travelling to the capital on this kind of weather to avoid inconveniences. The months of May – June is also an ideal time to take a tour because of the clear weather (Spring season) and great costs on airfare and lodging inns.
Discover the grandeur of these natural attractions and a good variety of things to do when in the city of Tegucigalpa:
Parque Nacional La Tigra (La Tigra National Park)
It is so close to the city, and one can go on and off at the Parque Nacional La Tigra (La Tigra National Park) to recharge, to walk the trails, and breathe the pure air of the city, leaving behind the hustle and bustle, traffic and hectic pace of life in the capital. The local authorities have done a great job of preservation. This is a must see site for families and people looking for different activities for a Sunday in Tegucigalpa. Many trails make this park and it is very good for those who enjoy hiking and a good excursion with friends. It has beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, lush vegetation, wildlife conservation areas, and its mild climate. All these make this ride an enriching and enjoyable experience. It is surrounded by villages with very friendly people who earn their livelihood by planting vegetable crops such as carrots, broccoli, lettuce, strawberries that are all in very good quality. It is very common to see them along the roadside selling their products.
Tegucigalpa is the capital of Honduras and among its attractions is the "La Tigra National Park" which is a cloud forest generator and a major source of fresh water to the city. In this park you can do many activities in connection with nature including; bird watching with the possibility of observing a quetzal and other rare birds. You can also have the chance to meet the endangered pig-like species called Tapir which is at risk because many of the rain forests where it lives are being cut down.
You can go hiking and enjoy the waterfalls. There are astounding waterfalls to explore and you can feel the cool canopy of the huge shady trees that seem to protect the soil and the swimmers from sunlight. There is the opportunity to camp safely and nearby there are several communities that you can visit in one trip. Honduras is a beautiful land and this attraction is the living proof of its natural charm and wonders. You have to walk a lot, but it is nice and not tiring at all because of the natural spectacles you will pass by and see along the trail. There is much variety of things to do and the most beautiful activity is the walk to the waterfall.
Museo Para La Identidad Nacional
The Museo Para La Identidad Nacional or MIN is a typical and spacious museum that presents in vivid exhibits the historic past of Honduras. It is a great place to take the family for a walk. The Virtual Copan 3D tour is one of the most interesting features. It is 100% recommended to both local audiences and tourists. To know the various ethnic groups and the discovery of Honduras it is important to see it. Within these walls and halls you will discover that a Mayan city (Copan) was established and existed here even before Christopher Columbus officially claimed the land for Spain in 1502.
The Spanish colonizers ruled Honduras for more than 300 years. You will also find some rare artifacts made by the Lenca ethnic group, a descendant of the Maya, with ancestral methods applied in creating a vase, earrings, rosary beads, and necklace pendants in terracotta and natural colors (black and white).
The MIN is located four blocks away from the Central Park if you follow down along the pedestrian lane areas. You can see the schedules in advance of special exhibits that transport you to Copan, a cradle of the Mayan civilization on their online site. Don’t miss seeing this place while you’re in Tegucigalpa, it is very informative and educational for kids.
The mountains of El Picacho is a good place to visit with family, as there are many green areas available that allow visitors to spend a rewarding moment. There are lots of things to do here like; to visit the zoo, botanical garden, go skating and cycling, and admire the striking statue of “Christ of the Picacho” and the Mayan staircase nearby. It is an exclusive location especially if you want to photograph the panorama of the entire city, you will see a range of almost 360degrees. The image of the Christ overlooking the city is a perfect place to meditate in a natural environment. In short, it is a visit that is very worthwhile, can invigorate the senses as well as strengthen the faith to the almighty.
It strongly reflects the devotion of the Honduran Catholic people, the statue of the Christ is very symbolic and even if it seems to replicate the one in Rio de Janeiro (Christ The Redeemer) it has its own identity and devoted pilgrims in Tegucigalpa City. The area is kept totally safe (military guards are assigned to secure this most visited attraction). To reach it takes a bit of a hike by riding a bus or taxi from the center and a steep climb to get to the “Christ” observation deck.
Parque Central is the main square of Tegucigalpa and around Honduras. The central park is always full of people. It is the meeting point and famous landmark of the city. The main objects of interest that surrounds it are; the equestrian statue of former president Francisco Morazan, a stylish building from the XIX century, and the colonial cathedral that is covered with trees. It is clean, well-maintained and guarded.
The entire square recently underwent a renovation that further highlights its beauty and purpose. It serves as an entrance door to the historic past of Honduras because it feels like travelling back to the time of Spanish occupation while being encompassed by the antiquity of the structures and the colonial architectural designs. Enjoy your long walks at the Paseo Liquidambar and from here take a few more steps to visit the Museum of National Identity. At the end of the road do not fail to visit the National Theater of Tegucigalpa.
Iglesia de la Merced
The Iglesia de la Merced is an emblematic symbol of devotion for the Hondurans religious fervor. It is nicely renovated, clean and very tidy. If there is an ongoing mass it is quiet and respectful of the faithful (even very small) during religious services. Honduras is a Catholic country that is very devoted to the Virgin of Suyapa (patroness of Honduras); a revered shrine on a hill near Tegucigalpa, the image of Our Lady is made of wood and small. Its main altar is characterized by simplicity, no excessive show of gold or silver, and no excess of iconic saints in their collection.
The stained glass windows look stunning and carry only symbols of the faith and not the image of the Christ or the Immaculate Virgin. If there is no service, the caretaker can accompany you to tour the important part of the old cathedral. It is an impressive cultural heritage. For those who like to engage in religious tourism, it is a great place that you should know while in the city of Tegucigalpa.
Iglesia de San Francisco
The Iglesia de San Francisco or the Church of San Francisco in Tegucigalpa is one of the oldest religious buildings in Honduras. It was constructed in 1592 and still remains in perfect condition until today. Holy masses are celebrated here every Sunday and during Easter or Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions starts from its premises and go around the town to call on the faithful. It is extraordinarily beautiful and has a lot of story to tell in their images and structure. This church defines what colonial heritage is all about because of its nice façade and impressive interior.
Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepcion (The Church of the Immaculate Conception)
The Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepcion or The Church of the Immaculate Conception is another religious structure that represents classic colonial architecture and influence of Spain to Honduras. It is one of their legacies to the city, a beautiful cathedral to worship the Lord. There are no church pews and the altar carries an air of simplicity but with so much devotion to the Christian faith.
The church is open for everyone even if the guest belongs to another religion. The schedules of Holy Masses are posted outside and it is delivered in two languages, English and Spanish. If you schedule a tour contact the diocese office ahead and they will assign a staff to accompany you and tell the history of its creation.
Catedral de San Miguel
During the Spanish occupation, the Catedral de San Miguel once served as the seat of the government of Honduras. If you visit Tegucigalpa (capital of Honduras today) you need to recognize the Hispanic colonial legacy treasured in the Cathedral of San Miguel. This archangel was instituted as patron saint of the city since the sixteenth century. The city as a whole reflects the Baroque and neoclassical building designs prevalent during that era in which almost the entire cathedral is required to show part of the colonial or late baroque style.
Historically, you will learn from the small museum in this church that during the colonial period there were two capitals or governors in Honduras: the Governor of Comayagua and the Tegucigalpa Mayor (which spanned the current departments of Francisco Morazán, Choluteca, and Valle, part of Paradise and of La Paz).
Being the capital administrative center in question, Tegucigalpa advocated for producing indigo (plant dye) and precious metals must be used for some of the temples and buildings that are of greater Hispanic value. The San Miguel Catedral does not really draw a lot of attention by its outside appearance. But inside, though it looks simple it is well decorated and well worth a visit. It is located in the city center in a very busy place and surrounded by cafes and restaurants.
Centro Interactivo de Ensenanza (CHIMINIKE)
The Centro Interactivo de Ensenanza (CHIMINIKE) is a center of early stimulation and education where children can learn and have fun, develop their fine and cognitive motor skills, as well as increasing their intellectual capacity. They are given a selection of things to do that will stimulate them to think, react, and become more inquisitive.
It is an ideal indoor recreational activity for kids where they can have a super exciting day to meet new friends or bond with their parents on the fun games they offer. This is part of enjoying their childhood which is what most parents want their kids to experience. The interactive instruction for all ages is highly recommended for the whole family. The best reward; it is very entertaining and uplifting at the same time.
The Casa Presidencial is built in Moorish style and stands proud in the capital and city center of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It is the most unusual building in the city. It is situated on a cliff above the river that is quite close to the city center, designed and decorated like a real palace in Moorish format. A tour can be arranged inside this interesting building that once served as the official residence and office of the ruling president of the country.
The place where most of the decisions about the country and its future were made now serves as a museum and made open to the public. The former presidential palace is the face of Honduras. It is kept clean, organized, and each of the spaces represents the cultural identity of the country and its global image in the old times. If you have time, come to imagine what life was like for the rulers in the past.
Iglesia de San Sebastian
The Iglesia de san Sebastian is an old cathedral and a convent located in Comayagua; about 90 kilometers from the outskirts of Tegucigalpa. What makes this place really interesting is the presence of the architectural relic that draws the devotees to the church; the antique bells brought from Spain more than 200 years ago. You can also climb the tower and see the historic bell; from up there you can have the best views of the city. If you have enough time, try to hear a scheduled mass and be impressed by the cathedral’s altar and simple interior. Avail of the guided tour provided by their English speaking staff to learn more about its important role in Tegucigalpa’s history.
Despite what is said of Honduras in the news about their high crime rate it is worth venturing to come to this beautiful country more so on its capital city Tegucigalpa who is making the big effort to reconstruct and rehabilitate traces of their history in most structures and points of interest to attract more tourism and economic activity in their country. You will be amused by its impressive landscapes, old churches, archaeological museums, busy central parks, preserved historical palaces, monumental landmarks, and deep devotion to their religion.
Heavily influenced by Spain in their culture, religion, architecture, customs, and traditions. It is a city that you will not hesitate touring around because aside from the picturesque attractions, you will be moved by the Honduran’s love and faith for their religion and their deep sense of patriotism which the news sometimes fail to see and deliver. Tegucigalpa must not be seen only in the news, pictures, or history books, it must be seen by the adventurous and felt to understand its alluring charm and colorful past.