We loved our time in Honduras. We took three weeks to explore the country and saw so many of the beautiful sights and met so many nice people. One of our favorite places in Honduras was Copan! It’s a super cute city with tons to see and do. To take the edge out of traveling in Honduras, we’ve put together this little guide to help you get from San Pedro Sula to Copan by bus.
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Table of Contents
Step one: Getting from the airport to the bus station
Welcome to Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport! This airport was recently voted as being one of the best in Central America, so Hondurans are quite proud of this! The airport is quite clean and has a ton of shops and restaurants.
We have a few tips for you when you get to the airport. First, there is a bank where you can exchange your currency into Honduran Lempiras. We recommend you exchange about $50 to $100 as most of the transactions will require cash. Make sure you get small denominations. Often, the transactions you make here are quite small. A few companies and taxi drivers accept USD, so if you have some of those, you’ll be golden!
Next, get yourself a SIM card. They are not cheap, but we found they were quite worth it, especially considering that power outages happen quite frequently in Honduras. This will set you back about $30, for 10GB for 3 weeks.
Once you have your money and SIM card, just head outside the airport. There, you will find many taxi drivers waiting to take you around. They are white cars with their numbers written in black on the side. They will be congregating around you, trying to get you to pick them. Some will even try to take your bags from you. Not to steal them, but only to help convince you!
If you speak Spanish, cool! You can chat them up a bit before. If not, try to find one who speaks English. Most will know a few words but will be far from conversational.
If you want to try your Spanish out, just tell the driver ‘Quiero ir a la estación de autobuses por favor‘ (I want to go to the bus station, please). Then, ask them the cost ‘¿Cuánto cuesta ir a la estación de autobuses?‘. The key here is to agree on the price before getting in their car
The ride from the airport to the bus station is about 20 minutes long. It should cost you about $15-$20 USD for two people. Sometimes, they might charge a little more, if you’re a larger group. Often, the drivers will break down the cost per person. Again, just agree on the price before accepting to get in the car.
You can also choose to stay in San Pedro Sula when you arrive, depending on when your flight gets in. You can check out accommodations here.
Step two: Pick your bus company to go to Copan
Once you get to the bus station, don’t be alarmed. Yes, it’s a pretty big bus station. After all, you are in Honduras’ second-largest city! Also, don’t start to worry when you see a guard outside the main doors holding an assault rifle. This is quite common in Honduras. Even security guards at Walmart have these guns!
You’re in luck because there are a ton of daily busses that go from San Pedro Sula to Copan. So regardless of what time you get to the bus station, you’ll be able to get to Copan Ruinas easily. However, depending on when you get there, you may have to compromise on the level of comfort available to get you to Copan Ruinas.
Bus options from San Pedro Sula to Copan Ruinas
Just walk into the bus station, and check out the busses available going to Copan (or Copan Ruinas). There, you will have a few options.
Get to Copan with the fancy bus
The first is the most expensive, but also the quickest and comfiest. Hedman Alas is a well-known transporter in Honduras and Central America. Unfortunately, they only go to Copan once a day (at 10:45 am). So if you don’t get there on time, you’ve missed your chance and have to wait until the following day! If not, you can grab one of the cheaper busses like we did!
If you make it to the airport before 9 am, know that Hedman Alas does have a bus that leaves the airport, so you don’t have to go to the bus station. That bus leaves at 9:30 am. Tickets cost between $26 and $35 USD and you can get them online or in person. You’ll arrive in Copan by 1:30 pm, depending on construction and traffic.
The efficient way to get to Copan
We chose to take the cheaper, but not as efficient Casasola Express bus. It’s not quite a chicken bus (more on this later), but it’s not full luxury either. The bus was air-conditioned, and the seats were half comfy. The bus makes a few stops along the way, picking up locals, street vendors, and packages. We met so many nice locals on our bus. Some even invited us to come over for supper!
We found this option to be very safe, even with a guy sitting next to us with his child and machete in tow! We loved seeing how locals live and get around the country.
Our backpacks were placed on top of the bus, and we kept our day packs on us, with our valuables in them. The bus did get quite full, so we had to hold our bags on our laps, but it was fine. The whole ride took about 4-4.5 hours and cost us $9 USD each. Casasola Express has busses leaving every hour (Just make sure you check out their Facebook page to get more up-to-date news)
The cheapest way to get to Copan by bus
Finally, you can also choose to take a chicken bus. These are our old North American yellow busses that now get driven around Central and South America. You can check around the bus station to see their schedule and fares. Having taken them around Nicaragua, we can tell you that they are quite a trip, and yes, you’ll probably have a guy coming in with his chickens, but hey, that’s part of the fun!
Step three: Once you’re in Copan
After a long route, we were so happy to get to Copan. Our driver didn’t announce our arrival, but Copan is the end of the road, and all the other passengers left, so we understood it was our time to vacate the bus as well.
The entrance to Copan is the cutest, with its arch welcoming you into town. When you get there, you’ll have a ton of tuk-tuks (or moto-taxis) around asking you for a ride. If your luggage is heavy and your hotel is far, just hop onto one of the tuk-tuks. It will set you back about 20 lempiras per person (that’s pretty much what all rides around town cost). If not, you can just walk to your place.
Enjoy your time in Copan. It’s a very cute town, and it’s very walkable, although some streets are quite steep. The people here are very friendly and are always willing to help.
In terms of accommodations, you can find anything you want, from luxury hotels to cheap hostels. We recommend staying around Central Park to be as central as possible.
Getting from San Pedro Sula to Copan is quite easy. Even if you are in the “world’s most dangerous” country, there is nothing to fear. Just be as precautious as you would be anywhere, keeping your valuables close, and being aware of your surroundings.
Hopefully, our little guide here will help get rid of the stress that comes from traveling to a new country. And if you need more tips on how to make the best of your time in Honduras, check out our other articles.
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Transporte Casasola Express operates a bus from San Pedro Sula to Copán Ruinas 4 times a day. Tickets cost $18 and the journey takes 5h. Hedman Alas also services this route once daily.How do I get to Copán Honduras? ›
Located in the mountains of western Honduras, Copán Ruinas is easily visited by bus from El Salvador; San Pedro Sula or La Entrada in Honduras (note that San Pedro Sula is a dangerous city and should not be visited for long—mainly just as a pass-through city); or from Antigua, Guatemala—this is the more poplar route to ...Is Copan ruinas worth visiting? ›
You might be wondering if Copán is worth visiting, especially if you've already been to the larger Mayan sites like Chichén Itzá and Tikal. The answer is yes! A visit to Copán is totally worth it and it's unlike any other site in Latin America.How much is the entrance to Copan ruins? ›
Prices and Hours of the Copan Ruins
If you wish to go independently, the main entry fee is $15, including the entrance to Copan and Las Sepulturas. The Museum of Mayan Sculpture has a separate entrance fee of $7.
If you want to comfortably see the best places to visit in Copan, we recommend spending a good three days here. However, if time is not an issue, you can stay a few days longer to fully enjoy everything the city has to offer and to relax a bit more.What is Copán Honduras famous for? ›
For many years, Copán Ruins have been famous for its magnificent Mayan ruins, declared by UNESCO as Archaeological World Heritage Site in 1980. Today Copán Ruins is considered the Paris of the Mayan world in Central America.Can you fly to Copán Ruinas? ›
You have several options for which airline you choose to travel with to Copan Ruinas. There are airlines flying into TGU: . Cheap plane tickets may be available from different airlines at different times and with unique terms. It's best to understand the details of each airline's offer before judging its value.Are there pyramids in Copan? ›
Structure 10L-16 (Temple 16) is a temple pyramid that is the highest part of the Acropolis. It is located between the East and West Courts at the heart of the ancient city. The temple faces the West Court within the Acropolis and is dedicated to K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo', the dynastic founder.What is special about the stairs at the Copan ruins in Honduras? ›
The Stairway, located on the west side of the temple-pyramid Structure 26, has the longest known Maya text inscription from ancient Mesoamerica, dating from the eighth century ce. The inscription tells the official history of Copán's rulers and, as such, is of exceptional historic significance.Is Palenque better than Chichen Itza? ›
Palenque offers quite a contrast from Chichen Itza (except unfortunately in the number of visitors, both heaving during high season) with atmospheric less restored ruins in the jungle. The Temple of Inscriptions is an impressive first sight upon entering the site.
Hieroglyphic staircase | Maya ruins of Copán
Unique in Copán is the high hieroglyphic staircase, measuring 20 meters long and 10 meters wide. The staircase consists of 63 steps and contains more than 1800 hieroglyphics, that together form the longest known Maya hieroglyphic text and longest text ever found.
The Tulum Mayan Ruins are better than Chichen Itza or Coba for exploring an ancient site while taking in breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. The proximity to the ocean is easily the most unique characteristic of the Tulum ruins, and being able to take a dip in the water or lounge on the beach is icing on the cake.Can you visit the Mayan ruins on your own? ›
Getting around Coba Mayan Ruins
Exploring Cobá ruins on your own in Yucatan is possible? Yes, and you can eighter walk, bike, or hire a bike taxi. Coba Archaeological Site is open between 8 am–5 pm. Entrance fee: 70 pesos.
You can easily visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza, which was recently named a “New Modern Wonder of the World”. Each of the best Mayan ruins is easily visited as a day trip from Cancun or Playa del Carmen.Do you have to pay to visit the Mayan ruins? ›
The access fee is $35-40 pesos (video cameras extra $30 pesos) and the visit timetable is 8 am to 5 pm, everyday. It is important to mention that it is necessary to park the your car at the shopping center's parking lot (an extra $30 pesos fee) when arriving through the main ruins entrance.Which Mayan ruins are close to San Pedro? ›
Lamanai Mayan Ruin
Lamanai (Submerged Crocodile) is one of Belize's largest Mayan ceremonial centers located in the Orange Walk district on the New River Lagoon. It is characterized by exotic styles of ancient Mayan art and architecture. This interesting tour starts with a 10-minute boat ride to San Pedro Town.
Discovered in 1570 by Diego García de Palacio, the Maya site of Copan is one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization. The site is functioned as the political, civil and religious centre of the Copan Valley.How many days should I spend in Palenque? ›
However, as Palenque is very remote, you're going to need at least two nights in the town, even if you've got your own transport.What is Honduras national dish? ›
The national dish of Honduras is a mountain of food, the plato típico: a heaping, carb overload of beef, plantains, beans, marinated cabbage, fresh cream, and tortillas.What language do they speak in Copan Honduras? ›
Ch'orti' is spoken mainly in and around Jocotán and Camotán, Chiquimula department, Guatemala, as well as adjacent areas of parts of western Honduras near the Copan Ruins. Because the classic Mayan language was ancestral to the modern Ch'orti, Ch'orti can be used to decipher the ancient language.
Deforestation, overpopulation, extreme drought, depletion of soils, and military conflict likely contributed to this decline and collapse. The rulers of Copán were conscious of their exceptional history, and they enshrined it in inscriptions and in an iconographic program on a number of altars and stelae.Does Copán have an airport? ›
Copán Ruinas Airport (IATA: RUY, ICAO: MHRU) is a newly completed airport serving the town of Copán Ruinas in Honduras. The runway is approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of the town. The airport was opened in 2015, and is expected to provide easier tourist access to the Mayan ruins at Copán.How do I get from Copán to Roatán? ›
There is no direct connection from Copán Ruinas to Roatán. However, you can take the taxi to Copán, take the bus to San Pedro Sula, take the bus to La Ceiba, take the taxi to La Ceiba, then take the ferry to Roatán.How do I get to the Copan ruins from Roatán? ›
There is no direct connection from Roatán to Copán Ruinas. However, you can take the ferry to La Ceiba, take the taxi to La Ceiba, take the bus to San Pedro Sula, take the bus to Copán, then take the taxi to Copán Ruinas.Is Copán Ruinas safe? ›
It's safe to walk around the whole town and outside of town (to the ruins or the bird sanctuary, for example.) As with anywhere, you should always be vigilant, but the worst thing you have to worry about in Copan would be pickpocketing and even that is highly unlikely.Are pyramids Aztec or Mayan? ›
Most of the pyramids that are in Mexico, were built by Mesoamerican Ancient Civilizations such as the Toltecs, the Tarascan, the Maya, the Aztecs, and the Totonac.What is the meaning of Copan? ›
Copán in British English
(Spanish koˈpan ) noun. a village in W Honduras: site of a ruined Mayan city.
The Copan Sculpture Museum in western Honduras features the extraordinary stone carvings of the ancient Maya city known as Copan. The city's sculptors produced some of the finest and most animated buildings and temples in the Maya area, in addition to stunning monolithic statues and altars.What is an important ruins in Chichen Itza? ›
The main Mayan Ruin is the Chichen Itza Pyramid or El Castillo, but there are other equaly important as El Caracol or Observatory, The Temple of The Warriors and the Mayan Ball Game.Why did the Mayan people put 365 stairs on the Temple of Kukulcan? ›
It's thought that this pyramid is the representation of the Mayan Calendar: each step is a day of the year, and since each side has 91 steps, multiplied by four sides totaling 364, plus one that represents the platform, we get 365 days of the solar year, so it is thought that the monument was erected in honor of the ...
Tips for Visiting Palenque Ruins
Wear repellant and cover your limbs as much as possible. Wear shoes adequate for climbing temples, exploring ruins and hiking through the jungle. Prepare for heat and humidity. As usual, bring water.
If you were to ask me, Chichen Itza is better.
Teotihuacan is strictly an ancient place of worship while Chichen Itza has a full city built around the places of ancient worship. If you want to learn more about their culture, Chichen Itza is the way to go. Still, you can't go wrong with either place.
Chichen Itza, in the north, became what was probably the largest, most powerful and most cosmopolitan of all Maya cities.What is the name of the Mayan ruin that is now considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World? ›
Facts about Chichen Itza in Mexico - A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chichen Itza is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.Who has the best Mayan ruins? ›
- Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins.
- Coastal Ruins Of Tulum.
- Maya Ruins Of Coba.
- Calakmul Mayan Ruins.
- Monte Alban.
- Ek Balam.
- Tulum, Mexico. Tulum, Mexico. ...
- Copan, Honduras. Copan, Honduras. ...
- Tikal, Guatemala. Tikal, Guatemala. ...
- Xunantunich, Belize. Xunantunich, Belize. ...
- Palenque, Mexico. Palenque, Mexico.
Valladolid is a picturesque city in Yucatán, and is the closest tourist city to Chichen Itza. It takes 30-40 minutes to get to the Mayan city from Valladolid , you can drive by yourself taking the Costera del Golfo 180 highway that takes you straight to Chichen Itza.Can you still climb Coba? ›
The Coba Ruins are open to the public and you can even climb up the pyramids, just like the Mayans did 2,000 years ago. Getting a chance to touch history is rare, and getting so close to such ancient history is exciting for everyone.Do you have to pay to see Chichen Itza? ›
The cost of entry varies depending on who you are. As of early 2022, the price for non-citizens is 533 Pesos (80 to the site custodians and 453 Pesos in taxes to the state), which is approximately US$26 for an adult. Mexican citizens are charged 157 Pesos on top of the 80 Pesos general entry fee, but not on Sundays.What to wear to see Mayan ruins? ›
For a trip to the ruins, wear comfortable sandals and a shady sun hat, as the site requires a lot of walking. You can also pack a towel and wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes, as there are steps down for beach access.
Stela 16: Long Bay (525, 253)
TULUM 70, 405 - There will be a marker on your map, saying "Mayan Outfit". Go there and open up the door to unlock the Vault Raider trophy / achievement, along with this new and unique outfit.
- Bring lots of light-colored, light-weight clothing.
- Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants: you will be cooler that way.
- Wear a hat with a brim at all times.
- Wear sunblock--get SPF 30 or more, but find a light gel product, rather than a heavy cream.
Take a Short Flight Between These Two Cities!
Goloson International Airport in La Ceiba offers alternatives to fly to San Pedro Sula. Another option is to hire a local taxi from the San Pedro Sula airport to bring you to La Ceiba. The price of the transfer should be around 140 to 150 USA dollars.
$141 Cheap Flights from San Pedro Sula (SAP) to Roatan (RTB)How do I get from San Pedro Sula to Roatan? ›
The easiest way to get from San Pedro Sula to Roatan is by taking a flight. You can book a one way or Roundtrip ticket with Aerolinas Sosa or CM Airlines. They fly directly from San Pedro Sula to Roatan and the flight time is about 45minutes. The flights cost anywhere between $80-$150 one way.How to get from San Pedro Sula to Lake Yojoa? ›
From San Pedro Sula (SPS)
Get on at the Gran Central Metropolitana bus station and get off outside the police station at La Guama. Next, get a bus to Peña Blanca and then a mototaxi to D&D Brewery. Alternatively, get the Tica bus which takes you directly to D&D Brewery.