Walking over uneven, rocky terrain and ascending and descending stairs at archaeological site. Standing to observe museum exhibits over the course of approximately 1 hour. Walking at the hacienda (less than 1 mile) on uneven forest trails. Please wear a sturdy pair of walking shoes with lug soles.
At the hotel; juice, coffee, tea, water included.
After a short drive to the Copan archaeological park, we'll accompany a local expert on a half-mile walk from the park entrance and begin our walking exploration of the main complex. The splendors of Copan are represented by its beautiful carvings, inscriptions, and paintings. The Great Plaza, the ball court, several lesser courts, and amphitheater that lie near the base of the Hieroglyphic Stairway are symbolic of the boundaries between the actual and supernatural worlds as games were metaphors for the struggle between good and evil. The Stairway, which has 63 steps, is inscribed with a partial history of Copan and is the longest extant Mayan inscription. Unfortunately, repairs have allowed only small portions of the most spectacular hieroglyphics in Central America to be interpreted. Copan was occupied for more than two thousand years and remains one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization. We will then continue on foot to the majestic Museum of Mayan Sculpture which contains an exact replica of the famed Rosalila Temple from the 8th century, discovered in 1989 perfectly preserved under the main temple, Temple 16. The Sculpture Museum ensures the safekeeping of Mayan Monuments and unveils reconstructed façades with bold, sculptural messages from buildings throughout the ancient city of Copan. Next, we'll board our bus and transfer to Hacienda San Lucas, a century-old farmhouse. Once at the hacienda, we will begin a leisurely hike along the Copan River and nearby fertile farmland including a stop at Los Sapos ceremonial site. Hacienda San Lucas sits on 300 acres and is home to the ruins of Los Sapos (The Toads), an ancient Mayan fertility site. In ancient Maya tradition the toad was a symbol of fertility. Research indicates that Mayan women traveled to Los Sapos to give birth, believing in the birthing and fertility powers of the toads.
At the hacienda, plus water, coffee, lemonade; other beverages available for purchase.
Before returning to the hotel, we'll have some free time to relax among the quiet gardens of the hacienda and take in the view of the surrounding countryside. This biologically diverse area includes lowland, mid-elevation, and cloud forests, and boasts over 400 species of birds. Some of the species we may see include the White-fronted Parrot, Elegant Trogon, Emerald Toucanet, the Turquoise-browed and Blue-crowned motmots, and the Ivory-billed Woodcreeper. Next, our bus will transfer us back to the hotel so that we can enjoy some free time at Copan. Why not use this time to stop for a cold, refreshing German beer at the small microbrewery in the town of Copan or visit the Macaw Mountain bird sanctuary for injured and rescued birds? The town comes alive during the evening along the main street and central plaza with vendor and artisan tables featuring local wares.
On your own. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.