Comayagua, one of Honduras’ beautiful colonial cities, is becoming more and more popular amongst local and international tourists. The city is on the list of The 30 Wonders of Honduras — and for good reason.
Comayagua is home to many churches, a cathedral, and the oldest clock in the Americas. Apart from this, the city also features an immense number of bars, restaurants, cafes, and some accommodation options. Built according to Spanish tradition, the city is home to a central park, and streets laid out in a square.
The city is located along the highway between San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, and is very easily accessible. The city’s climate is warm during the day, but rather fresh at night, due to its location in a valley surrounded by mountains.
During the past years, a lot of restoration has been taking place throughout the city. The central park is now probably one of the most beautiful parks in the whole country. Many old buildings have been painted with nice colours, contributing to the city’s colonial charm.
1. Visit the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Comayagua’s cathedral — the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception — is situated at the city’s central square and is dedicated to Santa Maria. The cathedral is famous for being the oldest cathedral in Central America — it was built from 1563 until 1711.
The main altar shows a piece of golden wood, with the image of the Immaculate Conception, created by Francisco de Ocampo, and donated to Comayagua by Spain. Also, the cathedral’s eight religious sculptures were donation from Spain.
The cathedral faces the central square of the city, and when climbing its bell tower, you will be able to enjoy stunning views of Comayagua and the surrounding area.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Address: Main Square, Comayagua CM2100, Honduras
2. Take pictures of America's oldest clock
Not only is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception the oldest of its kind in Central America, it is also home to the oldest clock in the Americas.
Built by the Arabs in 1100 and brought to the city in 1636, this gear-style clock was first installed in the church La Merced, and only later transferred to the cathedral, once this one was opened in 1711.
The clock’s front panel located on the cathedral’s tower shows the time based on mechanism of gears, ropes, weights, and a pendulum.
El Reloj de la Catedral
Address: Main Square, Comayagua CM2100, Honduras
3. Indulge in culture in the Comayagua House of Culture
The House of Culture in Comayagua is an important place for national artists as it gives them the opportunity to display their works. Art pieces are exhibited here, and some are sold to tourists who come to the city. The House of Culture is home to paintings, books, jewelry, and handicrafts, some of which are made out of recycled paper.
Comayagua is famous for being very supportive to Honduras’ creative industries and many people produce arts and crafts as their main form of livelihood.
Apart from displaying art, the House of Culture also helps artists by hosting workshops. Sometimes, workshops for children are also offered, such as a marimba workshop, in order to familiarise the city’s youth with community traditions.
Comayagua House of Culture
Address: Casa de la Cultura de Comayagua
Facebook: Comayagua House of Culture
4. Spend Semana Santa in Comayagua
From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, this quiet town turns into a lively place. Comayagua is famous for its street carpet traditions.
Layers of colored dust and other natural materials, such as rice and flower petals, are used to design huge carpets that depict biblical figures and events leading up to the death of Jesus Christ.
During Easter week, many processions take place, where people walk on the carpets, wearing costumes and carrying religious items and reading from the bible. The main procession is held on Easter Sunday, starting at 8 AM from the church La Caridad.
Semana Santa in Comayagua is a fascinating experience even for visitors who are not Christian.
5. Spend some time at Lake Yojoa
Comayagua is a great starting point to explore the nearby Lake Yojoa. The lake is the country’s biggest lake and there is plenty of stuff to do here.
The lake’s surroundings are home to several hundred bird species, and the area’s climate is great for growing coffee. Take part in a bird watching tour by foot or by boat, visit the nearby hot springs, explore the caves, or hike to the Pulhapanzak Waterfalls.
There are also many small restaurants by the lake’s shore, and you can easily spend a full day exploring the area.
Address: Lago de Yojoa
Website: Lake Yojoa
6. Visit Palacio Episcopal
This true jewel of colonial history — the Bishop’s Palace — is located just around the corner from the city’s cathedral. Walking through this place really gives you a feeling for history and religious culture. The beautiful palacio is home to many artworks, and is worth a visit.
Historically, the Palacio was home to the Colegio Tridentino, often referred to as Honduras’ first university. Nowadays, members of the Catholic church live and work here.
Address: Frente Iglesia Catedral, Comayagua, Honduras
Honduras' beautiful colonial city
Comayagua is certainly worth the visit, even if you don’t visit during Semana Santa. The city is one of the country’s most important religious and political centres, and until 1880, Comayagua was Honduras’ capital.
The city is very catholic, and because of this, is home to fine old churches, an impressive cathedral, and many beautiful colonial plazas. The best time to visit is during the Easter week as the celebrations are fascinating; however, at other times, the city is great for a stopover on the way to northern Honduras coming from Tegucigalpa.
You might be surprised seeing US soldiers spending time in Comayagua. This is due to the big US military air base outside of the city. Although it was used as a base for US forces in the 1980s, some soldiers are still stationed here.
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