Visit to Copan Ruins In Honduras – Mayan Ceremonial Site

Did you know that the Copan Ruins in Honduras are considered one of the most important Maya Ceremonial cities and ruins along the Maya route. Among other things, it is because the monuments here have helped archaeologists to learn a lot about Mayan writing and language. Continue reading to learn more about this and other reasons why Copan Ruins are so important.

Visit to Copan Ruins Honduras - Mayan Ceremonial Site

Why the Copan Ruins In Honduras are SO important in the archeological world:

1. Intact Artwork and Writing

The Mayan Steleas that were found here were practically intact from when they were built. As you can see in the photo below, some of them still have the original bright red color on them, almost perfectly preserved over the centuries.

This is important because the hieroglyphs that they used as writing are still complete. This allows experts to read and interpret the full thing and not have to guess.

2. The Stelae also read like books

If you know how to read Maya that is. Gratefully, to a Russian woman – my people – can now decipher what they Maya once wrote.

Because of the Mayan versions of paper books where they recorded their history and scientific advances, we don’t know much about them. They were considered guides to heresy. That’s why having monuments like these that can be read is so important.

3. The main staircase

Aside from the wealth of info the Steleas read, the main staircase which was almost perfectly intact, gave the largest insight to the Maya world, more than any other ruin to date. It can be read too. Plus the preservation lever in it tells us a lot of their architectural techniques.

main staircase in a mayan ceremonial site, copan honduras
4. Copan Ruins was home to centuries of dynasties and empires

Each one built more grandeur temples over the others. Luckily for us, we can visit the tunnels that are under the city to see these ancient relics and their water systems and mayan tunnels that they used for their villages.

Mayan tunnels in copan honduras

What To See at Copan Ruins

Unlike other ruins along the Maya route, Copan doesn’t have an all-inclusive entrance fee.

You have a choice of 3 things to see:

1. The main ruins themselves
2. The underground tunnels
3. The Museum

And they all have separate costs, and in my opinion, it is worth paying for all of them.

Mayan Ceremonial Site - museum in copan honduras
This is my second visit to Copan Ruins. I came here as a backpacker, budget traveler 10 years ago. This time I returned with my family, and we splurged on the whole package.

Trust me, doing the entire tour is worth every single penny! You get the full experience of this incredible place.

How to get there and cost

Copan Ruins are located less than 5 minutes – by car- from the center of Copan town. Be aware that the prices vary if you’re from Central America or any other country. You might have to pay a little more, but it isn’t too significant.

On average the whole package can cost you up to $40. Kids under 7 are half price.

Also, take a lot of sunscreen and bug repellent with you.

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Visit to Copan Ruins Honduras - Mayan Ceremonial Site

Last Updated on December 22, 2022

10 thoughts on “Visit to Copan Ruins In Honduras – Mayan Ceremonial Site

  1. Awesome historical site – its amazing that some of the original bright colors have been preserved throughout the centuries!

  2. The colors are so vivid, is that still the original or have they been repainted?

    1. The super red ones are repainted to show us how it was. I personally can’t believe it was that red, but you can see some of the red on the remaining steleas, it’s really cool!!!

  3. I’ve been to Tulum and Altun Ha and have plans to see Chichen Itza next year. Thanks for sharing these! There are so many beautiful archeological sites in South America.

    1. Hey Rachelle,

      I’ll be honest with you, if you can do Palenque over Chichen Itza, you’ll be much happier. I’ve been to Chichen Itza several times and it can be like a zoo making you totally forget you’re in a ruin and think it’s more of an amusement park 🙂

  4. An awesome place. I visited and had a more than larger video camera and they told me I was a they wouldnt let me in with it. They also asked if I could show them the video tape haha! But it’s an impressive place! Nice post.

    1. You were under hard suspicion 🙂 It was probably fear of the president!!! You never know they might be hiding secrets in the tunnels.

  5. Beautiful photos. I didn’t check out the tunnels when I was there. I kind of wish I had. We totally tried to bribe the guy who was guarding the gate to let us both in for $10. No joy. Since when can’t you bribe someone in CA? Maybe next time. Copan was by far the favorite of all the ruins we visited in CA.

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