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Honduras: a beginner's guide

Chris Moss shares his travel tips with the Telegraph

Top five attractions 
  • The Mayan site of Copán, full of impressive carvings, stelae and altars.
  • The Bay Islands of Utila, Roatán and Guanaja with their white-sand beaches and balmy waters.
  • The fishing villages around Tela to experience indigenous Garífuna food and culture.
  • Parque Nacional Pico Bonito, a habitat for jaguars, armadillos, wild pigs, tepezcuintles (pacas – a type of burrowing rodent), monkeys and toucans (hire a guide).
  • Honduras’ largest lake, Lago de Yojoa, a favourite with birdwatchers, who have identified more than 375 species

Best city 
Comayagua, the former capital (until 1880), which has been faithfully restored. Its pleasant parks, whitewashed churches and human scale make for a far more relaxing experience than the smog-laden, chaotic modern capital, Tegucigalpa.

Souvenir to buy 
If you object to paying for a stamp for your passport to say you have visited the ruins of Copán, buy a Yaba Ding Ding – a reproduction of a pre-Columbian artefact.

Quirky Honduras 
The term "banana republic" first appeared in the American author O Henry's 1904 book, ‘Cabbages and Kings’, based on his stay in 1896-97.

‘Cabbages and Kings’ – see above.

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