Coming out of the Copán Ruins and heading northeast on CA 11 to La Entrada and then south on CA 4 will take you to one of Honduras's most quaint and quiet colonial towns, Gracias. The town is in the department of Lempira and its main attraction for Hondurans and foreigners is Celaque National Park. The park is home to Honduras's highest peak, Cerro Las Minas, or simply Celaque Peak for non-Hondurans. The summit tops out at 9,416 feet and is easily seen from Gracias. Biodiversity flourishes in the Celaque National Park. Here pumas, ocelots, and 68 other mammals call this region home. Besides mammals, the park is home to nearly 50 species of reptiles, 20,000 species of insects, 287 different bird species, and 27 unique species of amphibians. The Bolitoglossa celaque lives within the forest, an endangered salamander that can only be found in this region of the world. The Celaque National Park is home to 31 endemic species, many that would be at increased risk if the region wasn’t protected.
The town of Gracias sits on the eastern rim of the park and itself is a walk back into time with its colonial architecture, cobbled stone streets and laid back flow of life. Gracias is home to some 47,000 + Hondurans. It was founded in October of 1536 and Catholic worshippers still convene for man in the 17th century La Merced Church. This was my first time in Gracias and it was a nice two day stop over.
I hope you enjoy the photographs. I appreciate you meandering through Honduras with me.