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La Pintada - Horseback Riding - Cultural Tour Copan Ruinas - Honduras

Perched on a mountainside, La Pintada offers a spectacular panorama of the town of Copan Ruinás and the main Mayan ruins just outside of town.


The village is a step back to a simpler time. The only building with electricity is the public school. Small garden plots of flowers and bananas or plantains surround the adobe, thatched houses. This is essentially a subsistence farming village inhabited by the Chorti Maya with the principal crops being corn and beans. Additional income comes from the sale of colorful cornhusk dolls made by the women and children of the village. Your first experience upon arrival in the village will be with the children. They can be quite zealous in their attempt to sell dolls. If you plan on buying dolls, tell the children to stand back and wait their turn, you will only consider buying from those that will not push or shove.


A single dirt footpath leads through the village to a cornfield and pasture. Depending on the season, cultivated gardens and wildflowers will provide a riot of color as you walk along the path. From the pasture vantage point, the Acropolis of the main ruins and stellae high in the mountains away from the main ruins are visible. Stellae are scattered throughout the area. Mayan royalty erected the monuments to show not only their power but also the location of the portal to the other world.


The village is reachable by foot, or horseback. If walking, exit the town of Copan Ruinás and head back towards the Hedman-Alas bus terminal. Continue past the bus terminal and across the Copan River. Make a left along the river road and continue past tobacco drying sheds, pastures, and vegetable fields. Head up the mountain until you reach a fork in the road with a sign directing you to Los Sapos and Hacienda San Lucas. Los Sapos, a minor archaeological site that served as a Mayan maternity ward is off to the right and is on the hacienda property. The left branch of the road will take you up to the village of La Pintada.


The easiest way to reach La Pintada is by horseback unless you are up to a hike up the mountain. The ride up and back allows you to experience the silence of the woods, the bustling noises of the agricultural fields and pastures, as well as the sound of the rushing waters of the Copan River. A three hour round trip up to the villages costs approximately US$17 based out of the Hotel Yaragua. Guides are at the hotel tour office and horses for all levels of riding ability are available. The hotel is located at the southeast corner of the central park. Horseback trips to Los Sapos are also available.


Take the morning ride and you will be back in time for lunch in town. Shopping or side trips to other destinations such as the bird sanctuary at Macaw Mountain are easy to accomplish in the same day.


Copan Ruinas, Honduras

Cultural Tour

Getting There
Horseback guides can be arranged at the Hotel Yaragua just off the central park in the town of Copan Ruinas.

Travel Tips: Wear shoes suitable for horseback riding, not sneakers or tennis shoes. Put on insect repellant.

Price Description: $17 per person for a three hour riding trip.

Relative price: Mid-Range

Open Hours from:08:00

Open Hours to:17:00

Travel Skills: beginner/easy.

The main Mayan ruins, other ruins at El Puente and minor ruins at Los Sapos. Macaw Mountain Bird Sanctuary, thermal hot springs,caving. Seasonally, there is tubing on the Copan River. Shopping for Honduran and Guatemalan handicrafts.

13 Jul 2007

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