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San Pedro Sula

San Pedro Sula is Honduras' economic and commercial hub, and for most travelers it's just a stopping point on the way to Tela, La Ceiba or Copan Ruinas. Indeed, the city does not boast much in terms of attractions. Still, it's a pleasant place with a laid-back charm and a long history.

San Pedro's commercial importance dates back to its foundation in 1536. From its inception, it functioned as a colonial mint, where the Spaniards brought gold to be smelted before exportation. Originally it was situated on the coast, close to the modern city of Choloma, in order to better facilitate the sea trade. Unfortunately, the convenience of this location was not lost on the pirates of the day, and it was repeatedly sacked by French, English and Dutch raiders. The city was therefore moved to its current location inland along the Chamelecon River, where it languished as a colonial backwater town until the 20th century.

With the rise of the banana trade, San Pedro gained importance as a distributional and organizational center leading to a dramatic expansion in population. In the 1920's alone the city grew ten-fold. Today, there are around 600 000 sanpedranos, and that number continues to climb rapidly. Although the banana trade was heavily damaged by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, the city remains a major industrial center. 80% of Honduras' industrial parks are within 30km of San Pedro Sula.

For the visitor, the prime attractions of San Pedro are its excellent restaurants and vibrant nightlife. The city's lively Zona Viva hosts some of the top clubs in Honduras, as well as many fantastic restaurants. Try to arrive on a weekend, if you're looking to party, the bars only fill up on Friday and Saturday. San Pedro also has a few historical sites and museums. The nearby cloud forests of El Cusuco National Park are worth a day-trip, if you're not pressed for time.

The city is divided into four different sections: Northeast (NE), Northwest (NW), Southeast (SE) and Southwest (SW). If you plan on spending some time here, keep in mind that most hotels are located in the Northwest, though a few more modern hotels, shopping malls and restaurant chains are in the Northeast.

Neighborhoods in San Pedro Sula: Downtown, Zona Viva,

Other places nearby San Pedro Sula: Copan Ruinas, La Entrada and Comayagua.

By Mike Karanicolas

Michael Karanicolas is awesome.

14 Nov 2008

Things to do in San Pedro Sula


Aficionados of religious architecture are bound to be a little disappointed in San Pedro Sula. Considering that the city dates back nearly five centuries, its two cathedrals are both rather ...
Historical Building
San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Museo de la Naturaleza

This is the kind of place they used to take you on primary school trips, right down to the paper-mache volcanoes. The exhibits are entirely in Spanish, and the whole place has a dusty, tired ...
San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Museo de Arqueología e Historia de San Pedro Sula

For many, one of the highlights of a visit to San Pedro is its excellent archaeological museum, considered one of the best in the region. Flanked by two large, impressive old cannons, the museum ...
Zona Viva, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
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