Copán, considered one of the most spectacular city's of the ancient Mayan civilization, is situated in the western part of Honduras. It flourished during the 7th century of our era and is representative today of what Athens, to the old world; the cradle of its civilization. Here the Mayas developed a civilization based on a complex sociopolitical structure; at the same time they made amazing advancements in the fields of science, mathematics and astronomy. They also developed a writting system based on hieroglyphs.
Copán is known for its beautiful temples, altars and stelae. The stelae are three to five meters tall and two to three meters around. Carved in extremely intricate high relief, they are portraits of the greatest rulers in the history of the city on one side are laden with hieroglyphs which describe the power and politics of the dignitary depicted and the ideology of the times on the other. UNESCO declared it a world heritage site in 1980.
In Copán you find a modern ambiance together with a legendary past. San Jose de Copán, situated one kilometer from the principal group of ruins in this archeological zone, is a modern town which was founded during the last century and with a population of about 3,000, has a decidedly colonial aspect. Click here for tours.