Mainland Honduras has very few cultural relics that adequately portray the country’s long and prolific history of Mayan culture and Spanish conquerors. Modern day Honduras is filled with western culture, tarred roads, modern cars, cell phones and wifi.


Just when you think that Honduras is a shadow of its culturally rich neighbour, Guatemala, you arrive at Copan in the north west of Honduras and the land changes from bustling cities to rolling green countryside and forested hills.

Described as the Paris of the Mayan Underworld, the ruins of Copan sit in a valley around nine kilometres from Honduras’ frontier with Guatemala. The ruins lie in a densely forested plot that is teeming with brightly coloured wild birds who fly past you as you explore the myriad of pyramids, steps and intricately carved stelae of this beautiful complex. Covering an area of 24 square kilometres, Copan is home to the longest Mayan hieroglyphic text yet discovered by archaeologists. A number of separate plazas are skirted by giant stepped pyramids and adorned with stone carvings of birds, the Mayan people, heads of wisdom, spiritual figures and conquerors. Standing upright on the open grassy lawns are spectacular stelae, each one symbolizing a prominent Mayan figure of Copan.

Take a good pair of walking shoes and explore the buildings, some of which have an elaborate system of underground caves, or simply sit on the steps and take in the magnitude of Copan.  You can wander through an ancient games arena lined by rows of terraced stone seats, trace your fingers along carvings of an immense variety or find a shady spot to sit and take in the view. 

The park also has a tame flock of Scarlet Macaws who fly around the entrance entertaining arriving guests. It is possible to get very close to these Macaws and their natural perches in nearby trees allow for wonderful photographs.

Copan is a must see for anyone interested in Central Amercan ruins and we suggest you plan your visit around an early morning start, take a local bilingual guide from the Hacienda and beat the crowds to wander the ruins in the cooler part of the day.


Perched on a steep hillside overlooking Copan, the stunning Hacienda San Lucas is a labour of love for its owner, the vivacious Flavia, who welcomes guests to her tiny piece of secluded paradise. An expat Honduran who lived in the United States for many years, Flavia returned to take over the Hacienda from her family and she renovated it to its current form – a place of quiet, stone buildings decorated with a stunning mix of Spanish colonial influences, Mayan Indian artwork and treasures from the natural forests surrounding the property of the hacienda. 

Core to Flavia’s beliefs and vision for San Lucas is an ideal that incorporates conservation, sustainable tourism and a passion for Mayan architecture and culture.

Visible from the actual ruins of Copan, Hacienda San Lucas is accessed by a rough dirt road that meanders its way up a nearby hillside. On arrival your luggage will be mysteriously whisked away as you are greeted by Flavia with an invitation to join the guests for a pre-dinner drink at sunset. 

You will then be shown to your room along a hand smoothed stone pathway where your beds are decorated with woven Mayan Indian bed covers and  your hot water showers are fed by the local spring. Attention to detail is everywhere and is characterized by Flavia’s indomitable spirit. From the carefully arranged ginger flowers and heliconias in vases around the hacienda to candle lit framed images depicting some of the century old relationships that the Cueva family has with this beautiful family home, antique lanterns light the path to your room at night and a line up of old horseback saddles outside rests over a tethering rail near the reception entry. Charisma oozes out of every corner at the Hacienda San Lucas.

Gracious staff greet you and hand you a wonderful cocktail to drink as you watch the sun go down over the ruins that are clearly visible from the garden in the front of the restaurant. A line of comfortable sling lounges on the lawn are the best place to watch a sunset spectacle of rose coloured skies giving way to the progress of illuminated street lights in the village of Copan. Only the smell of the wood stove and dinner will entice you away from this beautiful view. Wandering back to the dining room for dinner, your table will be lit by candles and the smell of home made tortillas baking on open coals will perfume the air. Life at the Hacienda revolves around the kitchen with its earthy wooden centre table and vegetables stowed in large wooden bowls on cool stone floors. Aromatic Honduran coffee is served piping hot after lunch or dinner or at breakfast. The food is a fusion of modern Honduran cuisine and heavy Mayan influences cooked lovingly using ingredients that are either bought locally on the day or grown in the hacienda’s garden. If you are interested, cooking classes with the chef of San Lucas can be arranged.

Other activities that can be arranged by the Hacienda include guided horse rides to a nearby waterfall, a visit to the hacienda’s own ruins on site, a full day trip to a local Honduran ranch including a swim at its hot springs, birdwatching tours and yoga classes.

If your idea of a Central American paradise includes a tiled roof, cedar furniture, stone floors, wood fired stoves, woven Honduran rugs, strategically slung hammocks shaded by large breezy balconies, fantastic food and gracious hospitality, then the earthy beauty of the Hacienda San Lucas will captivate you.


Daily flights operate between Roatan and San Pedro Sula where a driver will meet you and take you out to Copan.


Price: From £626, $895, €716


  • 3 nights accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Breakfast and 5 course dinner daily
  • Return airport transfers
  • Entrance into the ruins of Copan
  • Services of a bilingual guide for half a day

Stays can be of any length.  The package above is for 3 nights.

Single Occupancy Supplement: Please contact us.

Air Travel: Our in-house IATA ticket agency can arrange your air travel in connection with your holiday from a departure point anywhere in the world, or you may arrange your own air travel if you prefer. We can tailor-make your itinerary to your personal requirements, so if you would like to make a stop-over or two, make a side trip to some other destination, or travel business class rather than economy, we will be happy to assist. Please contact us about your air travel requirements.

Local artwork adorns the walls of San Lucas (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Old man's head or Face of Wisdom, Copan (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Birdwatching is one of the many activities offered by the Hacienda San Lucas (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Torch Ginger growing in the gardens of Hacienda San Lucas (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Hammocks are slung strategically to capture gentle breezes on the Hacienda's balconies. They are wonderful spots to relax with a good book! (Image by Inger Vandyke)

A Mayan Rug from the sitting room. (Image by Inger Vandyke)

The hacienda is perched on a hillside above the spectacular ruins of Copan (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Hand crafted leather saddles are slung over a tethering rail near the reception of Hacienda San Lucas Immerse yourself in the history of Copan by viewing the intricately carved stelae in the temple complex (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Immerse yourself in the history of Copan by viewing the intricately carved stelae in the temple complex (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Beautifully crafted corn husk dolls (Image by Inger Vandyke)

The logo for the Hacienda is influenced by Mayan art (Image by Inger Vandyke)

Framed pictures depicting the family history of the Hacienda are just some of the many welcoming touches in this traditional home (Image by Inger Vandyke)

The wing feathers of one of Copan's star Scarlet Macaws (Image by Inger Vandyke)

One of the Hacienda's wood stoves (Image by Inger Vandyke)

The wonderful food at the Hacienda is a fusion of traditional Mayan Indian and modern Honduran cuisine (Image by the Hacienda San Lucas)

The spectacular ruins of Copan are scattered amongst tall forest trees (Image by Inger Vandyke)

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