Tegucigalpa is the capital of Honduras and also the largest in the country with about 1.2 million inhabitants, followed by San Pedro Sula. At first, the city looks gray and drab and is therefore quickly passed over. But if you know the spots, the city and the surrounding area have quite a bit to offer and can be a fine stopover before traveling on again. These include Tegucigalpa’s most beautiful viewpoint Picacho, La Tigra National Park and the small surrounding villages of Cantarranas, Valle de Angeles and Santa Lucia.
Food and drink
As for food and drink, the best place to go for good coffee is Espresso Americano, a well-known coffee house throughout Hondura, comparable to a Starbucks. Although there are also very cozy local coffee houses, such as El Paraiso in downtown Tegucigalpa.
For a more upscale dinner, you can dine at Arno’s or La Cumbre (which is right near Picacho). European prices, but also European quality. Opposite shopping center Multiplaza (the largest and most modern in Tegucigalpa), you will find the hotel Intercontinental where 3 restaurants are located and where you can order delicious, luxurious and global dishes. For something a little less culinary but still delicious, you can go to La Creperia for mostly breakfast and lunch and the Food Truckers for lunch or dinner. For fine live music on the weekends and a Guinness, head to Irish pub McAllister. North of Tegucigalpa you will find the entrance to La Tigra National Park and on the way there you will find Finca La Cantadora, where they sell, among other things, homemade blackberry wine and pizza. You can sit there and look out over the hilly area.
Staying overnight is good at Hostel La Ronda which also has a rooftop bar/restaurant with fine atmosphere. Hostel Palmira has 2 locations with both and roof terrace, extensive kitchen and both dorms and private rooms. Also, there are many modern Airbnb’s available in Tegucigalpa.
Because Tegucigalpa is located among the mountains, you can also view the city from heights. A famous spot is Picacho, a Jesus statue with a large park located higher and giving a nice view of the city. The park is large and has several vantage points. There are also a number of eateries for food and drink.
The park seems to be close to the city. And as the crow flies, it is, but it is not advisable to walk to the park. The road is steep and you cross a neighborhood that is not the safest neighborhood in Tegucigalpa. Since Uber runs in Tegucigalpa, it is best to go with an Uber or other cab. In about 40 minutes you will be at the top. The park is open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., with the evening rate taking effect from 4:00 p.m. You pay 25 Limpira/€0.90 and for during sunset 50 Limpira/€1.75. In the park itself you also have another entrance for to the Jesus statue itself and for that you pay 20 Limpira/€0.75 extra.
La Tigra National Park
North of Tegucigalpa you will find the La Tigra National Park. The park has 2 entrances, one on the south side (Los Planes) from Tegucigalpa and one on the north side (El Rosario) near San Juancito. The Tegucigalpa side is about an hour’s drive, some of which involves dirt roads. The entrance is modern with wayfinding signs and with restrooms. There are 7 hiking trails that are well marked and range from easy (650 meters) to strenuous (6.3 km). On the longest hike, you hike from one entrance to the other entrance (Los Planes to El Rosario) and so can go either way. The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and you pay €9 per person.
If you enter the park from San Juancito you can spend a very nice night with a German couple who have built a cabaña/wooden hut in the middle of the woods. You can dine with them and breakfast is included. They can also pick you up and take you from San Juancito, Valle de Angeles or even Tegucigalpa (for a fee). A unique experience in nature and a wonderful place to be. You can find them on Airbnb cabaña El Rosario, San Juancito. Also, from the cabaña you can very easily hike through La Tigra to a waterfall (about 3 hours) or even longer because there are several hiking trails. On the way there you will find a number of small restaurants where you can also have a nice local lunch and pay less than 2 euros per person. If you want something a little different then this trip is definitely recommended. In addition, a visit to La Tigra National Park and the cabaña can be well combined with a visit to Cantarranas, Valle de Angeles and/or Santa Lucia.
For the Los Planes entrance of La Tigra, it is only possible to go by private transport or a taxi/Uber. If you want to go to the entrance of El Rosario you can take a bus to San Juancito that goes past the small villages, a ride of about 1.5 hours from Tegucigalpa. From there, you could take an Uber/taxi to go up, as the entrance to the park is higher up in the mountains. Getting to the cabaña or the entrance to the park by private transportation is easily done. Keep in mind that the road is mostly a dirt road and you need to drive slowly. Google maps does not recognize the road properly, but you can just keep following the road and eventually maps will pick it up again. From Tegucigalpa it will take you about 1.5 hours to get to the park entrance by private transport.
Cantarranas, Valle de Angeles and Santa Lucia
Northeast of Tegucigalpa are 3 small characteristic villages. All three villages are small, but are therefore very suitable for a day trip from Tegucigalpa or when you combine them with a visit to La Tigra National Park.
Cantarranas is the northernmost, about a 1-hour drive from Tegucigalpa. In this village you will find a lot of murals and that gives the village a cozy atmosphere. It is also called the “selfie village” due to its beautiful and versatile murals.
Valle de Angeles is the largest of the 3 and is about a 40 minute drive from Tegucigalpa. Here you will find a number of places where you can buy souvenirs and see the old Honduras again. If you search on Google for Centro de artesania and Tienda de Artesanias you will find the souvenir stores there. Also, in Valle de Angeles you can buy quality and comparatively cheap leather products.
Santa Lucia is the smallest village about a 30-minute drive from Tegucigalpa. You can enjoy coffee at one of the two locations of Bendito Cafe and good food and drink at Garden Plaza or The Garden. Santa Lucia has a small lake where you can pedal boat and there are lots of turtles swimming around.
From the Puma San Felipe gas station near Los Proceres shopping center, local buses “Busses del occidente de Honduras” go to and from Valle de Angeles between 5:00 – 18:00. Uber also works in and around Tegucigalpa and is an easy and nice alternative. Shuttles/tours are offered from hostel Palmiras to La Tigra and Valle de Angeles, among others. Inquiring with them can help you see what other options are available.
How do you get there and back?
From Copán, Hedman Alas and others operate a bus to Tegucigalpa. This goes via San Pedro Sula and takes about 8 hours in total. You can book these tickets online.
If you come from San Pedro Sula then you can also go with Hedman Alas. But also bus company Christina or Viana go from San Pedro Sula to Tegucigalpa. ‘
From Lago Yojoa you can go with Hedman Alas. There are local buses, but taking Hedman Alas is the most convenient, safe and fast. If you stay at D&D Brewery at Lago Yojoa you can also book bus tickets through their website.
If you are coming from the border of Nicaragua then from the Los Manos border you take a bus to El Paraiso or Danlí and then change to a bus to Tegucigalpa. This takes about 2 hours in total and costs about €4.50 in total. From the El Espino border, take the bus to Choluteca and there transfer to a bus to Tegucigalpa. This ride takes about 4 hours.