Ringed by forested hills in a highland valley, sprawling Tegucigalpa enjoys a relatively fresh, mild climate and a spectacular setting. Few travelers hang around long enough to savor the capital's delights and sights, but if you're passing through you will find the compact city center boasts some fine colonial architecture and a good museum or two.
The huge gothic Basílica de Suyapa, the most important church in Honduras, dominates the hillsides south of Tegucigalpa. It’s famous for its large, brilliant stained-glass windows, and dates back to 1954. La Virgen de Suyapa (patron saint of all Central America) is represented inside by a tiny painted wooden statue, only 6cm tall inside.
El Paraíso Department
San Marcos de Colón
Valle de Ángeles
Eight kilometers past Santa Lucía, Valle de Ángeles is another beautiful, historic Spanish mining town. It’s been declared a tourist zone, and much of Valle de Ángeles has been restored to its original 16th-century appearance. In front of the town’s old iglesia is an attractive shady plaza, which has a pretty fountain that is lit up at night.
Choluteca, capital of the department of the same name, lies near Río Choluteca, the same river that runs through Tegucigalpa. It’s the largest town in southern Honduras, and the fourth largest in the country. Which is not to say there’s a whole lot to do here; it’s principally a commercial center for the agricultural region and a stopping-off point between the borders.
Isla El Tigre
Santa Lucía is a charming old Spanish mining town built on a hillside. Cobblestone lanes and walkways wind around the hillside, leading to small colonial-style homes and businesses. The main plaza, with its fountain and landscaped garden, is a nice place to nurse a licuado.
Parque Nacional La Tigra
Parque Nacional La Tigra (adult/child US$10/5; 8am-5pm Tue-Sun, no entry after 2pm) covers 238 sq km of rugged forest a short distance northeast of the capital.