Gracias is a jewel – a small, tranquil cobblestone town 47km southeast of Santa Rosa de Copán that's one of the prettiest and most historic settlements in Honduras. For a brief time in the 16th century, it was the capital of all Spanish-conquered Central America. Traces of its former grandeur remain in its centuries-old buildings, colonial churches and impressive fort. The pace of life here rarely moves much faster than walking.
Founded in 1526 by Spanish Captain Juan de Chávez; its original name was Gracias a Dios (Thanks to God). Eventually the town’s importance was eclipsed by Antigua (Guatemala) and Comayagua.
The area around Gracias, including Parque Nacional Montaña de Celaque, is mountainous and beautiful, much of it forested.