Gracias is a small, tranquil cobblestoned town 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 and traces of its former grandeur remain in its centuries-old buildings, colonial churches and impressive fort. It's been in a state of slow but charming decline ever since, and today the pace of life here rarely moves beyond 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 main reason many people to come to Gracias is to explore the mountainous, forested countryside around the town itself and perhaps climb El Cerro de las Minas (2849m) in Parque Nacional Montaña de Celaque, the country’s highest peak.