Comayagua was founded with the name Santa María de la Nueva Valladolid by Conquistador Alonso de Cáceres under orders from Francisco de Montejo, Governor of Yucatán on December 8, 1537. From 1540 on Comayagua was the capital of the Honduras Province of the Captaincy General of Guatemala. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, on the main square, was begun in 1563 and inaugurated in 1711.In 1786 (23 December) the Spanish Crown created the Intendencia of Comayagua, with Comayagua as its capital, which lasted until 1812. From 1812 to 1814 it was the capital of the Province of Comayagua when it again reverted to being the capital of the Intendencia of Comayagua until 1820. In 1820, Honduras was again called the Province of Comayagua or Honduras, with Comayagua as its capital. After independence from the Spanish it was the capital of the state of Honduras in the Federal Republic of Central America. After Honduras became an independent republic, the capital alternated between Comayagua and Tegucigalpa (Comayagua being preferred by Conservative administrations, and Tegucigalpa by Liberal ones) before being permanently established at Tegucigalpa in 1880.
In recent years Comayagua has become one of the most important tourist attractions in Honduras. This is due to the Cooperation Técnica Española and the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, both of which have cooperated in maintaining the city’s historical sites.
In the downtown is located the Central Plaza. From this strategic point one can appreciate the cathedral of Comayagua and City Hall. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Central Plaza serves as point of reference of the city. In it the residents gather to celebrate the local holidays and concerts of marimbas, among other activities.
Right in front of the plaza is located City Hall, which has been reconstructed a couple of times. The building is of neoclassic style and was built during the 16th century.
From the Central plaza one can also appreciate the city’s main attraction, the Cathedral of Comayagua. This church is one of the biggest churches built during the colonial era in Honduras. It was inaugurated on Dec. 8, 1711.
In February 2012, a fire killed more than 350 people at Comayagua prison.
Revision as of 19:20, 21 December 2012
Comayagua is a small city in Honduras. It has maintained much of its picturesque Spanish Colonial era architecture.
Comayagua is less than 2 hours by car or bus from Tegucigalpa, where the nearest international airport is located. Among others, TACA, American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines service the Tegucigalpa airport.
As of May 2012, the new highway from Tegucigalpa to Comayagua has been completed, save for some construction zones outside of Comayagua, and is the best highway in Honduras. Expect slow going in the construction zones.
Further away, but on a slightly better road, is the San Pedro Sula airport, the busiest in Honduras.
Rent a car at either of those airports, or catch one of the many busses running the SPS-Tegucigalpa-SPS route.
Taxis abound. Fares for anywhere in town, before 6PM, are 25 Lempiras per person. Rates go up after 6PM and again in the evening hours. Rates may even be higher at 3 AM or so. ALWAYS ask the fare before entering the cab.
In the central square of the town sits the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, an outstanding example of 18th-century colonial architecture.
Restaurante Casa Colonial (Colonial House Restaurant), Parque Central (next to the Cathedral). Very good food at reasonable prices in a romantic setting on the central square, right next to the cathedral. Seafood, steaks, salads, chicken and plato tipico. Coffee shop attached. Also serves breakfast. Inquire about off-menu items such as crab, or sushi-maki. Ricardo, the owner, has filled the restaurant with art, crafts, and antiques from Honduras as well as the US. Credit cards accepted. Outside seating on the parque. Special seating for groups up to about 25.
Restaurante El Torito (Toritos Restaurant), CA-5 (On the main highway, just south of town). Toritos is probably the best restaurant in town. Known for their excellent steaks, they also serve seafood and chicken. Full bar, credit cards accepted. Air Conditioned. Secure parking.
Fast Food Restaurants, CA-5 (On the main highway, between the old and new boulevards). On the main highway, between the two major intersections, is a Pizza Hut, a Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin Robbins, and a Pollo Compenero. Wendy's is about a quarter of a mile towards town, on the "old" boulevard. Go towards town at the Texaco, you'll see it on the left.
Golosinas. These small, inexpensive, family-run restaurants serving typical Honduran food and either fried or rotisserie chicken are on every block it seems. Food preparation in Honduras is not tightly regulated as it is in the US, so caution is on order when in any restaurant. But after being in-country for a few weeks, you should be able to eat pretty much anywhere.
Mang Ying, Old Blvd (4th Ave) and 7th St (Turn off the main highway at Texaco, continue through town for about one mile). There are many Chinese restaurants in Comayagua, most of them serving the same food, but Mang Ying is probably the best. Expect giant portions. A decent atmosphere, with large photos of Chinese landmarks and generous seating partially makes up for the fact that "American" style Chinese food, such as General Cho's Chicken, is absent from the menu. Overall, good food, prepared quickly. Air-conditioned. No credit cards accepted. Secure parking.
La Casita, Old Blvd (Ave 4) and 1st ST, approx (From the main highway, go towards town at the Texaco, maybe 1/4 mile, on the right). Excellent family restaurant with the one of the only true grills in town (there are more than a few street food vendors around town who grill skewers of meat and white corn-on-the-cob). Grilled favorites such as steak, pork chops, sausage, and BBQ chicken are accompanied with tortillas, rice, beans, chismol, cooked plantains, and a trio of sauces in a farmhouse atmosphere. The walls are covered with original paintings depcting pastoral Honduran life, and antique Honduran tools and small farm implements that would have been used in a Honduran casita of years past. Reasonable prices. Air conditioning. Secure Parking. No credit cards accepted.
La Fonda, 2 Avenida y 3 Calle. Mexican food and Comida Typica, high quality. Very, very good Tacos Al Pastor. Free off-street parking. Indoor and outdoor seating. Bar. The only place in town that has a picture of Elvis on the wall.
Do not drink the water anywhere in Honduras. Follow the guidelines about Honduras travel on the US State Department webpage.