About Copan & Quirigua
Location:  2.5 hours from San Pedro Sula Honduras (closest airport to Copan)
or 5 hours by land from Guatemala City.

For locations of the archaeological sites see our MayaMap page.



Copan was called "Oxwitik" by the ancient Maya and has been the source of mystery and archaeological study since the 1800’s. Because it is on higher ground this fertile valley is cooler than the majority regions of Honduras.  In historical terms the site of Copan has an Archaeological footprint that goes back to 1100 B.C. making it one of the oldest contiguous living pre-Columbian regions in the Americas

Plan to spend a full day visiting beautiful Copan Archaeological Park, with its stunning monuments and forest of finely carved "tree stones" documenting a powerful dynasty in the Classic Period of the Maya. The vast Acropolis is dotted with large, well preserved standing steles carved with incredibly intricate detail.  At its peak the kingdom of Copan covered a 250 square kilometer area with a population of tens of thousands of inhabitants.  When visiting this site you will be viewing, without question, Maya Art and Architecture at its zenith.  The superstars of the kingdom -- the kings and queens -- strove for immortality in more ways than one, as these images in stone stele carved in the round can attest. The Maya’s incredible achievements in astronomy, mathematics, geometry and architecture are all on display here. Copan is also known for its Temple of the Hieroglyphic Stairs which has the longest Pre-Columbian text in existence with over 2,000 carved glyphs.

Be sure to also visit the interesting multi-level Sculpture Museum with its wonderfully painted replica of the Rosalia Temple that was discovered under Temple 16 and exhibits of ancient sculptures from the Copan Valley. Also of interest are The Tunnels the were dug by archaeologists to show the various construction phases of the ancient builders that span centuries.

Near Copan is another interesting Mayan archaeological site, Quirigua.Quirigua is famous for having one of the tallest stone monuments ever discovered in the Maya World (over 10 meters high and weighing over 65 tons) and for its relationship with nearby Copan. The monuments at Quirigua are unique in the Maya World as they show full frontal views of the human figure -- rather than the traditional profile depictions seen at other Classic Period sites. Stela C is famous for having the longest single hieroglyphic description of the Maya Creation Myth, which it states began on the Long Count Calendar Day of (which corresponds to Aug. 13, 3114 BC on our calendar) and ended on Dec. 21, 2012. You'll also see the Plaza where a powerful king of Quirigua ritually executed a great king of Copan after capturing him in battle.

For more information about travel to Copan contact MayaSites Travel Services 7 days a week.  U.S. office toll free 877-620-8715.  Outside of the U.S. (country code 1) 505-255-2279.  Or e-mail us at [email protected]

MayaSites Travel Services Excursions to Copan:

3 night tour of Copan and Quirigua

3 night tour visiting 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites
and breathtaking Maya ruins.

6 night tour of Tikal & Copan.
Includes Tikal with sunrise or sunset tour of the ruins,
Uaxactun, Yaxha, Tayasal on Flores Island, National Museum
of Archaeology & Ethnology, The Popol Vuh Museum, Ixchel Museum
of Indigenous Textiles and Clothing and more!

Multi-Destination Itinerary
14 night "Grand Tour" of the Maya World Includes Copan & More!


For more information or to make a reservation contact MayaSites Travel Services
U.S. office toll free 877-620-8715
Outside of the U.S. (country code 1) 505-255-2279
Or e-mail us at
[email protected]

All photographs and text Copyright 2000-2014 by MayaSites Travel Services. All rights reserved.