Transportation in Honduras can be somewhat informal. Often times there are no bus stops or station platforms. You just wave down an approaching van by the side of the highway and hope it’s going in the direction of your destination.
Chicken buses zip by the front gate of our hotel every 10-15 minutes. Sometimes 20, but that only seems to happen on extra hot days. I hopped on one from Lago de Yojoa to Comayagua, the colonial capital of Honduras, via La Guama. The trip took about two hours.
At pit stops, swarms of locals surrounded the bus with fried fishes and ripe mangos in brown paper bags from a dirty bucket attached to the top of a broom stick. It was a clever way to reach passengers on the bus. Two hours later, I arrived in a charming colonial town.
Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion
I took a cab to the Parque Central to visit the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion with a beautiful pastel yellow and white facade and an incredible three-paneled altar. As soon as I approached the entrance, a "guide" spotted me. He followed me and tried to convince me to take a private tour up to the church’s tower for 20 lempiras. These “private tours” were offered to any random tourist who was willing to fork over the money. The 20 lempiras was essentially an entrance fee. Everything the guide told us was already in the Lonely Planet guide book.
I wobbled up the uneven steps in the narrow stone staircases as I tried not to scrape the side of my arms along the jagged walls. The clock in the tower of the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion was donated to Comayagua by King Phillip II of Spain. The clock was originally built by the Moors around 1100 for the palace of Alhambra in Granada. It’s the oldest clock in the Americas and one of the oldest in the world. I haven't seen the second oldest one yet, but the Astronomical Clock in Prague is the third oldest clock.
All of Comayagua can be seen in a day or two. Across the street from the cathedral is the Colonial Museum of Religious Art (Museo Colonial de Arte Religioso) and the other museum in town is the Museo Regional de Arqueologia, which displays artifacts from the ancient Lenca communities.
What I really wish I had time for is the Parque Nacional Montana de Comayagua. The park is extremely eco-friendly. There are two main trails. One of them leads to the Cascada de los Ensuenos, a waterfall about an hour’s hike. The second trail leads to another waterfall, El Gavilan. The waterfalls is where drinking water is sourced from for many communities in the area so swimming is not allowed. The guide told me that the accomodations there are pretty basic. The furniture is made out of wood and there is no electricity.