The name is quite a mouthful so excuse people when they prefer to call this Honduran City, Tegus, instead. It is a bustling city built right in the middle of a valley during the colonial era. Today it is home to many impressive residential neighborhoods but there are still plenty of sights to see, history to unveil and culture to experience.
Tegus’ beauty is in its simplicity. Like a specialty restaurant that offers only a few items on the menu but makes a damn good job at it, Tegus has a downtown area that is historically rich, a few amazing museums and a handful of restaurants that all make for an enjoyable vacation. It is not exactly paradise – the traffic and the roller coaster-like taxi rides remind you that you are still in a metropolis – but it should be close enough.
This part of Honduras can be a rewarding and thrilling experience for the patient traveler. Tegus, being the capital of Honduras since 1880, is the place to be if you want to feel the pulse of Central America. There are historic cathedrals, amazing taquerias (stands of street vendors), colorful parades and a throng of beautiful people – it is a vacation you are going to remember for a long time.
Galleries and Art
For a taste of Honduran history, don’t forget to visit the Museum for National Identity, which, as the name suggests, is full of artifacts that define the identity of the Honduras. Here you can learn about the country during the pre-Columbian times, virtually visit the Copan archeological site (although nothing beats actually visiting it) and review present-day Honduras. It is a show that will please youngsters and old-timers alike.
For the artist in you, try the National Art Gallery. Ancient art, petro glyphs, as well as contemporary pieces are displayed here. Admission fee is a reasonable 30L or about $1.50. It is a good way to spend a few hours in the afternoon when the heat is too much for a leisurely stroll outside.
If you are the type who wants to engage in conversation about art and poetry, you will find your home in Café Paradiso. This place is a Bohemian coffee house that often screens independent films and hosts poetry reading sessions.
Haven for Foodies
During lunch or dinner the streets usually fill up with smoke and the smell of meat over coals. The people are busy preparing typical Honduran fare like baleadas – a rather thick tortilla that is folded in half and stuffed with fried mashed beans. Special baleadas have grilled chicken and other meats, cream, and cheese that make it a complete meal.
Of course, there will be freshly prepared tamales in every street corner (carne asada, fried fish and rice). Maize and corn specialties like chilaquiles – egg-wrapped tortillas deep fried and layered with tomato sauce, cheese and meats – can be found in some of the bigger vendors. Cheese, fresh herbs and cream are the flavorings of choice in the Honduras so prepare to indulge in the hearty, tart and saucy flavors you will find in only in Tegus.
Make this a destination when you are in the Honduras as Tegucigalpa is indeed a mouthful of fun!