Copan Ruinas is a "hidden" treasure in Honduras, and the lack of tourists in this troubled country will make sure it remains tranquil for the unforeseeable future.
We had several options getting from Antigua in Guatemala to the Copan Ruinas in Honduras. The fancy tourist bus (Hedman Alas) is expensive (40 USD), while the dirt cheap chicken buses are too much hassle. It's slow, not safe and you need to change bus a few times. So we went for the middle option, a shuttle van which we were able to negotiate down to 15 USD. It took us around 6 hours to reach the Copan Ruinas. The border crossing went smooth, despite the fact that we had to fill out a couple of forms to enter Honduras and hand over 3 USD.
The town near Copan Ruinas is small, clean and rather touristy. It was easy to find a good value hotel to stay, just a couple of blocks away from where the shuttle van dropped us off. A good meal is never far away, whether you prefer Italian, Mexican or Honduras style.
Next morning we took a tricycle to the Copan Ruinas. It's only a short 1-2 km walk away from the town, but the heat was too overwhelming to even consider a walk. I was surprised to know that a Norwegian guy, Gustav Strømsvik, had played an important role in the excavation of this site before 1950. He was eventually kicked out by the establishment, because he didn't have any formal education from archaeology.
The temples of Copan is not as mind-blowing as those in Tikal. The hieroglyphics in Copan, however, is superior to most other Maya sites. So far we have visited six Maya sites during our journey, and Copan was going to be our last. We both agreed that Copan had been a worthy ending of our Tour de Maya in Central America. The end of Maya, was also the end of Tommaso's camera, almost. It fell down and the LCD screen is not working anymore. The optics got no damage though, so from now on it will be point and shoot in blindness.
Even though we have no more Maya ruins to visit on our overland route towards Panama, we still have a few mountains (country highpoints) to conquer. Next up is Cerro Las Minas, the highest mountain in Honduras.