The blossoming colonial village of Gracias, Honduras, southeast of Copan and 100 mi/160 km northwest of Tegucigalpa, is the starting place for those wishing to hike Mount Celaque in Celaque National Park, which is 3 mi/5 km away. The park is often shrouded with clouds, but the rain forest has a waterfall and abundant wildlife, including jaguars, pumas and quetzals. You may want to hire a guide.

South of Gracias are hot springsā€”a good place for a relaxing soak after the hike.

The town itself is experiencing a tourist boom, thanks to new colonial-style hotels and increased access to La Ruta Lenca, a string of Lenca villages with colonial churches outside of town.

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