The western highlands of Honduras present a picturesque landscape of pine forests, sparsely inhabited mountains and remote villages. The departments of Lempira and Intibucá contain the highest concentration of indigenous peoples in the country, and many of the towns in the region make up the so-called Ruta Lenca. Around the village of La Esperanza particularly, look out for Lenca women wearing traditional coloured headdresses while working in the fields.
Cobbled, colonial Gracias makes a relaxing base for hikes in the pristine cloudforest reserve of the Parque Nacional Celaque. An easy bus ride away is Santa Rosa de Copán, which is also a relaxing place to stay and still unspoilt, despite its growing popularity with tourists and its proximity to the famous Copán ruins.