Once the capital of Honduras, faded COMAYAGUA lies just 85km north of Tegucigalpa. Santa María de Comayagua, as it was first known, was built in 1539, and quickly gained prominence thanks to the discovery of silver nearby, becoming the administrative centre for the whole of Honduras. Following independence, however, the city’s fortunes began to decline, particularly after Tegucigalpa was designated alternative capital of the new republic in 1824, and especially when President Soto permanently transferred the capital to Tegucigalpa in 1880. Although Comayagua is today a relatively rich and important provincial centre, its rivalry with Tegucigalpa has hardly waned over the centuries. The main reason to visit is the architectural legacy of the colonial period, in particular the dramatic cathedral overlooking the Parque Central.
Most sights of interest are within a few blocks of the large, tree-lined Parque Central, which is graced by a fountain and a pretty bandstand. It’s a great place to watch city life, especially in the evenings, when music plays out of speakers. The centre is relatively compact and orientation straightforward.