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45km (28 miles) to Gracias; 110km (68 miles) to Copán

Santa Rosa is the commercial and administrative hub of western Honduras and, though it isn't overflowing with tourist sights, it makes a good base for exploring elsewhere in the department of Lempira. The town has long been known for growing high-quality tobacco -- said to be the best in the country -- and this crop has played an important part in the town's history. The Spanish established the La Real Factoría del Tabaco here in 1765, and it led to considerable wealth for the city. Today, the city still boasts a number of pretty, azulejo-covered colonial buildings that were built by the Spanish. And, while La Real Factoría is no more, tobacco remains an important part of the economy.