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Parque Morazán downtown is usually the first stop on any tour of Tegucigalpa. This is the colonial heart of the city, and most museums can be found here. Few visitors who come to Tegucigalpa take the time to get to know the city. Usually, they land here or are just passing through, and stick around for no more than a day before hightailing it elsewhere in the country. Rightly so, as apart from museums, there is little to do here for the typical traveler. There are no formal tours of the city, and most of the sites are situated walking distance from each other in the colonial center and can be seen easily in a day.

The baroque Cathedral, on the eastern edge of Parque Morazán, was built between 1765 and 1782, and honors Saint Michael (San Miguel) the Archangel, Tegucigalpa's patron saint. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, a few blocks northwest of the park, was built in 1732 and features an attractive selection of religious art, such as reliefs of the Stations of the Cross, along with a carved altar. The big plaza fronting the church is often packed with artisan stalls and food vendors. Other churches, such as Parroquia San Francisco, the oldest church in the city (it was built in 1592), and Iglesia la Merced, beside the Galería Nacional de Arte, are worth a look when they're open (hours vary).

Attractions Outside Town

The Basílica Nacional de Suyapa (www.virgendesuyapa.hn) is the largest cathedral in the country, but is perhaps better known for being the discovery site of a tiny cedar statue of the Virgin Mary. This statue, discovered in 1747, is famous throughout Honduras for its healing powers. The Virgin has long been the patron saint of the country and, in 1982, was even named by papal decree as the patron saint of all of Central America. The permanent home of the statue is actually the nearby Iglesia de Suyapa, but the statue is brought to this Gothic cathedral, which was built in 1954, for special events like the Feria de la Virgen de Suyapa. The cathedral's grounds are open to visitors every day, but the basilica itself is open only during Mass and holidays. To get here, take a taxi to Suyapa, 7km (4 1/4 miles) south of the center on Boulevard Suyapa, from Parque La Merced; a taxi should cost about L55 to L95.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.