advertisement

The colonial mountain village of Valle de Ángeles is 22km (14 miles) east of Tegucigalpa, just 8km (5 miles) past Santa Lucía. It is a route lined with the mansions of capitalinos, small country restaurants, plant nurseries, and artesania stands. Though it's nearly empty during the week, the town is packed full during the weekends with day-trippers from Tegucigalpa who come for the cool climate that an elevation of 1,310m (4,298 ft.) brings. It's more centralized and easier to get around than nearby Santa Lucía, and also a wee bit more touristy -- but not necessarily in a bad way.

Renovations have virtually restored Valle de Ángeles to its 16th-century glory and helped preserve its tourist-friendly character. Several of the streets are pedestrian-only and are lined with small shops selling handicrafts from all over the country -- wood carvings, wicker baskets, hand-carved furniture, paintings, Lenca pottery, dolls, and even a leather factory and outlet. A few stores carry items from other Latin American destinations such as Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Items here cost quite a bit less than in Tegucigalpa or other parts of the country. Unlike in Santa Lucia, however, the colonial architecture of the church here has not been preserved and looks rather bland.