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Omoa's main attraction is undoubtedly the Fortaleza de San Fernando de Omoa, set right in the center of the town. It is one of the architectural highlights of Honduras and a gem of a colonial fort, the largest in Central America. Slaves -- both Indians and Africans -- supplied the labor for much of the construction of the fort, which began in 1759 and never technically finished. It was designed to ward off pirate attacks from such legendary buccaneers as Peg Leg and Black Diego, who were after the silver shipments from the Tegucigalpa mines that were headed to Spain.

A visit won't take much time. Most of the rooms in the fort are gated off, though you can climb the stone stairs and walk around the top of the fort to admire the dozens of cannons and lookout towers. A 2-year reconstruction was completed at the end of 2008 and the national monument is looking better than ever, though it still gets just a few visitors a day. There is a small museum (L40 adults; Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat and Sun 9am-5pm) set in one of the outer buildings, with a collection of artifacts from the fort such as cannons, guns, scale models, and photos. Guides are available at the entrance for a negotiable fee, usually L40 to L60 for a short tour.

Off the highway just outside of Omoa, at El Paraiso towards Cortés on a privately owned Paraíso Rainforest Reserve, Rawacala Eco Park (tel. 504/2556-9466; www.bttours.net; Tues-Sun 8am-6pm) has set up a 2-hour combination hiking trip and canopy tour (L665 per person). The canopy tour, or zip-line, consists of seven cables and a Tibetan bridge that total 1,100m (3,609 ft.) in length. Once your adrenaline eases, you walk to a small waterfall and swimming hole to cool off. There is a fairly wide range of elevation on the property, sea level to 1,200m (3,937 ft.), which has resulted in astounding biodiversity; the British Institution Operation Wallacea frequently brings students and researchers here. More than 350 species of birds have been recorded on the property.

There used to be a dive operator here leading trips to the Cayos Zapatillos, wrecks, and other sites in the area, but at the moment, Omoa is without a dive shop. It's a shame, too, because there are a lot of great dive spots extremely close to Omoa.

For beachgoers, the public beach beside the pier right in town is so-so. The water is clear and shallow; however, debris from the rivers on both sides of it can be an issue. The community has done a good job of keeping the beach and water clean in recent years, though, so expect improvements. A few kilometers down the highway from the entrance to town (about a 45-min. walk), you can hike to a river with a nice swimming hole and waterfall. The trail is a bit difficult to spot, so just ask anyone for directions to "la cascada."

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.