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Much like Valle de Ángeles, the favorite activities in Santa Lucía point towards taking it easy. You can loll around the shops or spend hours drinking and dining outdoors under the pines in country-style restaurants. The central square is pleasant enough, with a small fountain and flowering plants. You can feed fish in a small lagoon nearby. Flower and plant vendors, which supply Tegucigalpa, are found throughout the city and on the road in.

The most important site here is the 18th-century church, which features a crucifix -- Christ of Las Mercedes, donated by King Phillip II of Spain in 1574 -- alongside some fine Spanish oil paintings. There is a brilliant, sweeping view of the clay tile roofs and valley below from the front of the church.

A site that you probably didn't expect to hear of in a colonial mining town is the Santa Lucía Serpentarium (free admission; daily 9am-4pm), a private serpent collection of native Honduran snakes. Many of the species can be found in nearby La Tigra National Park.

Spanish-language classes are often set in laidback destinations, as the human brain tends to adapt and memorize better when it is relaxed and focused. This is a big part of why the Centro Hondureño de Español (tel. 504/9964-1896; L5,700 for 1 week of classes and accommodation) is based here, rather than Tegucigalpa. Group and private courses are paired with homestays with local families, an introduction to Honduran culture, and short tours and hikes to area sites. They also have a renowned program designed to assist international aid personnel in language preparation and understanding of the national culture.

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.