The mercantile town of Santa Bárbara is either a large town or a small city, depending on your point of view. There’s not a lot to do in town except chat with the friendly locals, but it’s an easy place to while away a few hours strolling around or hiking up to the hillside castle visible from town. As a point of reference, the church is on the east side of the park.
Getting to Santa Bárbara
Santa Bárbara buses headed for Tegucigalpa leave from the terminal two block west of the park. Junqueños (tel. 504/643-2113) runs three buses (US$7.25, 4.5 hours) Monday–Saturday to Tegucigalpa (times vary from day to day, but the last one leaves at 2 p.m.) and two buses on Sunday (8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.). Junqueños tickets are sold next to Hotel Ruth on the second floor.
Buses to San Rafael, a village in the mountains south of Santa Bárbara, leave from the same terminal at noon, US$1.50, three hours. From San Rafael, you can continue by hitching to Gracias. The bus returns from San Rafael at 4:30 a.m.
Three blocks south is the Cotisba terminal (tel. 504/643-2383), which runs direct buses to San Pedro Sula every 20 minutes between 4 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily (US$2, two hours).
From San Pedro Sula or Santa Rosa de Copán, the road to Santa Bárbara turns off at Ceibita, between kilometer markers 32 and 33. From Ceibita, it’s another 61 kilometers of well-maintained road to Santa Bárbara, through beautiful countryside. The junction at Ceibita is invariably lined with local campesinos selling luscious fresh fruit of all varieties in big piles on the roadside.
East out of Santa Bárbara, the highway leads to Pito Solo, where it meets the San Pedro Sula–Tegucigalpa highway. This 53-kilometer stretch of road is not as frequently traveled as the one toward Ceibita, but it is also a scenic drive.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition