The Honduran capital does not have a very good reputation. It may not be as dangerous as its northern counterpart (San Pedro Sula), after all it is only the 3rd most violent city in the world, but it is by no means a tourist-trap. Travelers either seem to be here on business, or reluctantly spending the night on their way to Nicaragua or the Bay Islands. Having been in Honduras for 9 months now, we decided that we must take the 4 hour bus journey south to see what the capital had to offer. Tegucigalpa (or Tegus, to those in the know) surprised us in so many ways. It is both historical and modern, and large yet beautiful. It really is an exciting city. Those who know me will know that I like to discover a city through its food and drink offerings, so here is how I would spend 24 hours in Tegucigalpa.
10 am - Parque Central and Cathedral
Grab an Espresso Americano (Honduran coffee is the best in the world) and take a seat in the park to people-watch, or have a wander around. When we arrived, the city centre was buzzing- old men sat on benches chatting and families were out and about doing their Saturday shopping. An excellent place to watch the world go by.
11 am - Calambres at Tito Aguacate
A Tegus institution. Run by a father and son, its specialty is ‘Calambres’ (cramps in English), a lethal mixture of gin, lemon, sugar and wine liqueur shaken together in a jam jar. They go down a treat. I’m told they are perfect for getting rid of, or in our case starting off, a hangover. The drinks were served with free bar snacks, which is always a bonus. We soaked up our early morning beverages with colorful plates of avocado, potato and cheese.
2pm - Pupusas in Valle de Angeles
Suitably merry from your liquid brunch, make your way up the mountain to the picturesque, colonial village of Valle de Angeles. Popular with 'Capitalinos' and famous for its pupusas (stuffed corn tortillas that both Hondurans and Salvadorians claim as their own). We headed to Virginia’s where we shared a plate of cheese and pork pupusas, washed down with some fresh blackberry juice. Refueled, we were able to spend a few hours walking through the cobbled streets and in and out of souvenir shops until our feet were tired again.
5pm - Gin martinis at The Marriot Hotel Bar.
Find a table and sit on the balcony. Pick your choice of gin and enjoy. The best martinis I have had in a long time. You could be forgiven for thinking that you have been transported somewhere else. The atmosphere is far from stuffy (it is a sports bar) and the drinks are surprisingly cheap. A perfect place to watch the mountains light up around you as night falls.