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Tegucigalpa is a bustling city. It sits in a lush valley, some 100 m (3280 feet) above sea level and as a result its climate is very refreshing. Tegucigalpa means 'silver hill' in the local dialect and the name derives from the time when the Spanish founded the city as a mining center in 1578. Tegucigalpa is often referred to as Tegus. The city became the country's capital in 1880. It grew steadily and by 1938 the neighboring settlement of Comayagüela was incorporated into the municipality.

Tegucigalpa is divided into two parts by the Río Choluteca. On the river's eastern banks lies Tegucigalpa, with the city center and the more affluent districts. On the western side is Comayagüela, which is poorer and dirtier. Most of the city's markets are in Comayagüela.

The 18th-century cathedral is one of Tegucigalpa's main landmarks. It has a baroque interior and it boasts numerous fine art works. In front of the cathedral is the Parque Central, from which most sights are easily reached. The Antiguo Paraninfo Universitaria (old university) is now an art museum, while the faculty has been moved to newer buildings in the outskirts. The Palacio Legislativo is a modern building, which stands on stilts. Nearby is the Casa Presidencial. The Iglesia de San Francisco was the first church in Tegucigalpa. It was built in the 16th century.

Most of the cheaper accommodation is in Comayagüela, but that part of the city is unsafe, especially at night. Most places are situated around the El Rey and Aurora bus stations, between 8a and 9a Calles. If you insist on staying in Comayagüela, don't walk through the market area at night as it is very dangerous. Better, but more expensive accommodation is available in Tegucigalpa, most of which is east of the Parque Central. Most of the city's restaurants are also located in Tegucigalpa, although you'll find numerous Chinese restaurants in Comayagüela as well. Most of the capital's nightlife is concentrated on Boulevard Morazán and Avenida Juan Pablo II.

Around Tegucigalpa

Tegucigalpa is surrounded by mountains are covered in pine trees. There are some interesting sights, not too far from the city as well. The huge Gothic Basílica de Suyapa is 7 km (4 miles) southeast of the city center. According to locals, the Virgen de Suyapa, patron saint of Honduras, has performed hundreds of miracles there. About 13 km (8 miles) east of Tegucigalpa is the lovely Spanish town of Santa Lucia. It boasts a beautiful church and some fine architecture. 11 km (7 miles) further east is Valle de Angeles, an old Spanish mining town that has been completely restored to its 16th century appearance. Northeast of Teghucigalpa is the interesting La Tigra National Park, which covers 7482 hectares (18,480 acres) of Honduras' most beautiful landscapes. It sits at an altitude of 2270 m (7446 feet) and includes a cloud forest that is home to monkeys, ocelots, pumas and quetzal.


Miscellaneous Information

Latitude:    14 05 N
Longitude: 87 14 W
Elevation:  1,000 m (3281 ft.)

Population: 800,000
Cost-of-living compared to Washington D.C.: 86%

Hours from UTC: -6
Daylight savings time: n/a

City phone code: Not required
Country phone code: 504

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