Tegucigalpa differs from all other capitals in Central America in two aspects.
Tegus, as locals often simply call their city, lies off the Panamericana, the continent’s main traffic artery, and thus also off the notorious earthquake belt. The Spanish city planners of the colonial era could not realize their principle of the checkerboard with right-angled avenidas and calles here. Rather, like other mining towns, they had to adapt Tegucigalpa, whose Nahuatl name means “mountain of silver,” to the mountainous landscape.
Tegucigalpa’s altitude (990 m above sea level) guarantees a mild, pleasant climate, so that even extended walks through the city do not become a sweaty affair.
The commercial heart of the metropolis beats along Boulevard Morazán, a modern district with stores, administrative buildings and numerous restaurants.
Remnants of colonial architecture, markets and small stores characterize the historic center, whose focal point is the Parque Central with the cathedral, dedicated to Tegucigalpa’s patron saint, Archangel Michael. Its showpiece is the baroque altar inside.
Partly a pedestrian street, the Avenida Barhona is populated by countless street vendors and runs from west to east through the historic center.
Another interesting colonial-era church is the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, just a few blocks from Parque Central. It is a prime example of a baroque colonial church with altars and paintings of the so-called Mexican school. The buildings surrounding it also date from the 18th century and were once part of the convent complex. Today it houses the “Museo del Hombre Hondureño” dedicated to Hondurans. The “Museo Nacional Villaroy”, formerly the residence of President Don Julio Lozano Diaz, houses a collection on Honduran history.
The most interesting museum in the city, however, is the “Museo para la Identitad Nacional,” whose rooms include an auditorium where visitors can take a virtual trip through the ruins of Copán.
The green lungs of the city are the “Parque de La Leona” and the “Parque de Las Naciones Unidas” with the lookout point called Picacho, which can be recognized from afar by the statue of Christ cast in cement.