Planning to visit Honduras? We explain how to travel from Tegucigalpa to Copan Ruinas by bus so you can save money on your Honduras vacation.
Our Honduras vacation started thanks to a house sit we found on Trusted Housesitters. We were so happy when the homeowner picked us because we’d never traveled to Honduras. It was our 35th country and our first international house sit!
Aside from the time at the actual home, we added another week to our time in Honduras to do some exploring on our own. Before our trip, we started looking up things to do in Honduras and found that one of the major Honduras attractions was the Copan ruins. Having visited the Mayan ruins in Guatemala, we immediately added these new ruins on our list of must see Honduras landmarks.
Our research showed that other recommended places to visit in Honduras included Lake Yojoa, Roatan, and Utila. There wasn’t too much to do in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras and the location of our house sit, but we did find some cathedrals and markets that we did eventually end up visiting.
Since we were traveling on a pretty tight budget, we tried to find a cheap way to get to the town of Copan Ruinas from Tegucigalpa after the house sit was over. We used different modes of transportation to get to other towns we visited, but for Copan Ruinas we found the bus service Hedman Alas. Below is a detailed account of our experience…
The Hedman Alas Tegucigalpa pick up location was a bit confusing to find at first. If you have time, we suggest going a few days before to make sure you find the exact location (that’s what we did). The last thing you want is to be driving around in circles looking for it in the dark.
If you search for the address on Google, it actually takes you to the back of the lot. Circle around because the main entrance is on Boulevard Centroamerica. It’s a busy street, but just south and across the entrance is a gas station so you can use that as a landmark to lookout for.
The bus station is in a small shopping plaza with a guard gate. Head towards the right hand side. Around the corner is the bus station office and the bus will be parked next to it. Go inside the office to get your ticket.
You can buy Hedman Alas tickets online, but you still have to get in line inside the office to pick up your paper ticket. You can show the purchase on your phone but they just ask for your name. Definitely get tickets ahead of time; the bus was full so if we’d waited until that morning we wouldn’t have gotten a seat.
The website is in Spanish, but fairly self explanatory. First you identify whether it’s a round trip or one way ticket, then enter the origin, destination, and dates. Then you choose whether you want an Executive seat or Executive Plus seat (the only difference I saw between the two was the snack you get).
Next, you enter passenger information and choose your seats. You will be changing buses so you pick your seats for each bus. And finally, you’ll enter your credit card information. The cost of our one way ticket from Tegucigalpa to Copan Ruinas was $40.
So once you’ve gotten your paper ticket, get in line outside to drop off your luggage. You’ll be handed a ticket for the luggage and then you leave your luggage to the side. The luggage will be loaded onto the bus for you. Next, go to the waiting room and wait until they start boarding.
Once the boarding process starts, show your ticket. You’ll get water or water, juice, and snack depending on the type of ticket you purchased. If you have a bag that you’re taking on the bus with you it will be checked by a security guard before you get on the bus.
We were very happy with our seat; it was comfy and reclined really far back. Even reclined as far as they can, there’s still room for the person behind you, so don’t feel bad about actually reclining your seat. During the ride there was also a movie playing on several small screens and you could plug in your earbuds to hear it. Our only complaint was there was no WiFi or chargers on the bus.
The bus was scheduled to leave at 5:30am, but it didn’t leave until 5:45am. When we’d gone to verify the location ahead of time and spoke to the gate guard, he said they normally leave at 5:45am. We still suggest getting there at 5am, however, to check in and drop off bags.
The bus did get a little chilly so we recommend having a sweater or shawl. Since the seats recline, we also recommend bringing a neck pillow.
Pro Tip: Travel light with these Carry-On Essentials!
One thing that confused us was that when we bought our ticket, it looked like we’d be making two stops but we ended up only stopping once in San Pedro Sula. The waiting room at the bus stop had a small area to eat and
bathrooms that were clean and free to use.
On the second bus, a bus attendant walked down the aisle offering everyone free drinks and chips which was greatly appreciated. We sat back and relaxed once again and enjoyed the views from our window.
The total ride was supposed to take about eight hours but it ended up being more like nine. There was a lot of construction as we got closer to Copan Ruinas; the highway looked fairly new and they were still working on parts of it. There were a few times where our lane had to stop to let traffic through that was coming from the other direction.
The bus dropped us off on the outskirts of town. There were plenty of tuk tuks waiting to take passengers into town to their hotels since they know the bus schedule. We paid 20 Lempira (less than $1) to get to Hotel Cuna Maya, the hotel where we stayed during our time in Copan Ruinas. Make sure you have cash in small bills for the tuk tuk.
Anytime you mention Honduras, the topic of safety will undoubtedly come up. In our experience, the media always tends to make things sound worse than they are. At no point during our time in Honduras did we feel unsafe, and this is coming from a solo female traveler.
Of course, we are always careful and use common sense. Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are bigger cities with higher crime rates, but we walked about freely in Copan Ruinas and Roatan and felt perfectly at ease. We even walked around at night and never felt worried.
During the bus ride to Copan Ruinas from Tegucigalpa we also felt safe. Of course, keep an eye on your stuff, but there was plenty of security and everyone on board looked like they just wanted to get to their destination already.
There are a lot of things to do in Honduras and to keep costs low, we recommend considering bus travel. We took a Hedman Alas bus from Tegucigalpa to Copan Ruinas and although it is a slower way to travel, it saved us a lot of money. The buses were clean, comfortable, and safe.
We also would have used them to get to other Honduras tourist attractions if the timing was better, but their departing times didn’t always line up with when we needed to leave to head to our next destination. We would definitely recommend them if you’re backpacking in Honduras or just wanting to save some money.