Puerto Cortes Port is the largest and main port in Honduras. It is located on a deep, natural harbor on the Caribbean Sea coast. It’s to San Pedro Sula’s north and Omoa’s east.
The town was founded in 1524 as the Villa de Puerto Caballos (Port of Horses). The name was changed to Puerto Cortes to honor Hernan Cortes in 1969. The port of Puerto Cortes has become Central America’s most significant port city. Together with Pedro Sula which is only 39 miles away, the town has become the most significant economic district of the country. You will see a lot of daily maritime activity in this busy port.
Tourists stop by Puerto Cortes on their way to Omo, Belize and the Guatemalan border to the west. It’s also a stop-over for those going to the north to the Garifuna villages.
The shops in the city are a great place to stop by on your way to more attractive surroundings but there are also nice spots here to extend your stay.
Souvenir y Curiosidades Carmen is the best shop in town if you’re looking for handicrafts. The shop has a wide range of choices available including leather items, hand carved wood, cheap key chains and embroidered blouses. A little further along is a smaller shop, Souvenir Martita’s, which is filled with hammocks, paintings and carved wooden boxes. Lots of shoppers go to the Saturday farmer’s market for fresh vegetables, fruits and meats which are produced locally. Pharmacies, mostly in the central parque, stay open until 10pm. For schedules, check the pharmacy doors.
Things to See
Several art galleries, museums, archeological sites and theaters can be found here. The main attractions are the cradle of the ancient Mayan Civilization, Copan Ruins, natural reserves for eco-tourists and the scuba diving, fishing and sailing in the Bay Islands.
The Copan Ruins, one of the Mayan Civilization’s most significant sites discovered by Diego Garcia de Palacio in 1570, were not excavated until the nineteenth century. Five key stages of development that existed before the city was deserted in the tenth century; only one of these phases is were exposed today. This includes the public squares and the ruined citadel and the many stele (upright slabs that are carved in relief to commemorate a funeral). The other layers are now being excavated via a tunnel system; two of these are now open to the public for an additional entry fee of $10. The cost to enter the ruins is also $10 and a guided tour can be purchased for $20. The ruins are open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other tours are also offered from the society that provides the tours at the ruins. These include bird watching tours, cave and spring explorations and horseback riding.
Restaurants and Bars
There are numerous restaurants in Puerto Cortes that will curb please the most discriminating taste. There is always something new to try here.
Chain restaurants can be found mostly in the town’s center. On the way to C.2, away from the parque, there are several genuine local options. Supermecado Rigo is the place to go if you need to stock up on groceries.
The restaurant Resposteria and Pasteleria has breakfast and lunch buffets including lots choices for sweet lovers. Golosina Alex serves typical Honduran Cuisine with a reasonable price range. Enjoy your meals in a small air-conditioned dining area.
Anclas Restaurant is another good place for food in the district. It is situated on the water where you have a marvelous view of the port and beaches, and access to the energizing trade winds.