When researching what do to in Copan, Honduras (other than the ruins…) this place called Macaw Mountain kept popping up. I quickly wrote it off as something I would not be doing because:
1) I thought it was just a tourist trap, and
2) Birds freak me out
But when we got to Honduras and still had a whole afternoon to fill, my travel buddy suggested we go to Macaw Mountain. It also happened to be her birthday, and I didn’t want to be a party pooper so I agreed to suck it up and give it a shot.
As it turns out, Macaw Mountain is actually a great place to spend an afternoon in Copan! I only freaked out a couple of times, but managed to leave without being pecked to death by giant birds.
Here is what you should know about Macaw Mountain, to make your trip really take flight!
….Bird pun. You’re welcome.
Take a Tuk Tuk
You can easily grab a tuk tuk ride while in Parque Central. Macaw Mountain is a popular attraction in Copan, so all the drivers know how to get there. The ride is about 5 minutes long, and will only set you back 20 Lempira ($0.87USD), each way. It’s worth it, because Macaw Mountain is…well…up the side of a mountain.
Leaving from the park…
Go In the Afternoon
The afternoons in Copan can get really hot, really quickly. Instead of spending the hot hours lazing away in a hammock, head up to Macaw Mountain. The park is set on a hillside, with almost complete tree-coverage. This means you’re in the cool shade the whole time!
Shaaade, glorious shaaaade!
More Than Just Macaws
The name Macaw Mountain may lead you to believe that there are only macaws at the park. There are actually, several different bird species native to Honduras, as well as plenty of macaws. I got to see two toucans up close, which was actually a cool experience!
…until one snuck up behind me with pure malice in its eyes.
The Macaws Are Actually Gorgeous
So it turns out Macaws are beautiful. Once you look past their beady little murder-eyes, the array of color throughout their feathers is pretty impressive. Especially when they stretch out their wings and really show off.
This guy let me pet his belly for a sec
There Is Incredible Plant-Life Too
Along with all the birds at Macaw Mountain, there are many different native plant species around the park. There are some really interesting plants and flowers that I’d never seen or heard of before, like the Pink Cone Ginger Plant, or the Rattlesnake Plant.
Can you guess why it’s called the Rattlesnake Plant??
Have A Coffee With Your ‘Caw
There is a small cafe and a coffee house within the park. You can sit out on the deck, sip your locally sourced Honduran coffee, and watch the wild birds fly around. And if coffee is not for you, don’t fret…they also serve beer.
Bring Your Swimsuit
That’s right! Macaw Mountain has built a lovely swimming area around the river that naturally flows through the park. They even have changing rooms right there!
Model the Macaws
Unlike most zoos and animal parks, Macaw Mountain won’t charge you extra money to have your photo taken holding the birds. This is great for most people. For me…it was a total peer pressure zone.
I know I look like a bird-pro, but on the inside I’m actually panicking a little…
Most Importantly, They’re Actually Doing Something
It’s sad when we visit wildlife parks and cannot see how their existence is helping the animals. At Macaw Mountain, however, it is apparent that the rescue and rehabilitation of the birds is at the forefront of the park’s mission. Signs all over the park not only serve to educate the public about the bird species, but also about what the park is doing to help release them back into the wild, or how they are used in the endangered species breeding program.
Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve is open every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Entrance to the park costs $10USD, or the equivalent amount in Lempira. For more information about Macaw Mountain, please visit their website.