Going to Gracias Honduras with kids was part of my original plan, but we almost didn’t make it. I’m glad we did and luckily we stumbled upon an unexpected surprise!
The drive from Copan to Gracias took longer than I expected. According to google maps the 137km should take 1hr35min. We were in for a rude awakening!! It took us about 3 hours. Luckily, the countryside was beautiful.
The girls enjoyed watching the “wildlife” pass by.
The current president of Honduras is from the town of Gracias, so as soon as we turned down the road from Santa Rosa de Copan the pavement instantly smoothed out and was free of potholes. It made for a much more pleasant drive….however the road was incredibly windy and both of our girls decided to get carsick!!
Calais was first. She was sitting in the back seat when she stuck her head through the back window and said “my tummy feels yucky”. Randy immediately pulled her into the box of the truck, yelled for Mario to stop…and we pulled to the side just in time to lean her over the edge of the truck.
I wasn’t quite as lucky with Kacela. Not long after Calais’ episode, Kaisa was sitting on my lap and without warning, threw up all over me!! I managed to catch most of it in my skirt, but the blanket covering the mattress ended up soiled. Thankfully the hotel we stayed at in Gracias was able to do laundry for us. Randy figures it isn’t a true family vacation until I get puked on!!
We fixed the girls up with some children’s gravol (too little, too late), and finished the drive into Gracias!
Even with the long drive, we still managed to arrive at our hotel in time for lunch and an afternoon swim. The pool wasn’t heated so the girls didn’t last too long. It was refreshing though, especially after the car sickness.
We almost didn’t leave the hotel…it was so peaceful and relaxing. There were even mini-deer to feed!
We finally found somewhere in Honduras that was quiet!!
I finally convinced everyone to get ready so we could head into town. We missed the first turn, stopped and asked for directions, then finally made it into the centre square of Gracias. We were in for a surprise! The square was decorated for Christmas, and it was the last night of their Christmas festival.
We finally got our long-awaited street food…
and it was worth the wait. The baleadas weren’t as good as Paty’s, but they were still pretty good!!
The girls were happy with the food, but it didn’t compare to the free popcorn and cotton candy.
Of course there were fireworks. Kacela covered up her ears for the entire show, but I think she secretly enjoyed it!
The party was a lot of fun. I think when something is unexpected it’s that much more special. The girls had a blast dancing in the street to the live band, and the rest of us had a blast watching them enjoy themselves.
We had a quiet sleep (Randy was happy) then headed back into town to spend the morning in a quieter central square.
We all enjoyed a coffee while the girls played on the playground.
Then I ditched Randy while Calais, Kacela & I went for a wander around the town.
Gracias is a beautiful, colourful city. They also have a great Sunday market.
We bought fresh cheese and tortillas from the market for lunch.
We made sure the girls had gravol, then hit the road for the long, twisty journey home.
Where we stayed: Hotel Villa de Ada
This was a lovely little spot just outside of town. It’s not really accessible unless you have a vehicle, but it was nice and quiet. There was a pool, an onsite restaurant and a small enclosure with deer and rabbits. The beds were comfy and we had hot water and air conditioning. We all slept incredibly well here. I would definitely stay here again!
Where we ate: Street food at the festival and coffee in the central square
The food in Gracias was fantastic, but mainly because we finally found street food. There are a few little restaurants that seem to sell typical Honduran cuisine. The market also had a great variety of fruits, veggies, fresh cheese and tortillas. It made the perfect lunch.
What we did: Explore town, play at the park & attend the Christmas Festival
We didn’t do much in Gracias other than just explore the city. The girls had a blast playing at the playground in the central square, and we all really enjoyed the Christmas Festival. It will be one of those holiday memories that we look back on with fondness years from now. The countryside around Gracias is beautiful. Some day I’d like to go back and spend a bit more time hiking and exploring the small villages nearby.
What it cost:
Our hotel was about $50US/night, food was $5 each per meal and our coffees were about $1 ($2 for a latte).
The road to Gracias is windy. The section from La Entrada to Santa Rosa de Copan was in very poor condition while the section from Santa Rosa de Copan is in great shape. There are a number of bus services that take this route, but we were happy to have the car. I don’t know that the buses would’ve taken much longer, but I’m sure they wouldn’t have pulled over as quickly for the kids to get sick!