From Copán – with its world-famous archaeological sites and a convention center set to debut in 2018 – to Roatán, an idyllic Bay Island offering group activities such as swimming with jaguars and world-class diving: Honduras is ready to set the stage for world-class events that offer a unique experience attendees will not soon forget. The Honduras Institute of Tourism is working to solidify the Central American country’s position as a leading destination for group travel planners seeking an alternative from the status quo.
“Honduras’ most valuable differentiator as a destination for the meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition segment is its ability to cater to a wide variety of groups with ranging options in terms of setting, including mountainous regions, colonial cities and Caribbean seascapes, to group activities including above and under water, archaeology, wellness and relaxation,” said Honduras Institute of Tourism’s Minister-Director Emilio Silvestri. “Our country is eager to serve as a setting for unforgettable events and has the infrastructure, including region-leading conference centers and luxury hotels that are ready to host intimate groups and large-scale events.”
Maya Ruins and A New Convention Center in Copán
In mountainous western Honduras lies Copán. With neoclassical architecture and narrow cobblestone streets, travelers can enjoy a picturesque setting conveniently located 10 minutes away from Copán’s Maya Ruins, regarded as the “Athens of the Maya World.” In addition to this impressive archaeological site, travelers can experience the Honduran Coffee Route that allows easy access to tours of local coffee farms or visit the exotic birds at Macaw Mountain Bird Park.
In the heart of town, the 49-room Marina Copán hotel offers a quaint setting for an impactful meeting, with capacity for up to 120 people. Additionally, in early 2019, Marina Copán Convention Center will open its doors to larger groups, with a capacity of up to 800 guests. The convention center will offer transportation to and from the hotel and will be located just minutes away from the ruins. Aside from the Marina Copán, other hotel options in the area include the Clarion Hotel Copan Ruinas and the Hotel Camino Maya.
Modern Meetings in San Pedro Sula
Located in the Sula Valley, San Pedro Sula is Honduras’ industrial capital. Guests can visit history and anthropology museums, which detail the country’s transition from pre-Columbian times to today, or experience its natural offerings at Lake Yojoa, a hotspot for adventure seekers and birdwatchers.
San Pedro Sula’s Copántl Convention Center has been recognized as the most modern convention center in Central America by Forbes Mexico. With two floors offering 19 rooms, this impressive space offers capacity for up to 7,000, including 5,000 in an auditorium setting downstairs. It also offers a hotel with 191 rooms allowing convenient accommodation options for attendees. Additionally, there are a number of international hotel franchises in the area including Intercontinental Real San Pedro Sula and Hilton Princess San Pedro Sula.
Intimate Island Meetings in Roatán
Roatán is the largest of Honduras’ three Bay Islands. This destination is popular for its proximity to the Mesoamerican Reef – the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere and the second-largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. At the capital, Coxen Hole, visitors can enjoy unique shops filled with authentic souvenirs and experience the island culture.
Meeting planners seeking a venue surrounded by the striking Caribbean waters should look no further than the events center at Pristine Bay Resort. This property offers three conference rooms, including a 4,000-square-foot oceanfront room that can host up to 60 people. Meeting planners can create diverse itineraries with plenty of group activity options. The resort is home to The Black Pearl, an 18-hole championship golf course, and located a short boat ride away from the Mesoamerican Reef. Other daytime excursions can include a visit to Little French Key, a private island offering horseback riding and an animal rescue center where guests can swim with jaguars.
Relaxation and Luxury in Tela
For meeting planners seeking a location that offers opportunities for attendees to relax, Honduras’ northern coast offers a quiet respite. Tela is home to Lancetilla Botanical Gardens where guests can traverse through a bamboo tunnel and spot exotic birds, Jeannette Kawas National Park offering jungle scenery and Punta Izopo National Park, where visitors can kayak alongside howler monkeys.
One of the country’s most sought-after destinations for meetings and incentive gatherings can be found here. Indura Beach & Golf Resort, part of the CURIO Collection by Hilton, offers a state-of-the-art conference center that can welcome up to 400 guests. After meetings, attendees can relax at the hotel’s private beach or enjoy one of the country’s most famous spas, Maina Spa, that offers signature Honduran-inspired treatments like coconut scrubs and Mayan cacao massages.
Planning an Event
Group planners have plenty of options for DMOs in the area that can assist with logistics, such as Kakaw & Sapphire, a full-service destination and event management company, and Viaventure, specializing in creating out-of-the-ordinary MICE experiences in Central America. From the U.S., there are direct flights to Honduras from major city gateways including Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and Miami.