Heading south toward Gracias, about 45 minutes from Santa Rosa, is the town of Lepaera. Settled in 1538, Lepaera is one of the oldest settlements in the area, although it wasn’t granted the title of city until 1956. Be sure to take note of the town church, which, according the inscription over its entrance, dates from July 28, 1640.
Lepaera is in the foothills of the Puca mountain, and guides in town can take travelers on a visit to the cloud forests of the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Puca. The high elevation is perfect for coffee, and plantations in the area are booming.
The Hotel Murillo (tel. 504/655-5383, US$10.50 s, US$16 d) offers rooms with air-conditioning and Internet access.
There are several spots in town where tourists can buy homemade ground coffee, known as café de palo. Coffee from Gregorio Martinez’s farm took first prize at a national “Cup of Excellence” competition in 2004.
The town’s holidays are January 25, in honor of the Señor de Esquipulas, and July 25, in honor of Santiago (Saint James).
Getting to Lepaera
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition