Another fine colonial mining town near Tegucigalpa , less often visited than Valle de Ángeles  or Santa Lucía , Cedros is a collection of whitewashed, tile-roofed houses clinging precariously to the edge of a pine-forested mountainside, 26 kilometers from the Olancho highway turning off some 60 kilometers north of Tegucigalpa, just past the town of Talanga.
Cedros was founded in 1537 by Spanish conquistador Alonso de Cáceres Guzmán and has experienced several different gold-mining booms throughout its history. Locals like to say it was the capital of the country for 24 hours, when Honduras ’s first national assembly met there on August 28, 1824. The building in which the historic meeting took place still stands, a block up from the parque, and it is marked with a small plaque.
The town’s main church, San José de Cedros, is a beautiful chapel with a gleaming white facade and bell tower, and two carved wooden retablos trimmed with gold inside. The church’s roof was damaged during Hurricane Mitch but was restored by 2001.
The small Casa de Cultura on the parque next to the police station, with books on Cedros and general Honduran history, was also recently renovated. Don’t fail to walk up the low hill called El Cerrito right behind the square, which offers fine views over the town and surrounding hills.
The lively local feria, now quite safe since liquor and gambling were banned in 1998, is held January 8.
In the surrounding hills are many old mines, including two quite close to town that were in operation until recently, both run by small-scale foreign miners. The town residents, a singularly mellow and friendly bunch, seem to have little interest in striking it rich themselves, instead scraping out a living with coffee and other farm products.
It’s possible to spend the night in Cedros at Dona Elinda’s guesthouse, behind the church. The guesthouse has clean rooms with a shared bath available for just a few dollars per night. Standard Honduran fare is available at Restaurante Típicos, kitty-corner from the alcaldía.
Fossil hunters will be interested to know that there’s a spot where you can stop and look for pieces of fossilized forest, right along the edge of the road—ask locals for directions.
Northwest of Cedros, the dirt highway continues out to Minas de Oro, reportedly another attractive colonial mining town, with frequent buses from Tegucigalpa , and beyond on a well-maintained road to Yoro . Other roads branch off beyond Minas de Oro toward Olancho. Though the towns and people out here are generally tranquilo and the mountain scenery superb, it’s a bit risky to drive in your own car toward Olancho on these roads, as highway holdups have been reported. The well-traveled road to Cedros and Minas de Oro, and on to Yoro, is quite safe, however.
Three buses a day ply the route between the Cedros parque and Tegucigalpa  (at the Mayoreo market in Comayagüela, US$4, two hours), the last one leaving in both directions in the early afternoon. You can also catch one of the Minas de Oro buses from the same market in Tegucigalpa and walk the 1.5 kilometers uphill to Cedros from the turnoff.