Honduras is a country of Central America with a coast that faces north to the Gulf of Honduras, part of the Caribbean Sea. There is a small stretch of Pacific coast to the south, the Gulf of Fonseca. The country is mainly mountains with narrow coastal plains and is important ecologically. Christopher Columbus landed on the Bay Islands in 1502 on one of his voyages to the New World. The Bay Islands are the most developed part of the country for modern-day tourists. Roatan is the longest and most developed and offers excellent coral reef diving and fishing. Utila is the smallest and flattest of the Bay Islands, while Guanaja is the most mountainous and has the best hotels, but no roads.
The Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve is a huge protected area of tropical rain forest where efforts are being made to record and conserve the diverse wildlife. The area also has numerous archaeological sites - mainly the ruins of Mayan cities - that attract visitors to Honduras but have not been fully excavated. Copán archaeological site - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - has some remarkable carved stone sculptures. There are also opportunities for scuba diving, river rafting and mountain treks. Tela, on the north coast, is a popular beach resort with white sand and coconut trees. The National Gallery of Art in the capital city, Tegucigalpa, has a collection of modern art and paintings from colonial times.