The people? The food? The buzz? The atmosphere? No. It’s the hills. For many, including me sometimes, they can be an annoyance. Particularly when the place you need to get to is at the top of a large hill and you have to walk it. I don’t know how many of the banged up taxis of Tegus make it up the hills. It also causes the infrastructure to be quite messy sometimes with roads winding around the hills and the shed-like houses in the poorer areas to look like they are literally hanging off cliffs. It is really hard to show in pictures just how hilly the city is (usually because a hill blocks the view!):
However the name Tegucigalpa, or “silver hills”, is there for a reason. The hills makes this city unique and wonderful. The views in the day time can be breathtaking and there are so many vantage points to see across the entire city – it really is a fascinating thing to stand on a hill and be able to pinpoint where your house and work is. I have a steep hill I walk down (and up 😦 ) when I come home each evening and when I reach the top of it, before starting the walk down, I always have to take a moment to look at the view. It is really something else – the area opposite my colonia is a poor one and so the view of so many houses sitting almost on top of each other is really something different.
The weather across the city can be incredible too. We have the most beautiful skies at sunset:
The hills also provide a very unique weather system – you can be enjoying the sun in one part of the city and see a rainstorm on the other side of it. One of the best things I ever saw was when I was walking with a friend over a hill near his house and straight ahead, on a different hill, was a huge rain cloud and you could see the shimmer of the rain falling really heavily. Yet it was completely dry and warm where we were. The hills also provide a great viewing platform for watching thunderstorms – I was having dinner with my lovely friend Lideny in Skybar a while ago when there was a huge storm in the other side of the city. We could watch every lightening strike and it was fascinating – I have quite a passion for watching lightening now!!
But my favourite thing of all is Tegucigalpa at night. For me, one of the most beautiful things to see is a city at night and all of the twinkling lights. Tegus is so, so amazing for this. Every corner you turn when you drive through the city after dark provides a new view of different lights and they look so pretty. It always puts a smile on my face to see them, always. Strangely, the view can also make me feel closer to home as I live on a hill in England too and the lights of a town nearby is a very familiar sight to me. So seeing lights here always makes me feel a little closer to home.
Many travellers moving through Central America make it there mission to avoid Tegucigalpa, even Honduras entirely, but I would say that even staying in Tegucigalpa for one night is worth it to see the city lit up at night. It really is something else.