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Ocotepeque is located in Honduras
Coordinates: 14°26′N 89°11′W / 14.433°N 89.183°W / 14.433; -89.183
Country  Honduras
Department Ocotepeque
Villages 9
Founded 1530
 • Total 172.85 km2 (66.74 sq mi)
Population (2001)
 • Total 15,668

Ocotepeque is a town and municipality in the Honduran department of Ocotepeque.

It is the capital of the department, which borders two countries, Guatemala and El Salvador. The department covers 1630 square kilometers, is mostly mountainous, and has a population of 111,474 (2006). Its main economic activities are agricultural, including coffee, corn, cabbage, sugar cane, and onions. Due to its favorable location just a few kilometers away from the border with El Salvador at El Poy, as well as the border with Guatemala at Agua Caliente, Ocotepeque has the economic benefit of being a tri-country center of business. It also attracts residents of smaller neighboring towns, who come to Ocotepeque to purchase things or to study.


Directly to the north are the municipalities of Sinuapa and Concepción; to the south is El Salvador; to the east is Sinuapa; and to the west is the municipality of Santa Fe. About three hours by bus to the north is the larger city of Santa Rosa de Copán. The closest airport in Honduras is located approximately 5–6 hours to the north in San Pedro Sula. Tegucigalpa, where Honduras' other major airport is located, is 10–12 hours away by bus. Ocotepeque is also located about 3 hours from San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, where another major airport is located.

Areas of interest[edit]

The Triunfio biosphere reserve is a nature preserve shared by Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Ocotepeque also boasts the Güisayote Biological Reserve, located about 35 minutes out of town. The city of Esquipulas, Guatemala is approximately 45 minutes from Ocotepeque and is home to one of the oldest churches in Central America, and what many consider to be the most sacred shrine in Central America. Ocotepeque has a few hotels, including the Hotel Internacional and Hotel Ocotepeque. Ocotepeque is accessible by several major bus lines from the major cities, including Sultana and Congolon. Many of these buses run a main route up the western border of the country, with San Pedro Sula and Ocotepeque as their first/last stops, and stop at many towns in between, including La Labor, La Union, Cucuyagua, Santa Rosa de Copán, and La Entrada.


  • Ocotepeque was founded in 1530. In the first Political Territorial Division in 1825, it formed part of the territory of Santa Rosa in the department of Gracias. On April 13, 1843, it was given the title of "town", and in July 1870, it received the title of "city". It was then a municipality of Copán until February 1906. When the department was divided up in 1926, it became a district, formed by the municipalities of Sinuapa, Concepción, and Santa Fe.
  • On June 7, 1934, the city was destroyed by massive flooding of the Marchala River, and it was decreed that Sinuapa would be the provisional capital of the district. After a year of reconstruction, the new town of Nueva Ocotepeque was founded and declared to be the head of the department. By 1958, just "Ocotepeque" was used to refer to the new city, and the original town became called "Antigua Ocotepeque". Today, the only things remaining from the pre-flood era in Antigua Ocotepeque are a church and a massive tree in the town center.
  • In 1969, Ocotepeque and the mountains surrounding it became part of the battlegrounds for the four-day Football War between Honduras and El Salvador, which began over land rights disputes and was supposedly sparked by a tense soccer game between the two countries.


Ocotepeque has a number of public schools as well as two private bilingual schools, Insituto San Francisco de Asís [1] and My Little Red House Bilingual School [2]. My Little Red House and Instituto San Francisco de Asís accept volunteers year-round to teach English as part of their English core program.

Famous Residents[edit]

Coordinates: 14°26′N 89°11′W / 14.433°N 89.183°W / 14.433; -89.183