The Southern Cordillera of Honduras
The Cordillera del Sur crosses Honduras from the departments of Ocotepeque to Gracias a Dios. These mountain ranges are oriented from northeast to southwest, while in the western part, the mountains have a north-northwest to south-southeast direction.
In this region, you can find the highest peaks in the country. The Cordillera del Sur includes the Sierra de Celaque, Dipilto, Lepaterique, Puca or Opalaca, Merendón, and the mountains of La Sierra.
See also Mountains of Honduras
The Sierra de Celaque is located between the departments of Ocotepeque, Copán, and Lempira. It begins at the peaks of Belén Gualcho (Ocotepeque) and follows a northward orientation until San Pedro de Copán, where it turns southeast and continues through the department of Lempira. In front of the city of Gracias, you can find Pico Celaque in the eponymous mountain, considered «the roof of Honduras» due to its elevation of 2,849 meters above sea level (masl).
Part of this range is the mountain of Azacualpa, located west of Erandique; to the south of this mountain is Pico Congolón, with an elevation of 2134 masl; in the southeastern part, you can find the mountain Coyocutena. Additionally, the mountains of Peleo and Lempira, north of Santa Cruz in Lempira, are part of this range.
The Sierra de Dipilto is one of the longest in Honduras (400 km). It extends from the western part of the department of Choluteca and crosses El Paraíso, where it marks the border with Nicaragua. It then continues through the departments of Olancho and Gracias a Dios.
The Sierra de Lepaterique rises to the south of the Comayagua Valley under the name Yerba Buena, serving as a watershed throughout its course for the Humuya, Nacaome, Goascorán, and Choluteca rivers. It is divided into three branches: one heads south, another takes a southeastern direction, and the third goes north until it is limited by the Choluteca Valley in the municipality of San Juan de Flores. The mountains of Pocoterique, Canta Gallo, Cebollal, Lepaterique, Upare, and La Tigra, among others, are part of the Sierra de Lepaterique.
To the east of Celaque, the Puca or Opalaca mountain range begins its development, with ridges that rise above 1600 meters in height. The mountains of Portillo, Jacán, Joconal San Rafael, El Sirín, Aguailaca, Ojuera, Monte Verde, Chupuca, and Pacaya, among others, belong to this range. The Puca range serves as a border between the departments of Lempira and Santa Bárbara. In the southeastern part, this range is known as the Opalaca range. At its highest point (Mount Ojuera), this range reaches an elevation of 2347 masl.
From northwest to southeast, between the departments of Copán, Ocotepeque, and Lempira, the Merendón range extends. It includes the mountains of El Portillo and Cayaguanca, southeast of the city of Ocotepeque, with an elevation of 2305 masl. Also, the mountains of Santa Bárbara and La Canguacota, with an elevation of 2409 masl. The pinnacle of this range is Cerro el Pital, reaching 2730 meters above sea level.
The mountains of La Sierra are located in the department of La Paz and the southern end of Intibucá. The mountain of Naguaterique, with an elevation of 2225 masl, is located south of Santa Elena and extends to the municipality of Colomoncagua in Intibucá. In the center of the department of La Paz, you can find the mountains of Sabanetas, La Sierra, Pacayal, and Upa.
See also Geographical Regions of Honduras