Most people come here to explore the islands and do their diving courses as it’s one of the cheapest places in the world to get certified. Utila has the cheapest diving and backpacker prices, while Roatan is more developed but more touristy due to the cruise ships and its international airport. You’ll find a dive centre almost around every corner, but centres vary in their prices and quality (of boats and equipment).
The reef is a part of the second largest reef system in the world, the Mesoamerican so you’re sure to see every type of coral and reef fish. Bigger stuff such as turtles, sharks, sting rays and eels are very common on most dives but if the season is right it’s also a great opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks and dolphins near the islands or maybe see a hammerhead or manta ray on your dive. The seasons are changing every year so check online or with your dive centre about recent sightings. Centres are known to lie about seeing the whale sharks and dolphins just to get your business, so a tip for you is to ask a local boat captain or fishermen, they know everything about what’s going on and can be found chatting on the side of the road near signs saying boat for hire.
There are hundreds of dive sites in the Bay Islands area and it’d take you months to explore them all! You’ll find a dive here for whatever your interests is. On Utila the wreck of the Haliburton, the wall of CJ’s Dropoff on the north side, Black Coral Wall to Silver Gardens and Ted’s Point dives on the south side are fabulous dives. On Roatan the wreck El Aguila on the west side or Prince Albert wreck on the south side, for caverns and channels there’s Bear’s Den and Spooky Channel, West End Wall for a wall dive, Texas for the big stuff and Hole in the Wall for something interesting.
If you get the chance you should visit and dive on Cayos Cochinos, the dive site Roatan Banks is a superb sea mound that will impress you. The islands there are also the most beautiful in the area. Diving in Guanaja Island is a little out of the way but a great island getaway, quiet and has beautiful diving as well.
You may just discover your new favourite travel destination right here in Honduras.
(by Kelly Luckman)
There are so many wonderful things to discover in Honduras. The country has changed so much over the past couple of decades and is now a popular tourist destination for its amazing national parks, ruins, lakes and world class diving. With the whole northern edge of the country being on the Caribbean, it is home to some fabulous tropical islands such as Utila, Roatan, Cayos Cochinos and Guanaja. The untouched reefs surrounding these islands are just waiting to be discovered on your next vacation.
San Pedro Sula is the main hub of transport and close to the port of La Ceiba for ferries to all the islands. Buses are easy to find and leave every hour or two from the main bus station. From La Ceiba there are flights to Utila, Roatan and Guanaja or ferries that leave at around 9 in the morning or 4 in the afternoon (the ferry to Guanaja leaves from Trujillo, east of La Ceiba only twice a week). If you miss the afternoon ferry then you can find cheap overnight accommodation in La Ceiba without a problem. It isn’t the safest town, so please be careful with your belongings. Roatan and San Pedro have international airports with direct flights from and to the USA.
You can find any type of accommodation in Honduras, depending on your budget. It’s a backpacker’s dream with private rooms from only $10 or a dorm bed for less than $5. On the islands there are from cheap beachfront shacks to huge spa resorts. A lot of places offer free accommodation with your diving, especially on Utila.
On the mainland you can explore the ruins of Copan, west of Tela you can enjoy the Parque National Jeannette Kaway with its white sandy beaches on one side and mangrove forests with its many birds and howler monkeys on the other. The lake district of Lago de Yojoa is home to 375 species of birds and has an impressive waterfall and nature walks.