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Roatan & Beyond

The Bay Islands & Cayos Cochinos

The Bay Islands—a group of six islands and 65 smaller coral cays—are renowned for their clear waters, sparkling sands and pristine reefs. Dozens of world-class dive sites surround the three main islands: Roatan, Guanaja, and Utila. Here you can swim with whale sharks, discover sunken wrecks, and explore spectacular walls and channels. If you're not a diver, this is a great place to certify; dive schools are plentiful, prices are reasonable and English is the primary language.

Roatan is the largest of these Caribbean islands, at 32 miles long and less than five miles wide. The best Bay Island hotels and villas are located here, and most guests stay three nights or longer. Although the reefs are the main draw, visitors can also kayak, visit a butterfly garden, ride horses and zip-lines, and observe dolphins up close. Sportfishing is an added attraction; the flats are prime habitat for permit and bonefish, while marlin and wahoo run farther offshore.

Utila, the sleepy island to the southwest, is one of the best places in the Caribbean for whale shark diving (March, April, August and September); it is not uncommon for divers to encounter five or more of these solitary giants in a single day along the northern shores. The island is also home to an iguana research center and the Turtle Harbor Wildlife Refuge—habitat for hawksbill and green sea turtles.

Guanaja, the easternmost inhabited island, is more rustic that Roatan and Utila. Approximately 90% of the pine-forested interior and surrounding waters are protected as a national reserve. The focus here is on wreck, cave and channel diving.

South of the Bay Islands are the tiny Cayos Cochinos—a cluster of two small islands and 13 cays that form the core of a national marine reserve. The reserve's shallow reefs support hawksbill turtles, nurse sharks, grouper and rays. Wahoo, hammerheads, and marlin can be seen farther down the bank.

Cooled by trade winds, the Bay Islands have temperate climates year round. Highs touch 90° and lows hover near 75°. The dry season extends from February to September. November is typically the wettest month, and September is the hottest.

Direct flights to Roatan (RTB) are available from Atlanta (just over three hours) and Houston (under three hours). Regional flights to Roatan usually connect in La Ceiba (15 minutes). Ferry service between the mainland, the Bay Islands, and the Cayos Cochinos is also available.

Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in the Bay Islands and throughout Honduras. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

"All loose things seem to drift down to the sea, and so did I."

Louis L'Amour