Honduras is a Central American country with a long Caribbean Sea coastline. The Bay Islands are a scuba diving destination that's part of the 1,000km-long Mesoamerican Barrier Reef also known as the Great Mayan reef. The reef system is home to more than 65 species of corals, 350 mollusk species and over 500 fish species. In the tropical rainforest, the ancient Mayan ceremonial site Copán has stone-carved hieroglyphics and stelae, tall stone monuments. Honduran society is predominantly Mestizo. The local language in the Bay Islands is mostly English where on the Honduran mainland the locals speak Spanish. We go further into what has made the local Bay Islands culturally unique in our blog article: The Bay Islands, Roatan, Utila, Guanaja, and more.
- Surrounding the island of Roatan there are more than 176 scuba dive sites to choose from. Roatan island is the largest and most visited of all the Honduran Bay Islands. The majority of Bay Island dive shops are based on Roatan providing well trained and knowledgeable dive masters and scuba instructors year round. Many of the best local dive sites consist of pinnacles, seamounts, or diving around the cayes. In addition, some hotels and resorts boast their own nearby public or top-secret scuba dive destinations and/or underwater attractions. Some of the top requested local dive sites include: Dolphin Den
, Shark Dive
, and Hole in the Wall
. Whale sharks reserve the local waters for plankton feasts from February thru May.
THE LESSER KNOWN BAY ISLANDS
Whale shark sightings are common. They can be seen all year long but the peak season is March/April and September/October. Over 80 dive sites means diving diversity. Hence, the north side has deep drop offs with shallower fringing reefs to the south. Conversely, a rocky landscape to the east and Utila Cays on the west. Therefore, expect coral reefs, walls, seamounts, swim-throughs, pinnacles and caverns. In particular, Pinnacles
, Great Wall
and Black Hills
are among the best dive sites. Coupled with seeing whale sharks, expect reef fish, eagle rays, turtles, eels, dolphins and tarpon.
This remote island's fringing reef is a protected marine reserve. Thereby, an ideal spot for diving and snorkeling. 40 dive sites ring the island, besides coral reefs expect pinnacles, vertical walls, lava tunnels and wrecks. In addition, surrounding Guanaja, are innumerable cays that form an ideal habitat for reef creatures and crustaceans. Likewise, Vertigo
, The Jado Trader Wreck
, and Black Rock Canyon
are dives not to be missed. Scuba divers frequently see Angelfish, Hamlets, Butterfly fish, Creole Wrasse, Grouper, Jackfish, eels, Octopus, Parrotfish, Nurse sharks and more.
ACCOMMODATIONS, ATTRACTIONS, ACTIVITIES
On the Bay Islands, choices include dive resorts, waterfront cottage, ocean rooms, condo or a garden bungalow. Accommodations will appeal to individuals, families and groups. Roatan visitors should visit white sandy beaches, museums, dolphins academy and the arboretum. Next, Utila has Pumpkin Hill and Jade Seahorse art garden. Lastly, Guanaja offers miles of beaches. Scuba diving and snorkeling rule. Surface activities include horseback riding, kayaking, paddle boarding and visiting with the locals. Dining experiences should include conch ceviche, conch curry, and conch soup. You may also like a grilled lobster, cooked crab, or fresh fish catch of the day. You also must try the local Honduras Garifuna style cuisine which comes highly recommended and is flavorful spiced, but not too hot.