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TRAVEL & TOURISM HONDURAS CAYOS COCHINOS
Cayos Cochinos is the smallest of the Bay Islands with the exception of Cayos Cochinos. It is highly recognized as one of the cheapest places in the world to get your international diving certification and a great place to experience some world class diving. Utila is all about learning how to dive, making good friends and enjoying some hardcore partying in the process. No doubt, these conditions attract a large group of 20 year old backpackers so you will definitely see a lot of young folks, on a budget, having a good time.
Better known simply as The Islands by Hondurans, The Bay Islands are made up by the following islands:
- Cayos Cochinos
How to Get There:
- Cayos Cochinos
- Local tour operators provide day trips to Cayos Cochinos from La Ceiba, Tela, Utila and Roatan. I once took a tour with an operator in 2010 which does not exist anymore so I cannot recommend any.
- This is a relatively isolated archipelago located north of the mainland and closest to the city of La Ceiba. It is found going south from the largest and most developed of the islands, Roatan. It is approximately one hour away by boat depending on weather conditions from both locations.
- The area consists of two small islands and 13 small coral cays.
- It has been considered by UNESCO as a Marine Natural Monument and therefore a protected site. This means that sustainable fishing and tourism practices have been taken into account and are being controlled by a local conservation organization.
- As a virtue of being so isolated, the beauty of its reefs has no comparison and is hard to find anywhere else in the Bay Islands; its good health is also self-evident as the yellow, orange, and purple colors glow brightly in the high visibility waters (close to 40mts.) of the Caribbean.
- They also attract a large number of fish where plenty of schools with large quantities of individuals are a common sight.
- The beautiful scenery does not end once you are done snorkeling, in fact, above the surface the views are just as spectacular with white patches of sand surrounded by clear turquoise blue waters, not to mention, the occasional lonely palm tree and a blue sky as a backdrop, making it the perfect material for postcard style pictures.
- On some tours you also get to lunch with the local Garifunas, one of Honduras' most recognized ethnic groups which live in Cayo Chachahuate (one of the smaller Cays in Cayos Cochinos). They are a fishing community who still preserve a lot of their past culture and traditions.
- An added bonus and a not so unusual event can be spotting dolphins on the midway point of your boat trip. They enjoy swimming next to the boat and flipping in the air as if they are waving hello. It can be a wonderful sight and part of an incredible trip.