Most tourists do not know that diving in La Ceiba is possible, and many of them just continue on their trip to the Bay Islands of Honduras. Although the Bay Islands have a huge reputation as a diving destination, this does not mean that diving in La Ceiba is not worthwhile.
Diving in La Ceiba is outstanding at the Cayos Cochinos Marine Monument, a protected area that is located at the south eastern end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system. Cayos Cochinos are located just off the coast of La Ceiba and retain their original paradise atmosphere of an unspoiled Caribbean Island. The fact that the reefs in Cayos Cochinos are amongst the best preserved reefs in the Caribbean makes diving there a true paradise! There are two different dive shops that offer diving in La Ceiba at Cayos Cochinos:
Tourist Options, a La Ceiba based tour operator has an outpost in Sambo Creek, from where they offer the only regular tour departures to Cayos Cochinos. Although their tours are more for snorkelers, they also hold a diving school facility that is affiliated to DIWA where you can learn how to dive or do some diving in La Ceiba if you already have your diving certification. Visit http://www.hondurastouristoptions.com/en/escueladebuceo.php for more information.
A second option, also located in the community of Sambo Creek is Pirate Island Divers, a full PADI certified dive operation. Both are great options for diving in La Ceiba in some of the best reefs in the Caribbean!
You can, and should combine your diving in La Ceiba with some diving in the Bay Islands. Utila is famous for being one of the more affordable places in the world to get diving certified. It is also a great chance to see the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, a gentle giant that feeds on plankton and that can be seen year round in the waters off the island of Utila.