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Islands in Honduras

Despite being a small country, with only 112,500 square kilometers, there are quite a few islands in Honduras. In fact some islands in Honduras are on the Pacific Ocean and other islands in Honduras are on the Caribbean.

Most of the islands in Honduras are on the Caribbean, with the majority of them being part of the Bay Islands of Honduras archipelago. This set of islands, located just a few miles off the Caribbean Coast of Honduras boasts the largest islands in Honduras. Roatan, Utila, Guanaja, Barbareta, Helene, Morat and a dozens of smaller cays form this unique paradise that offers the Caribbean at its best: unspoiled, affordable, uncrowded. The Hog Cays, located just off the Coast of La Ceiba are considered part of the same archipelago are a national park that consists of two smaller islands in Honduras, as well as a set of Cays. Much further north and east, you will find the Swan Islands, which are also islands in Honduras, however due to the isolated location in the Caribbean, these islands are hard to visit and basically uninhabited except for a Honduran navy outpost there.

The largest of all islands in Honduras is Roatan, which is about 60 Km. long and boasts a population of approximately 60,000 souls. Roatan has its own international airport, with regularly scheduled international flights by American, United and Delta Airlines, as well as by Avianca. The most developed part of Roatan is the Western end of the island, and therefore, my favorite is on the opposite side!

 

Utila and Guanaja are two lovely smaller islands in Honduras that are also very beautiful. Utila has become famous as one of the most affordable places in the world to get scuba certified, with many different scuba schools fighting for the business.

Guanaja is more exclusive, more expensive and is the only truly mountainous of the three larger Bay Islands of Honduras.

Helene, also known as Saint Helene is actually a part of Roatan, separated from the main island by natural canal and swamp. Although there are a couple of small communities in Helene, it is very sparsely populated and has no services for tourists. Morat is small and inhabited and Barbareta is a true gem that is privately owned by a Texas millionaire who visits it often.

On the Pacific Coast, Honduras has two fairly good sized islands in the Gulf of Fonseca, which Honduras shares with Nicaragua and El Salvador. For more information on Nicaragua, visit www.nicatips.com. The two islands in Honduras that are on the Pacific are Isla del Tigre, also known as Amapala, and Isla Zacate Grande, both are of volcanic origin, although they are considered extinct volcanoes. Zacate Grande has been interconnected with the mainland by a land filled road over swamps, while Amapala is only accessible by water. Amapala was Honduras’ port in the Pacific during the colonial and early republican days, and was once a bustling community, however when the government of Honduras built a new, modern port facility in nearby San Lorenzo, Amapala was left in a time warp. It is only now beginning  to wake up to development. IT is certainly worth a visit, but be prepared for a much slower pace of life here! Although it might seem impossible, I have actually visited Roatan and Utila in one week and then travelled overland Honduras to the Pacific coast and visited Amapala within the same week! I am sure you will not find many countries in the world where you can do that without flying from coast to coast!

Most travelers visit the islands in Honduras that are on the Caribbean, and in doing so, usually miss out on a lovely area located on the mainland of Honduras, easily reachable via the ferry boat service that interconnects Roatan and Utila with the mainland via the port of La Ceiba. Just a few minutes away from the port facility, the Cangrejal River Valley offers a unique setting that is the perfect complement to your visit to the Caribbean Islands in Honduras. Set within two national parks, Pico Bonito and Nombre de Dios, and with a unique white water river with crystal clear waters, The Cangrejal River Valley is one of the crown jewels of Honduras that you should not miss! La Villa de Soledad B&B is a great option to enjoy this lovely, magical valley!