Cayos Cochinos consists of two main islands and 13 more small coral cays, resting about 19 miles from La Ceiba. These small isles are the closest of the Bay Islands to the mainland of Honduras. Visit Cayos Cochinos from Roatan or from La Ceiba for a truly magical experience.
About Cayos Cochinos
Cayos Cochinos, or the Hog Islands are sparsely populated - only a little over 100 people live there. But visitors are frequent on day trips from both Roatan and La Ceiba. There are two Garifuna settlements on the islands, at Chachauate and East End, plus a few private homes scattered throughout the islands and cays.
The coral reef around Cayos Cochinos (often simply called Cayos), is in pristine condition. The marine life there is abundant, with many species possibly still unidentified. As part of the same Mesoamerican Barrier Reef that extends from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico down around all the Bay Islands of Honduras, this reef is vital to the local ecosystem.
The Honduras Coral Reef Fund protects the marine park area around Cayos Cochinos. They collect an entrance fee from all visitors, which goes toward continued protection and preservation efforts. They regularly monitor the area to restrict any illegal activities.
There are no roads in Cayos Cochinos, so the only transport is by sea or by foot.
Accommodations in Cayos Cochinos
There is only one resort in Cayos Cochinos, located on Cayo Grande and called Turtle Bay Eco Resort. Guests there stay in spacious and comfortable accommodations with modern amenities. Multiple activities are available through the resort, including scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and island tours. Turtle Bay is a PADI resort, offering an absolutely pristine location to learn to dive, or for certified divers to enjoy exploring.
Both Garifuna villages offer cheap lodging for backpackers to stay in either East End or Chachahuate.
What to Do in Cayos Cochinos
Cayos is known as a snorkeling and scuba diving destination from both Roatan and La Ceiba. Marine life lovers are always in awe of the stunning underwater views here. With minimal overall tourism and only a small local population, the reef has remained largely untouched.
If you want to stay on land, there are breathtakingly beautiful beaches to enjoy and mesmerizing vistas every direction you look. You could also hike to the lighthouse on Cay Grande for a lovely panoramic view. There is a lighthouse on the highest point of the island which can be hiked to through scenic jungles which are home to the only pink Boa Constrictors in the world.
Another important reason to visit Cayos Cochinos is to learn more about the Garifuna people. A community of Garifuna still live in Roatan and there are others along the north coast of Honduras into Guatemala and Belize. But there is a small fishing village in Cayos Cochinos as well.
On most day trips from Roatan or La Ceiba, lunch at the Garifuna village is included in the full price. You can enjoy a fresh local meal to truly hit the spot between cruising and snorkeling.
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