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A Beach Lovers Guide to Honduras

Honduras has a wide variety of activities for travellers to experience, making it one of the more popular destinations to visit in Central America. Activities range from hiking, bird watching, hiking through mayan temples, strolling in colonial towns, and most popularly, visiting the wide variety of beaches in the Honduran coastline. Sun and sand anyone?

Honduras has two coastlines, a small Pacific coastline, and a much larger Caribbean coastline in the north of the country. The best beaches that the country has to offer can be found on the Caribbean coast and those located on the Bay Islands.

A ferry or short plane ride away from La Ceiba are the Bay Islands, the largest one being Roatan. Pristine coral reef and gorgeous tropical beaches surround Roatan. West Bay is one of Roatan’s best beaches; it has everything a tropical beach should offer. It is one and half kilometres of shimmering white sand, with palm trees scattered along the beach, and clean turquoise waters. At the far end of the beach, the coral reef makes contact with the open sea and makes it a great place to snorkel and experience swimming with the local marine life. The waters are calm, and ideal for swimming or snorkelling. West Bay is located 4km south of the popular town of West End, and is easily accessible from this town by walking or by boat. Therefore making it a great place to relax away from this busier town.

When arriving in the town of West End the first thing you see is the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Half Moon Bay is located at the entrance of the popular town of West End in Roatan. The town of West End is a small settlement consisting of one street, which has been built along the edge of the water. The waters are clean, and the reef passes right into the mouth of this bay, and makes it a great and easily accessible place to snorkel. Many travellers have been lucky enough to see turtles and rays from these waters.

Guanaja is the second largest island of the Bay Islands; it is thought to be the forgotten island, as tourists do not frequently visit it. However, along with the main island there are approximately 15 smaller cays. Miles of natural reef encompasses the island and the surrounding cays. The island is covered in pine forests with numerous walking trails. The beaches on the north side of the island span huge distances. The waters here offer excellent conditions for snorkelling and swimming.

Travellers flock to Utila to dive and take in the relaxed Caribbean vibes. It has been renowned for offering dive courses at affordable prices, and is one of the best places in the world to sight the whale shark. The majority of Utilas population lives in one settlement, and all amenities are located on the main road, which is in fact the only road. There is a wide variety of food and accommodation to suit different travellers; the islands nightlife is also popular with travellers. For those wanting to get away from the town, a visit to either of the cays off the coast of Utila is worthwhile as they have beautiful beaches. Water Cay is a great location to snorkel. The island is not inhabited by people, and visitors can merely relax on this idyllic strip of sand in the Caribbean Sea.

Cayos Cochinos is a designated marine reserve area, protected from all types of development. It is comprised of two main islands and approximately 13 smaller cays. These islands have some of the most spectacular beaches located in the Caribbean, and because they have avoided development you can enjoy these beaches without masses of tourists. The coral is unspoilt and great for snorkelling.

This town is often regarded as the favourite destination for travellers wanting a beach experience in Honduras. Tela is a small town and has a very peaceful ambience, allowing the visitors to recharge their batteries in an idyllic setting. The impressive beach covers a wide area on either side of the town itself, and visitors will be able to enjoy more secluded and undeveloped beach areas the further away from Tela they venture. Tela is not only a Caribbean coastal town with white sand beaches and blue waters, but in its surrounding vicinity there is a great deal to keep travellers active –such as the Lancetilla Botanical Gardens and Punta Sal National Park .Both have a diverse tropical environment and offer nature at its best.

Trujillo is one of the oldest settlements in Honduras, and is famed for its beautiful palm laced beaches and gentle waters which the bay protects. The town is never overcrowded with flocks of tourists, mainly due to its more isolated location, making it an ideal destination for those wanting to enjoy a beach without having to share it with too many people. The beach directly in front of the town is clean and a safe place to relax. However the best beaches in Trujillo can be found near the airstrip. The beach also stretches on either side of the town. Towering over Trujillo are a range of mountains called Cerro Calentura, which is part of the Capiro and Calentura National Park where visitors can follow several trails through the tropical forest.

Omoa is a quiet town located on the far west of the Caribbean coastline in Honduras, close to the town of Puerto Cortes. Omoa is suitable for all types of travellers, having a wide range of accommodation options, from budget to more expensive hotels. Visitors can try the local seafood on the restaurants that line the beachfront. The Sierra de Omoa Mountains are located close to the town and create an impressive backdrop to the blue Caribbean Sea.

La Ceiba is the largest Caribbean coastal town in Honduras and is one of the major ports. La Ceiba does not have the relaxing atmosphere that some of the smaller beach destinations have to offer. It has a lively nightlife, and travellers can enjoy the luxuries of a wide selection of international restaurants and a shopping mall. However visitors can still enjoy the natural beauties of Honduras from La Ceiba. The early mornings provide the best views of the 2435 metre high Pico Bonito mountain, part of the second largest National Park in Honduras. Additionally La Ceiba is encircled with banana and pineapple plantations. The beach line in La Ceiba is not the cleanest and travellers are advised to head to the beaches several kilometres away from the town. La Barra beach, which is located east of the town, is a popular beach.

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