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The Best Beaches in Honduras

Cayos Cochinos beach in the Honduras.
Cayos Cochinos beach in the Honduras. Photo © Oisin Prendiville, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

With 735 kilometers of coastline, the three large Bay Islands, and a couple dozen smaller cays, sun worshipers will have no problem finding palm-lined beaches large and small on which to lay their towel or sling their hammock. Here are a few tips to help you find the best beach for you.

Travel map of West Bay, Honduras
West Bay

Best All-Around Beach

If you have to pick just one beach in the country, it’s hard to argue with West Bay, Roatan. A couple of kilometers of powdery sand fronted by turquoise waters, with a coral reef just a few meters offshore, West Bay is a tropical daydream.

Most Secluded Beaches

After the paved road ends in eastern Roatan, adventurous travelers can press on, taking a rutted dirt road all the way to Camp Bay. On Guanaja it takes a boat to reach spots like Dina Beach and Soldado Beach, on the island’s north shore. Those who make the effort to reach these far-flung beaches will be rewarded with white sands and crystalline waters all for themselves.

Best Sun and Fun

The beach town of Sambo Creek, a few kilometers east of La Ceiba, makes an excellent home base for anyone wanting to split their days between soaking up the sun on golden sands, and nearby adventure activities such as jungle hiking and white-water rafting.

Best Diving

Utila lures visitors with stunning reef, quirky scuba culture, and the possibility of snorkeling with whale sharks. Guanaja is the least-visited Bay Island, but offers equally extraordinary (or perhaps even better) sea life for underwater explorers.

Best Beach off the Beaten Path

Those who make a day trip to the Cayos Cochinos from Roatan, Utila or La Ceiba, are rewarded with paradise-perfect islets swaying with palm trees and surrounded by colorful fish. Those who want to extend their stay can dive with Plantation Beach Resort or Pirate Island Divers, or rent a room from a local in the Garífuna fishing village on the cay of Chachahuate.

An Island All For You

Those who prefer to really get away from it all should head to the Utila Cays, where they can choose from camping on Water Cay for a nominal fee and having a fish cookout, or actually renting their very own island, Sandy Cay or Little Cay.

Best Garífuna Beach Town

Numerous towns and villages along the north coast of Honduras are populated by the Garífuna, a unique group of people of African and American indigenous origin. Triunfo de la Cruz, just east of Tela, is one of the friendliest, and makes a great place to stay for a couple of days. Head to Rice and Beans on a Sunday and you just might catch an impromptu Garífuna jam session, to go with your seafood soup.

Best-Kept Secret

Far east along the northern coast lies the sleepy town of Trujillo, on a broad bay near the edge of the Mosquitia jungle. The cabins at Banana Beach Resort or Tranquility Bay, or the budget-friendly digs at Casa Kiwi, are ideal for soaking up the glorious natural setting and mellow vibe.

Excerpted from the Sixth Edition of Moon Honduras & the Bay Islands.