It’s always fun to go to la playa, especially if the beach is in a different country. The beaches of Central America’s Honduras will not disappoint you. Honduras has 470 miles of coastline divided between the mainland and the Caribbean islands. With that much beach, you’re sure to find the beach that is perfect for you. Some of these beaches in Honduras win rave reviews from the major travel publications. Once you walk on the white sand beaches or take a dip in the turquoise Caribbean, you’ll be raving about them, too.
Located 21 km (13 miles) east of La Ceiba, Sambo Creek is a slightly scruffy Garifuna fishing village with a nice beach backed by a tropical forest. It’s a great place for swimming, and you can see the local Garífuna people perform traditional punta dancing on the beach on Sundays. But there’s more than that here. At the mouth of a small river, this beach is considered the gateway to great snorkeling and diving to the Cayos Cochinos archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Nearby are a hot springs and a one-mile long zip line that is reached on a 40-minute horseback ride.
You’ll find the white sand beaches and pretty blue water are a winning combination at Omna. The town itself was the most important Caribbean port in colonial days, making Omoa a good place to learn about colonial history. You can walk from the beach to the 18th century Spanish fort of San Fernando or you could just stay at the beach, swimming, sunbathing, and viewing boats beached on the shore. You can also watch the playful dolphins that love swimming offshore or in the harbor.
Located on the northern Caribbean coast, Tela is surrounded by sweeping beaches. Temperatures are in the 80s year ‘round, palm trees sway in the breeze above white sand beaches, and turquoise water extends into the trees at high tide. Tela is where Hondurans come for Semana Santa or Holy Week. If you get tired of the beach, you can explore the nearby nature reserves, including Punta Sal, with monkeys and mangrove trees. Tela’s reputation wasn’t always stellar, but tourist police are changing that image.
Guanaja is one of the Bay Islands located about 70 km (43 miles) off mainland Honduras. A key attraction on the island is the city of Guanaja, referred to as the Venice of Honduras because of the waterways running through it. The water here is calm and clear, part of a large coral reef system. This means there’s some great snorkeling and diving to be had. Columbus was introduced to cacao, from which chocolate is derived, when he visited here in 1502.
If you’ve ever wanted to go island hopping, Cayos Cochinos is the place to do it. Cayos Cochinos is made up of two small islands and 13 coral cays or tiny islands of sand that are part of an archipelago in the Caribbean. The coral reefs are part of the second largest system in the world, making Cayos Cochinos an ideal place to snorkel and dive. If you don’t do either, there’s always swimming, sunbathing and plain old relaxing to keep you occupied.
If you’ve ever cruised the western Caribbean, you’ve probably been to Mahogany Bay. Several cruise lines use this as a port on Roatan, the largest of the Bay Islands that is about 65 km (40 miles) offshore Honduras. Mahogany Bay beach, which is owned by a cruise company, sports white sand and turquoise water that is very swimmable. Roatan sits on the world’s second largest coral reef, so expect to get in some exciting snorkeling and scuba diving here. Fisherfolk can try their hands at reeling in tuna, marlin, mahi mahi and barracuda.
Christopher Columbus could be called the first tourist to visit Trujillo since he landed here in 1502 on his final voyage to the New World. What he found on the beaches here was beautiful white sand, crystal clear Caribbean water and the deepest bay in Central America. Things haven’t changed that much 500 years later, though there are more tourists. You’ll still find beaches that are great for walking, wading through small rivers that end here, and beachcombing, with the jungle backing the beaches.
Home to less than 100 Garifuna islanders, Chachahuate is a small island in the Cayos Cochinos archipelago. The beach here is one of the top beaches in the country, with the requisite white sand and sparkling sea water. Getting there involves a plane ride from the mainland to Roatan Island or La Ceiba and a boat ride from there. It’s best done as a day trip from Roatan or La Ceiba as accommodations on Chachahuate are limited and basic in the fishing village. The best time to visit is February to September.
You can soak up the rays on white day or you can soak the day away in the sea at Water Cay at the west end of Utila, one of the Bay Islands. If you’re up for more movement, there’s great snorkeling and diving, including free and scuba diving, in the coral to see the colorful tropical marine life. And if you’re really up for adventure, you can so swimming with whale sharks, easily done since Utila is known as the whale shark capital of the Caribbean.
West Bay on the island of Roatan is considered by many (including Lonely Planet) to be the picture-perfect Caribbean destination and one of Honduras’ top beaches. What’s not to love about a beautiful white sand beach, calm waters, stunning sunsets, resorts and water activities such as snorkeling that begin the minute you step into the sea. The beach can get crowded when cruise ships are in port, but you can avoid the crowds by relocating to either end of the beach. West Bay Beach is a good place to bring the family.