The Unspoilt Beauty of Cayos Cochinos

By BobbyRica | May 31, 2012

Cayos Cochinos

If you’re looking for a place in the middle of nowhere, then Cayos Cochinos will be your best bet. The Cayos Cochinos (also known as the Hog Cays) archipelago is a unique retreat for travelers looking to escape the city and the tourists. One thing you’d notice about the Cayos is that the islands have no roads. So you don’t expect forms of land transportation to take you where you want to go. The islands are only accessible by boat from La Ceiba or by sailboat charter departing from Utila or Roatan.

Snorkeling at Cayos Cochinos

Cayo Menor and Cayo Grande are the two islands that comprise Cayos Cochinos along with thirteen more small coral cays situated 30 kilometers northeast of La Ceiba on the northern shores of Honduras. Even though the islands aren’t geographically connected to the mainland, the Cayos are part of the Roatán municipality and the Bay Islands. Cayo Menor and Cayo Grande have thick tropical forest ringed by white sand beaches. The total land area measures about 2 km².

Unlike most areas of Honduras, Cayos Cochinos is protected from development by the Honduran Coral Reef Foundation. With the help of the Smithsonian Institute, the Cayos and surrounding waters are designated as a marine reserve since 1994. This move have benefited the country greatly. Because the cays have avoided development, the islands now have the most spectacular beaches in the Caribbean. The reserve extends eight kilometers in all directions. Tourists can go snorkeling and see the stretch of unspoilt coral. The surrounding reef is teeming with colorful marine life. The Cayos Cochinos reef system is prized for its lush macro life. The coral reef belongs to the world’s second largest coral reef system known as the Meso-American Barrier Reef. All marine and terrestrial flora and fauna are protected within a 460-square-km area from fishing, development and other harmful activity, including poaching.

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