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Honduras: Bay Islands
One of the most diverse populations of coral in the Caribbean occurs around the Bay Islands of Honduras. Approximately 30 miles from the mainland, the Bay Islands consist of Roatan, Utila, Guanaja, three smaller islands, and nearly 60 smaller islets and cayes.
Join our naturalist in a secluded retreat on Roatan Island, and discover one of the best snorkeling sites in the world. This snorkeling trip offers shallow water access to an incredible coral reef wall less than 100 yards from your over-the-water cabana.
In some places the upper surface of the barrier reef is so close to the sea surface that it is virtually impossible to swim over it. It is one of the most complex and varied reef systems in the Caribbean, with huge barrel sponges, gigantic gorgonians, profuse fish life, eagle rays, and myriad invertebrates.
Arriving on Roatan Island, you will transfer by van and boat to Coco View Resort, offering double occupancy cabanas, with private bath, and located on its own private peninsula. Activities over the next six days include beach snorkeling, boat snorkeling excursions, and bird watching.
Your naturalist will help identify the many different fish and coral species and explain the ecology of the reef, as well as the natural and maritime history of the island.
Day 1: Arrive in Roatan City. Guests are met at the airport and transferred to Coco View Resort. Home to the world's second largest barrier reef, Roatan, Honduras is justifiably one of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean. We spend seven nights in comfortable double occupancy over-the-water cabanas. Welcome dinner and trip briefing.
Day 2: Morning and afternoon beach snorkeling. Excellent snorkeling begins less than one hundred yards from the Coco View Resort and beachfront. The house reef, or "Front Yard," is a well protected and vibrant reef that is easily accessible from the beach in front of our cabanas.
Day 3: Morning boat snorkeling at some of Roatan's other beautiful snorkeling locations. The resort will have a dedicated boat for our snorkeling group. There are more than 15 different snorkeling sites within a 5 to 20 minute boat ride from the resort dock. We will return for a buffet lunch followed a bit later by afternoon beach snorkeling.
Day 4: On day 4 we will have a full day excursion to the West End for snorkeling at this beautiful protected coral reef site. Our main objective is to snorkel at Spooky Channel, where we snorkel above a canyon that runs from the inside to the outside of the reef. Once outside the reef we have a great chance to see large groupers and sea turtles. On site we will have a picnic lunch. Back at the resort later that evening there will be an outdoor BBQ.
Day 5: Morning beach snorkeling excursion. Early afternoon van trip to a nearby iguana farm to learn about iguana conservation efforts. Continue to French Harbor, where you will have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch you will return to the resort where you have the afternoon to relax, explore the house reef, or walk along the water's edge. If individuals are interested, a night snorkel will be arranged.
Day 6: Day of snorkeling. Morning boat-based snorkel to a new site; beach snorkeling in the afternoon.
Day 7: Morning departure for snorkeling at the secluded "John's Spot" on the North Shore. Lunch at a local resort. Afternoon beach snorkel. Farewell dinner.
Day 8: Transfer back to Roatan City for your flight home.
Note: this is a sample itinerary for a typical Oceanic Society Honduras Bay Islands snorkeling program. Weather and other conditions may necessitate changes to the exact order of events and/or substitutions to the outlined excursions.