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Honduras: Bay Islands Snorkeling

A secluded snorkeling retreat just a short swim from one of the most diverse reefs in the Caribbean. With outstanding snorkeling, affordable pricing, easy access from the U.S., and flexible dates, Honduras' Bay Islands are one of our most popular snorkel destinations.

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Overview

  • Shallow water access to an incredible coral reef wall less than 100 yards from your room.
  • Daily activities include beach snorkeling along the protected house reef, boat snorkeling excursions, and night snorkeling opportunities.
  • Stay in over-the-water cabanas on a private peninsula of Roatan.

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.

>> See our naturalist's 2016 Honduras snorkeling trip report.

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.

Daily activities include beach snorkeling, boat snorkeling excursions, and bird watching. Scuba diving is also possible. 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.

Trip Dates & Cost

2020: February 15–22 | November 7-14. $2,995 per person.*

2021: February 13–20. $2,995 per person.*

* Single supplement fee $525. Trip prices do not include international airfare. Custom dates available. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.


"An underwater dream for anyone who loves finding weird and wonderful creatures!"

- Linda, 2013 traveler


"The atmosphere at CoCo View is low-key and comfortable. I felt right at home. Come prepared to relax and enjoy yourself!"

- Debbie, 2013 traveler

Photos
Naturalist

Roger Harris is a long-time Oceanic Society naturalist with 30 years of experience working as a guide. In addition to working with Oceanic Society, Roger has frequently worked as a naturalist for Lindblad Expeditions and the National Audubon Society. As a naturalist he has led eco-tours in Honduras, Belize, Kenya, Great Barrier Reef, Galapagos, Baja California, and SE Alaska. Roger is also a professional conservation biologist specializing in endangered species, wetlands, and native habitat restoration. He earned a graduate degree in ornithology from U.C. Berkeley, and is both a NAUI diver and an expert world birder.

Joy Marzolf is a lifetime ocean lover and avid scuba diver who is a naturalist and education coordinator at the Mass Audubon Society. For more than 10 years Joy has assisted with marine animal stranding teams, and she is also on the boards of the Boston Sea Rovers and the New England Aquarium Dive Club. She is an experienced guide, as well as a wildlife photographer and photography teacher.

Keoki Stender is a native Hawaiian photographer, educator, diving industry specialist, and owner of marinelifephotography.com, a popular species identification resource for Hawaii and beyond. He studied marine science and botany at the University of Hawaii and shares this passion as a guest speaker and volunteer educator for many organizations. Keoki is a PADI scuba instructor with more than 25 years of experience in the dive industry.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Roatan. Guests are met at the airport and transferred to CoCo View Resort, , located on its own private peninsula. 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 oceanfront cabanas. We will have a welcome dinner later this evening, as well as a briefing that goes over the trip's activities.

Day 2: Snorkeling. We will start out the day by snorkeling the waters right in front of our hotel. Excellent snorkeling begins less than one hundred yards from the 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. We will go on a vessel-based snorkeling excursion to one of our sites after lunch.

Day 3: Snorkeling. We will use the morning to snorkel by boat to some of Roatán's other beautiful snorkeling sites. Here you may see giant barrel sponges that are home to crabs and shrimp who will poke their heads out to feed. We will also do afternoon beach snorkeling among fields of elkhorn coral, and get to see colorful fish that dart among the elkhorn's elegant branches.

Day 4: Snorkeling. We will begin the day with a morning beach snorkel. Following lunch, we will do an afternoon boat snorkel at another site. You will get to see an ensemble of gorgonians, lettuce coral, brain coral, file fish, sea horses, green moray eels, French angelfish, spotted eagle rays and possibly even some hawkbill and green sea turtles. We will also go on a night snorkel this evening (weather permitting). Using your flashlights, you will see a whole different side of the reef, as you can sneak up on fish as they sleep and drift with the waves.

Day 5: Snorkeling at the West End. Today the group will go out on their boat for a program to the West End area of the island. There will be stops for snorkeling at new sites at West End. A box lunch will be provided on board and then the group will have some opportunity to explore the shops at West End. You will return by boat to the resort.

Day 6: Island Excursion. We will explore the large island of Roatán by private van. As we drive by the coastline, we will pass by several fishing villages. Stops include a visit to an iguana rehabilitation center, a butterfly center, and other areas of interest. Lunch is included, and there will be some opportunities to stroll through the mountainous towns to do some shopping.

Day 7: Snorkel. Our last day will start with a morning boat snorkel. Here you will see a lush garden of hard corals, sponges, and gorgonians. See if you can find a queen angelfish or a pair of four-eyed butterfly fish who stay mates for life. We will also do a relaxing beach snorkel after lunch, and depart with a farewell dinner in the evening.

Day 8: Departure. 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.

Accommodations

CocoView Resort Roatan Honduras Our base for this expedition is the comfortable CoCo View Resort, which has catered to snorkelers and scuba divers since 1982. Located on a private peninsula of Roatan Island, CoCo View offers double occupancy, over-the-water cabanas, each with private bath, air-conditioning, WiFi, and other conveniences, plus your own private porch to enjoy sunrises and sunsets, ocean breezes, or your morning coffee.

The cabanas sit just 100 yards from a beautiful coral reef wall; the perfect base for exploring the underwater wildlife of the Bay Islands!

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