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Bay Islands

Spectacular diving and snorkeling draws visitors from around the world to the three Bay Islands (Islas de la Bahía) – Roatán, Utila and Guanaja – located between 15-30 miles (25-50km) off the north coast of Honduras. Their reefs are part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and teem with fish, coral, sponges, rays, sea turtles and even whale sharks.

Diving here is very affordable, but lodging and food on the islands can be more expensive than on the mainland. Low-key Utila is the fun, budget island (and very popular with backpackers), while Roatán is much, much bigger, has better beaches and is decidedly more sophisticated. Diving is also good on Guanaja, though costs are far higher here than the other two islands.

The rainy season here runs roughly from October or November to February. March and August are the hottest months; at other times sea breezes temper the heat.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Bay Islands.

Featured videos

Introducing the Bay Islands