Honduras beaches are the best-kept secret of the Caribbean. This small Central American country that stretches between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea has 470 miles of coastline and hundreds of islands, big and small.
Honduran beaches are mostly undeveloped and unspoiled, with miles of white sand and lush jungle around. My favorite kind of beaches are those that are uninhabited, accessible only by boat, with no services and no people. Maybe a parrot or two.
The best known are the beaches on the Bay Islands, while the beaches on the northern coast and the Pacific remain unknown and unexplored. Which is a pity, since Honduras has so much to offer.
Here are just a few of the most beautiful beaches in Honduras you should not miss while exploring this tropical paradise.
Honduras Beaches in the Bay Islands
Bay Islands, located just off the northern coast of Honduras, are the best-known tourist destination in the country. The biggest island, Roatan, is the most developed. Whether that is what you are looking for or not, the beaches are unarguably magnificent.
Palm Beach, Roatan
Located on the Roatan’s much less touristy and less crowded north coast, Palm Beach is a beautiful stretch of 1,120 feet of fine white sand between Johnson Bight and Milton Bight. On one side is crystal clear water that gradually slopes towards the nearby reef and on the other tropical jungle and stately palm trees.
The beach is managed by the nearby Beach Club Resort, which provides lounge chairs, umbrellas, hot food and cold drinks at the beach bar and all sorts of sports activities. You can ride horses on the beach at sunset, go snorkeling, diving, jet-skiing, paddleboarding or kayaking.
If you are not staying in the resort, you can buy a day pass and enjoy all the facilities.
Sandy Bay Beach, Roatan
Although located in the western, touristy and crowded part of Roatan, Sandy Bay retains its uniqueness and tranquility and is free of massive hotels and cruise ships.
Sandy Bay beaches are not the typical white sand beaches you can find at the rest of the island, but more golden yellow, very beautiful and unspoiled. The access is free of charge.
The beaches are surrounded by coral reefs that run parallel to the coast, a short swim or boat ride away. This whole area is part of the Roatan Marine Park protected area.
Because of the proximity to the reef, scuba diving is the most popular sport. If you are not into diving, you can snorkel and still see all the colorful fish that make reefs their home. Fishing is also good, but a bit further away from the coast, reef fish is protected and is not fished.
The coast overlooking the beaches is dotted by small exclusive resorts, dive shops, beach bars and restaurants. Sandy Bay is home to the Dolphin Encounter dolphin sanctuary, Carambola Botanical Gardens and the Roatan Museum.
If you are in the mood for more touristy action, West End is just around the corner, with the throbbing sound of reggaeton and constant activities.
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West Bay Beach, Roatan
West Bay Beach is the most famous of all Roatan beaches. A perfect stretch of powder-fine white sand stretches for miles. Surrounded by luxury hotels and resorts, this beach is what most tourists know of Roatan even before they come. It is the center of island tourist life.
With so many hotels, restaurants, bars and dive shops, the beach tends to get crowded at times, especially when one of the cruise ships is in town.
Every imaginable water activity is possible from the West Bay Beach, from scuba diving at the nearby thriving reef to parasailing, fishing charters, kayaking and much more.
Half Moon Bay, Roatan
This spectacular stretch of sparkling white sand, located in West End, is another popular touristy beach. It is a constant hub of activity, with numerous dive boats coming and going, fishing charters taking Gringos out to sea, private charters heading out to other parts of the island from one of many docks.
Tourists are enjoying paddleboarding, snorkeling, swimming and just hanging out on the white sand with a cocktail in their hand. Plenty of beach bars and restaurants offer food and refreshments.
Wherever you look, the views are magnificent. This is the Caribbean you were dreaming about from your office up north.
Camp Bay Public Beach, Roatan
Located on the east side of the island, in the community of Punta Gorda, Camp Bay is the longest completely natural beach on Roatan. Without any development and totally unspoiled, it remains the local beach where you can share it with the local families, kids frolicking in the water and dogs roaming the sand.
Sand is perfectly white and packed, sloping gently into the sea. With no development and only small fishing boats floating on the water, the water is crystal clear and you can see the bottom and the colorful fish darting back and forth. The reefs are, like everywhere in Roatan, just off the coast, easily accessible and magnificent.
The beach is shaded by the ubiquitous local sea grape trees, Indian Almonds and stately coconut palms. It is perfect for throwing a towel or a hammock under for an afternoon nap.
Plenty of local small restaurants offer food and cold drinks. Spending time on Camp Bay beach is a great opportunity to meet the locals and learn about their life. Most people in Roatan speak English.
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Paya Bay Beach, Roatan
Located in a secluded and protected bay on the eastern end of the Island of Roatan, Paya Bay has several small deserted beaches you can have to yourself. Surrounded by lush greenery and tall coconut palms, you will enjoy a true Caribbean feel. Do not be surprised if you see a local trotting across the beach on his horse, this is the way of transportation and not a tourist gimmick.
When you get tired of the wild nature, keep going until you come to the luxury exclusive Paya Bay Resort, where you can enjoy a fine meal and great cocktails.
Marbella Beach, Roatan
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Located on the north coast of Roatan, far away from tourists and the urban development, Marbella beach is one of the most beautiful and most untouched island beaches. It is off the main road and unless you know where to go you will not be able to find it. What a way to have this slice of paradise to yourself.
There are no facilities, so bring everything you need for a perfect beach day. Surrounding lush vegetation provides wonderful shade even on the hottest day. The water is crystal clear, great for snorkeling and spotting colorful reef fish.
Guanaja is the second largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras but is least developed and much less known by tourists than Roatan and Utila. About 140 km off the coast of Honduras, it is accessible by boat and it has its own airport.
Guanaja is only about 11 miles long and five miles wide and it is covered with pine forests and mangroves, quite mountainous, with rivers dropping from high cliffs creating breathtaking waterfalls. Nature is lush and unspoiled and if it was not for the mosquitoes, it would be an absolute paradise.
Most of the beaches in Guanaja are on one of many small islands, some privately owned and many uninhabited.
Far away from the mainstream tourist crowds, Guanaya is perfect if you are looking for peace and solitude and still enjoy the wonderful tropical climate. It became trendy for celebrities to own a home in Guanaya, they can have total privacy.
Like other Bay Islands, Guanaja enjoys the end of the Mezo-American barrier reef that attracts divers from all over the world. The reefs are still healthy and unspoiled and several dive shops are doing great business.
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West End Beach, Guanaja
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Three kilometers long, West End Beach is the longest beach in Guanaja. Located on the western part of the main island, it is an unspoiled stretch of white sand surrounded by lush jungle, pine trees and coconut palms.
If you are looking for solitude and swimming and snorkeling in incredibly clear water, West End is the beach for you.
Dina Beach, Guanaja
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Dina Beach is perfect for you if you have your own diving gear, you can see the reef from the beach and enjoy it without anyone bothering you. The water is crystal clear and you can see the bottom almost everywhere.
This beach is a famous spot for watching spectacular island sunsets. If you stay overnight, you will see the beach literally glowing with luminescent sand particles. It is also a spot to see many starfish.
There are no facilities so bring everything you need.
Lover Beach, Guanaja
Secluded and unspoiled, with white sand protected by a small cove, Playa del Amor is popular with couples looking for a romantic spot, or families having a private picnic. It is surrounded by lush vegetation and it has no facilities.
Michael Rock Beach, Guanaja
Located on the north coast of the main island, Michael Rock Beach is a tiny beach surrounded by dense forest. It is home to a flock of native pelicans.
The beach is perfect for snorkeling and divers who have their own gear. The reefs are so close they are visible from the beach.
There is a forested rock just off the beach that is completely surrounded by reefs. Nearby is a much longer beach, completely deserted that leads to the magnificent waterfall.
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South West Cay Beach, Guanaja
South West Cay beach is located on a small remote islet north of Guanaja. It is popular with divers as it is surrounded by reefs, a home to a large diversity of fish species.
Water Cay, Utila
A short boat ride from town, you will find Water Cay, a tiny coral island covered in palm trees surrounded by perfect powde- fine sand. The water is crystal clear and the island is surrounded by shallow reefs. You can snorkel, dive, have a nap in a hammock or sit in the sand with your feet in the water while watching pelicans frolic around.
There are no facilities on the island, bring everything you need, from a barbecue to a cooler with food and drinks. Take your trash with you to allow others to enjoy this tiny slice of paradise.
Normally an oasis of peace and serenity, Water Cay is famous for its occasional parties, when it turns, for a day or two, into a dancing podium throbbing with loud music. A famous annual rave was interrupted by covid, but you can bet it will be back.
Chepes Beach, Utila
Chepes is Utila town public beach, located on one end of the bay. You can walk to it from town or take a tuk-tuk for a dollar or two.
Fine sandy beach slopes gently into the grassy bay, perfect for the kids, who come in large numbers on Sundays when parents are not working and can bring them for some fun in the water. Here locals mix with tourists, happily sharing benches and small palapas, in the water and on the beach.
The beach is surrounded by numerous small bars and restaurants. There is always something on barbecue and drinks are cold.
Bando Beach, Utila
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While all Honduran beaches are free of charge to anyone, many are coopted into resorts or hotels, which charge an entrance fee.
Located on the opposite side of the bay from Chepes Beach, Bando beach is part of the Sea Eye hotel, which maintains the beach, provides lounge chairs and umbrellas and manages a delightful bar, probably the best beach bar on the island. In exchange for enjoying the facilities and clean beach free of trash, visitors pay a $3 entrance fee, usually when they pay their bar bill.
The beach is fairly small but its fine sand is shaded by palm trees and Indian Almonds. The water is shallow and great for families with kids.
Bando Beach bar often organizes live music concerts, chili contests and other events.
Cayos Cochinos is an archipelago of tiny islands that are almost totally untouched by tourism and development, many uninhabited, surrounded by crystal clear water and magnificent healthy reefs. The islands are proud of their rich ecosystems and they are trying hard to conserve them.
There is only one eco-resort on the island and a small Garifuna village with very few tourist facilities.
Cayos Cochinos is popular with divers, who come from Roatan or Utila for a day or two of diving. The islands can only be reached by boat and are about one hour from Roatan and the Honduras north coast.
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Cayo Chachahuate Beach, Cayos Cochinos
Cayo Chachahuate Beach is the most popular Cayos Cochinos beach. Located on a tiny islet not too far from the two largest Cayos Cochinos islands. It faces a small fishing village and from the village stretches on both sides in thin fingers of sparkling white sand. Cayo Chachahuate beach is surrounded by lush vegetation.
This beach is, besides offering some of the best diving in Honduras, the reason for the tourists to come to Cayos Cochinos for a day trip.
Visiting Cayo Chachahuate is a great opportunity to meet Garifuna people, who are the majority of the population on Cayos Cochinos. Their ancestors came from Africa in the 17th century and are now mostly dispersed among the Honduran islands and the northern coast.
The beach restaurants are all small and family-owned, so the food is local, fresh and delicious.
As you stroll along the beach, pay attention to numerous colorful seashells scattered in the sand. They make lovely souvenirs.
Honduras Beaches on the Northern Coast
Playa Escondida, Punta Sal, Tela
Tela is a small coastal town on the Honduran north coast, mostly known as a gateway to some of Honduras’ most famous parks: Lancetilla Botanical Garden, Jeanette Kawas National Park, and Punta Izopo National Park.
While a few people come to Tela for its beaches, they are among the most beautiful Honduras beaches on the north coast of the country.
Located on the western point of the Bay of Tela, Punta Sal National park (also known as Jeannette Kawas National Park) has some really beautiful beaches, secluded, private, surrounded by lush jungle and fringed by magnificent coral reefs.
When you get enough of lounging on the beach or snorkeling among the reefs, take a hike through the park and enjoy the incredibly diverse tropical jungle.
You can have a meal at the local restaurants run by a few families and enjoy local delicacies mostly consisting of fish and fresh fruits.
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Tela Bay Beach, Tela
Located right in town, Tela Bay Beach is the best Tela public beach. It is located in front of the Ensenada and Telamar beach resorts. The resorts manage and maintain the beach and provide services but the access is free of charge.
Trujillo Bay Beach, Trujillo
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Trujillo is a very old town with rich history and magnificent architecture. Its history is linked to ancient Mayas, pirates, corsairs, conquistadores, banana companies, and constant battles.
While most people visit Trujillo for its San Juan Bautista Cathedral and the Santa Bárbara Fortress, this charming coastal town has some wonderful beaches.
Trujillo Bay Beach is the main town public beach located in front of the Santa Bárbara Fortress. It is a long stretch of white sand, very popular with locals. The beach is lined up with small family-owned restaurants that serve local dishes and cold drinks.
The water at the beach tends to get murky and is not as clear as in less populated locations, but it is warm and safe and you can always see local families and kids enjoying the day on the beach.
Starfish Bank Beach, Trujillo
About 20 minutes from Trujillo, near the community of Puerto Castilla, is a small bay that is home to hundreds of species of starfish. Such congregation is called the starfish bank.
The reason for such abundance of starfish is a mix of 70% seagrass and 30 percent sand, creating sandbars that are a natural habitat for starfish.
This beach is very popular because of the starfish, which is good for tourism but bad for starfish, which many tourists mistake for a souvenir and not a live animal.
Cayo Blanco, Trujillo
About three miles from Trujillo coast and a 20 minutes boat ride will take you to a tiny islet called Cayo Blanco, a sandy cay fringed by the finest sandy beach, covered in dense vegetation and surrounded by unspoiled thriving corals.
So close to the mainland, Cayo Blanco is perfect for day trips for snorkeling or scuba diving, or just relaxing on the beach.
Playa de Cieneguita, Puerto Cortes
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A wide expanse of two kilometers-long hard-packed soft white sand is heaven for beach-goers in this port city on the Honduran north coast.
The beach is facing the open sea and high tides, which give it a special and quite exposed character. The beach is very popular with locals and tourists and has 30 champas, small cabins with palm-thatched roofs offering all kinds of food.
Most food is traditional Garifuna, who are the majority of the local population. Colorful and cheerful, they are great hosts and their music is original, with the powerful African beat.
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Honduras Beaches on the Pacific Coast
The Pacific coastline of Honduras is fairly small and contained within the Gulf of Fonseca. The most interesting beaches in this part of Honduras are on Isla del Tigre, an old port with colonial charm and architecture.
The island has an extinct volcano in its center, which is the source of black sand on all island beaches. The volcano is fun to hike and the view of the entire Gulf of Fonseca, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras is well worth the climb.
Playa Negra, Isla del Tigre
Playa Negra or Black Beach is the biggest beach on Isla del Tigre. Like all other beaches on the island, it has black sand that gets hot in the sun, making it unpleasant to walk on.
The island does not get many visitors and it can be accessed by a boat from the village of Coyolito on the mainland.
Playa del Amor, San Lorenzo
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Playa del Amor or Island of Love is located on a small island called Conchaguita near San Lorenzo. The coast near the island is covered in dense mangroves.
The island of Love is, as you can imagine, a very popular destination during Valentine Day, when couples rent boats to drop them on the island for a day of swimming, picnicking and enjoying the solitude
There are no facilities on the island so bring everything you need.
Honduras beaches should be your preferred destination if you are looking for an unspoiled, undeveloped tropical paradise. Except for Roatan, which is rapidly looking more like Cancun than a part of Honduras, most of the beaches in Honduras are quaint, pristine, with miles of soft sand, lush surrounding jungle, healthy reefs, crystal clear water and not much else. But then, what else do you need in paradise?