In this guide, Gringa Traveling mom breaks down basic yet extremely important information about family travel in the Bay Islands of Honduras. She also lists the best family-friendly activities being offered in these tiny islands. Use these tips to make the most of your Honduras family vacation!
Honduras is one of Guatemala’s neighboring countries. Since my family and I live in Guatemala, it is extremely easy to go out for a quick visit whenever we feel like enjoying the beauties and warmth of the Caribbean.
The Bay Islands is a complex of small islands off of the Caribbean coast of Honduras formed by the second largest coral reef in the world. They are a destination everyone must visit while in Central America.
During the many trips we have taken to the Bay Islands, my family and I have learned a lot. We’ve also experienced tons of the activities they have to offer. So far we love most of them, but there are five kid friendly things to do that stand out. We recommend them to all families!
Honduras Family Vacation in the Bay Islands – Travel Guide
The official Honduran currency is the lempira. It gets its name from a 16th century indigenous warrior.
US dollars are also widely accepted throughout the country, especially in touristic areas like the Bay Islands. However, everything tends to be more expensive if you don’t use lempiras. So take time to go to a local bank to exchange some money and save a few dollars.
If you go to a formal, upper-class restaurant, the tip will be automatically added to your bill in a section called “servicio.” However, there aren’t many of those in the Bay Islands. Most restaurants are small huts where locals earn a low wage. So even though tipping isn’t a norm, leaving 10% to 15% as a tip is greatly appreciated by locals.
Tour guides or similar usually receive a small tip of $5 while hotel staff such as cleaning ladies are used to receiving $2 per service.
The official language in Honduras is Spanish, but there are up to another dozen minor ones that indigenous locals still speak. Out of them, the most common one in the Bay Islands is the Garifuna language.
The third most spoken language in the region is English. However, if a person doesn’t work at a tour agency, hotel or restaurants, chances are they won’t be able to speak English. So learn some Spanish before you visit.
Top 5 Things to Do
1. Catamaran Tour – Roatan and Utila
Catamarans and boats are the best way to travel between the islands. It is also an amazing way to enjoy the clear waters of the Caribbean. Going on a catamaran is a bit more expensive than regular boat tours, but worth it. You might even be able to see some dolphins along the way.
2. Diving or Snorkeling – Utila
The Bay Islands are part of a huge and colorful coral reef. You can’t come here and not explore its waters.
Snorkeling and diving tours are being offered in all of the islands. However, for the best, professional experience without large groups or crowds, Utila is the best place to book a tour.
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3. Submarine Tour – Roatan
This is an amazing option if you are looking for a more in-depth look at the coral reef. There are small submarines that can take a full family of two adults and two kids to explore the depths of the surrounding sea.
At first, it was a bit scary, but it ended up being an amazing experience. We were able to see fish that we couldn’t even imagine existed.
4. Zip Lining – Roatan
If you are visiting the area, you’re probably looking for sun, water, and beaches. But there are many other things to do. One of them is going into the forest for an exciting adventure zipping along cables on top of the trees.
You can find these kinds of tours all over Central America, but few offer such amazing views of the Caribbean sea.
5. Iguana Research & Breeding Station – Utila
This is an organization working hard to protect the endemic island’s iguana species “Ctenosaura bakeri.” During a visit, you will learn all about it while supporting their amazing work. During the tour, you also get tons of information about some other indigenous species.
Food You Can’t Miss
Honduran cuisine is a mixture of many different cultures including European, African, indigenous and Caribbean. In the Bay Islands, the main ingredients used are seafood and coconut milk.
In mainland, baleadas are the most popular traditional food, especially for breakfast. Baleada is basically a large corn tortilla filled with beans, cheese or cream. Some even include veggies and meat.
In the Bay Islands, the one dish that you have to try is called tapado. It’s a traditional Garifuna soup made out of seafood.
Will I Need A Tour Guide?
The bay islands are extremely tiny and you can explore them from tip to tip in a couple of days on your own. However, if you want to go further and do some other activities, you will definitely need a tour guide.