Cayos Cochinos are arguably the most unique jewel within the Honduras Caribbean. It is no surprise that tours to this national park within La Ceiba, have become the most popular tour in this part of Atlantida. Most tours depart to Cayos Cochinos from the Garifuna Village at Sambo Creek. However, there are also tours departing from Corozal, Nueva Armenia and Rio Esteban. Sadly, a day tour to Cayos Cochinos affords you only a few hours in this pristine paradise. However, there are several small hotels and lodges in this archipelago, where you can comfortably overnight in Cayos Cochinos. Yes, you read right! There are several hotels in Cayos Cochinos!
Without doubt, the most affordable option to overnight in Cayos Cochinos is at Chachahate. This is an authentic Garifuna community with very basic facilities. Keep in mind that Chachahuate has no running water, no electricity and no sewage. Bathroom facilities are basic latrines. As such, sanitary conditions are very poor. However, the bright side is that you will be living in close quarters with a community that retains many of its traditions. The Garifuna are friendly folks that welcome you to their community. They offer a couple of rooms which are very basic and have a cost of between 15 and 20 us dollars per person. Keep in mind that you do not have a private bath in your room!
Fortunately, Chachahuate is not the only Garifuna community in Cayos Cochinos. There is another community on the big island known as East End. This community has less population than Chachahuate and has the luxury of having running water. They own a community run lodge they call Cabañas Laru Beya. The women in the community oversee keeping the cabins spotless and providing you with food. Although the sight is far from luxurious, you are afforded far more comfort and conditions are sanitary. The local teacher, whose name is Francisco is a committed community leader who been very active in this project. Being on the larger island, you have the benefit that you can walk around the island and explore the different beaches and even hike around the island. If you are interested in this option, get in touch with Reservaciones La Ceiba, who will arrange a stay at Cabañas Laru Beya.
Another option on the large island is small dive resort. It has been there forever but has changed its name a few times in the near past. I am referring to Eagle Ray Bay Resort. In the past, it operated as Turtle Bay Harbour Eco Resort and as Plantation Beach Resort. This property specializes in diving but is also perfect to relax or hike around the island and find secluded beaches. They offer amenities such as running water, electricity and even access to internet! They also offer transportation from La Ceiba to the islands, usually departing from the main harbor in La Ceiba. This is the perfect setting to enjoy diving and snorkeling on the Island, and if this is your main interest, then you should consider staying there. They also have a restaurant and a bar. This is your top option to overnight at Cayos Cochinos.
Another option is to stay in one of the small private cays. Upper Largo Cay offers great facilities that you can book through Airbnb. They call themselves Daryl’s Place and have several options. You can rent the whole cay, or you can rent one of the rooms within the key. Please note that you will be a bit like Robinson Crusoe on these islands. Somewhat isolated, and will need to bring your own food, which you can cook yourself or ask the caretaker to cook for you. Tourist Options in La Ceiba can help you arrange a booking with them, as well as your trip to and from the Cays. For a quiet, secluded alternative, this is a perfect place to overnight at Cayos Cochinos.
Whatever you decide as your best option to overnight at Cayos Cochinos, make sure you plan the logistics of getting there and back. The easiest option is to take the regular tour to Cayos Cochinos, then have them drop you off at your selected hotel in Cayos Cochinos. This way you will get the full tour of the islands, get acquainted with the area and then overnight in Cayos Cochinos. To do this, I recommend that you contact Tourist Options or Garifuna Tours, who run regularly scheduled tours to Cayos Cochinos.
I suggest that you plan on a at least a two-night stay at your selected hotels in Cayos Cochinos. Hopefully, you will be lucky to have a tour going and coming on the dates you selected to stay there. If you cannot fit into a regularly scheduled trip in and out, then you will need to hire a private boat. In any case, the hotel in Cayos Cochinos that you selected will help you arrange for your transportation back. Whatever the case, keep in mind that you need to depart the islands towards the mainland by 2 pm at the latest, as the surf gets rough and dangerous late in the afternoon. Cayos Cochinos offer the best reefs and cays in Atlantida. It is by far the best place to dive in Atlantida. Are you ready for your adventure at Cayos Cochinos?