16 March 2009 | Honduras
From La Ceiba on the mainland of Honduras we headed to Cayos Cochinos, which is an island archipelago halfway between La Ceiba and Roatan. It is a protected area and boats are not permitted to anchor so we grabbed one of the 4 mooring balls available on Isla Mayor. Within 30 minutes the Honduras Navy came out to collect the park fee for both us and the boat ($20US/day or $40US/month). Before arriving in Cayos Cochinos we thought we would stay a night or two and upon arrival we realized that we would be staying much longer. The place is beautiful and pretty isolated which is what we needed after the shipyard noise and dust in La Ceiba.
There is a small dive resort on the island, some locals who tend to keep to themselves, a few ex-pats, a small school, and a health clinic. We spent time at the dive resort as they had internet and cold beverages and met a few of the ex-pats that have made the island home. I managed to come down with something between food poisoning and the flu which kept me down and out for 2 days. During that time we met an ex-pat woman who runs the local health clinic. The clinic is completely free and services the locals as well as mainlanders who come over for the free advice, medicine etc. We rummaged through our medicine cabinet and came up with a donation for the clinic - band aids of all shapes and sizes, cold medicine, bottle of aspirin, an epi-pen and some other items that we had extras of or do not anticipate needing in the next couple months.
While in Cayos Cochinos we did a lot of snorkeling - the island is surrounded by coral reefs, tons of fish and marine life. We also did some hiking through the jungle up to a lighthouse that sits atop the island.
We are certainly glad we stopped here and found Cayos Cochinos to be one of the most relaxing places to spend a few days that we have been. Next stop is back in Roatan to pick up a boat part that our friend Kerry (and the North Sails Portland team) was nice enough to source and send to us. Thanks Kerry, we owe you - yet again!