Let’s face it, finding pristine and remote beaches in Central America is a real challenge. We all dream of traveling to the Caribbean Sea and finding a pristine beach in a remote location. As a general rule, pristine and remote do not go together. For one, we all think of pristine as unspoiled, beautiful and in its natural state. We think of that pristine condition is attractive. Yet it loses a lot of its charm as soon as we realize that pristine also means with no comfort and services.
Playing Robinson Crusoe and being in the middle of nowhere has a completely different meaning when it is you out on a beach in the middle of nowhere. There is one other drawback. Mankind has dumped huge amounts of garbage into the sea. It is impossible to find a remote beach in the world without trash. What is worse, the more remote, the more trash, because there is no one to clean it. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the bugs. Make sure you bring some bug repellent with you! Sand flies can spoil your beach vacation! Believe it or not, if you pitch jungle bugs versus sand flies, the latter are MUCH worse!
Now there, I am not trying to say there are no remote, pristine beaches in the Caribbean. Its just that they are rare and hard to find. As you know, the Central American region has a coastline on the Caribbean Sea. Of the five Central American countries, (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) it is Honduras and Nicaragua that have a longer coastline on the Caribbean.
Can you find Pristine and Remote Beaches in Honduras?
So that leaves us with Honduras. I am happy to report that you can actually find several pristine, remote beaches on the Caribbean in Honduras. Perhaps I need to start at the Bay Islands. The Island of Roatan has become a popular cruise ship destination. Although good for the economy, this means that heading out to the beaches on the island is more like visiting a tourist trap that a pristine beach.
Fortunately, this is only half true. The West End of the Roatan is quite developed. It is also home to the most famous beach in Central America: West Bay Beach. So if you visit West Bay Beach in search for a pristine location and remote feeling, you will be disappointed.
Pristine and Remote Beaches in Roatan
The East End of Roatan has a beach that is every bit as beautiful, if not more that West Bay Beach. The beach is Camp Bay Beach. Other alternatives are Paya Bay Beach and Playa Barbon that are in the same area. These beaches face the north, or windward side of the island of Roatan. A massive coral reef surrounds the island and provides for a sheltered beach that is ideal to swim, snorkel and dive. There are several small businesses in the area. These turn the remote into enjoyable, offering a good bed, good food and even some outstanding scuba diving.
Check out the facilities at Paya Bay Resort, as well as Camp Bay Lodge. They both offer first class services in what will fit into our description of a remote, pristine beach. Here, you are safe from the hordes of cruise ship passengers. (Yes, I know that is not being kind to the cruise ship passengers!). You will also find beaches that are clean, because the staff at these resorts picks up the beach trash daily.
Enjoy relaxing in a nice hammock under the palm trees, a great air con or fan cooled room with a comfy bed and great food. Ohhh, and I almost forgot, an ice cold beer or ice for a refreshing Margarita, Gin Tonic or Rum Punch! Nearby is a good basic restaurant called “La Sirena” which would be the Mermaid in English.
Pristine and Remote Beaches in Guanaja
Guanaja is the most remote of the Bay Islands. Christopher Columbus himself was here on his fourth and last voyage to the “West Indies”. Because of its remote location, there are few hotels on the island. The two most distinguished ones were totaled back in 1998 when the island took a direct hit from Hurricane Mitch. So what you will find are small family owned operations.
Just like in Roatan, your best alternative is to stay on the north side of the island. At this moment, I recommend the Island House that belongs to gentleman by the name of Bo Bush. Island House offers comfortable rooms that are on the beach. They have access to a small creek with a waterfall, that you will love exploring. You can walk to nearby Michael’s Rock Beach. Nearby is the old End of The World Resort that should reopen any day now.
In Guanaja, you will enjoy friendly service, great beaches, fine diving, and even hiking up to waterfalls and mountain tops. This, in my opinion is the prettiest and most pristine of the Bay Islands.
Pristine and Remote Beaches in Cayos Cochinos a Dream Come True!
Getting closer to the mainland, you have the beautiful Cayos Cochinos. These small islands are just off the coast from the Garifuna Village of Sambo Creek. A short 40 minute boat ride will get you from Sambo Creek to the Hog Cays. The cays are a National Marine Monument. In other words, a National Park within the Honduras National Park system. There are few options where you can stay on the cays. Your best bet is to stay at Daryl’s Place. This small property is on Cayo Largo Arriba, and offers several different rooms. You can either bring your own food and cook yourself, or better yet, you can arrange for family living there to cook for you. You can rent this property through AirBnb.
A second option, is within the Garifuna Community of East End in Cayo Pequeno, the Laru Beya Cabins. These are community owned and run and are quite nice. Food here of course will be fresh seafood just about every meal! You can reserve a room at Laru Baya through Reservaciones La Ceiba.
Pristine and Remote Beaches East of Trujillo
I can come up with one last alternative on the mainland that fits into my definition of pristine and remote. The beach front condo’s at the Trujillo Beach Eco Resort. The condo’s are full service one and two bedroom units. They all have a full service kitchen, and either a terrace with direct beach access or a balcony looking out to the Beach. The beach has its natural vegetation on it. Giant dunes in some areas separate the beach from the buildings. As a matter of fact, the buildings are sitting on top of a 15 foot sand dune. Talk about a great view towards the Caribbean.
The facility of course has a beachfront pool. They are next to the Laguna de Guaymoreto Wildlife Refuge. This means that you will see a variety of tropical birds and even mammals such as monkeys if you take a hike or go on a horseback riding tour. Nearby, the Garifuna Village of Santa Rosa de Aguan provides a window of opportunity to get acquainted with this unique culture. Did you know that the UNESCO gave the Garifuna Culture the status of Cultural Heritage of Humanity?
Going to the Trujillo Beach Eco Resort might sound less remote that visiting the islands. Don’t let this fool you! The resort is out in the middle of nowhere. You will need to travel through a dirt, agricultural road for a good 20 to 25 minutes before you get to the resort. There is a sign on the CA13 highway, before you get to Trujillo. From there follow the signs.
You will be traveling through African Palm plantations. You will see different men at work on the fields. If you do not have a vehicle, and prefer not to rent one, the folks at Trujillo Bay Eco Resort can arrange for a transfer from La Ceiba to take you the resort.
Further East of Trujillo you will arrive at the famous Miskito Coast, or La Moskitia as they call in Honduras. Although you will find miles and miles of remote beaches, these are both remote, and have no facilities.
If you want to arrange for a journey of a lifetime and travel from Honduras to Nicaragua through La Moskitia, you should check my recent post. Do keep in mind that his trip is not for those who are not willing to rough it out. If you wish to meet and interact with the Garifuna and Miskito cultures, there is no better way of doing it!
Still looking for that Beach with a true remote feeling to it? I hope you enjoy the remote and pristine Caribbean that I just shared with you!
Can you find Pristine and Remote Beaches in Nicaragua?
In the case of Nicaragua, these Caribbean beaches are remote, and getting there is close to impossible. If you do make it to the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, you will find no facilities and services. Perhaps the only exception is the Corn Islands of Nicaragua: Corn Island and Little Corn Island.