Guanaja Island: The Tropical Green Island of Honduras
The easternmost island of the Bay Islands archipelago, Guanaja Island is also the most mountainous and most historical. Guanaja Island was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus himself during his fourth and final voyage to the West Indies on the 30th of July 1502. It’s vegetation mostly consists of the unique Caribbean pine. Guanaja is completely different to its sister islands of Roatan and Utila. It is also the only one that has creeks flowing down its mountains. These creeks, actually form beautiful waterfalls as they rush to the Caribbean.
Guanaja Island is also the least touristy of the three main Bay Islands. This is not because of lack of beauty, but because of logistics and difficulty of getting there. Guanaja took a serious beating during Hurricane Mitch, back in 1998. The hurricane meandered around the island for over 72 hours, destroying the main resorts and creating havoc on the island. However 17 years after the impact of “Mitch” Guanaja is better than ever! It’s beautiful pine clad mountains, outstanding reefs, friendly people and a relaxed Caribbean atmosphere are difficult to equal.
Getting Around in Guanaja
Getting around Guanaja Island is strictly a marine deal. There are no roads to speak about, the main community, Bonacca, is on a key, which means you will need a boat to travel to the island. The airport is also on the main island, so once you land you need a boat to go to Bonacca or to go to your resort!
Guanaja Island has a manmade canal that crosses the island, allowing easier access between the North and South sides of the island. The airport is actually parallel to the canal, and offers easy access to both sides of the island. As a general rule, the nicest beaches in the island are on the north side of the island.
There are three main communities in Guanaja: Bonacca which is the municipal seat, Savannah Bight and Mangrove Bight. These last two are on the eastern end of the island, on opposite sides. Savanah Bight is on the South side and Mangrove Bight is on the North side of the island. The only road on the island interconnects these two communities, which are on opposite sides of the island. The road is a whopping 2 miles long!
As a general rule, the different Guanaja hotels are small and scattered around the island, each being pretty much a self contained facility. Most of the properties offer diving to their guests.