One of the more relaxed, friendly, and less expensive dive hotels in the Bay Islands is Bo Bush’s Island House (tel. 504/9963-8551, www.bosislandhouse.com, US$812 pp per diver, US$696 nondiver, daily rates available), built and managed by Bo, who can trace his ancestry back to the time of the English pirates on the island, and his wife. Bo is a bilingual, experienced island diver with more than 6,000 dives under his belt and a fast boat, and he knows a whole world of north-side dive sites, including caverns, walls, reef gardens, wrecks, and more.
The comfortable stone-and-wood house set into the hillside can sleep 18, and two small guesthouse another four, but Bo’s boat can only handle six divers, which keeps dive size manageable. Rates include all meals, airport transfer, and (for divers) two daily dives. Sea kayaks are available to guests. The isolated hotel on Guanaja’s north shore has a positively tranquilizing atmosphere, with wide stretches of deserted beach all around. Bo, a very friendly and laid-back host, will happily take guests on hiking trips and island tours.
At Sandy Bay, on the southern shores of the island, with a narrow 300-meter beach of its own, is Nautilus Resort, a 19th-century country house with seven guest rooms. Its sister property, Dunbar Villa, is a five-bedroom house dramatically perched atop Dunbar Rock, right in the middle of the bay. Guest rooms are not fancy, but clean and comfortable, and the views are unbeatable. U.S. Dive Travel will arrange San Pedro–Guanaja flights for all guests (U.S. tel. 952/953-4124, www.usdivetravel.com, US$1,505 pp low season, US$1,621 pp high season for a weeklong package, including all meals and dives; flights and tariffs are extra).
At Pelican Reef, not far from Sandy Bay, is the Coral Bay Dive Resort (tel. 504/9695-9557, www.coralbay.ca, US$1,169 pp diver, US$1,056 pp nondiver, with discounts available during the low season), also highly recommended. The resort offers a number of classes in addition to regular dives, including Open Water referral for PADI, SSI, NAUI, and ACUC for US$210, or the full Open Water course for US$375. Nondivers should bear in mind that the resort pool is occasionally in use for dive instruction in the mornings. Nightly rates are US$140–186. They can arrange to pick you up by boat from Roatán, a 90-minute ride, and have plans to work with Rollins Air for transfers from Roatán by air in the future.
Construction was nearing completion at the time of writing at G&G’s Clearwater Paradise (tel. 504/3303-7444, U.S. tel. 512/452-6990, www.clearwaterparadise.com), a small resort with eight guest rooms near Mangrove Bight. G&G stands for owners George and Ginger—both divers themselves, and Ginger reputedly a fine cook. The hotel restaurant, Paradise Bar and Grill, is built out over the water.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition