Between Oak Ridge and Punta Gorda, a dirt road turns off the highway to the east, marked by a sign for the Paya Bay Beach and Dive Resort (tel. 504/435-1037, U.S. tel. 866/323-5414, www.payabay.com, US$1,479 pp for weeklong dive packages, US$1,247 for nondivers). Far, far off the beaten path, this small hotel is set on a bluff above the ocean, at the point of two lovely, secluded beach-fronted bays.
While the decor is a bit dated, who’s looking at the furniture when every room has a water view and balcony? The steady breezes keep the rooms cool day and night, although all rooms also have air-conditioning. Daily rates are available, and the nightly rate for room-only is US$150, with dives US$35 each.
The dive shop has gear for 30 people and offers Open Water certification; guests can dive many infrequently visited sites on the north side and around Barbareta. Flats-fishing and hiking are available as well as the usual snorkel and scuba.
The resort claims to be at its most stunning leading up to and during the full moon and, conveniently, lists those dates on its website, as well as the dates of its “naturist” (clothing-optional) weeks.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition