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Guanaja is one of the Bay Islands off the northern coast of Honduras. It is about 70 km (43 mi) off the north coast of Honduras, and 12 km (7.5 mi) from the island of Roatan.


Black Rock Point Lighthouse, at the northeast end on the island

One of the cays off Guanaja, also called Guanaja or Bonacca or Low Cay (or just simply, The Cay), is near the main island, and contains most of the approximately 5,500 people who live in Guanaja (2015). The other two main settlements on Guanaja are Mangrove Bight and Savannah Bight. Smaller settlements includes Pelican Reef, East End and North East Bight.

It is inhabited by the Caracol people, an English-speaking people who have been established in Northern Honduras (specifically, the Bay Islands) since the early 19th century and are mainly of European British-Caribbean descent. Caracol is a Spanish term that means conch, snail or shell, and relates the people of the Bay Islands to their unique environment and their seafaring culture.

English is the first language of all native islanders regardless of race, and Spanish is spoken second, whereas mainland Honduras is primarily Spanish-speaking.

The primary source of income for the islanders is fishing and shrimping. Tourism is confined to a handful of small resorts that cater to divers, snorkellers and adventure travellers. The island's warm, clear waters support an extensive coral reef that is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and second only to the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.

The residents of Guanaja have a different culture, so each important date in the year should be highlighted; for example, on September 15 (independence from Honduras), October 31 (Halloween), December 25 (Christmas) etc. What they call Old Junk or Junkanoo (old garbage) is a group of people in masks wearing old rags even up to palm trees and running through the streets of El Cayo or The Key they consider it something very fun to be part of their culture and something that has been done for years.

Get in


There are flights from the Honduran mainland town of La Ceiba and a twice-weekly ferry from Trujillo. Along with private boats and charter planes, there are now flights from Roatan to Guanaja daily.

Get around


While there is one road, from Mangrove Bight to Savannah Bight, the most common means of transportation are boats.

There are some cars and small motorcycles for rent, but the road is only two miles long.




  • Hike to the top of the island, where you can clearly see the coast line (on a clear day) as well as getting the full perspective of the entire island and surrounding reef.
  • There is a beautiful nature hike to the waterfall on the north side of the island.
  • See also
Main topic: Diving in Honduras









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