Guanaja in the Bay Islands
Guanaja is one of the main islands that are part of the Bay Islands, the famous archipelago in the Caribbean side of Honduras, famous because tourists from all over the world go to the Bay Islands looking for diving adventures and looking to enjoy some of the most beautiful sea paradises in the world, no kidding, it´s absolutely true. We the Honduran people feel very proud about the Bay Islands, and there are many reasons for that.
Going back to Guanaja, we we´re saying that Guanaja is one of the main islands on this archipelago. The biggest island is Roatan, followed by Guanaja. Most tourists going to the Bay Islands know more about Roatan, but not many people know about Guanaja and other nearby islands.
Guanaja is located at the East of Roatan, and it has the characteristic of being a mountaineous island, it is like an entire mountain covering almost all available area on the island.
The main town in Guanaja is located in the nearby cay of Bonnaca. Most of the 10,000 people living in Guanaja are settled in Bonnaca. That little cay is completely crowded, there is not space left for anyone else. There is a lot of space on the main island though. For some reason most everybody in Guanaja decided to live in the cay, it seemed that the only flat land available on the island was that cay.
There are no streets and no cars in Bonnaca cay, there are only waterways that run through all the cay inside out, it´s somehow very similar to Venice in Italy.
Guanaja is also known as the Island of Pine Trees. The mountains in Guanaja have thousands and thousands of pine trees, just like the mountains all over Honduras' mainland. It´s like a typical Honduras mountain had been transported to this island.
Back in 1988 when Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras so hard, unfortunately all pine trees in Guanaja just disappeared, the Hurricane impacted so hard the Bay Islands and especially Guanaja that the mountains on Guanaja were left looking very much like a desert. Hurricane Mitch was a huge Category 5 hurricane that hit directly the Bay Islands, and to make things worse this hurricane didn´t move for 2 days, it stayed with no movement for 2 days hitting Guanaja with all the power it had. However mother nature has been very nice with this paradisiac place, 13 years after Hurricane Mitch things have slowly recovered and Guanaja is once again the Pine Trees Island.
Things in Guanaja are very quiet, and definitely things are much more relaxed in Guanaja compared to Roatan, the neighbor island. In order to get to Guanaja, most people get there by boat from Roatan and La Ceiba. However, there is also a small airport for local airlines that fly to Guanaja from La Ceiba. There´s also a ferry boat going to Guanaja from Trujillo in the mainland, I believe that ferry has a weekly itinerary.
As we said before, there are no cars and no roads in Bonnaca cay. However there is a road in the main island of Guanaja, but it´s only about 2 miles long. There are a couple of cars and motorcicles in the island using the road every once in a while. A few years ago people in Honduras knew that there were only 3 cars in the whole island. I guess on these days perhaps there are a few more of them, or maybe not. Cars are not very much in demand in Guanaja, people just don´t need them.
Guanaja is very much appreciated by diving tourists, they just love places like Guanaja where things are pretty much in its natural state, it´s a paradise for divers, and not only for divers but everybody.