The Cayos Cochinos National Marine Monument is located 20 km (12 miles) north of the Caribbean coast of Honduras, on a wide, shallow continental shelf 30 km (18.6 miles) south of the Bay Islands. It is made up of two larger islands and thirteen small cays which are part of the greater Bay Islands archipelago, which in turn is part of the second largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Reef System (MAR), a coherent ecological unit comprising a number of unique features in the Atlantic Ocean with a geographical extension of some (1,000 km/620 miles).
Recreational Opportunities Available
Cayo Cochinos is a very important area for biodiversity and connectivity of the eco-region, and is home to many different representative samples of oceanic and coastal habitats.
It contains approximately 66 species of hard coral, coral reefs, atolls, a diversity of commercial species (lobster, conch, shrimp and fish). It is also visited by whale sharks, sea turtles and other iconic species and contains critical habitats for breeding, nesting and foraging such as sea grasses and mangroves.
The Cayos Cochinos National Marine Monument can be visited throughout the year, any day of the week. Navigation to and from the protected area is recommended during daytime hours and not at night time.
The largest numbers of tourists visit during the months of March to May which correspond to the dry season in Honduras. Low season occurs during October to December when hurricane activity and bad weather increase in the Caribbean Sea.
Fees (if any)
Admission fee may vary by type of tourist or visitor. Entrance fees ranges from USD $2.00 for National Visitors and USD $5.00 for foreigners with a Local Tour Operator. Foreigners that visit with a tour operator that is not registered as a local tour operator will be charged an entrance fee of US $10 per person.
Actions taken to promote environmental or social sustainability
As a measure of sustainability any vessel or visitor must register and report their entrance at the research station located on Cayo Menor where HCRF staff would provide information on Rules and Regulations within the Cayos Cochinos National Marine Monument. These rules make sure that visitors have a minimal impact during their stay.