Cayos Cochinos: A Scuba Divers Dream Come True

Not many people know about this amazing archipelago only 20 miles from the most well known island of Roatan. Cayos Cochinos comprises 15 small islands lost in the turquoise Caribbean waters surrounded by amazing underwater banks and seamounts. 

Not many people know about this amazing archipelago only 20 miles from the most well known island of Roatan. Cayos Cochinos comprises 15 small islands lost in the turquoise Caribbean waters surrounded by amazing underwater banks and seamounts. 
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EVERY DIVER HAS DREAMED AT LEAST ONCE TO DIVE ON PRISTINE REEFS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN.

 
- Testing the adventure
- Feeling the thrill of a new discovery
- Experiencing unspoiled underwater surprises
 
" THIS IS DIVING IN CAYOS COCHINOS "
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The seamounts of Cayos Cochinos are a reef formation characterized by a range of large underwater mountains that rise from the bottom depths of the reef to shallower depths. Average depths of the mountain peaks extend up from 70 feet deep (20 meters) to 40 feet deep (12 meters). The seamounts, being further out from shore and surrounded by the ocean current, are home to a vast array of sea life and a vibrant reef structure. Because of their location, 17 miles from Roatan, and due to weather conditions that do not always permit dive boats to reach them, the seamounts, also called Roatan Banks, are essentially unspoiled.
Just a couple of miles south of the seamounts lies the archipelago, where white sandy beaches welcome visitors ready to experience the simple life of the Garifuna, the only inhabitants of Cayos Cochinos.
But the Seamounts are only one of the many great diving opportunities that can be found around the Cayos Cochinos. Amazing banks and more seamounts are pretty much everywhere on the east and west side of the archipelago following this small segment of the huge Meso-American Barrier Reef, which is the second largest coral reef system on earth.
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The Archipelago

The Cayos Cochinos is a beautiful archipelago of 15 islands that belongs to the Bay Islands Department. It is situated south of Roatán and less than 19 miles from La Ceiba on the northern shore of Honduras. It consists of 2 main islands called Cayo Menor and Cayo Grande and 13 smaller ones, with a total land area measuring about 0.8 sq mi (less than 2 sq km). Some of these islands are very small, basically just a few square feet of sand with a couple of palm trees surrounded by turquoise crystal clear water, a real tropical paradise.The Cayos Cochinos are inhabited only by the Graifuna people. They live in 2 small fishing villages, Chachauate and East End. They are mainly fishermen and they are the only ones allowed to fish in the Cayos Cochinos Marine Reserve. According to the the last census taken 2011, the total population is 108 inhabitants.

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The entire archipelago is a Marine Protected Area and is managed by Cayos Cochinos foundation with the head office and a scientific research station on Cayo Menor. There are no roads, cars or scooters in Cayos Cochinos, the islands are only accessible by boat.

The government has taken serious actions to preserve this place and has made its water the healthiest and most pristine marine life habitat in the Bay Islands and we want to keep it like that.

That's why we ask our divers to enjoy this wonderful place and at the same time to respect the Cayos Cochinos Archipelago and the Garifuna people that live on it.

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The entire archipelago is a Marine Protected Area and is managed by Cayos Cochinos foundation with the head office and a scientific research station on Cayo Menor. There are no roads, cars or scooters in Cayos Cochinos, the islands are only accessible by boat.

The government has taken serious actions to preserve this place and has made its water the healthiest and most pristine marine life habitat in the Bay Islands and we want to keep it like that.

That's why we ask our divers to enjoy this wonderful place and at the same time to respect the Cayos Cochinos Archipelago and the Garifuna people that live on it.

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Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are the only inhabitants of Cayos Cochinos. They are originally from St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the east side of the Caribbean sea and they are descendants of an unique and very fascinating mixed-race combination of Amerindian Arawak, Carib from Kalinago and African people. Their first ancestors, the Amerindian Arawak and the Carib migrated from South America and settled down on St. Vincent way before the Europeans arrived, probably around 1200. Later on in 1635 two Spanish ships carrying hundreds of Nigerians shipwrecked nearby, the surviving slaves found help and hospitality on the island among the Carib-Arawak population adding the last contribution to the Garifuna ethnicity. Since then they lived peacefully until the early 1700s when French showed interest in the islands, starting a war that the Garifuna who fought bravely for their freedom and independence, forcing the French to forging an alliance that lasted for decades. Unlikely when the British took over the French interests in the area they were not interested in a peaceful cooperation with the Garifuna giving start to the 1st Carib war in 1776 that lasted 7 years until 1783 when the British were beaten and forced to sign a peace treaty. British broke the treaty 22 years later starting the 2nd Carib war, this time with more soldiers, army and better organized were able to defeat the Garifuna that very hardly finally surrendered in 1796. Many Garifuna were captured and exiled to a closer island where many of them died of malnutrition and disease. A year later the approximately 2000 surviving Garifunas were sent by ship to Roatán. Nowadays over 800,000 are the descendants of the original Garifuna ethnic group. Some of them still live in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines but other communities are in Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Belize and a large group have moved to the United States. Garifuna people are very proud of their origins and history, they have kept their language, costumes and cultural traditions.

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In 2001, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared the Garifuna culture a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, same for the Cayos Cochinos Archipelago declared a World Heritage Site later in 2015.

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