guanaja view from southern point of island
southern most point of island
photo by Luis Feldman

Guanaja Island History

For those looking for privacy and seclusion, this is the place to go. There is only one road on the island and most resorts are located at different points around the island which are only accessible by boat.

The Island. Guanaja, or Pine Island as named by Christopher Columbus, is the most mountainous of the three islands off the coast of Honduras that make up the archipelago called The Bay Islands. The island has an abundance of year-round fresh water springs, creeks and even waterfalls and is known for its spectacular diving and Caribbean pine trees. Of the three islands, Guanaja is the most undiscovered and pristine.

The Reefs. The coral reefs and 45 dive sites of Guanaja are some of the best in the world. They are part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef system which starts in Belize and is the 2nd largest reef in the world after the Australian Great Barrier Reef.

Location and Size. The size of Guanaja is about 3x11 miles and the landscape is both lush and mountainous as well as a rugged and more dry in some areas - one peak rises to almost 1400 feet. The island is located approximately 18 miles east of Roatan and 30 miles north of the mainland of Honduras. Guanaja is one of the last remaining unspoiled paradises in the Caribbean.  

Population - There are 3 towns on the island: Bonacca, Mangrove Bight, and Savannah Bight. The majority of the population (approx. 10,000 total) lives on Bonacca which is actually a cay off the main island. Bonacca has been called the Venice of the Caribbean because of bridges and canals that connect the community. 

The People - The native islanders of Guanaja are descendents of the original immigrants from the Bahamas and Cayman Islands in the early 1800s. More recently, people from the mainland of Honduras have moved to Guanaja as well. Today the population is a delightful mix of individuals who speak a distinctive English/Caribbean dialect.