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The Cayos Cochinos can be reached only by boat, most often via a day trip from La Ceiba. The trip takes approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the tide. The easiest way to get there is either by staying at the Plantation Beach Resort, which provides transportation, or by visiting on a tour with Garífuna Tours (tel. 504/2440-3252) in La Ceiba, which runs almost-daily snorkel tours to the cays, including a stop for lunch at Chachauate. This tour runs L650 adults.

It is also possible to reach the cays from the towns of Sambo Creek and Nueva Armenia by hiring a local boatman or fisherman, but sometimes you must get a small group together to make it affordable. One such boatman who runs trips is Omar Acosta (tel. 504/2408-1666; L665 per person). Dive boats frequently come on day trips from Roatán, while yachts from around the Caribbean moor here, as well.

To enter the Cayos Cochinos, you must pay a L190 fee (L100 when you come with a tour operator) at the Fundación Cayos Cochinos research station on Cayo Menor.

Volunteer Opportunities in the Cayos Cochinos

Research and volunteering opportunities in the Cayos Cochinos are run in conjunction with the Honduras Coral Reef Fund (tel. 504/2442-2670; www.cayoscochinos.org). The organization leads all scientific research on the islands, which includes surveying the reef, protecting sea turtle nesting sites, collecting data on the pink boas, and establishing ecotourism projects on Chachauate, among other tasks. There are basic accommodations at the HCRF Marine Research Center on Cayo Menor. Bookings and 12-day scheduled programs are run through Biosphere Expeditions (www.biosphere-expeditions.org); you must have a PADI open-water certification for some programs.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.