If you’re looking for a romantic hotspot to take the love of your life to for St. Valentine’s day, why not try the unspoilt Bay Islands of Honduras? Honduras is a rapidly changing Central American country with an expanding tourist economy but the locals remain laid back and the islands retain their paradisiacal character. Discovered by Christopher Columbus, the islands lie on the southern terminus of the marine-life-packed Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world, making it a water-lover’s dream.
You can lie on a palm-fringed white-sand beach, cooled by the trade winds, surrounded by clear turquoise water, or if beach boredom sets in, there’s fabulous diving and snorkelling to keep you busy. The Parque Nacional Jeannette Kawas offers nature trails, exotic plants, and howler monkeys and Lago de Yojoa in Honduras' lake region has world-class bird-watching, waterfalls and outstanding national parks, reports the Lonely Planet.
Cruise ships now call in to Roatán, the most visited of the islands and perhaps the one that offers the most comfort to families and the forty plus, whilst the sand streets, exciting diving and cheap accommodation of Utila appeal to backpackers and indie travellers.
The islands of Roatán, Utila and Guanaja were home to 5000 pirates and buccaneers, including the infamous ‘Blackbeard’ (Henry Morgan). These days, the Bay Islands are better known for their laid-back life style and tropical vibe.