Whenever one dreams about flying away to an exotic vacation spot, the image that most frequently comes to mind has to be that of a tiny little island lost at sea, with a lonesome palm tree growing on powdered white sand, enveloped by calm blue waters as far as the eye can see. Don’t tell anybody just yet, but a place just like that does exist, and you can experience it for real in the island of Roatan, in Honduras of all places. So wake up, fly on down, and take a boat trip to this tropical paradise and hidden gem known as Pigeon Cay. This is an isolated atoll located on the south side of the island of Barbareta, the easternmost section of Roatan. The cay sits in the middle of a lagoon with a fringing reef nearby that slopes down into deeper waters. These geographical features help create the most varied assortment of blue hues ever imagined. We can guarantee you will be amazed by the stunning scenery found in this tiny patch of land barely peeking above sea level, which is highlighted by a pristine white sand beach on one side of the cay, and a narrow line of brush with literally three palm trees swaying with the warm breeze on the other.
A trip to this dreamy Caribbean getaway, usually involves a full day trip and a one to two hour-long journey each way, depending on where you set sail from in Roatan and the type of horsepower available in your vessel. The price can vary with different tour operators, their level of professionalism, and the services provided, so if you want a comfortable trip and one where you are well taken care of, expect to dish at least USD $100.00 going as high as $200.00 if you are planning on going diving. One thing is certain, the beauty of the place will surely compensate for the price.
Getting to Pigeon Cay is half the fun as you are pretty much booking an island tour, and getting a view of Roatan not many get to see, in the process. On your way there, you will pass by several of the smaller Roatan islands like Santa Helena, Morat and Barabareta the most easterly of Roatan’s satellite islands. In fact, by the time you get to Pigeon Cay, you will have traveled so much to the east that the neighboring Bay Island of Guanaja, will come into full view.
The main attraction in Pigeon Cays is not just its stark photographic potential which could easily land your best panoramic shot on the cover of any travel magazine, but the fact that it is also a snorkeler’s and diver’s paradise. The 30m/100ft visibility allows for the bouquet-like coral agglomerations to shine bright in color as they decorate extended patches of white sand with large barrel sponges, colorful tree-like gorgonias, and large and small brain coral formations. This flat and shallow terrain gives way to a spectacular sloping wall that creates an alien-like environment filled with large concentrations of fish of all colors, shapes and sizes, nonchalantly swimming by.
Do keep in mind that such a beautiful place does draw attention to others so don’t feel disappointed if on a beautiful day, when the waters are nice and calm and the sun burns hot and high, you arrive to pigeon cay, expecting to find that secluded island escape, only to find a small group of tourists relaxing on lounge chairs feasting on some snacks. Fortunately there are no resorts here and the lounge chairs as well as their respective owners, do go back to where they came from and Pigeon Cay returns to its original deserted glory, except perhaps for that one and only resident – a lonesome iguana which does not mind posing for your camera lens at close range (check out the image!). Point is, that we want to keep this area pristine for all to admire so when you do visit, remember to always act responsible and think sustainably. This means not throwing cigarette butts into the ocean, removing the trash that you bring with you, and never EVER touch or take corals or any other marine organisms home as souvenirs.
So go on, stop dreaming of your next vacation, book your flight to Roatan, get yourself a tour operator, and set your bearings heading east towards Pigeon Cay, sit back, and enjoy the scenery because it is going to be a beautiful one.