Sailboat Charter to Cayos Cochinos
Vacation Date: August 2007
Report Date: 29th August 2007
Author: Dr Emma Shaw, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.
I recently had the pleasure of going on one of Rusty's Cayos Cochinos tours. I promised him that I would write a review of it for the web site and send some photos. He didn't believe me so I am here to prove him wrong - I do keep my word.
This tour has to have been the highlight of a 2 month trip around Central America for me and only came about as a result of me changing my flight to Panama and staying on Utila longer than I intended. This is a trip that anyone with a sense of adventure and a yearning to see some untouched paradise should go on.
The tour starts with a quick tour of Brazens in's and out's while Rusty does his thing and get the show on the road (so to speak!). The 4 hour sail over to the islands gives you the perfect opportunity to find those sea legs and work on the tan as Rusty casts a line to see what goodies he might catch along the way. On arrival at Cayos it is clear that this is an area that has thankfully escaped the mass tourism occurring in so many other remote untouched areas of the world. All it takes to realize this is to jump off the back of the boat and you are on the most beautiful area of un-spoilt reef that is so close that there is no real need to dive here if you really don't want to. As someone who is unable to dive through ear problems I had felt frustrated in so many other areas of reef that I have visited. This place rectified that and left me feeling that despite not diving I had managed to get the full reef experience here.
Following a hearty and extremely tasty home cooked meal you are give the option of going onto one of the islands for a walk to the pirates lookout or one of the secluded beaches. Or you could simply sit with a cold beer and watch the sun set. The next morning started with a dawn snorkel on the reef while a leisurely breakfast was prepared. Then off to the other side of the island to snorkel off the head coral patches. Be prepared to be stunned by the sheer diversity and beauty of this area and feeling that you want to set up camp and stay on these islands for good. After a quick trip back to the boat there is the opportunity to go and visit one of the Garifuna villages.
This is something not to be missed. You get to visit a village that is really an island with pure sandy beaches and turquoise sea. Here there is the chance to buy some local crafts and even to pick your own shells, or in my case ring that will be made for you while you relax with a beer or take a dip in the pristine water. This was all topped off with a trip back to the boat for another hearty home cooked meal before relaxing with a beers watching the sun go down. The final morning gives you one last opportunity to snorkel the reef before a bite to eat and the long sail back to Utila.
This is a trip that should not be missed and once you have been on it you will be raving about it to friends for years to come. I feel privilege to have had the opportunity to spend time around Cayos Cochinos and have seen the un-spoilt beauty first hand. The trip was out of this world and the added bonus of Rusty as captain and tour guide made it all the more fun and entertaining.
This is one you have to do before you die!
Emma (the spider lady)