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Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

sharon, ma
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Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

My wife and I are planning a vacation to the Bay Islands the second week in July. I am a certified diver and have heard great things about diving there, my wife is not certified, but wants to get certified on our vacation. We are both in our early 30's and want a mix of relaxation and variety of things to do.

Does anyone have a recomendation of which island to stay on and suggestion for resort/hotels to stay. Also, we have received mixed messages regarding whether or not you can actually swim with Whale Sharks off of Utila. Can you legally do this or not?

Any advice would be greatly apreciated.

Guatemala City...
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1. Re: Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

Yes you snokel or scuba with the whale sharks.. there are a few companies that will take you on these tours off utila.

i suggest roatan if your looking for alittle more comfort..bigger island..more activites/night life resturants.

Utila is very small...alittle rustic...laid back..

dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

Utila is much smaller, but we much preferred it to Roatan. Utila is very rustic compared to Cozumel and such, but we loved that about it. My advice would be to stay @ the Utila Lodge, which is also the location of the Whale Shark Research Center. None of the dive shops will take you scuba diving with the sharks, that we heard of anyway. They are protected, and local shops are asked to abide by the rules of encounter. If you happen upon them while diving, that's another story. We were able to go out on the WSORC research boat, and witness (snorkeling) them tagging 2 different whale sharks. It was the experience of a lifetime! When they are feeding, which is the only way you can really find them anyway, they are VERY near the surface, or on the surface, so just snorkeling with them brought us very close and we got some great pics.

Mango Inn is very nice, but not very close to their dive center. Sand flies are bad everywhere, but we didn't find ordinary repellents to work well, unless they were oil based. Anything really oily, even baby oil, did a better job than Deet products. Hope this helps! If you have questions, email me at DebDenney@aol.com

Oregon
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3. Re: Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

I have seen some really good all inclusive deals from Anthony Key Resort on the island of Roatan. My husband and I own property on a small island near Utila, but if you want safe and comfortable boats and nice cabins to relax in, I think AKR is a great place for your first visit to this area. Check Sport Diver magazine or website. You can swim with their rescued dolphins there. (no personal experience) They have done a lot to protect the reefs on these islands. On the other hand I agree that Utila leans toward the Jimmy Buffet style and there is a great mix of races and cultures there. Both Utila and Roatan have decompression chambers that add to the safety for a beginning diver. You will spend more time on Roatan traveling around by public taxi (shared) which is very cheap. None of the towns I've seem in these islands are worth seeing if you're looking for markets or fab dining, but we are divers not shoppers so I don't know.

Oregon
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4. Re: Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

PS - I think that July is LATE for whale sharks, they are most common I believe a bit earlier in spring (March to May) when there is a Snapper repro event going on. I've heard they're very shy and you must use a snorkel, but again I don't know. To protect these giants definitely travel with a well respected dive company as recommended....

San Fransisco
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5. Re: Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

I don't know if you have checked out the West Bay Beach area of Roatan but if you would also like to stay on a nice beach within a short distance to the reef just off the shore you might check out that location. We stayed at one of the beach houses in the West Bay Village. www.westbayvillage.com.

missouri
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6. Re: Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

We just got back from AKR and there was a variety of things to do there too. Diving was good and you got 3 dives a day with them and 2 night dives. THe dolphins are a water taxi ride over that is included in the reosrt. We did the dolphin encounter at the Bailey's Key area that took about 1 hour for $25. that was a lot of fun .Diving and snorkeling with them is more expensive, but depends on what you want to do and what you want to spend.. THey have activities throughout the week that are included with your package like the beach picnic on Monday, Fiesta night is Wed. on the Key where you have BBQ, fire dancers another group of native dancers and crab races. Horseback riding on the beach was fun too. The pool on the Key is very nice and a lot of people go there after diving to hang out and talk about their day of diving.

The cabins are very nice. We stayed on the Key and in the non air condition, but I would think in July you would want the air conditioned room. We stayed in room 44 and 45 which was right on the tip of the key and a very nice breeze with a huge area out front with hammocks and lounge chairs. IF you want to see some pictures of our trip from the rooms to the things on the resort email me and I can send you some. twickell@earthlink.net

Also the food was very good and the service was top rated . You had a variety to pick from each day and each meal. You could even do the combo and have a little of each entree. Everyone was very nice and always there to help.

Carlos was the cab driver to get that just takes the AKR people. We had him several days that week to either take us on the 5 hour tour, of the Island, zip line tour and tropical gardens, West End at night etc.. He was verry nice and very helpful with the money change and helping with the post office in mailing things back.

Any other question just email me if I can help. Have fun becuase it goes really fast!!!

Tammy

7. Re: Advise on where to go and stay on the Bay Islands

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