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Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

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Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

First of all, thank you to all the posters on this forum. We got a lot of good ideas and suggestions that made our trip so much better.

We (my husband and I and our two adult children) were scheduled to be on Roatan 5/21 – 5/28. Thanks to Continental, our trip didn’t actually begin until 5/22. I won’t talk about Continental any further.

The short version… We had a great time. The snorkeling was good (excellent in some places), the food was amazing, and the people were all friendly and helpful. We had a few language issues but my daughter is a fairly fluent Spanish speaker so, as long as she was there, we were fine. Certainly nothing that caused a problem.

There is a more detailed description of our activities below if anyone wants to read through the entire thing. It’s pretty long so you might want another cup of coffee.

Thanks again to all who contribute here and help the rest of us have such awesome vacations!! We loved Roatan and would definitely go back.

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1. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

Where we stayed:

We rented a house, Las Arenas, in Sandy Bay. I would guess that the property is near the East end of Sandy Bay. Just a little to the East of the Underwater Museum. The house was perfect for us. It is right on the beach with a great dock that was shared by only one other house. The house was very clean and had a/c (for an extra charge) throughout which worked well. There were good screens on all the windows for those who would prefer to let the breeze blow through. There was an on-site caretaker and we never felt unsafe. We rented the house through Roatan Property Management and couldn’t have been happier with their service. We didn’t actually have any issues while we were there, but they were very prompt with answers to my many, many questions before we arrived and I felt as though the house was as advertised.

We did rent a 4WD 4-door small pickup. If you intend to do any exploring toward the East end of the island, I would definitely recommend 4WD. You could probably get along without it but some places would be tough going. Driving was a bit of an adventure and will provide some great vacation stories!

Bugs:

For the most part, I used the Bug Spray mentioned in other posts on this forum and Avon’s Skin So Soft lotion. I got very few bites. Amazingly few since I am a person who is normally a bug magnet. We also had the regular Off with Deet which I used on occasion. Others in my family, who don’t normally get bitten, had many more bites than I did. They relied mostly on the Off. For the most part, the bites seemed to be sand fleas and, in our case, didn’t really itch very much. There were also some mosquito bites. I did take an Aveeno Moisturizing Bar of soap (which was mentioned in an earlier post) and my daughter thought that it did help some with the itching.

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2. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

Things we did:

Spirit of Free Radical catamaran with Julie and Ed

This turned out to be a perfect day. We had been scheduled to go to Pigeon Cays but the weather did not cooperate. Instead we had two great snorkeling stops at the Cow and the Calf ‘islands’ and a sunken ship. We thought the coral was prettier around the islands and that there was a greater variety of fish at the sunken ship on the day we were there. They brought kayaks along so we could kayak through the mangroves – with a tow back to the ship when we got tired of paddling!! The food provided on the ship was excellent! There were fresh fruit skewers for breakfast, the best fresh salsa we’ve had (and we make our own each summer), pizza bread and garlic bread. And then there was lunch – chicken and shrimp kabobs with rice, Caesar salad, and cheesecake for dessert. There were plenty of cold sodas, beer, and water throughout the day. We thoroughly enjoyed our day with Julie, Ed, and their crew.

Marble Hill Farms

We tasted all the jams and jellies (which are made there on site) – and had a hard time choosing which ones to bring home. It was still a little early for lunch at the Crow’s Nest restaurant so we hung out in the hammocks on their dock for awhile. Lunch at the Crow’s Nest was excellent!! We had ceviche as a shared appetizer, fish tacos, a small ‘build your own’ pizza, a pulled pork sandwich, and a Greek salad. It was all great and too much food for the four of us. The people there were very friendly. After our time at Marble Hill Farms we drove on down the road to Camp Bay and spent some time there on the beach.

Pirates of the Caribbean zipline tour

The rest of my family went on the Extreme Zip Line tour here. Some had been ziplining before and some had not. They all had a good time and would do it again. Since I didn’t go, I can’t really comment more than that.

Hole in the Wall restaurant and bar

This was an interesting lunch excursion one day. It was definitely fun and unusual. The food was good and the beer cold. I’m not sure we would go again because there are other things to do that we didn’t find time for. Maybe we would go for the all you can eat BBQ?

Shopping in West End

This is definitely the ‘tourist’ shopping area. Fun shops with t-shirts and a variety of other items. We did our part to support several of the shops. 

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3. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

Snorkeling

Okay, this was really why we chose Roatan for our vacation. We were looking for a place with good snorkeling from shore. We tried several places:

Las Arenas, Sandy Bay (in front of our house) – The snorkeling here was good once you got out past the sea grass. The water entry is sandy and then sea grass. The best thing was to walk out to the end of the dock. There was still sea grass, but you could start floating about there. The reef wasn’t too terribly far away – definitely within swimming distance.

Blue Bahia, Sandy Bay – Again, the snorkeling was pretty good once you got past the sea grass. We saw many (lots) of sea stars in this area. The main problem was the water entry was more muddy than sandy and rather unpleasant. Someone suggested we try here – so we did. We wouldn’t do it again.

West Bay – This was (of course) our favorite snorkeling area. The beach, water entry, and the snorkeling were all great. The water was very clear. We started in front of Infinity Bay, more or less. One day we went toward the wall and one day more straight out from the beach. In both cases, the coral and variety of sea life were great. We went early in the morning and, even on cruise ship days, didn’t find West Bay to be too crowded. (We probably left before most of the cruise folks got over there.)

West End – We rented our flippers from Roatan Marine Park in West End ($5/day) so we snorkeled there our last morning before having to return the flippers. We started out to the left (facing the bay), went around and then back by the submarine. More or less following the path described on the map by the church. This was another good place. I preferred West Bay, but this was very nice. I and my daughter were stung by something in the water – possibly small jelly fish?? We both had a few small red spots that looked like mosquito bites and hurt enough to notice at the time. We didn’t actually see anything in the water that we thought might have caused it. There was also a ‘crackling’ noise (a little like Rice Krispies) that we could hear as we were snorkeling in a couple of places. The guys didn’t notice the noise or get bitten.

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4. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

Places we ate:

Blue Bahia – We came here twice. It was very good, with nice seating by the water perfect for the sunsets, and convenient to our house.

Blue Parrot – We liked it here. Unfortunately, they (and a lot of other places) were out of fish that day. I had Caribbean Jerk chicken with black beans and rice which was quite good. I don’t remember what the others ate but everyone was happy.

Gio’s in Flowers Bay – Apparently this Gio’s location had opened only a few days before we arrived. Another place that we went twice. There was a choice of seating outside, inside, and inside with a/c. We always chose to sit outside by the water. The food was all great. Well, the grilled calamari wasn’t quite as good as the other meals we had. The Plato Tipico (Typical Honduran Plate) was excellent.

Lighthouse Restaurant – We sat out next to the railing by the water. This was a lovely place to sit but probably a little too dark for eating since there was not any lights out there. They did bring us a lantern when it got dark. The food was good and we enjoyed the meal.

Bite on the Beach – We had lunch here one day. The lunch selections seemed a little limited. Everything we had was very good – two fish sandwiches, a Greek salad, and something that I can’t remember. It was a great place to hang out by the water, take a stroll down the board walk, have a drink…

Crow’s Next – Described above.

Hole in the Wall – Described above.

Kootenays
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5. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

Thanks. Great report.

Los Angeles
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6. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

Thanks for your report. We can't wait to go in two weeks!

Alabama
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7. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

Enjoyed the trip report. Sounds like you had a great time!

8. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

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9. Re: Trip Report - 5/21 - 5/28

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