We had a nice visit at Mango Creek in 2006 - don't know how much it's changed since then. The 1st 17 photos below are from there.
You might also consider Camp Bay Beach, which has changed owners since I was there but is another terrific, off the beaten path spot:
Here's the photo set for that visit in 2011:
This is really a matter of taste. Our first year we stayed one week each at West Bay and West End and found it a great introduction. Since then we've looked for places less active and just visited the two busier places when we felt like it.
We have no experience with the remoter locations. I know I'd have a problem spending a whole week in a place where I could only eat at one restaurant three meals a day and could only get to other spots by boat - unless I totally loved the place and the people.
Of course, I'll never know - our budget wouldn't allow us to stay at Mango Creek. We kind of think we'll end up doing a week at Camp Bay someday... based mostly on Hopefulists' glowing description...
Stacy and I were typing at the same time - and I didn't remember she had also stayed at Mango.
I believe her husband is a fisherman, which does affect their choice of locations - if I read Mango's description properly, they are seriously into fishing.
Under the Camp Bay photos, check out the miniature habitat for little bitty crabs she invented!
i think Mango Creek would consider itself a fishing destination, though there's no rule that says you HAVE to fish. Your companions would probably be fanatical fishermen. It offers great isolation, if that's what you want. No way in or out but by boat. I spent a week over there hoping to do some snorkeling, but the wind and waves knocked that out. It's a mangrove shore with no beach but you could sit on the dock and contemplate mainland Honduras across the water. There are many isolated places around Roatan, but MC is really isolated. At least you wouldn't have the expense of renting a car. If you do want a beach and snorkeling, maybe you want the north side of the island.
Wow, this is a tough one.
Hopefulist, your photos look amazing. I don't mind the remoteness, especially since we'll also be spending a week in West End, but we'd be going for the snorkelling, sailing etc. NOT for fishing...and it would be a downer if we spent a week there and couldn't do any of that.
Is West Bay worth staying at - separately from West End? It seems easy enough to visit from West End. But maybe the vibe is different...
Budget is definitely a consideration, so I want to be sure of our choice before shelling out $$$ for Mango Creek.
For budget, look at a week's rental in Sandy Bay. If you've already spent a week in West End, you'll know how stuff works there and West Bay... Sandy Bay can be less expensive, has great snorkeling (albeit a couple of hundred yards out to the reef), sailing without all the boat traffic of the more busy places if you can get a boat (some rentals provide them) plus a windsurfer school, dolphis at Anthony's...
You can take the boat taxi from w/e to w/b easy enough to spend some time there while your staying in w/e. Last year we spent a week at Camp Bay and a week in Sandy Bay. We also spent at day at Mango, I went fishing and she took a relaxing day in one of their overwater cabanas, my girlfriend said it was the most relaxing day of her trip. I wouldn't say its a fishing lodge, I was the only fisherman there that day and they had a couple of other guests. Like others have said there isn't a beach at the lodge but you can take their kayaks to nearby cays with beaches. They have some of the best snorkeling that I experienced on Roatan near their lodge.
Whatever you decide I would suggest that you spend your second week somewhere other than w/b to get a feel for other parts of the island. If we weren't going to Guanaja this year we would be spending a few days at Mango.
Mango Creek was a 25th anniversary/delayed honeymoon splurge for us - Mike spent most of a week while I was in La Ceiba studying Spanish and then I joined him for the last 3 nights. The food was good but we also prefer to have some options and especially love doing most of our own cooking, partly because the shopping is fun for us in new markets.
They'll take you snorkeling whenever you ask, at least that was the way it was when we were there. There are some nice spots, fo tru - cool islands and wrecks. You can access the same ones from Camp Bay because there's a cut in the mangroves.
On a sad note, the fish population has been decimated on that end of the island. You still see some reef fish, though I'd say the numbers are down and the bigger fish including bonefish are practically non existent in places Mike saw hundreds 5 years earlier.
We enjoyed Mango Creek but are unlikely to return, partly because of the cost but mostly because we're fond of Sandy Bay and the options for meals out, shopping, seclusion, cheap digs, and snorkeling from shore.
Kenais - where are you planning to stay on Guanaja? We split 2 weeks there in 2009 between Bo's Island House and Graham's Place. Happy trails!
Thanks all for the helpful tips - west end and sandy bay it is. I may regret not going to mango creek if the weather is fantastic! Hopefully we can get to some of their amazing snorkeling spots (like Pigeon Cay) from elsewhere on the island.
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