The stilted homes of Roatan

Author’s note: This is my last piece on my recent trip to Honduras. To read more posts in this series  click here. The post below is a continuation of my day tour of the Garifuna villages on the island of Roatan).

After our visit to Punta Gorda, we drove to the other side of narrow Roatan to visit another beautiful traditional Garifuna Village, the community of Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge is quite unique as the entire village is built around a large bay and is a fishing community. It has been termed “The Venice of Roatan” which I find a little humorous however it is definitely worth a visit to this picturesque town.

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It was raining and there was no way I could ever have gotten a better shot of Oak Bridge than this one that I found on www.2backpackers.com (which is an awesome blog by the way).

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A taste of Machuca in Punta Gorda

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read past posts on Honduras, click here.

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Image credit: www.orangesmile.com

On my last day in Roatan, one of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras, I took a half day private island tour. I decided to take the tour as opposed to lounging around on the beach because I truly wanted to learn more about the unique Garifuna culture and heritage that makes this island so fascinating.  As much as my body and soul wanted to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the resort at Barefoot Cay, a stronger inherent urge within my mind was begging me to do something more cultural than laying in the sun. Thus, despite my longing to do absolutely nothing for a day, my active mind got the best of me and I booked a five hour private tour with one of the island’s best locals, Ray Anthony.

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Staying on my own little Cay

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read past posts on Honduras, click here.

Not all of life is work and no play. Sometimes you have to reward yourself and celebrate the fruits of your labor. This is at least how I presented it to my loving husband as I booked myself two days at the Barefoot Cay in Roatan, Honduras.

I had just left the mainland after a week of volunteering and living like the locals. I had researched options on the internet and discovered the luxurious, secluded Barefoot Cay and knew I’d have to check it out. It was a bit more expensive than where I’d usually stay, however, it had a lot of fabulous amenities for a solo traveler.  When I read the front page of Barefoot Caye’s website, I was enticed and realized I had to give it a try.

Otro mundo aparte – A world apart.

The pace is unhurried…  The beaches white…  The water azure blue. 
Barefoot Cay Resort creates a feeling of calm and closeness with nature to a level few have experienced.

I arrived just as the sun was setting on Friday night and was instantly welcomed with an icy cold local beer at check in.  I couldn’t think of a better greeting than this after the bumpy rough ride on the ferry.

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The Bays of Roatan

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read past posts on Honduras, click here.

Jakesprinter’s Sunday post theme is “Bay“. I realized that most of my travels are to mountains or other locales that do not typically include bays. Then as I glanced over at my copy of Lonely Planet: Honduras, I realized the cover said “Honduras and The Bay Islands“. Silly me, Roatan could be included in this challenge and I spent an entire morning touring her lovely bays and remote villages, way off the beaten tourist path.

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Roatan, Honduras

Sunset ferry to Roatan

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read past posts on Honduras, click here.

I left the mainland of Honduras on the four o’clock ferry, just in time to catch the glorious sunset over the Caribbean Sea. Although the hour and a half ride was exceedingly rough (I noticed something was going on when the ferry employees handed out plastic vomit bags as soon as we set sail), I still was thrilled to be out at sea as the sun set and cast brilliant hues of saffron yellows, golds and pale pinks across the sky and water. It was utterly brilliant.

I stood the entire way as I was concerned I’d get seasick. Standing seemed to help as I was able to allow my body to sway and move with the motion of the waves. Many people were not so lucky so I was happy when the ferry finally pulled into the shore of Roatan right as I was starting to feel a little green.

Here are some of my favorite shots along the way, as the sun began to set and cast her magic upon all those who could see.

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In route to the Mainland

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read past posts on Honduras, click here.

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When I arrived at the ferry station and saw my fellow passengers, it was the first real indication that Roatan and the mainland of Honduras were worlds apart. Unlike the jam-packed United Airlines flight from Houston loaded with passengers dressed in their country club best, 98% of the ferry passengers were Honduran. I was the only blond-haired blue-eyed person on the entire ship of a couple hundred people.

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Flora and Fauna at Gumbalimba Park

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read more, click here.

My last morning in Roatan was a short one. I only had a few hours to explore before catching the early afternoon ferry over to the mainland where I would began my volunteer work and spanish courses the next morning.

Despite my hesitation, I decided to go check out the nearby Gumbalimba Park. Diane, the owner of West Baby B&B, highly recommended it yet I was a little concerned it would be a tourist trap. The admission to just the park was $30 and in my opinion is relatively expensive especially for Honduras.

I read a few reviews online and did a google search on the park which is known for its zipline canopy tour. The first thing I found in my search was a 2008 article about a cruise ship passenger who fell to her death from the zipline during an excursion to the park. I know that things like this can happen anywhere but it unnerved me. I decided to just go check the park out for its flora and fauna and pass this time on the canopy tour.  All in all, the fun encounters with the monkeys and parrots made the park definitely worth the while and the photos made my children laugh hysterically. Check them out for yourself!

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Clinica Esperanza: A place of hope

Clinica-Esperanza-Logo-300x75It must have been a sign of fate that I happened to be paging through the resort brochure the last night of my stay at the lovely Barefoot Cay and saw the two-page spread on Clinica Esperanza. Instantly I was taken by the story and by a stroke of luck the next morning, thirty minutes before my departure to the United States I found myself interviewing the very doctor who has dedicated the last several years of his life to helping build the clinic.

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Dinner on the beach with an unexpected guest

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read more, click here.

After the sun dipped below the sea, it was time to take a walk along West Bay beach and scope out a place to eat. Diane from West Bay B&B had given me a little hand-made drawing of the beach and listed all her favorite places to eat. As a lover of Argentinian food, I decided to try the Argentinian parrilla or grill. But first I wanted to explore a little further down the beach and snap a few more photos especially because the crowds had died down and only a few remained to catch the last rays of light of the day.

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Sunset and Cerveza over the Honduran Sky

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read more, click here.

“Sunsets are so beautiful that they almost seem as if we were looking through the gates of Heaven”. -John Lubbock 

My first afternoon in Roatan was rather rushed and not really relaxing. I tend to get overly excited when I arrive at a new place and run a hundred miles an hour trying to cram in as much as possible. Unfortunately that tends to be my personality. But there was one thing that I wasn’t going to miss: The famous sunsets along West Bay. I had read that West Bay is the best place on the island to catch sunset over an icy cold beer and Diane at West Bay B&B even told me the perfect place: The Bananarama Bar and Grill. “Make sure you snap a shot of the sun setting through the palm trees” Diane said with a brilliant smile. “It can’t be missed“.

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Those words, Cerveza fria! were calling my name!

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Snorkel, Sun and Fun at West Bay Beach

Roatan is in the largest and most popular of the three Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras and surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world: The Mesoamerican Reef that stems all the way down to Belize making it a diver’s paradise. Roatan is more touristy and developed than its neighbors Utila and Guanaja, yet this long narrow island of 50 km long has a little something special for everyone.

I opted to spend my first day and night in the lovely West Bay, located at the southern tip of the island and awash in picture perfect white sandy beaches and amazing snorkeling just steps away from the beach. It was a wonderful welcoming to such an amazing place!

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This short path lead directly to the beach. It was less than five minutes from my hotel.

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