Isla de Roatán
West End is where the posh hotels is located... it has a truly amazing long and wide white beach - a dreamy place BUT full of people: people enjoying the sea and sand AND approximately the same number of people selling jewellery, drinks, excursions etc. We stopped for photos and for a drink but such a paradise was a bit too crowded for our taste.more
We visited the Butterfly Gardens because our 3 year old son wanted to see toucans, and we were told that the gardens were the right place to go. They were right, and he had a great time there. The toucans were beautiful and seemed attracted by my pink camera, which they tried to bite. The gardens, generally speaking, are very low key and look like...more
West End is a lovely little town with a beach shaped as a perfect crescent... it's a public beach and, despite of it, it is very quiet - maybe because the large resorts are located somewhere else. It is not the most beautiful beach on the island but for us it was the most plesant. Apart from us, there was another family with small kids and a...more
There is always a mix of 3 day tourists, 3 month tourists and expats hanging out here. The 2 big screen TVs make watching the Soccer World Cup, Rugby World Cup or the Superbowl a fun experience. There's also a pool table and dart board. Pool tournament nights get entertaining. It's a laid back place with good food, good prices and great people from...more
I had a tradtional honduran breakfast earlier this year and it was possibly the best breakfast I've ever had during my vacations in Utila. They offer REAL fruit juices and very good coffee. Finding this place is tricky because you cant see the restaurant sign from the Main Street. Utila is very small, so just ask for directions. Honduran Breakfast...more
I visited several dive shops before choosing Alton’s for an Advanced Open Water course. I was impressed with the staff’s professionalism and the condition of the scuba gear and boats. Those initial impressions all proved out; instructors were professional (some more than others); no equipment problems; new, first-rate boats.The only caveat is that...more
Mavies & Dixies : simply the best restaurant in West End (next to Lighthouse, just around the corner of the Church on Main Road). Enjoy the terrace with seaview. Very friendly atmosphere, succulent local dishes, honnest prices. Specialties are super fresh seafood (they go fishing themselves) eg. lobster, crab, local fishes you might encounter...more
Cocolobo is one of Roatan’s most upmarket hotels. If you are looking for a tranquil location, this...more
There are so many little shops that you can choose from along the main road of West End. Each shop has the standard tourist stuff but every now and then you find something you just can not live without. Get it then because you will not see it someplace else. Or will you??? Paintings, Carvings and pottery are some of the items you will...more
Isla de Utila
There are only two ATMs on Utila Island. Both are located on the Main Street, one is at the Banco Atlantida and the other is yards away near to the pharmacy. Both machines accept a wide variety of cards. Make sure that you always go for the option that gives you a receipt. At busy times it is possible for the ATMs to run out of money. This happened...more
If you visit Utila then there is a good likelihood that you will come across the sand flies. They are particulArly active both at dawn and dusk. I would recommend that you pack a insect repellent with a high DEET content and also something to soothe any bites. Whilst there are many ointments containing antihistamine or mild hydrocortisone, I...more
I really love Utila but I found that the sand flies were a real problem as they see humans as a walking meal. They are particularly nasty at dawn and dusk and unfortunately they do not confine themselves to the beach. The only thing that seemed to keep them at bay was insect repellent with a really high DEET content. I am normally not too bothered...more
We were hoping that this would be our new home in Roatan. This picture was taken before the remodeling and new paint was done. We decided that it was not right for us as it was not on a sandy beach so we purchased a home in Sandy Bay.The house sits on the south-west part of the island on the Iron shore and has a great price. The land is very nice...more
This area is known as the Iron Shore due to the coast line being made of Lave rock.Be careful while walking or swimming around the area as the rocks are very very sharp. During the high tides you will find a hole or two filled in with sea water which makes for a natural "hot tub".more
The island crowded with restaurant shacks was naturally also crowded with boats on the beach. However, we walked the beach to a sandbar for some swimming. One side of the island had silky smooth sand, but the other was a rough broken white coral beach. Later, we picked up another couple, and we also stopped briefly at another island before...more
Maybe there are alternative menus at other beach shack restaurants, but our boatman took us to a simple place where the menu was limited to a very tasty fried fish, like red snapper, alongside a generous portion of fried plantains and seasoned fried rice. Coca Cola in the old fashioned heavy glass bottles, rather than plastic bottles, was served,...more
It's a great spot by a beautiful beach, where you can enjoy the wonderful weather and scenery. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner with some daily entertainment at night. The menu consists of local seafood dishes, hamburgers, salads, steaks, chickens, etc. Everyone can find something they like. Fresh seafood items were always good. For drinks,...more
We stayed at Bananarama's dive and beach resort. Every morning, we met at the dive shop to check gears, and hop on a boat in front of the resort. There are TONS of great dive spots near the beach throughout the island. It was usually a short 5-10 minutes ride to a dive spot. Most dives we did started at 25-40ft of shallow coral/sand area, and moved...more
Watch out for the kids. My husband and I were almost robbed by a kid who was about the age of 8! He seperated us while we were shopping and he was asking me what was on the ship and all. I started to talk but I noticed that he kept looking over at my husband. Finally looking at my husband I noticed that their was 2 or 3 kids around him hovering. I...more
This is a small garden with some tropical trees like banana, teak etc... They also have 2 trails, a jungle trail which can be covered in 10 minutes, and a mountain trail which is a bit harder, but which gives great views over the shore (including Anthony's Key). Overall, I really recommend a visit if you are really enthousiastic about flowers and...more
AKR is a wonderful place to stay if you like to SCUBA dive and you like to relax. The resort is...more
As with any place in the world there is always crime.Remember to lock you door at night and to secure your money and credit cards in a safe place.DO NOT leave things out in the open for the chance theif. Remember crime is everywhere and no place in the world can escape it.more
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Living on the Island of Guanaja brings one face to face with Nature. Besides the beauty of the ocean at our front door, we have wonders beneath the sea which, on rare occasions, present themselves for viewing.
It is well known that Whale Sharks swim off the waters of the Island of Utila. The Whale Shark is the world’s largest fish. The most common size seen in the waters around Utila is between approximately 6m and 10m (10 ft. and 33ft.), weighing around 15-20 tons.
Although more frequent in the months March-April and August-September, the Whale Shark is regularly sighted around the Island of Utila. Unlike dolphins or other fish which tend to school or travel in pods, Whale Sharks are solitary. However, it is not uncommon for 5 or more singular Whale Sharks to be sighted in a single day along the northern shores of Utila. It is thought that Utila to be home to an annual rendezvous of these presumably migratory creatures who have been recorded traveling 8,000 miles.
One possible reason for the congregation of these sharks around Utila is oceanography. Being located on the extreme northern margin of the Honduran shelf and unlike the other Bay Islands which are separated from the shelf area by a deep-fault controlled trench, the tropical island has shallow banks to the south and a very large bank to the north. Whale Sharks, however, have been sighted off the coast of Guanaja, but not with any regularity.
Just last week an extraordinarily rare occurrence took place in the water surrounding Guanaja. A pod of about 8 Pilot Whales was sighted off the shallower waters of Soldado Beach. The islanders were treated to an exceptional sight as these whales are generally found in deep water.
Long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) are one of the largest members of the dolphin family. The pilot whale, like the Killer Whale, is a member of the dolphin family, and is second only to the Killer Whale in size. Males can reach lengths of about 25 ft (7.6 m) and weigh as much as 5,000 lbs (2,300 kg), while females are generally smaller, reaching lengths of up to 19 ft (5.8 m) and weighing as much as 2,900 lbs (1,300 kg). They have a bulbous melon head with no discernable beak. Their dorsal fin is located far forward on the body and has a relatively long base. Their body color tends to be black or dark brown with a large gray saddle behind the dorsal fin. They are polygynous (males have more than one mate) and are often found in groups with a ratio of one mature male to about every eight mature females. Males generally leave their birth school, while females may remain in theirs for their entire lifetime.
They prefer warmer tropical and temperate waters and can be found at varying distances from shore but typically in deeper waters. Areas with a high density of squid are their primary foraging habitats. The short-finned pilot whales are found primarily in deep waters throughout tropical and subtropical areas of the world. There are four recognized stocks in the U.S.: West Coast, Hawaii, Northern Gulf of Mexico, and Western North Atlantic.
Partly because of their social nature, pilot whales are often involved in mass strandings. In this century, mass strandings of as many as several hundred pilot whales at one time have been recorded. Although no one knows why these beachings occur, some may result from persistence to keep the group together. Other reasons may involve mis-navigation when following prey, when traveling (possibly due to irregularities in the magnetic field), or possible parasitic infections resulting in neurological disorders.
We do not know why these beautiful creatures were so close to shore and a group of boaters spread out along the length of the shoreline attempting to stop the whales from beaching, if that is what they actually intended. I must assume the effort was a success as eventually all the boaters left to go home after taking the photos you can see them at - just cut and paste into your search engine:
Another creature seen off Guanaja is the Hammer Head Shark. Hammerheads are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. There are nine known species of hammerhead ranging from 3 ft. to 30 feet in length. all the species have a projection on each side of the head that gives it a resemblance to a flattened hammer. The shark’s eyes and nostrils are at the tips of the extensions. I have had reports from friends who actually saw a Hammerhead from their boat but, to date, I have not glimpsed this creature. I have experienced green moray eels up close and personal on several scuba dives off Southwest Cay and, thankfully, my husband was there with his camera to record the event.
The reefs of the Bay Islands are a treasure trove for photographers; lobster, cleaner shrimp, sea anemone, nurse shark, grouper, Angel fish, turtles, sting rays of several varieties, and the list goes on and on. To look out on the water after a rain, on a calm day is to see the ever presence beauty that lies just below the surface and all the unexplored areas that are to be found is a delight. The colors of the water from deep blue to aquamarine to a greenish tint are a sight to behold and with the sun rising in the morning lighting the sky a dusty peach color, the spectacle is amazing.
Nature - ain’t she wonderful?Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
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