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Guanaja: Maybe the Prettiest Place I've Ever Been #437915
05/14/12 08:27 AM
05/14/12 08:27 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The three Bay Islands sit about 10 miles off the coast of Honduras in the Carribean Sea. All of the islands have a history based in shipping, fishing, pirating and being discovered by Christopher Columbus himself (CC landed on Guanaja in 1502). The islanders speak primarily English as well as Spanish...very good for me. My Spanish, used extensively on the mainland, consists of "hola", "uno mas" and lots of hand gestures. Roatan (see: Roatan & the West End) is the most populated, most visited, has a cruise ship port and an international airport. But there are three islands all together...Roatan, Utila and Guanaja. (Said Gwa-NAH-ha). About 8 miles from Roatan is the least visited island of Guanaja.

Wikipedia tells me that there are about 10,000 residents of Guanaja. I find that very hard to believe. But what is definitely true is that the majority don't live on the actual island (which is very hilly and densely wooded), most live on a small cay called just "The Cay" by residents. And there is not one car. Just alleys and sidewalks and houses and boats jammed packed into this tiny space. It's actually been called the Venice of Honduras (a bit of stretch but let's go with it).

I am not going to lie. I LOVE GUANAJA. It is probably the most beautiful place I've ever been. The water is fantastic, all the travelling that you do is by boat...there are no roads, no cars, the locals are friendly, there is surprisingly little tourism...I had so much fun. But let's go back to the I got to this relatively remote spot.

I am also going to report the rated PG version (this blog should be read by adults and kids alike). Our gracious host, George, is a self professed pirate, total party animal and all around a super fun, later middle aged, TOTALLY crazy way.

He lives in Roatan, has a few boats there, he knows Guanaja very well and he wanted to show it to us. Sounds good to me.

We drove about 40 minutes from the West End to the fishing town of Jonesville in Roatan to pick up the boat. It was sandwiched between a bunch of huge fishing and shrimping vessels and an even larger stack of lobster pots. (Captain George is wearing the red shirt).

Click here and here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop

Re: Guanaja: Maybe the Prettiest Place I've Ever Been [Re: Marty] #437931
05/14/12 11:48 AM
05/14/12 11:48 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,465
San Pedro, Belize
Judyann H. Offline
Judyann H.  Offline
Awesome adventure....Thank you for bringing us along...And I am looking forward to reading about the rest of the trip....

My friends call me Judyann
Re: Guanaja: Maybe the Prettiest Place I've Ever Been [Re: Marty] #438094
05/16/12 11:14 AM
05/16/12 11:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Back to Roatan, An Afternoon in the West Bay and The Ferry Ride Home

We had been in Guanaja, Honduras for two days (see: Part One and Part Two), loving it but we had hardly seen Roatan. It was my friend Danni's 30th birthday, it was time to head back.

The 1.5 hour ride back from Guanaja is so much calmer...the seas and the winds are with you and that prevents you from getting absolutely drenched. Less an amusement park ride, more civilized boat trip. We stopped to buy lobsters from some fishermen/snorkellers on the way to Roatan. $500 lempira for 5 big lobsters. (About $25 USD)

But ended up going to sleep early. Next day, we headed down the road for lunch in the West End. There is quite a big of digging and construction going on. The town is digging a new sewer line under the sand road and installing a public bathroom at the town entrance.

They are also planning to pave the road...many in town don't seem to like the idea. The same battle occurred on Ambergris Caye when the roads were paved 5 years ago.

The taxi is in the middle of town and leaves often...whenever there are enough passengers to go. 4 of us was enough. For $50 lempira each (about $2.50 USD), we headed around the bend.

The West Bay is a long sandy "classic Caribbean" beach loaded with resorts, bars and lots and lots of chairs. Luckily it wasn't a cruise ship day so the beach wasn't very crowded...mostly locals hanging out and playing volleyball.

We took the 10 minute ride back to the West End and back home. The first Galaxy Wave ferry leaves for La Ceiba at 7am. I was a bit nervous about the trip. The way over was a bit...well...nauseating. The automatic handing out of sick bags does not give one a comfortable feeling.

But like the ride from Guanaja, the seas on the way back were much better. Also, key to the process is sitting on the top level with lots of breeze. I felt perfectly fine. (The dramamine probably didn't hurt.)

Particularly when Tropic Air starts their direct flight to the island.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop

Re: Guanaja: Maybe the Prettiest Place I've Ever Been [Re: Marty] #438181
05/17/12 09:46 AM
05/17/12 09:46 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

One Evening in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, My Flight Home on Tropic Air and Buying Alcohol at Belize International Airport

I had flown to San Pedro Sula, Honduras from Belize City, spent a few days in Omoa, travelled to Tela and La Ceiba to catch the ferry to Roatan, I went to Guanaja, aka The Prettiest Place on Earth (and told you about it for two days: Part One & Two), I wrote about Roatan twice (West End and West Bay)...

Sheesh...I have been very long winded about my trip to Honduras! But two weeks can not be so quickly and easily compacted. Here is my last post.

San Pedro Sula is a great kick-off spot for pretty much all of Honduras. When I first planned my trip, I couldn't decide. Hit the ruins in Copan? Visit a micro-brewery on Lake Yojoa? But then my planning was made easier, my friends Danni and Cesar (who are driving the PanAmerican Highway) would be in Honduras at the exact time I was. A ride and fun people to travel with!

And did I mention that you can fly directly to San Pedro Sula from Belize City on Tropic Air?

San Pedro Sula is a seriously industrial city surrounded by mountains. It is smoggy and filled with all sorts of industrial parks...most seem to be agricultural products and fertilizer producers. It is the business capital of Honduras.

The taxi trip to the airport costs $15usd. I checked in with the super helpful Tropic attendants (above) and went to pay my airport fee from the country. It's not cheap (for citizens or visitors). Payable in US dollars or local lempiras or a combo of the two. No credit cards.

And we took off right on time. Here is my aerial view of the city.

But as you get to the cayes of Belize...the view is gorgeous.

Home sweet home. Well almost.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS more photos in the San Pedro Scoop

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