Snorkeling in Roatan

Old May 9th, 2021, 06:52 PM
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Snorkeling in Roatan

So we are vaccines, both shots, and we are on our way to Roatan from our cancelled trip last May, 2020. We we got home from Mexico on March 8th, 2020, we actually thought we might make our scheduled trip last year. Little did we know that the Earth was going to melt down for the next 14 months

We are on the Redeye from LAX to Dallas/ Ft. Worth. I don't know if I can mention an airline on the Forum but I can tell you it was an American airline. I've taken many Red Eyes over the years but maybe I'm getting to old for this. We leave at 1:30AM, fly 3 hours and then sit in Dallas for 4 hours, before leaving on the 10:30 flight to Roatan arriving at 1:00PM, completely zonked out and debating our flight choice. The problem there aren't a lot of choices to. Some airlines are not flying here yet.

Quick word on how to get into Roatan. Due to Covid you have to take a test 72 hours before arriving here, and unlike the United States which requires a test, that no one will look at, the Hondurans due look at your results and take them seriously. There is a long pre-arrival form that you fill out online.

The American airline has asked us to de-plane one row at a time in a courteous fashion, and everyone does it! Why don't we do this all the time?

In to the terminal, the line worms along fairly slow even though there are eight Custom agents. Find our shuttle for Anthony Keys Resort, and we have started our first trip in the Days of Covid. More to follow.

Last edited by Tdiddy12; May 9th, 2021 at 06:56 PM.
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Old May 10th, 2021, 05:00 AM
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First beautiful day in Roatan. For those who are not familiar with Roatan, it is part of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras. About 26 miles long maybe 5 or 10 wide and it runs right along the MesoAmerican reef, the second biggest reef in the world. The diving is excellent I am told. although we are snorkelers, the low tech cousins. There are quite a few diving resorts here, Anthony's Key is one of the oldest. It is a wonderful spot on the West side of the island and I highly recommend it. Feeling a little rested and have our first breakfast before hitting the reef.

The resort is all inclusive so we get three solid meals and we how somehow hungry at every meal. I'm happy to say the resort looks pretty busy, lots of divers but the snorkel boat has only 5 of us. I believe you can tell a place by the "repeat" business. If you listen you will hear people saying this is there 6 or 7th time here. I think the record, that I have heard is 13 times! Gorgeous day, water is pretty calm and water is warm. My wife and I thought that the coral was not as spectacular as last time and true enough we learned tonight that there is some disease going on that has affected about 25% of the reef. We still see a ton of fish, lot's of coral and are so glad we made the trip.
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Old May 12th, 2021, 05:00 AM
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On our third day here in Roatan and we have been blessed with excellent weather. Sunny everyday although fairly windy. The weather report had shown partly cloudy most days, but no clouds so far. We have fallen into the rythym of our days pretty quickly. Up at 6:30AM for breakfast then on the water by 8:30. Anthony's Key has about 10 dive boats with maybe 15 divers each so there is a lot of activity around the dock. To see all these people engaging in something they are passionate about is inspiring. Most people are from the states with a lot from the Carolinas and a fair amount from Texas. We are representing California and there is also a family here from Laguna. Stair step kids. Ages 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, and they are fierce in the water. Apparently they have grown up on the beach and they love the ocean.

We have two snorkels a day with a night snorkel last night. We can tell the coral has been affected by this new disease. It's bleached out from what we remember but still there is a good part of it surviving. The places we been have varied from canyon like reef to deep sections that we are hovering above. We had a quick "fish" class Sunday night with one of the dive masters and he showed us things to look for. Yesterday was a big day, saw a couple of large Eagle rays. That is always a treat, but this particular one was moving so slow, usually they move pretty fast but this one was moving slower than Mitch McConnell sending a bill to the Senate. We watched it for about 10 minutes. Saw a turtle in the afternoon.

The topper was our night dive tonight. We are all issued hand held spotlights and we descend into the dark water. Spooky! Lot's of lobsters, fish you don't see during the day and right a the end of the dive, an octopus. Big guy too, also just stayed put and let us all admire him. It's a joy to see these things in nature.

Quick dinner back at the Key and in bed by 10PM. We've got a lot more snorkeling to do tomorrow.

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Old May 25th, 2021, 03:42 PM
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Well, my big trip report of Roatan turned out to be kind of dud. Not a lot happening here. At Anthony's Key our regimen was up at 6:30AM, breakfast, snorkel at 8:30AM for an hour, quick swim in the pool to wash off the salt, lunch, 2:30PM snorkel, back to the pool, dinner and bed. That goes on for a week! Along the way we met great people from Colorado, Houston, Illinois and even California.

It's a fun kind of brotherhood all of us either diving or snorkeling. "What did you see?" Saw a Eagle Ray, saw a turtle, lot's of fish. Not a lot of partying, a few beers and Pina coladas at night. Which leads into our next stop. Paradise Beach Resort on West Bay. Nice enough hotel, right on the beach, decent room. We check in, go to the pool and it is filled with beer drinking teenagers. Beer bottles all around the pool! What happened to our relaxing few nights on the beach? Well Covid happened. These kids are from Main land Honduras and their senior trip last year was cancelled due to Covid, so they are partying hard now. Some of the young ladies are wearing what appears to be some part of a bathing suit with a lot of the parts missing. Generally the back end of the bathing suit.

The kids leave after the next day and it quiets down. If on West Bay, there is newish food court off the beaten beach that has number of good little restaurants at half the price of the beach restaurants. We eat there a couple of nights.

Final week is at Phoenix House in Sundancer, It's a two story house that we love. The beach is a path walk away. Good snorkeling, but you have to swim for it. We are just chilling and thinking of coming back next year. If you love to snorkel, Roatan is the place.
Happy Travels!
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Old May 25th, 2021, 06:46 PM
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Not a dud at all. I've read all 3 reports and so have almost 500 others. Thanks for the effort. Kind of a dearth of reports these days because of covid. Refreshing to see a Honduras report. Even if I'll likely not be going anytime soon. But you never know.
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Old May 26th, 2021, 12:14 AM
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Echoing Baldone - have enjoyed reading your report - especially because it's about a location I have never visited - and will be unlikely to visit soon, if ever.

Terrific that you have had such a great trip - chuckled at your references to Mitch McConnell and Honduran swimwear.
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Old May 26th, 2021, 05:34 AM
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Thanks Baldone, always great to hear from you. Roatan is really wonderful because of the reef right off the coast. Same reef that runs from south of Cancun, past Belize and stops here, but here it is so close that you can swim in right off the beach. Harder to get here than some places because of the limited number of flights. We had a flight on Avianca which was cancelled last year so we had to go with American, red eye out of LA. Quite possible our last red eye! Playing around on the laptop, I've discovered that it makes more sense to book one of the 25 hour flights the airlines are peddling with a 17 hour layover in Dallas and just get a room for the night!

In October, we are off to your neck of the woods. Going to Mexico City, 10 days, Queretaro for 5 days, Guanajuato 4 days, San Miguel 5 days, then on to Morelia and Patzcuaro for Day of the Dead celebrations. Can't wait.
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Old May 26th, 2021, 05:38 AM
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Thanks for the shout out Greenhorn! I love doing Trip Reports, now that we may be able to travel more. It seems a lot of people go to the Caribbean, Mexico, even Belize, but not a lot about Roatan. Maybe it's a Honduras thing, but Roatan is safe, great beaches and nice people. I hope some day you make it here.
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Old May 26th, 2021, 05:43 AM
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Echoing the others, thanks for this informative trip report. I've thought about Roatan for a while but never made it. Hope we do -- my wife and I enjoy snorkeling.
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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 06:21 PM
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Tdiddy, I'm working on some trip reports around the areas you'll be visiting that don't get a lot of love. Maybe they'll be of interest. Hopefully, I'll get them done by the time you're here. I'm kinda lazy.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for this trip report! Snorkeling off of that reef system by Caye Caulker, Belize exposed me to the incredible beauty of the marine life in that part of the world and made me want more such snorkelling expeditions! Roatan and Utila are definitely on my radar now, especially after I went to Copán Ruinas in 2019, my first ever sally into Honduras. Loved my trip there and learned about other parts of the country I’d love to visit one day, mainland and islands both!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 02:43 PM
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Hey Daniel,
We snorkeled off of the Turneffe Key Atoll in Belize about 10 years ago. It was amazing, probably at that time better than Roatan is now, but I'm not sure how it has maintained. Can you snorkel right off the beach on Caye Caulker? Turneffe Key is about 2 hours out of Belize City. Would love to go to Copan. I just saw a YouTube about a place called Trujillo, Honduras, east of La Ceiba. I guess they are trying to sell it as an ex-pat destination. Don't know much about it. Have you heard of it?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 02:49 PM
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Hi Baldone,
Will look forward to your Trip Reports. Like most first timers we are staying in Centro Historico in all places but we are interested in other areas. Thought about hiring a driver for the day to takes us around. Do you have any recommendations?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2021, 03:48 PM
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Hi tdiddy—

The reef was not accessible from the Caye Caulker shore but was a mile away, so a very short boat ride. I had heard of Turneffe Key, so that’s nice to know that you went and thought it a worthwhile spot—I thought the Blue Hole (near there?) sounded uniquely appealing.

Trujillo definitely is on my radar, one of the places in Honduras that I’d like to see most if only for its history.

Best wishes,

Daniel
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Old Jun 20th, 2021, 03:27 AM
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I just check in here once every few months since most of the posts are México or Costa Rica and not an interest to me at this point. Happy to see this nice trip report - thanks for taking the time to share! We have enjoyed our trips to Roatán, Utila, and Guanaja and snorkeling from shore is a big part of the appeal. I'm a diver and enjoy having the sites so near to where I sleep. We love the jungly areas around La Ceiba which I think are under-visited - Omega Lodge is a gem. Lots of other great places on the mainland including Copán - I haven't seen Trujillo for many years and hadn't realized it's a cruise ship port now with some gated communities, have some mixed feelings about that. Thanks again for sharing!
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