Here is our Roatan & Utila, Honduras trip report.
On April 1 through April 10 David and Nancy went to Honduras along with 12 other members of the Phoenix Scuba shop to do some scuba diving. Specifically, we were hoping to see a whale shark during their migration! While we did not observe any whale shark, we had a great time and truly enjoyed ourselves.
David and Nancy, along with two other divers of the shop (John and Lori), went to the island of Roatan 2 days earlier then the rest of the group. While in Roatan we stayed in West End at the Chillies Hotel/Cabins. As you can tell from the hyperlink and the following pictures, the cabins were very rustic. However, they were clean and comfortable. Also, they were very affordable!
click on any picture to view it in full size
Adjacent to Chillies Hotel was a dive shop titled Native Sons. They were very nice to dive with. They had a nice dive boat, excellent staff and (most importantly) they set up and carried our gear for us. At no time while in Roatan or Utila did we feel unsafe. Actually, we felt very secure and right at home.
On our very first day on Roatan, David and Nancy decided to do the South Shore Canopy Tour. A 17 platform and 13 cable ZIP LINE. It was a blast!
Here are 4 movies taken of us zip lining. Turn up the volume and wait for it to load.
|Zip Line Movie 1||Zip Line Movie 2||Zip Line Movie 3||Zip Line Movie 4|
On Saturday April 3rd, the other 12 members of the dive shop arrived on Roatan for the 4 hour Ferry boat ride over to the Island of Utila.
Once we arrived onto the Island of Utila, Honduras, we were met and transported (by boat) to the Deep Blue Resort. This is a 5 star resort which deserves every star. They were just super fantastic in every way possible. Each room has air conditioning, hardwood floors, a small fridge, hot water with very good water pressure and a private balcony over looking the ocean. Each morning there would be a hot and cold breakfast buffet. Lunch was also a buffet. But dinner was always served to the guest by the staff. Each and every dinner was different and totally decadent! We always had Wi-Fi in the lodge. Here are some pictures of the resort.
The resort also had many small Hermit crabs. Cute little things.
|Hermit Crab movie 1||Hermit Crab movie 2|
Everyday, during the day, the resort staff would refill the hummingbird feeders. It was calming to watch the Hummingbirds drink. The bees, not so much.
At night, the Fruit Bats would try and drink from the feeders. Very entertaining.
In the middle of the week, the group took the afternoon off and spent the day in town shopping. (Very small town) But one of the places we stopped at was the Jade Seahorse. This shop and adjoining property is very eclectic to say the least. Here are some pictures of the outside artwork.
The normal routine for the week at the Deep Blue resort, was to leave the boat dock at 8 am for a two tank dive. We would then come back for lunch. After lunch there would be a afternoon single tank dive, Except Tuesdays and Thursdays where the afternoon dive was changed to a night dive. Each dive was at a different location around Utila. Dinner was served at 6:30 pm or when the night dive concluded. After diving all day, most of us were asleep by 9 or 10 pm.
|School of fish movie|
On our last night everybody was just relaxing and preparing to leave on the 6 am ferry the following morning.
April 10th we took a boat at 6 am to the ferry. We then stopped at a couple other docks to pick up other passengers. The ferry then steamed away from Utila (at a cruising speed of 6 or 7 knots) for 4 hours on it's way to Roatan. Once we arrived at Roatan, Capt Vern helped us arrange for a large bus (14 people and 2 suitcases each) to transport us to the Roatan Air terminal.
It was not a large terminal. It only had two gates. The real surprise here was the exit fee. Yes, Honduras lets anybody in but you had to pay a fee to leave.
We had arrived at the Roatan airport just a little early (4 hours before our flight) and the staff would not allow us to check in our bags. Oh well, airport food is not that bad when your hungry. After a 2 and half hour flight to Houston, checked through Immigrations and Customs, we were then on another flight into Phoenix. A couple of hasty goodbye to our friends we went home to our own pillows, own bed and to the waiting arms and or paws of our children. It was good to be home finally.
NOTE: I can not think of enough words to express how terrific the Deep Blue Resort was. The staff, the rooms and the owners deserve the 5 star rating.
Chillies Hotel/Cabins and the Native Sons dive shop were great and very friendly and helpful.
Our diving was less then I expected. But I should remind myself it was early April. The water temperature (at depth) was about 77 to 79. A 5 mil suit was needed, but we suffered through with our 3 mils (I do get colder faster than most people). The visibility was never more than 100 feet. Most times less.
There was unlimited shore diving at the Deep Blue Resort. We took advantage of this and, I have to say, the shore diving was better than some of the boat dives.
FINAL NOTE: This was a great trip! The location, the staff and the accommodations were excellent. But, because Honduras had not controlled the fishing within their shores, they have over fished the region. It was very obvious. There was a lack of larger fish or schools of fish. Could this be due to the season, the weather or over fishing? I do not know. But as a diver, it was a little disconcerting.
The following pictures are from one of our dive buddies, Claudia Smith
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