8 Days, 7 Nights|
Guides, instruction, all kayaking and group camping equipment, lodging and meals.|
Transportation to and from Roatan, personal clothing and equipment including sleeping bag and pad, full medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurance, airport taxes and gratuities.
Escape winter with a week of warm water paddling! Extraordinarily rich in flora and fauna, Honduras' jungle is quite welcoming. Spend eight days in a private home retreat in the Bay Islands, paddling, snorkeling, relaxing and exploring. Evenings feature appetizing dinners of fresh seafood and a comfortable rest in our lodge under the coco palms.
Nestled just thirty miles off the Caribbean Coast of Honduras, the Bay Islands offer beautiful paddling, diverse local culture, and world class snorkeling and diving. This is a big experience combining kayaking, snorkeling and tropical biology all with a twist of the rich cultural soup of this island group. This trip operates on island time and works in harmony with the local economy and culture. You will soon find the people of Honduras are every bit as appealing as its water and mountainscapes.
You'll fly into the island of Roatan, which has an international airport receiving direct flights from Houston, Miami and Atlanta. We'll venture daily from our comfortable accommodations in the tropical villages of Roatan as we navigate its coast. We have all the comforts of home, minus ringing telephones, roads, and to-do lists. Our front yard is a coral reef! Meals are served from a central kitchen/deck area and are al fresco...as they should be.
Day 1 - Upon arrival in Roatan Airport a NWP staff member will meet you. Exact meeting time will be determined once flight schedules have been finalized. We will transfer you from the airport to our lodge in Punta Blanca, where we will enjoy a welcome dinner and get to know our fellow travelers. We will spend some time reviewing the itinerary for the week and answering whatever questions you may have.
Day 2 - The first full day of our circumnavigation will be spent recuperating from our travels, enjoying the pristine beaches of the eastern coast of Roatan, and getting to know one another. Take a dip in the clear blue waters (grab some snorkeling gear if you’d like and take a peek at the flourishing marine life), hop in a kayak, go for a hike, or just soak up the sun. This day is about getting yourself relaxed, refreshed and in the adventure mindset!
Day 3 - After breakfast, we will outfit everyone with paddle, PFD and sprayskirt, then head to the beach where we will offer basic kayaking instruction. Once we’ve explored Paya Bay and had some time to get a feel for the water, we will head east along the coast of Roatan until we come to Santa Elena river; a waterway that will provide us passage to the south-side of the island and allow us to view the interior flora and fauna from the comfort of our boats. From here we will head west along the southern coast of the island, making our way between its shores and the tiny islands just off its coast. Later in the afternoon we will arrive in Port Royal, a bay dotted with isolated, sandy beaches, where we can stop and enjoy a bite to eat and some swimming at our leisure. Upon arrival at Mango Creek, you’ll have some free time to explore, rest and relax. As always, we’ll end the day with a great meal and a sunset.
Day 4 – Heading out from Mango Creek, our destination for the day is Coco View. While it may look like a straight shot from one place to the next, this stretch of the island has a series of bays and inlets that are perfect for a day of exploring. As this is one of the more populated parts of the Roatan, there are plenty of options for lunch. Upon arriving at Coco View, we will enjoy some free time. While some maybe ready for land-based activities, others my choose to take advantage of Coco View’s outstanding shore diving. Dinner is buffet style, and at your leisure.
Day 5 – We will depart from Coco View early in the morning. This will be our longest day of paddling with a mileage of approximately 21km. We will be paddling the remainder of the southern coast of Roatan, rounding the western tip of the island and arriving at the most popular area of the island. The West Bay has the best diving on the island, and the most numerous diving locations. As this stretch of coast is fairly populated, we will hopefully have the opportunity to stop on one of the tiny islands dotting the coastline to enjoy a hardy and restorative lunch.
Day 6 – With our longest day behind us and one of our shorter days ahead of us, we will have a later departure time. You may choose to take an early morning dive, or sleep in! We will depart for Plantation Beach Resort after everyone has had breakfast and completed their morning activities.
Day 7 – On our last day of paddling will cover the remaining coastline of the island and arrive back at Paya Bay, a place that will surly feel like home by this point! Because we are making our way back to the more remote and secluded side of the island, we will have our pick of places to stop and lunch. We will celebrate with a final dinner overlooking Paya Bay and the Caribbean Ocean.
Day 8 - Breakfast will be at the hotel. Transport will be provided to the airport.
Note: This is our intended itinerary. As with any adventure travel, the forces of nature can be unpredictable, causing us to make adjustments and changes to the itinerary. Rest assured that our many years of exploring have provided us with numerous options if changes need to be made. If it is too windy to paddle, various hiking, cultural and historical options will make you glad for the winds.
This is all you will need - anything else is unnecessary baggage and will only be extra weight to carry.
- 3-7 t-shirts, some synthetic for paddling
- 1 shirt, long sleeved
- 2-3 pair shorts (some quick drying)
- Sun/rain hat
- Sneakers/cross trainers hiking; some prefer hiking in Tevas or other sandals with socks
- Rain gear just in case! (Paddling jacket works well as an alternative, or windbreaker jacket)
- 1 pair sport sandals; Tevas, water socks, etc. (Paddling booties are great!)
- Bathing suit(s)
- Underwear, socks
- Casual clothes for evenings (shorts/summer dresses are fine!)
- Clean change of clothing for the trip home
- Passport (be sure to check expiration date)
- Toiletry kit- toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen, face cream, nail clippers, moleskin, baby powder, soap, washcloth (most hotels don’t provide them) etc.
- Personal medication kit- ibuprofen, aspirin, vitamins, band-aids, Dramamine®, cold/sinus meds if prone to colds
- Daypack/fanny pack for hiking options
- Collapsible walking stick for optional hikes
- Sunglasses Chums/Croakies® to keep glasses on your head are imperative
- Water bottle (optional- bottled water is plentiful and cheap)
- Small dry bag with carabiner clip (clear ones are very useful)
- Camera, film, waterproof container
- Paddling gloves (for the tender of palm- not neoprene but any open fingered glove can help e.g. biking gloves etc)
- Small towel (e.g. PackTowel® works well)
- Small travel alarm clock
- Mask and snorkel (can be purchased inexpensively)
- Field glasses – binoculars
- Your own Paddle/PFD- we will supply paddles and PFD’s for group but, if you prefer your own paddle and PFD, feel free to bring them along
- Ziploc® storage bags (to keep stuff extra dry in dry bag)
What is special about this trip?
First of all, who doesn’t like escaping the snow, ice and cold of winter, and relocating to a tropical paradise? The Honduras is the perfect venue for an unforgettable kayaking and snorkeling beach vacation. Each day we explore the amazing coastline and the world’s second largest barrier reef by kayak. The winter blues are a thing of the past on this trip.
How do I get there?
Flying directly to Roatan has never been easier. Continental, Delta and Taca all serve Roatan with DIRECT flights every Saturday from Houston, Miami and Atlanta. The direct flight takes less than 3 hours. It also looks as if there be a new Saturday direct flight coming in from Newark, NJ on Continental. If you are trying to use frequent flyer miles, you are probably best off booking the domestic leg to Houston or Atlanta and then buy the international ticket from there. Miami will most likely be blacked out. We often use websites like "Cheaptickets.com" or the airlines direct websites. Please call or email us BEFORE booking flights to check availability and to get a little coaching on finding the best fares. For up to the minute info, call the airlines directly or check the web.
What papers do I need for travel?
You need a current passport and your 30 day visa is issued on arrival.
Do I need to get any shots before traveling?
A recent tetanus booster and Hepatitis A shot is a good precaution against third world adaptation problems. You need to do this a few weeks in advance. Check with a travel medicine clinic or the CDC website for up to the minute info. Malaria--although uncommon, some people choose to take chloroquine as a preventive measure.
How and where will you meet me?
You will be met at the Roatan Airport and shuttled by minivan to the East End which is our base for the trip. We run this trip with our partner in Honduras, Michael Gray. He has been guiding trips in Honduras for years and knows all the ins and outs of the area. You can anticipate an incredible week of paddling, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, eating and relaxing.
How long will it take me to get there?
Direct flights from Houston take about 3 hours.
Where should I stay overnight around there?
We encourage you to come early or stay late. It's a wonderful country and you'll want more time. We'll even be happy to help you book your rooms. Our overland trips are designed to work as natural extensions to our Reef Weeks and you'll get a $100 discount for combining them. E-mail us for lodging and local travel recommendations. We'll help any way we can.
What money should I take?
You will not need any money during the trip, but will surely want to purchase gifts along the way. US dollars work fine in Honduras.
What's the currency? Exchange rate? Where can I exchange money?
The local currency is called the Lempira and currently trades at a bit over 19 to the US dollar. Basically, they’re each worth a nickel. Do not change money ahead of time. Everyone is happy to take US dollars on the island and you’ll get change in local currency at a very honest rate.
Do they take plastic there? Are there cash stations?"
In towns, many shops and restaurants accept major credit cards, and ATMs are not difficult to find. We get off the beaten path during the trip, but you will have no need for money while we’re out kayaking in these beautiful islands.
What's the weather like?
Fall is hurricane season, but during summer (Feb/Mar/April), daytime highs can range to 90, evenings in the low 70's with a seabreeze. Roatan Summer is the dry season, so rain is infrequent and sunscreen a must. This is also some of the best snorkeling/diving time with 80 ft. visibility in 82 degree water. Let's not even talk about how good the fishing is! I do hope you like seafood.
What are the accommodations like?
We sleep in simple bedrooms along the coastline. They are rustic yet comfortable, and each night the sound of the waves lulls you to sleep.
What do I need to bring?
We will send you a detailed gear list upon registration.
Can I drink the water?
Like most of Latin America, it is best not to drink any tap water, but bottled water is available everywhere and is provided in all of our lodging. That also goes for tooth brushing. Ice on the island is made from purified water.
What's the food like?
Island food is typically small red beans and rice (not at all spicy), corn tortillas, coconut bread, plantains, chicken stewed with peppers and saffron and seafood. We cook some island style and mix it with some other Caribe flavors. You may enjoy vanilla banana pancakes, pinto gallo (a Costa Rican breakfast), lobster paella, coconut grouper, conch stew, spicy shrimp pasta, snapper in fresh fruit sauce or traditional stewed chicken. Healthy fresh foods prepared this way take a little time, but there's always time for good food. We only patronize restaurants we trust and your food is carefully prepared to western standards by your guides. Vegetarian or non-seafood tastes are easily accommodated.
What time zone will I be in?
Roatan is GMT -6 hours, also known as the Central Standard Time Zone.
How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
The emergency contact number in Honduras is 248-224-1044 (this is Michael’s cell phone which works in Honduras though callers are only charged domestic long distance rates).
How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
We make every attempt to group people into particular weeks by skill level, so you are most likely to be balanced with a group with similar skills. Sometimes we may make two short trips in a day to give people options, some days we may be paddling for four or five hours. By utilizing two guides, singles and tandems and having a flexible schedule we can accommodate a variety of skill levels and paces. Want to read by the water one day? No problem. Spend the morning snorkeling? Me too! Go diving? Bring your card and we'll set it up with some of the best instructors in the Bay Islands. Go out and work on surf skills on a day when the wind is up? Count me in, it’s all possible.
What kind of equipment do you use?
We use rotomolded single and double plastic kayaks and double foldable kayaks.
How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
Generally between 4 and 12 people join us on this trip. Our guides are BCU and/or ACA certified kayak instructors, and hold certifications in Wilderness First Aid.
How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
Experience is helpful, but not mandatory. You can develop your skills with our ACA certified open water instructors throughout the week as you learn to handle a sea kayak in wind and waves. Being on a tropical island in the tradewinds does present some great opportunities for gentle paddling as well as rough water paddling without the dangers of cold water. You can also learn how to snorkel right out of your kayak on a fantastic living coral reef!