8 Days, 7 Nights|
Based On Double Occupany. Single Supplement fee of $400 with availability.
Guides, ground transportation, support vehicle, lodging (based on double occupancy, single supplement applies), most meals (breakfasts and all but one dinner), all kayaking equipment, instruction, |
Transportation to and from Roatan, lunches, one dinner, drinks, personal clothing and equipment, full medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurance, airport taxes and guide gratuities. Single supplement fee of $400 with availability.
Roatan is one of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras. The Caribbean waters offer a diverse array of world class diving, snorkeling and tropical diversity. Our kayak circumnavigation is like no other adventure on the island. Our journey blends the physical and cultural. Come ready for the harmony of island time and enjoy the beauty of the water, mountains and spirit of the people that call Roatan home.
Day 1 - The trip will officially start at the Airport on the morning of the trip start date. Your Northwest Passage guides will be waiting for you wearing a Northwest Passage t-shirt and holding a "The Northwest Passage" sign. We will then shuttle to Paya Bay on the North East side of the island where we’ll have time to settle into our rooms. Before dinner we’ll have welcome drinks and an orientation reviewing the itinerary for the week and answering whatever questions you may have. (D)
Day 2 – After breakfast, we’ll get fitted into our boats and gear and get straight out on the water to take-on the first leg of the circumnavigation. Along the way we’ll stop for cold drinks and snacks in the Garifuna town of Punta Gorda, and take time dip and snorkel in the clear blue waters along the nearby reef. Our first paddle leg will end at Turquoise Bay where we’ll spend our second night on Roatan. (B, D)
Day 3 – Today our journey continues westward along the North coast paddling the pristine reef where we’ll have more opportunities to snorkel and swim throughout the day (as conditions allow). The group will paddle roughly 8 miles today which may seem like a short distance, but will definitely fill up most of the day as we explore the sandy beaches and mangroves in search of wildlife and cold drinks. Our destination is the Upachaya Eco-Lodge where we’ll spend the next two nights. Tucked into the mangroves, this is a quiet retreat worthy of multiple nights. (B, D)
Day 4 – The objective today is to reach the Western tip of Roatan. This section of coastline is home to the most beautiful beaches and dive sites on the island. For this reason we will see more resorts and boat traffic. Don’t forget your snorkeling gear and camera! We will be taking full advantage of the well known dive sites and hopefully get a glimpse of some of the larger sea life that are native to Roatan. After landing our kayaks at the far end of West End town, we will shuttle back to Upachaya. Dinner is on your own tonight allowing for a few options from a quite night at Upachaya or in West End town for some local flavor. (B)
Day 5 – We will depart from Upachaya early in the morning and head back to our boats on the West end. This will be one of our longer days of paddling as we round the tip of the island and make our way back East along the southern coast. Today we’ll pass the two main cruise ports and the airport. While the areas we’ll be passing are more developed than the North coast, it is no less beautiful. The deeper water offers a much darker blue than the shallow reef of the previous days. We’ll finish our paddling leg at Barefoot Caye where we’ll rest up, have dinner, and spend the night. (B, D)
Day 6 – Ffully rested today is long day as we finish off the rest of the South Coast. Weaving in and out of the near-shore cayes, we’ll make our way 14 miles up the coast to Parrot Tree Resort. Along the way we’ll stop in the town of Oak Ridge which is one of the original settlements on the island, dating back to the 1600’s when notorious pirates ruled the Carribbean. (B, D)
Day 7 – On our last day of paddling will cover the remaining coastline of the island and arrive back at Paya Bay. This leg will take us through a canal on the Northeast end of the island which is also the most remote section of paddling. Without any restaurants or resorts, we’ll pack lunches in our boats have and enjoy remote mid-day meal on the water. Upon arriving back at Paya Bay (our original starting point) we’ll have one last celebratory dinner. (B, D)
Day 8 - After breakfast transportation will be provided to the airport where we’ll part ways until our next adventure together. (B)
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.
How long will it take me to get there?
Direct flights from Houston take about 3 hours.
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 our first nights lodging.
Where should I stay overnight around there?
If you plan to arrive early or stay late, contact the office for a recommendation on a great place to stay.
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 22 to the US dollar (check xe.com for latest rates). 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.
What money should I take?
Bring money for gifts, drinks and the meals(lunch) that are not included in the trip price (see itinerary). Typical lunch menus range in cost from $4-$10 and alcholic drinks $2-$6.
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.
What's the weather like?
Fall is hurricane season, but during summer (Feb/Mar/April), daytime highs can range to 90F, evenings in the low 70'sF 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. of visibility in 82F 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 chose to stay in hotels or resorts which offer superior rooms with breathtaking views, access to the water and friendly staff. Accommodations include breakfast, in room bathrooms, air conditioning and screened windows.
Will there be internet access?
All of our accomdations offer wireless internet access for no extra cost. Access can be limited in rooms.
What is a Single Supplement ?
The Northwest Passage partnerships with local hotel and resort owners are based on double occupancy. A Single Supplement is a fee paid by a solo traveler to compensate for losses incurred because only one person is using a double room. If you are a solo traveler and would like your own room for the trip duration the Single Supplement fee is applied. We pair solo travelers together based on registration date. If you request to share a room and The Northwest Passage cannot pair you with another traveler, the Single Supplement fee is applied. The Single Supplement fee is currently $400 and subject to change without notification.
What do I need to bring?
Navigate to our "Planning" tab above to find a detailed list of items. Once registered we will send you a confirmation packet containing our personal equipment checklist.
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 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.
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 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!
"I came to kayak and to push my comfort level. I was more than satisfied. The bonus was the interesting people who provided good conversation, companionship and great laughs." -Suzanne F. Stevens Point, Wisconsin
"Best guides ever! We have done many trips biking and quality of the experience is directly related to knowledge, skill and attitude of the guides. Eric exceeds all expectations." - Sheila H. Wautoma, Wisconsin
"Yoga and circumnavigation were experiences I will cherish for life met my highest expectation." - Tim H. Wautoma, Wisconsin
"Best way for a family to take a spring break..." - Tim H. Wautoma, Wisconsin
"Great time. Thanks for making our 2016 Mother/Daughter soiree an exceptional one! - Deb S. Amsterdam, Netherlands
" For the ultimate escape and paddling adventure, join The Northwest Passage in Crete or Roatan for an exceptional experience! It will be memorable." - Deb S. Amsterdam, Netherlands
"Eric and Rick, Thanks for a fabulous adventure. Exciting to be part of the "first ever" circumnavigation and help to get the paddle path for others. The Northwest Passage exceeds my expectations again! - Deb S. Amsterdam, Netherlands
"I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the trip. I felt like a true explorer and adventurist. This trip fulfilled one of my dreams. The company and bonding was the best. To Rick and Eric from the bottom of my inner soul, THANKS again for all your assistance. - Tim H. Wautoma, Wisconsin
"I thoroughly enjoyed the trip! Kayaking was great, water was beautiful - warm, colorful and calm for much of the trip. I loved snorkeling! Eric our guide made this trip special. He could no have done anything more to make this trip special, safe and enjoyable! It was fun being part of a group that craved out a adventure in Roatan. - Sheila H. Wautoma, Wisconsin