by Alyssa Ramos
Honduras was never on my top list of places to go. In fact, it wasn’t even my idea to go in the first place, but of course, my wanderlust-ism got the best of me, and before I knew it I was taking a propeller plane from the mainland of Honduras to its most popular island, Roatán Bay.
Now, if you asked me what one of my favorite places has been that I’ve traveled to out of almost thirty countries, I’d definitely say Honduras! It’s not your typical touristy vacation, which is why I loved it so much! Most of the roads are dirt, and wind through local towns made of colorful shacks, where it seems like everyone is always smiling.
Aside from the exciting culture, the vast majority of the island is covered in lush, tropical jungles, and white sandy beaches! I definitely got down with my inner Tarzan while learning how to zip line and playing with a kleptomaniac monkey! Check out what else there is to do in the awesome jungle island of Roatán Bay, Honduras!
I wish I would have found Anthony’s Key Resort first because this tropical wonderland was everything that I’ve ever wanted! I really felt like I was in another world, or maybe in a movie as I meandered along the wooden walkways that led up through the lush jungle to various thatched-roof bungalows tucked along the mountain side. At the very top were the bungalows for check in and the restaurant which offered breakfast and dinner as part of the all-inclusive package, along with one of the most enchanting views of the island and ocean that you’ll ever see.
But the bungalows that stood on stilts over the clear, turquoise bay won my vote over the jungle bungalows. We had to take a small boat to and from the island they were on just to get there, but it was definitely worth it. The wooden patio had two hammocks and a first class view of the gorgeous waters and jungle.
It also had several activities you could pay extra for like swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, scuba diving, horseback riding and more!
The first place I stayed at was in West Bay Beach and called Infinity Bay Spa and Beach Resort, which won the 2015 Travelers’ Choice award by TripAdvisor. It’s the newest resort, and gets its name from the sparkling infinity pool that levels with the horizon over the ocean.
The rooms are massive and come with a full bedroom, huge kitchen, living room, and spacious patio. There’s a fun bar and outdoor dining area right on the beach just steps away from your hotel room, and a lively crowd of mostly adults. The beach stretches for miles and if you walk along it you’ll come across many other beach front resorts, restaurants, and bars! Definitely stay here if you’re looking for a more relaxing, romantic experience.
For the adventurous hearts, definitely do the jungle zip-lining tour! This is no joke. Two locals take you zipping through layers and layers of all-natural jungle canopies, and will even take photos for you while you’re swinging like Tarzan! Part of it requires you to walk across a very narrow rope-bridge over a slightly scary-looking mud lagoon, and when you finally end up at the bottom, they offer you a beer and take you on a nature tour!
This isn’t your typical dolphin encounter where you put your hands out for the dolphin to kiss you while you get your photo taken. Since tourism isn’t super strict there, you can choose to do a free-swim with the dolphins in an enclosed area of the bay at Anthony’s Key Resort. If you get a cool guide (or if you’re reading this) they’ll let you in on a little secret – the dolphins love to play, so if you swim down and pluck a piece of seaweed and wave it around, they’ll come right up to you and take it!
Hondurans are very proud of their country and its wildlife, so there are many natural wildlife sanctuaries to showcase the plants and animals that are native to the area. I got to hold a beautiful red McCaw, and play with an adorable little monkey who liked to pull my hair and steal things out of my purse.
We thought we were getting a good deal with this…Infinity Bay set it up and it was supposed to be a private sailboat charter to an island where the captain was supposed to cook us an authentic meal. Well. The captain turned out to be a complete whacko from the States who I’m pretty sure was hiding from something, and also possibly on drugs. He wasn’t prepared at all, like to the extent that he almost cancelled on us because he hadn’t gotten any food or drinks for us yet and we were already on our way.
We had a fantastic local driver the entire time we were there (not because we’re fancy but because we made friends with him and specifically called him) who was helping us coordinate with him and ended up taking us to a fresh fish market to buy our own food and drinks…even though it was supposed to be included.
Then, the crazy captain (who wouldn’t stop talking) sailed us in the opposite direction of where the famous reefs and islands were…it was still nice, but there was nothing to really see until we got to a small “private” rock formation that he let us take his buoy out to…which…I was quite certain he was going to leave us at.
Snorkeling was also supposed to be included however like I said, the reefs were in the opposite direction, so we really couldn’t see shit. So, if you’re going to charter a sailboat, make sure you know exactly where it’s going, who’s sailing it, and what’s really included.
This is definitely an activity to do if you want to be all romantic with someone…or if you want to be adventurous and race your horse down an unpopulated beach. The guide let’s you gallop and even take your horse in the water to splash around. He’ll guide you down the beach where the only other living things are the thick, mysterious jungle, and the occasional seagull.
Further down you’ll come across an elementary school and by the looks on the local children’s faces, you’ll be able to tell that you are not something they are used to seeing. The final point before you turn around is someone famous, like Cher or something’s house, which is so massive and private that you can’t even get around the wall that blocks the beach off for it.
I did not scuba dive because I am not certified unfortunately, but I really wish I had been because Honduras is home of the second largest coral reef in the world! It’s a divers paradise apparently and I missed out because I didn’t do my research! At least now you know so you can go experience the underwater phenomenon, but if you find any sunken treasure I better get a finders fee!
Normally I’m very go go go when I travel, I like to do every possible activity, tour, and excursion there is to offer, but I must say, lounging on the beach at Infinity Bay was pretty nice…even if it was only because I was waiting for other people to get ready to go do something. West Bay Beach is said to be the best beach on the Island, so if you’re not staying at a hotel near it, try to take a day trip to experience it.
Every Wednesday from 5pm – 10pm there’s an “Island Fiesta” at Anthony’s Key Pavilion! You can get your cultural juices flowing with a fund night of dining, games, and live entertainment, there’s even a limbo contest! Native Garifuna Dancers will put on an exciting performance to the music from the live band! You know you want to get down with some native Honduran beats!
I should first note that this was NOT advised, and we ended up not doing it because of the potential danger…but just in case you are able to get a trustworthy driver, and perhaps a body guard, the Ancient Mayan Ruins in Guatemala are a few minutes away from the mainland. However seeing the security officials all around San Pedro Sula with massive rifles might make you think twice about a road trip across the border…