(This is part 4 of the story Caribbean Ahoy!)

IMG_9011The final port we visited on the weeklong cruise was Routan Honduras. Like Belize City, we would have to reach the shore by tendering. This time the boat ride to the shore was only a brisk five minutes.

IMG_9009Although I had been warned that Honduras was a sketchy country and it would be the most unsafe to venture about, I found Routan to feel very safe, at least compared to Belize City. The negotiating for a guide/driver for the day was much quicker than our first two stops but maybe we were just getting the hang of it. Within ten minutes of arriving we were on our way towards a beach with good snorkeling at the price of $58 for the cab ride for the day. The entrance fee to the beach would be another $10 each, which included showers, restrooms and beach chairs. Seemed fair enough.

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The beach was busier than I had anticipated but then I suppose I should have expected it to be busy when there are three cruise ships each with at least a few thousand passengers all unloading onto a small island. Still, it was relaxing enough and we found a great snorkeling area near the end of the beach. I had fully anticipated bringing a waterproof case for my phone so I could take photos of the tropical fish swimming about but unfortunately that was the one thing that slipped my mind when packing. You’ll just have to take my word for it, I saw dozens and dozens of different types of vibrant tropical fish.

After spending a several hours at the beach and getting a grade A sunburn, we met back with our cabby for a little more touring of the island. I was reminded how rusty my Spanish was when trying to communicate with the driver but I still had enough in me to make it work. I asked him to take me to a beach where there were no people so I could get some good photos. “¡Muy bien!” Off we went!

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He took us to the “West Bay” area of the island, which if I ever went back to visit and stay a week or two, this is definitely the area I would stay. There was plenty of small shops restaurants and quiet beaches that seemed to escape the throng of tourists.

Along the way we stopped at a lighthouse tower at one of the tallest points on the island. For $1 was able to climb to the top where there were was a breathtaking panoramic view of the island.IMG_8918 (1)

IMG_8975-(1)We went for a little off-road action to find a truly secluded beach. The sand was not great and there was a bit of flotsam that had washed ashore but between the solitude and small group of local children playing soccer on the beach, this is exactly the kind of authentic image I was looking for.

After not long, we proceeded on our way to do some souvenir shopping, which like any Central American country, bargaining was king. After the group was satisfied with their purchases, we made our way back to the ship and prepared for the two-day voyage back to Houston, Texas. 

IMG_8786The water was so clear in Routan that I was able to get a photo of some fish while standing on the dock.