Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
My wife and i recently visited the Mayan ruins at Copan and once again we had a marvelous time. We rode the Hedman Alas bus from La Cieba ($30 for a first class ticket) and were thoroughly impressed with the service and the comfort of the Mercedes Benz buses used. We stayed at Hacienda San Lucas just outside of the town of Copan, it's beautiful and in my opinion the best hotel and restaurant in Honduras. The Hacienda oozes old world charm and the nature is breathtaking (great bird watching). Flavia the hotelier is an amazing woman (she spent thirty years in the U.S. before returning to the Hacienda that her grandfather built) and her family and staff are delightful.
As in past trips we hired a guide at the site of the ruins ($40 for 3-4 hours) and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the company of our guide. Apart from the ruins themselves, the nature and the way it's grown on and around the site is beautiful (the ceiba trees are enormous), a little bit of Ankor Wat in Central America. If you visit, be sure to go to the onsite museum, it houses probably the greatest collection of mayan stone carvings in the world. Copan may not be the biggest city of the Mayan civilization but it was certainly a center for the arts.
A perfect Honduran vacation? A week at Treasure Beach followed by a couple of nights at Copan gets my vote!
Monday, July 5, 2010
My favorite place to eat lunch on Utila is the Purple Pelican on Pine Point beach. It's one of only two buildings on about two miles of water front and its the perfect spot for a long leisurely break. I like to kayak from Treasure Beach (it takes about half an hour) the water is so clear and there are hundreds of big orange starfish, it's truly spectacular. The Purple Pelican is built over the water so it gets a nice cooling breeze most days. Kurt and Amy (owner and manager) have put up a volley ball court and lots of sun beds on the beach, so it makes a great place to spend an afternoon, eating, drinking, snorkeling, relaxing. And paddling back to Treasure Beach on a kayak helps to burn away some of the fish taco and beer calories !!
If you've come out from town, stay later and watch a spectacular sunset over the sea and cays, something you won't see in town.
UTILA : MY TOP TEN PICKS FOR FOOD & DRINKS
- DRIFTWOOD INN - great for a cool breezy lunch on the dock, bruce on the b.b.q. at night (his brisket is famous on the island but i like the beer battered snapper). a favorite amongst the expats, horse shoes on the sand & u.s. sports on t.v. sunday afternoons.
- LUNCH AT THE CAYS- wether you choose beau's "fishburger" or mr. hermans "cay view", no trip to utila is complete without lunch on the cays. everyone goes for the fish burgers but i prefer the chicken or lobster (in season). great places to spend a surface interval, bring your camera.
- MANGO INN-best pizza on the island, authentic thin crust italian style from the brick oven. beautiful gardens, watch the hummingbirds feed by day, bats at night.
- THE INDIAN WOK- consistently good indian/asian cuisine, a welcome new addition to utila.
- THE PURPLE PELICAN-my new favourite place for lunch. located at pine point one of utilas prettiest beaches. nice food, beach chairs and lovely water (i've never seen so many starfish). stay for a couple of hours, eat, drink, swim and relax.
- THOMPSONS BAKERY- the place to stop on your way to that first dive of the day. great coconut bread and cinnamon rolls.
- TRANQUILLA BAR- a favorite of backpackers and locals, great place to sit on the water and watch the sun go down. an eclectic music selection fuels the party as the evening progress', an institution on utila.
- TREETANIC BAR- located in a treehouse on the grounds of the jade seahorse. atmospheric , hip bar thats a favorite of the divemasters and younger expats. things usually get going around 10pm,. nice crowd, good vibe.
- ULTRA LIGHT - great falafel sandwiches and chicken schwarma . very reasonably priced, quality middle eastern food.
- UTOPIA RESORT- for a special evening out of town, chef hugh prepares the best food on the island (probably honduras), his menu changes daily . try the blackfin tuna if its available, amazing ! accessible only by boat from town, contact the hotel to make reservations and transportation arrangements.
- my adventures in island living . after visiting utila as a diver for four years (it reminds me of ambergris caye belize, 20 years ago) i bought some beach front land in 2005 and built a home for myself in 2007. i'm located on the beautiful southwest shore opposite the utila cays at treasure beach. now i'm in partnership with my builder Roger, designing/building beautiful homes for our clients (we've completed 5 so far) and living my island dream !