Roatan West Bay Travel Report May 2006

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We left Utila aboard the Utila Ferry to LaCeiba and then boarded the Galaxy Ferry from LaCeiba to Coxen Hole in Roatan on May 2nd 2006. The ferry ride was very pleasant on large comfortable boats. We left Utila at 6:20 a.m. and arrived in Roatan at 12:15. There was a great mass of taxi drivers at the port and in just a few minutes we were on our way to Fosters West Bay resort. Fosters is a lovely beach side resort with Caribbean style design. The Restaurant/Bar which now serves as the office is a palapa with a beautiful view of the beach. Quirky cottages even include a "tree house" which is very popular with newlyweds.

When we arrived we found our room to be a lower unit in a building of about six rooms and suites. There was one double and a single bed, a small refrigerator and private bath. The beautiful beach was just outside our door and the view was spectacular. The A/C worked surprisingly well considering the louvered windows which do not seal very tightly. The staff was very helpful and I can definitely recommend Fosters for anyone desiring to stay on West Bay Beach in Roatan.

From the restaurant at Fosters you can watch the local beach activity including the beautiful sunsets right directly out front. We loved the laid back atmosphere and the scenery there. The grounds are well maintained and everything was kept clean and neat. Almost every morning Mr Foster would be out front with other staff cleaning and watering down the area to keep dust under control.
The only problem we encountered there was sand flies and mosquitoes. The wind was very calm while we visited and, regardless of their controls, the bugs almost ate us alive! Apparently this is highly dependent upon the wind direction as friends staying on the South side of the island had little problem on this particular week. Locals and long time visitors have little problems as after a few weeks you tend to stop reacting to the bites.
Mr Foster was very accommodating and allowed us to upgrade into an available room in a newer building that was more tightly sealed. This room was truly beautiful with tile floors, a big king sized bed and no louvered windows. This room also happened to be just outside the Octopus dive center which made my daily commute to go diving only about 15 seconds!
If you plan a trip to Roatan, I highly recommend that you take plenty of good insect repellant. One of our neighbors used what she referred to as "industrial strength deet" and said it worked great . The sand flies appeared to consider the Cactus Juice we used as an aphrodisiac. Also include a good medication to put on the inevitable bites to control the itch. If you tend to react strongly to bug bites, by all means take some benadryl or other antihistamine medication to control the reactions. My wife was very uncomfortable for the last few days we were there and that is a lousy way to "enjoy" a vacation.

Beach

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Foster's West Bay
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The Octopus Dive School was located just outside our door on the beach and next door was the "Bite on the Beach" restaurant, a local favorite. There are no roads along the beach and you walk along the beach to get to restaurants or other resorts in the area. That is a beautiful way to live, but does expose you to the bugs when you are going out to dinner in the evening.

I could certainly understand why the Travel Channel lists West Bay Beach as one of the ten best beaches in the world. It is beautiful with its calm waters, white sand, and beautiful coral reef that you can wade out to for fantastic snorkeling. The views there are hard to beat as well as you can see from this picture in front of Fosters.
There were a lot of fun activities going on along the beach near the various resorts. Most notably was at a resort just South of us that was favored by Italian tourists. There is no shopping on West Bay, no streets, no grocery stores, or fruit vendors, just an absolutely beautiful beach. However, there are lots of water taxis that for $2.00 each way will take you to West End village where you will find lots of restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, fruit and vegetable vendors, and limited shopping.


A Local Favorite

Las Rocas (next door)
Las Rocas (next door)

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