I'd been dreaming of Roatan since I first saw its beauty on the interwebs. I hopped off the Carnival Glory at the Mahogany Bay stop zooming right past the touristy shops selling towels and trinkets. Before the ship sailed from Miami, I told myself that I would be avoiding Mahogany Bay at all costs. Why? After going over my cruise itinerary, I realized that we were set to be docked in port there for 11 hours. I thought this was odd seeing as though every other port city was only a mere 8 hour stop.
I did my Googles and found that Carnival actually owns the touristy shops mentioned earlier. AHH. It's just like good ol' capitalism to build up a 'port' and then purposely spend more time in this makeshift place so we can spend even more money there. I'm good.
Instead of heading to their overcrowded and manmade attraction, I opted to head to a private little island on Roatan Island in Honduras. Read: Little French Key. As always, I found this spot on Instagram and just knew I had to get there on this trip. Honduras is a small country and Roatan is the 'paradise' island that travelers love to explore. Typically, I like to do immersive tours and head to local spots hoping to meet local folks who might be willing to show me the nitty, gritty of their home. The real.
For me, traveling is less about the glitz and glam of luxury travel and more about having experiences that are impactful. I realize that every country visited won't be some grand story where I hit it off with a local and leave having a new friend in a different part of the world. I wish, I knew this trip would be different because of the nature of cruises.
I finally got to relax. This was the first vacation of my adult life.
Little French Key was the perfect hub for kicking back, enjoying good food and diving into water sports. We couldn't have picked a better place to spend the day away from the crowds. Straight from the port, we hopped in a van headed to Little French Key (transportation to and from the port is included in the price). We passed by alleyways and homes of the people of Roatán while our local guide told us about life on the island and mainland Honduras.
During the ride, I couldn't help but think back to all of the times I rode into a new city and the beautiful anxiety that comes with the unknown of a new place. I can remember riding into Marrakech and feeling totally in shock by the camels walking down the main street. This was a similar feeling except for this time I was shocked and ecstatic to be in the Caribbean for the first time ever.
We pulled into Little French Key and I immediately knew paradise was around the corner. We chose our package which including entry, transportation, food, two drinks, access to snorkeling equipment, paddle boards and kayaks and choosing to add on an interaction with jaguars. Keep in mind the cheapest package is currently $58 USD so this could get expensive for families or large groups.
Then we hopped on a boat to head to the actual island. Our ride was filled with oohs, awws and the sweet sound of reggaeton playing in the background. When I stepped foot on the island, I knew my Instagram find was a winner. The tour guides showed us around our home for the day. Dotted with palm trees and lined with swinging hammocks, this place was heavenly.
There were outdoor showers (swoon) and tree houses just waiting to be explored. We jumped off cliffs, jet boarded, swam up to oceanside bars and indulged in stand up paddle boarding. The water sports at this B&B are endless. I was starting to wish we didn't have a ship to board because I was getting comfortable and so badly wanted to sleep in one of their boutique guest rooms.
One of the coolest parts about the resort is the animal rescue center where parrots, gorgeous peacocks, spider monkies and jaguars live. I'm not exactly sure when I became such a daredevil but part of the reason I went to LFK was for the personal Jaguar experience. I'd seen people in Thailand petting big cats but this was different. I got to play with the cutest baby jag and even learned a thing or two about how to care for them. It was one of the most amazing feelings I've ever experienced. He tried to bite me (more like nibble) and I didn't have any real fear.
Being fearless - That's real freedom. I'm trying to be more fearless in my life so this was a good start.
What's th bravest thing you've done while traveling? Comment below!
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