June 29, 2010

Mayan Divers

As a change of pace, at least for now, I will forget about the food and restaurants and I will write a small entry about a recent diving adventure. During my short lived stint in Roatan I was working from my office located at the Mayan Princess resort and due to the ton of work I had to do, I had very little time to do anything but rest. I was more than desperate to do some diving as soon as I had some spare time but due to bad weather conditions and only having one day off it became very difficult to pick a good day to go out diving. Having the Mayan Divers Dive Shop right there on the resort, made it very convenient for me not only to go out with the best weather but I also had the chance to ask when they would be doing the best dive sites.

The owners as well as the staff are all very experienced divers, very friendly and out to have fun; not to mention that they are well organized, they cater to small groups and best of all, they have very good equipment. All of which makes any dive a more satisfying experience! I have tried quite a few dive shops and I must say the the Mayan Divers' gear has got to be up there in the top three best quality equipment on the island, with brand new BCDs, wetsuits and regulators. The boat is top notch too. No wonder they are a PADI certified 5 star dive center.

Mayan Divers offers discover courses, open water courses as well as more advanced diving and specialty courses. They do shark dives, underwater photography, deep dives, night dives, you name it! They even use the pool in the Mayan Princess Resort for the confined water exercises. The shop is well equipped with a roomy classroom, enough storage space for the gear, and all the audiovisual material used to teach everything there is to know about diving.

Let me tell you, owners Liber and Anja have a good operation going. They know all the good places to dive in Roatan and they are sure to make your dive a pleasant one. I had the opportunity to dive with Anja and one of their instructors Adrian on several occasions, and they were both very good at spotting all kinds of marine life. They also let you dive at your own pace in a relax fashion depending on your level of expertise.

So, if you are headed towards West Bay and you want dive you know were to go!

June 22, 2010

Catch the Sun at Sundowners

SUNDOWNERSis the place to be from 4pm till ...!
prepped and ready for theBEVERAGEof your choice
You have no permission to leave the island of Roatan before visiting Sundowners for the enjoyment of a quality sunset. Just make a right at the main entrance upon arrival to West End and follow the music to perhaps one of the most successful locales in Roatan's history. It is in this simple and unpolished,  wooden structure where locals, backpackers, and the new locals - those who came as tourists but decided to stay for a whilehang out when they want to relax after a long day of diving or doing the tourist thing. All you gotta do is sit back, lose the shirt and the sandals (and once in a while scratch with your bare toes, the backside of a friendly rottweiler who likes to roam around the bar), and grab a cold one while you are at it, and watch the sky change colors and the sun slowly sink into the wide, blue yonder. It is a breathtaking spectacle worthy of applause and ideal for taking pictures. And if you though it could not get any better than this, as the light of day fades, the staff gives the place an even greater appeal by setting up a bonfire beachfront to keep the party going. The music played spans the entire rock and roll spectrum with a little bit of everything from Rolling Stones classics to Thievery Corporation's more current chill out sounds, and even some reggae style Sublime tunes thrown into the mix. 

Apart from this great atmosphere, there is also a fast food/snacks menu to choose from. There's a nice selection of appetizers, sandwiches, wraps and pitas. I personally tried the boneless Buffalo Wings and the French Fry Nachos which were both very good, in particular the Buffalo Wings which were exceptionally spicy. These food items are sure to curve your hunger and your buzz while you are having a good time at Sundowners. When it comes to drinks, the Monkey Lala (a Kahlua based concoction), is very popular in Sundowners, and so are the Strawberry and Mango Daiquiris (made with fresh mango right from the tree, when in season) - although, I have to admit that I never hung out there without my favorite beach drink in hand, the sweet and tasty Pina Colada, hmm... the memories.

So no doubt, Sundowners IS where the night begins in West End and where most converge for this daily "after-work" routine. It is only after many serious thoughts and comments about how beautiful Roatan is and how you would like to move there, that the alcohol begins to gradually dilute from your system at which point it becomes time for those who want to go home, to do so, and for those who want to continue the party, to move on to the next venue down the block