Of the 30 countries Babygirl has visited across the world, (as of the writing of this post 😂), her favorite is the small isle of Utila off the northeast coast of Honduras in the tropical Islas de la Bahía (Bay Islands). Almost every trip we’ve planned together, we’ve considered going back there so she can show me the island's simple allure.
She loves it that much...
So, getting to finally see this remote refuge from modern chaos, social media, and even cars, was something I've been hearing about for years, and was excited to finally see. In typical Andrew and Talita fashion, we decided on the destination only weeks before we planned to travel there. That said, the itinerary of activities that Babygirl put together was impressive.
Our 6 day/night trip would begin in San Pedro Sula where we’d spend a night before flying to the island of Roatán for 3 days. We then would take a private boat over to the small island of Utila for 2 more days before finally taking a ferry from Utila back to the Mainland, and a cab back to San Pedro Sula for our final night. We’d head back to the states early that next day. For details on our travel logistics, check out our Trips, Tricks & Hacks page.
Our trip began in, of all places, Houston.
...where our connecting flights converged.
I was escaping the cold of Boston where it could be 75°F during "Fool's" Spring or it could be "Third Winter" dumping 2 feet of snow. See details of our 12 seasons below:
March is also my birthday month, which falls on the month’s biggest holiday, St. Patrick's Day 🍀, March 17th! Each year for my birthday, Babygirl and I planned an adventure to a tropical location to escape New England's fickle and frigid weather. Last year we went to St. Lucia, this year the destination was Honduras.
Babygirl’s “retreat” from, always sunny Scottsdale, she’d consider escaping paradise for more paradise.
First to arrive in Houston, I got the rare experience of greeting a loved one RIGHT when they got off the plane. (I was already through security). Our IG story for the entire trip is here, her ENTRANCE 🤩, is the 2nd clip. Before boarding our flight to Central America,we had some time to chill in Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Never to pass up an opportunity to utilize her Platinum AMEX lounge perk, Babygirl led us on a mini-adventure through the airport’s winding labyrinth of construction and underground tunnels to find the Centurion Lounge. 2 hour layovers can’t get much better than when you can enjoy them with free food, drinks, and High-Speed internet. 😎 (REEL) Our tranquil stay was all too brief, soon we heard our boarding call to hop on our 1800 mile flight.
3 hours later, we arrived in San Pedro about 7PM. The distance to clear customs and exit the small Aeropuerto Ramón Villeda Morales (SAP) could not have been more than a few hundred feet, hatch to curb.
We were a bit worried about safety and security based on the current US Travel Advisory (ok, I was 😅).
When I 1st read the warnings, ...
... and only one week before leaving, I had legitimate doubts about how much Adventure I wanted in this Dope Life.
Turns out all that worry was a bit over dramatic. During the entire trip we felt completely safe, at least from serious crime. We did have a few moments, however, that felt mildly life threatening 😂, including two sketchy AF boat rides. That being said, ...
... we had a private cab set-up with a friend to take us into the city and show us around. For our brief time in San Pedro, just that night, we stayed at the lovely Hilton Princess. In the morning, we’d be back at the airport to venture on to Roatán.
Our 1st meal of the trip was at OKI POKI for dinner with our new friend who’s also a fashion designer!
(Check out her style! xactivewearhonduras / xactivewearmiami)
Something about eating an amazing meal when starving from traveling all day just hits different 🤤...
I don’t know what I thought poki was going to be like, but I was stunned at how good this asian-fusion inspired meal was. Phenomenal.
The next morning following a quick photo shoot, we were back at the airport.
Taking a local flight was a completely different experience than passing through international customs the day before. Waaay less formal, more like a bus terminal than an airport. Babygirl still found the lounge tho! 😎 She never be slippin.
The best way to get to Roatán, 200 miles to the northeast, is by small propeller plane. (see our Trips, Tricks & Hacks).
The 40 minute flight...
...barely felt life-threatening despite a little equipment uncertainty and a 5 minute delay while they attempted to pull the stairs in to the door. 😂 The flight itself was smooth and uneventful. Below, the emerald mountainous jungle terrain slowly became the deep blue of the Caribbean sea. Venturing to the tropical island via propeller plane was worth the ominous cabin vibration noises (BG held my arm so tight I thought she’d cut off my circulation 😂) and the 110°F we endured for the 1st 10 minutes of the flight 🥵. Oh, and the periodic wafting vomit smell 🤮. Totally worth it. 😅 Kinda reminded me of this show from when I was a kid, TaleSpin.
As we approached the island, we took a few shaky circles around the runway before landing at the Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport. It felt like we were in an adventure movie.
Crime was significantly less on the island...
...compared to the mainland, so we felt fine hailing a cab to take us from Coxen Hole, where we landed, the island's largest city. 30 minute southwest was the West Bay on the island's southern tip. We drove through winding streets lined with various buildings and homes of differing color, style and structural integrity. On the 8 mile ride from the airport, weaving along the island’s south coast, school children dismissed for the day, walked along the side of traffic, their matching uniforms imitating the country's blue and white flag. The narrow, sometimes single vehicle width streets, became jammed with traffic shadowed by 3 massive cruise ships, each one large enough to replace Utila’s entire population. Our deft cab driver took a sharp right and we went north into the neighborhood's interior to avoid the chaos from the sudden population explosion the cruise ships initiate every time they dock. We passed dilapidated shacks, and abandoned cars missing most of their parts, before cutting through a back road and a flooded street. Sketch. Adventure. That feeling you get when you’re pretty sure things are ok,... But not like 100% sure… Maybe not even 80% sure…. …and then the fear is gone. And you know what it feels like to be alive. That cab ride was an Adventure. And there would be plenty more. (Wait till the boat’s 😅)
Alive! Our cab pulled off the main road into a confided alleyway filled with activity. Excursion coordinators, a family of 4 who sounded like they were from Germany, divers, and beach merchants all moved up and down the thin lane from the main road to the beach.
We unloaded after pulling up to the resort check in, a diminutive building filled with rental towels.
A few minutes later we were on our way to the Thirsty Turtle, the tiki hut themed bar nestled next to the beach filled with activity. A few feet from the bar, up a flight of steps above the ice cream stand, was our cozy circular room, with a view of it all.
Ensuing a day relaxing at the Thirsty Turtle and laying in the sun. We cleaned up and headed out to the nightlife filled West End.
Getting north up the coast to West End, we decided to use one of our favorite transportation methods, water taxi!
Available for $5 per person, we were able to take the 10 minute ride with a few other tourists over to Happy Harry’s Hideaway. Harry’s was one of many pier bars built over the water, with a deck for the water taxi to land. You have the option to be dropped off at any one of the pier bars that wove up the coast. (water-taxi)
Pulling up to the dock...
...the perimeter was populated with happy drinkers on swings and hammocks, swaying over the shallow water, mildly annoyed by our watercraft’s imposition.
Keeping it moving, we headed through the bar out to the tiny street that preceded up West End. Wide enough for one car to pass, the street was lined with bars, restaurants, nightclubs, dive shops, and street vendors. The beach side included docks and more restaurants over the water like Harry’s.
Our first stop was Franks Beach bar. We watched the sunset and enjoyed craft cocktails. (check out our sunset time-lapse REEL)
As it was Tuesday night, most of the night clubs were not popping like on a weekend, so we only briefly inspected the Booty Bar, Afrobeats reverberated through the hollow dance hall.
We ended up back at Harry’s for dinner and drinks before heading back to West Bay.
The 12 minute cab ride back to the resort was surprisingly about as long as the boat ride over. The evening still felt young, by our standards, so we decided to walk the beach south past the neighboring resorts.
Our peaceful stroll in the night’s warm ocean breeze, felt pretty safe with the armed security patrolling. 😅
...this bar also had swings for patrons, just like Harry’s, I guess it's a thing around here. Our evening concluded with one last drink, and a quick explore around the pool, while Don’t Stop Believing rang into the night.
Sloth Dreams Do Come True
The next day would be one of the most special of our relationship.
If you didn't know, sloths are a big part of our journey together. You could call it our relationship spirit animal, an inside joke about how slow we move compared to everyone else we know. 😂
Meeting, holding, ENCOUNTERING a sloth would be the real life culmination of an insane couple’s idolizing of this adorable central american mammal.
And we were fucking here for it.
Like literally. It was 70% of why I was on this trip. 😅
Babygirl planned the day perfectly. We took a 40 minute cab ride up to Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hang Out, which was also next to our 2nd stop of the day, Little French Keys. We packed our bathing suits, cameras, and bootleg sunscreen I got from the Farmacia.
Oh yeah, we forgot to bring sunscreen...
On this trip to a Sunny tropical location. So, I stopped at a Farmacia (where one would typically get FDA non-approved viagra without a prescription) and found a local brand that I didn’t recognize, but figured sunscreen technology must have peaked decades ago.
It was horrible. The stuff smeared on like milky plaster. The sun screen, not the viagra. Our cab ride seemed to take forever as we had to again dodge the cruise ship traffic through a one-way street filled with tourist traps. Tiny shops and restaurants, located at the bottleneck, sat ready to ensnare the tourist dollars that burned holes in their pockets as they flowed off the cruise ships. I felt bad for those whose curiosity will be satisfied by this capitalistic encounter and might not venture past THAT street to see the more authentic side of the culture. Arriving at Daniel Johnsons with dozens of other eager tourists, our anticipation level was an 11/10. Organized into groups of about 16, we headed into the animal enclosures to meet the adorable capuchin monkeys, brilliant scarlet macaws, and the sloths.
And this is when we encountered a sloth. 🦥(REEL)🦥
Recovering our senses from the emotional rollercoaster that we just experienced, we took a 3 minute cab ride over to the ferry dock to Little French Key.
About 1000 feet off the coast where our sloth encounter occurred, was the small private island of Little French Key.
With its hundreds of hidden nooks, sea swings, sapphire blue coves, tropical drink serving bars,…rope swings, and Instagram-able backdrops filled with aspiring Instagram models,..phew. Little French Key is as beautiful as it is relaxing.
We shot several photo shoots (photo-shoot) and a (REEL)
Baby then got her hair did...
... (story) and we enjoyed some fall off the bone grilled chicken and chilled. On the long cab ride home we faded in and out of consciousness as the sunscreen was as ineffective as it was impossible to put on.
Shout out to our awesome cab driver!
Following showers and a nap, we went back to Cuyaco Beach Bar for a delicious dinner of orange chicken and pasta.
Birthday Boat Tour
Today I turned 45.
Wow. That's a big number. The day before we were achieving animal relationship goals, and today I would be celebrating a long and prosperous life thinking it might end in the ocean aboard an undersized water skiff pretending to be a deep ocean ferry.
(I actually was pretty sure given the life jackets, we’d probably survive capsizing, but our belongings would be lost forever in the choppy ocean surf.)
Before we get to the “tour boat”, let