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Off the Beaten Path in Camp Bay, Roatan

You know when you find an unspoiled, incredibly special corner of the world and you sort of want to keep it a secret, but you know you probably should share it so as not to be a completely selfish human being? Camp Bay, Roatan is one of those places. Chris and I fell pretty hard for it, so I’m doing the right thing and spreading the word about this Caribbean gem.

While the west side of Roatan is a popular Caribbean cruise destination, Chris and I generally love to get away from the crowds and find spots that are less developed for tourism. So once we honed in on the idea of visiting Roatan, we looked away from the cruise ship ports to see what else we could find. I discovered information about Camp Bay and immediately decided we should head all the way east on the island to find our peaceful paradise. Plus, once I saw photos of a villa called Living Waters, I was sold. You’ll see what I mean.

During my trip research I read several mentions about how tricky it is to drive to the east end, but Chris and I are always up for a bit of adventure. Undeterred, we decided we would rent an SUV and hit the road toward the more undeveloped part of the island.

The roads were indeed bumpy since they are unpaved about 1/3 of the way, and even the paved roads are a bit of an obstacle course with some pretty serious potholes, but we took it slow (there’s no need to hurry on island time anyway!) and we had zero issues getting to and from Camp Bay.

Once we arrived, my jaw hit the beautifully tiled floor of our home-away-from-home for the week. If you’ve been following our travels, you may have noticed that Chris and I usually tend to favor staying in a private home rather than a resort or hotel. Living Waters ended up being our favorite villa to-date!

On top of being spoiled with such a fantastic house in a stunning location, it never rained once during our entire stay. As many times as we’ve endured some pretty bad weather situations while traveling, I’m truly grateful for these trips where it all goes off without a hitch.

(I hope I’m not jinxing ourselves for next time.)

When we weren’t in the pool listening to our beach mix playlist and enjoying a cold drink from the comfort of a pineapple-shaped float (how is that for an idyllic relaxation combo?!), we made use of the kayaks to paddle ourselves around the crystal clear waters behind the house. Kayaking here was one of my favorite activities of the week!

Chris also did some snorkeling near the house. We originally intended to take the kayak all the way out to the reef (you can see it in the distance in the picture below, where the water breaks into a small bit of white) and do some snorkeling there, but the lure of lounging by the pool overtook our desire to do anything strenuous. I’m sure you can understand. And besides, mid-week we were treated to a boat ride right up to the reef on another island for some really great snorkeling – more on that in an upcoming post!

If I haven’t fully convinced you to take a trip to Camp Bay yet, take a look at Camp Bay Beach.

Did you book your plane tickets yet?!

If a private villa isn’t your cup of tea, Camp Bay Lodge is situated a few lots down from where we stayed. The rooms look comfortable and charming, and the Lodge offers kite surfing lessons! We ran out of time to try it, but after watching the surfers behind the house all week, we decided we want to go back and give it a go (but we’ll definitely be staying at Living Waters again). Camp Bay is also home to Dive Pangea, owned by one of the nicest women you’ll ever meet, Chrissie. If you’re into scuba diving, I implore you to get yourself out to the east end and dive with her! She is a wealth of knowledge about the island and the reef.

Unspoiled beach, tranquil accommodations, and adventure in the form of water sports – what else do you need? Food? The east end of Roatan has that, too.

We did a big grocery store trip in at Eldon’s in French Harbour before arriving to the house so that we could eat several meals there, but we went out to eat several times, too. A few steps down the beach sits La Sirena, where you can drink the best rum punch on the island while watching the sun set.

After a short drive along the main road one evening, we found ourselves at The Crow’s Nest in Coxen Hole for delicious margaritas inspired by local flavors including island plum and mango. Anywhere I can feel like I’m in a jungle treehouse enjoying good food and drinks is fine by me!

And in sticking to our tradition of finding food with a Mexican flare while traveling (seriously, we end up eating Mexican food pretty much anywhere we go), we hit up Temporary Cal’s Cantina for some fish tacos. Cal’s is located mid-island and it took us over a half-hour to get there, but we’re always willing to drive a distance for chips and salsa.

We ended our week with a spectacular King Crab feast at a French Harbor restaurant, but more on that in a future post. And all of that is to say we didn’t go hungry by situating ourselves in Camp Bay. We never felt isolated (at least not in a bad way; we did feel blissfully far from the crowds), or like we couldn’t get out and explore.

Need more ideas for what to do around Camp Bay? Before you think we just sat around in these hammocks all week, up next is a post about our adventures on neighboring Bay Islands!

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