A few weeks ago I was getting an itch. No not that kind of itch. I was feeling like I needed an adventure! I had a travel itch and it needed a scratching.

It’s amazing what setting a date can do. If you want something done – set a date. Having it there will make it much more tangible and will be pressing you to make it happen. If you think I should do this later, you will just keep putting it off and putting it off because your situation isn’t “ideal”. I set a random date a little whiles out and started making the moves. Held off on purchases, arranged appointments around it, reserved tickets and hostel research. Once I started telling people that I was going on a trip, my lovely friend Nicole decided she was coming too! The more the merrier. Well actually, 4 maximum when traveling and 2-3 is ideal.

I chose the island of Roatan in Honduras as my destination. Snow has been lackluster so far this season in Colorado so I wanted to get out. I kept having this image of me lying in a hammock on the beach drinking a beer in my head. And that is exactly what happened.

Photo credit Nicole Lindstrom (@gldmne on instagram)

But first we must start with getting there. Roatan is a small island with a small airport. There are several flights in and out a day but have one terminal, one gate and one tiny runway. It’s so short that pilots can’t land with GPS gear alone – they have to see the runway from a certain distance. Enter tropical storm and clouds. We left Houstan at 10 am and didn’t get into Roatan till 7pm. Keep in mind this is suppose to be a 3 hour flight. We sat on the tarmac, flew circles around Roatan and finally had to land in the nearby city of San Pedro Sula to sit in the airport for a few more hours till we could get that window where the pilot could see the tiny air strip. After a very rough landing we had made it!

Palmetto Bay Roatan Photography Dock

Now, unfortunately it was cloudy for most of the time we were there. But the silver lining in that is that we ended up doing a lot more exploring than we otherwise would have. If it was sunny the whole time, I would have been hanging out on the beach all day every day, but this forced us to look around a bit. Here is a group of piers by our hostel.

Roatan pier photography

Roatan honduras pier photographyv

Sandy Bay Pier Beach Photography

As we were taking pictures, these little trouble makers showed up.

Honduras People Portrait

They were two sets of twins. The older ones had amazingly bright eyes.
Honduras People Portrait

Here is Nicole showing pictures of themselves. One kid doesn’t care what’s going on there.
Showing Kids how to Instagram

Monkey skills
kid hanging on a dock

I had to join. Also this is what happens when you let random kids use your camera.

Many picturesque scenes on the island.

roatan honduas photography

West End pier dock photography

Having some fun with a ND light stopper.

We spent many sunsets at this restaurant /bar. If you go to Roatan, seek out the Barking Monkey. The owner is awesome and the views and scenes are ridiculous.
Barking monkey Roatan Honduras

Downstairs sitting area. Open panoramic views.
Bakring Monkey Roatan Honduras

And the view from upstairs.
Barking Monkey View Roatan
Gliding through paradise.
Gliding through paradise

Sunset roatan barking monkey long exposure pier dock

View from another bar where we had drinks.
Blue Marlin Bar Roatan

Beach day! We had to take a taxi boat which was awesome!
travel photography honduras boat

Pelicans in flight

West Bay Roatan beach rocks photography

Wading with my camera in the water and holding it 1/2″ above the water is my version of Michael Jackson holding his baby over a balcony.
West Bay Roatan honduras beach rocks photography

Skeptical iguana is skeptical.
skeptical iguana

We found some kids with kites. Nothing is more awesome than watching kids having a blast and adults letting the kids in them out.

Portrait of a kite master
portrait of a kite master

Kids flying kites on beach

Flying kites on the beach

Kite flying photography

These ladies are mad jealous of the time Nicole is having.

Kite flying on the beach

Kite flying on the beach

If they had synchronized kite flying competitions, these girls would win.
kite flying on beach roatan photography happy

We also had a jungle day where we hiked to the top of a mountain peak. Unfortunately, Nicole didn’t have proper hiking gear and braved it in flip-flops. A mystery ant/spider/alien bit her toe, but I am happy to say that she still has her foot and all her toes.
Carambola Gardens roatan
Fruit basket
Carambola Gardens roatan

These things are fucking scary.
fire ants

Getting the shot.

Tropical flowers

Onwards and ever upwards.

Probably the coolest piece of wood I have ever seen.

Now we get to our last full day in Roatan. People had been telling us that we should check out this place called Palmetto Bay. The only way to get there was by a dirt road. And just to remind everyone, that it had been raining for 2 weeks straight. After off-roading in a ’92 Toyota Corolla with a very talented taxi driver, we were able to get within a mile of the entrance to this secluded El Dorado. Luckily someone in a 4×4 came to the rescue just as we started walking. So glad we made the trek.

Pool Side Palmetto Bay

A well-deserved Monkey LaLa.
Monkey LaLa

Palmetto Bay

This is Valhalla. This is why I flew to Central America. It was like a beautiful peace factory at the end of a pier.
Palmetto bay

Palmetto Bay Hammocks

I wasn’t the only one who was utterly content.

That brings us to the end of our Roatan, Honduras adventure. I would like to end with an off-hand snapshot of Nicole’s eyes. As soon as I saw it, I thought of a travel ad. So here it is. Waiting for you Honduras Board of Tourism.

Inspired by my friend Tim King I will start breaking down my trip pricing for insight into how much trips like this cost and hopefully inspiring some of you to take action.

So here is the price break down. For a week of island living it cost $800 including airfare.

Plane ticket- $300
6 nights in hostel- $80
Transportation – $100
Drink – $100
Food – $160
Misc. – $40

Keep in mind that we spoiled ourselves a bit with the food. Alcohol is always expensive on an island but it is completely possible to eat on less than $10 a day. We were treating ourselves to a lot of delicious dinners. This trip could have easily been done on a budget of $600 and still lived comfortably.

If you like international travel here is a recent trip to Sweden.

By Sasha Juliard

Sasha Juliard

Author Sasha Juliard

More posts by Sasha Juliard

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Adam says:

    I’m going to Roatan in May and saw this blog when I searched “photographer travel to honduras”. I dug your blog. It looked like you had a decent camera with you. I want to bring my good one (and tripod), but after research realized how dangerous Honduras can be. How was traveling with your camera? How safe were the beaches at night? I didn’t see any night pics on your blog, but my cute blonde girlfriend wants to skinny dip. I also saw you went for a hike, and travelled across the island. Did it ever feel sketchy? One more question: what month did you visit? Any tips are appreciated. Thanks!

  • Sasha Juliard says:

    Adam,
    Glad you enjoyed the blog.
    Safety in Honduras is kind of a mixed bag. I did not explore the mainland which I hear is pretty dangerous and has the highest per capita gun homicide in the world. However, Roatan is relatively safe. I never really felt unsafe walking around with my camera gear. During the day, pretty much the whole west side of the island is safe to explore while the east side was recommended to avoid so we did. At night, the areas that are completely ‘safe’ shrinks but if you stick to those areas we never felt in danger. I am sure the places that people recommended us to stay away from would have been fine but we felt that there was no need for unnecessary risk. When you get there and check in to the place you are staying, ask the hotel staff about safety, they will give you a run down of what/where is ok and what is not. With all that said, yes, Roatan was fine walking around with my camera gear in the right areas. I don’t have too many night shots but that is also because I didn’t bring my tripod.
    As for your girlfriends saucy desires; I can’t really help with this as we stayed securely clothed. Private beach at a private resort I should think?
    We visited in January.
    Last tip: when you get to the airport, don’t get a taxi right as you get out. Leave the airport area/parking lot and cross the street and flag down a cab and ask for a ‘collectivo’ to the area to you are going. It’ll like $3 per person rather than a $20 ride. Search the collectivo rates online.

  • Alberto Martinez says:

    Your pictures are amazing! I’m spending a week in Roatan in a couple of months. Other than the Barking Monkey, do you have any recommendations on places to eat? Where did you do your hike for your jungle day? Any tips would be awesome! Cheers.