Luxury Living in Pico Bonito

Today, Kelsey and I moved onto our third and final destination of this trip but we spent the last two nights staying at The Lodge & Spa at Pico Bonito, a marvellous little placed deemed to be “one of the best small luxury resorts in the world.”

Pico Bonito is a national park on the mainland of Honduras. The lodge we were staying at owns 200 acres just outside of the national park. It’s popular among “birders” due the immense amount of wildlife that can be seen on the lodges grounds.

After taking a ferry from Roatan to the mainland and finding a lovely gentleman holding a sign saying “Mr. Kelsey Ilg,” we made our way up to the lodge. We were greeted with a welcome drink (with Rum!) and then provided with a tour of the facility including the restaurant, conference centre, pool, spa, yoga area, and finally our cabin. We had arrived fairly early in the morning so, after eating a delicious breakfast, we decided to spend the first day hiking The Loop trail, a ‘medium difficulty’ trail that is said to take approximately 2-4 hours. Needless to say, it was a lot of uphill and downhill and our calves are still aching today.


One of the lookout points on our hike


Gorgeous views hiking up into the clouds

Our second day we decided to check out one of the natural swimming holes that we were too tired to walk to the previous day. The swimming hole was at the bottom of a small waterfall, part of a rushing river. It was beautiful, with butterflies flying around and vines hanging from the trees; really one of those times you think you might be in a movie scene. The rest of the day we spent laying by the pool and then using our included spa service, which consisted of sitting in a steam room and rubbing Honduran mud on our bodies.

Overall, our stay at the lodge was glorious. The food was delicious, the beds were the most comfortable, you are surrounded by wildlife and birds chirping, and the overall environment can best be described as “tranquil” and “peaceful.” It is the type of place where they are acutely aware of your every move in order to anticipate your needs which is both slightly eerie and oddly appreciated.


Our lodge – one of 22 that are part of the resort


Tonight we’ve  moved into more ‘rustic’ and ‘charming’ accommodations (real estate adjectives!) and are planning to head out for another dive tomorrow.


First Stop – Roatan

We have arrived! (Actually we arrived many days ago and have since moved on…) We arrived on the island of Roatan and quickly found a taxi to bring us to our first hotel, Splash Inn. We were greeted with a lovely ‘Welcome Drink’ and quickly made ourselves comfortable. Roatan is quite a big island but most tourists seem to stay either on West End (where we were) or West Bay. We easily walked the length of West End in 15 minutes which is splattered with restaurants and dive shops. Many restaurants have decks overlooking the ocean where we would attempt to catch spectacular sunsets but there always seemed to be clouds blocking our view.


The boats of West End, Roatan

We spent the second day on West Bay. For $3 a person you could get a speedboat to take you to the next beach which is the more desirable beach. It’s wide enough to find a secluded spot and long enough to feel like you worked off those beers and fajitas from earlier. Katie and I made sure to lather up with sunscreen and find shade but we still found ourselves looking like typical naive tourists with much of our bodies burnt. We are still suffering from this day. We found ourselves a good snorkelling spot at the end of the beach and went out quite a ways, seeing many bright fish and testing out Katie’s go-pro. I was searching for sharks… but none were found.


Relaxing on the beach in West Bay


Sights of snorkelling in West Bay

The following day we took a dive refresher course since I haven’t been diving in 3 years. It’s always a bit stressful doing the skills (such as filling and emptying the mask with water, or losing your BCD and finding it again) but we survived! We did two dives and I would say this was some of the best corral I have seen so far. We swam along many corral walls, through a tunnel, and saw some impressive fish. We saw lots of rainbow fish, lion fish (which are hunted in Honduras), a Southern stingray, moray eels, huge groupers, shrimps, anenomes, etc. I for one loved getting back into the ocean… it’s been too long!


Prepping to head under water


21 metres below surface

After 3 full days on the island, we took off by ferry to the mainland for some rainforest time!


We’re off! …again!

George Bush Intercontinental Airport – Houston, Texas      11:28 a.m. local time

Well, we’re off on another adventure and this time I have my travel buddy back! We’re going on a shorter – but equally as exciting trip to Honduras!

After (not) sleeping in the Calgary airport, we’re now waiting in Houston to board our final flight that will take us to Roatan. The plan for this trip is to enjoy some beaches, beers, and babe time with a few dives thrown in there too.

My dad insisted that we revive the blog so we’re going to try our darndest and if anyone else cares to follow along as well, welcome!

Oh, and Kelsey bought a fancy new camera and I just bought a GoPro so expect some just-above-amateur level photography!


Mocked up beds in YYC