03.31.2019 - 04.11.2019
THE NEW YORK OF THE CARIBBEAN
We arrived on the Caribbean island of Roatán, Honduras on Tuesday after enjoying a little over a week in Panama City. Just taking a quick look back, we really love Panama City for reasons both explainable and not. Panama City has that special something that NYC has, it's just an extra energy, an extra coolness, that makes you love it more than you probably should. I mean, it has no beaches, it can be dirty and chaotic, it's ridiculously hot and yet...we can actually see ourselves living there. It was an appropriate place to kick off our second year on the road.
Just look at this skyline and some of the iconic architecture.
At night it is so impressive. Especially when they decide to shoot fireworks off over Casco Viejo.
There's a beautiful park that stretches the length of the downtown with gardens and bike paths and awesome views back to the downtown.
There's an amazing seafood market that supplies both individual customers and all of the restaurants with the daily catch.
And there are outdoor restaurants all around it serving the freshest ceviches and seafood dishes.
Add to that the historic area of Casco Viejo that rivals historic San Juan in Puerto Rico or Cartagena. It manages to be old and beautiful without feeling overrun by tourists - a great combination.
Finally, it has just enough of the modern American conveniences to make it easy. We went to the mall and bought a few clothing items we needed but had been unable to find. We went to B-Dubs to watch the final four and championship. We were able to restock some hard to find pharmacy items that had been confiscated (for those of you that read our Q&A, we are on our second pair of tweezers and third pair of cuticle snippers!) We ate tacos that tasted like Mexico, Italian food that tasted like Italy, croissants that tasted like Paris, and wings that tasted like America.
So, if you like cities like we do, make sure to put Panama City on your list and check out the apartment rentals in the Hard Rock hotel where we enjoyed the amazing views from the pool and roof top bar you see above.
BACK ON ISLAND TIME
But now we are in Roatán and back on island time. Our first impressions are really positive! We've been reading about Roatán in International Living magazine for years as a great place to retire so we are excited to finally see what all the fuss is about. And we're thinking w agree. It is a great combination of a Caribbean vacation island look, feel, and vibe with just enough Central America thrown in to make it interesting. Everyone speaks English. There are expats from around the world. It attracts both older and younger tourists so, unlike Bocas, we're not always the oldest person at the bar. There is live music and happy hour specials. If you're looking for somewhere less expensive than the islands you know but with all the fun, I think we can safely recommend you check out Roatán.
We rented a nice house just up a hill behind West End. We rented it quite awhile ago and before we had perfected our checklists apparently because our first surprise was it has no AC! Luckily, it cools off enough in the evenings and the house if full of fans so we aren't uncomfortable. And it gives us a taste of what it really means to live like a local on a Caribbean island!
As normal, we have a huge porch to hang out on, literally!
And great neighbors!
The island is insanely lush with huge tropical trees and ferns everywhere.
It really has a lot of undisturbed areas full of jungle that are amazing to explore.
And it has great beaches, great beach bars, and good restaurants.
And the snorkeling is world famous. Just look at the reefs surrounding the island we saw flying in.
Yesterday we went snorkeling and saw TONS of fish just off the beach. The coral in close to shore is not impressive but the fish certainly were. More to come on this with pictures!
And tomorrow Courtney arrives to stay for a week. We are really excited to see her and show her around.
Keep up with us @arrradventures on Instagram.