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“An eco-cultural tour experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Guanaja

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5 reviews
33 helpful votes
“An eco-cultural tour experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2007

Guanaja! While there are some well-known resorts on this gorgeous island, there are also other opportunities for people who are more adventuresome.

I spent a week on Guanaja (July 2007) in Sabana (Savannah Bight) -- which is really NOT a tourist destination.

It was one of the most meaningful trips I have ever known.

The joys of my trip were - hiking (along the coast and once to a waterfall), swimming and snorkeling, watching kids play futbol, sampling local foods and just wandering and talking with residents about their lives. I had a wonderful guide, Lindon Puerto, who shared stories and secrets of the island.

My group first hired Lindon for transport (the island has 'boat taxis' since there are no real roads) and he took us on a hike up to a magnificent waterfall near Bo's place (where we had a sumptuous lunch!) He was really patient and caring of the less agile hikers. We also had a boat tour of that side of the island -- unbelievably beautiful deserted beaches!. I later went with Lindon and his family to snorkel at a cuay favored by locals. (Try the conch fritters!)

To be honest, Sabana is really not the place for everyone -- it was a place where the electricity would go off each morning, where there were no restaurants or cafes, where time and schedules are hardly acknowledged ... and ... where life is hard and gritty for the locals. I would recommend that some travelers might want to check into the island's resorts for the comforts of home -- and then save Sabana for a day visit.

All said, I totally enjoyed my 'roughing it' trip to Guanaja -- but even if I had stayed at a resort on the island, I would have wanted a guide for that special inside experience. Lindon is very knowledgable about the island and very helpful with any arrangements (he got my airline ticket changed). He has also been involved in a youth group that is dedicated to enviromental-sustainable projects, so is a good contact person for anyone interested in being more than just a 'tourist' in the islands. If anyone feels the same, I recommend contacting Lindon when you get there (or contact me for his snail mail address).

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