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“Just OK”
Review of Upachaya

Upachaya
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Just minutes away from both cruise ship terminals. Upachaya offers small, personal tours. Our experienced snorkel guides will show you the hidden wonders of our fabulous reef system and for those on kayaks and paddleboards you will also experience the mangrove tunnels. Transportation, a meal with beverage and snorkel equipment are provided, as well as a Roatan Marine Park Day Pass. Pontoon Snorkel tour for those wanting more comfort - $78.00 Kayak and Snorkel tour for those a bit more adventurous - $78.00 Stand Up Paddleboard tour new and great fun - $68.00 All tours are approximately 4 1/2 hours in length from the time we pick you up until we return you. All guests are provided a short botanical tour of our gardens. Contrary to some of the pictures from reviewers on this site, we ask guests DO NOT TOUCH THE MARINE LIFE. YOUR FINGER OILS COULD KILL IT, OR YOU COULD GET STUNG. WE RESPECT ALL MARINE LIFE AND ASK YOU TO VIEW IT ONLY. SCHEDULE YOUR TOUR FROM JULY 22nd TO SEPTEMBER 30th AND RECEIVE A 15% DISCOUNT ON ALL TOURS IF YOU MENTION YOU FOUND US ON TRIP ADVISOR. Get away from the crowds and discover Roatan's undeveloped north shore. Just minutes away from both cruise ship terminals. Upachaya offers small, personal tours. Our experienced snorkel guides will show you the hidden wonders of our fabulous reef system and for those on kayaks and paddleboards you will also experience the mangrove tunnels. Transportation, a meal with beverage and snorkel equipment are provided, as well as a Roatan Marine Park Day Pass. Pontoon Snorkel tour for those wanting more comfort - $78.00 Kayak and Snorkel tour for those a bit more adventurous - $78.00 Stand Up Paddleboard tour new and great fun - $68.00 All tours are approximately 4 1/2 hours in length from the time we pick you up until we return you. All guests are provided a short botanical tour of our gardens. Contrary to some of the pictures from reviewers on this site, we ask guests DO NOT TOUCH THE MARINE LIFE. YOUR FINGER OILS COULD KILL IT, OR YOU COULD GET STUNG. WE RESPECT ALL MARINE LIFE AND ASK YOU TO VIEW IT ONLY.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Just OK”
Reviewed May 10, 2010

To get to the pick up spot you have to leave the port complex and walk down a hill. The walk takes about 10 minutes and is not a big deal. The ride to the site is approximately 20 minutes and passes some local housing and a large dump (Yuck).

The boat is fine, but the snorkel sites are very shallow, it makes it very difficult to not touch the bottom/rock/coral. I would highly recommen to the operators that they pick a deeper spot. Our guide was good, but the sites just were not that interesting. The food provided is really a snack, not lunch.

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1 Thank AWTraveler1024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, GA
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Awesome Cruise Excursion”
Reviewed May 8, 2010

My wife and I (in our late 20's) used Upachaya Snorkel Tour for the day while at port in Mahogany Bay. I would highly recommend this tour. It is extrememly safe, they have excellent customer service and the snorkel group is small. Plus, it is going to be cheaper than anything you will find from the cruise ship.

As previous people have mentioned, you have to walk outside of the port in order to reach your ride to Upachaya (Carnival owns the port and will not let outside vendors in, but they will let you get dropped off). The directions Barbara gives in the email are spot-on, just follow those. It really isn't a bad walk at all. The driver was waiting promptly at the bottom of the hill and allowed us to sit in the A/C van while we waited for the rest of the group.

It is a 15 minute ride to Upachaya. Most of it is paved except for the last portion where you are on a bumpy dirt road and you pass a dump. If you have been to any other Caribbean or Central American countries, the conditions won't suprise you. While it is not the US, it is completely safe and nice to see how other people live in the world.

Once arriving at Upachaya, we were met by Barbara and Al (the boat captain) where they took the final payment and fit us with snorkeling equipment. We then walked down a path, through the property (a wellness retreat), toward the harbor. Along the way Barbara told us a little about the indigenous plants and her vision for a wellness retreat.

Everything was ready to go once we reached the dock. The cooler had food and drinks (including beer!!!) and all we had to do was hop on the pontoon boat. Al was our captain and he was friendly, polite and courteous. He also mentioned he was a master diver.

Upachaya is located near the reef. It was only about a 10-15 minute boat ride through the mangroves to the first snorkeling site. The water was very clear with lots of coral fans. We spent about 45 min to an hour at the first site. Al led the tour, while the first mate prepared lunch. He led us on a tour of the surrounding area. If you want, you can snorkel on your own, but I recommend following Al. He found different animals in which he could point out and some he would let you hold.

Once back on the boat we had lunch which comprised of a Orzo pasta salad, carrot salad and chips and salsa. It was all very good!!!

At the last stop we hopped in and saw more coral fans and headed towards the coral wall. It was amazing to see the coral go from 3-6 feet below you to a total drop off of 250 feet. We saw an area with starfish, a moray eel and stingrays.

We arrived back at Upachaya with plenty of time to get back to the cruise port.

It was an excellent tour with awesome snorkeling. We have been snorkeling five or six times and the only place we have been so far that is better is in Thailand. The water visibility was awesome and there was tons of coral. The only thing that would make it better would be more variety of fish.

I would without a doubt recommend this excursion!!!

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Thank deder81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vero Beach, Florida
1 review
“GOOD tour, nice people.”
Reviewed April 26, 2010

The trip from the ship to the van is a trek! You walk up a long hill, out a gate, and downhill again - about a half mile in all. They're all very nice, good English, helpful people. The Wastarts run an excellent excursion - our guide, Al, was excellent, and a powerful swimmer who was attentive to the needs of his snorklers. They can't control visibility, but the trip is an excellent value, all the more because of the limit of TEN people! They even furnish a snack/lunch, including drinks (beer, too!). There's a serious trip downhill (stairs) to the boat and back up, but I heartily recommend this tour. In case you're wondering, I'd say it was not ADA compliant!

Helpful?
Thank UncleLewHimself
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
“The best way to snorkel Isla Roatan”
Reviewed April 25, 2010

What a beautiful way to spend a snorkeling day when visiting on a cruise. Barbara and company were terrific. Their property is just a short distance to beautiful shallow reefs. Almost everything was less than 10 feet deep. The best part was that there was not another boat full of tourists to be seen anywhere!
On the boat, our guide and his helper were great.
If you are looking for a place where you can feel like you've gotten away from your 3000 other cruisers, I highly recommend Upachaya.

Helpful?
Thank ski_more_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great snorkel tour!”
Reviewed April 24, 2010

I snorkeled for the first time on my trip to Roatan and had an amazing time. It was a small tour with a guide and was intimate and very enjoyable. I would recommend this tour to anyone going to Roatan.

Helpful?
Thank jmalt19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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