Exploring & Experiencing Guanaja
On Guanaja, it’s easy to pretend you’re at the end of the world, although opportunities for wildlife viewing and sport abound: hiking to crystal-clear waterfalls to view parrots, agouti and iguana; snorkeling among multi-colored fish; kayaking in the warm water; or fishing for bone Fish or permit among the shallow flats.
No question, the “Isle of Pines” offers visitors as much beauty and adventure above water as it does below. Some relaxing and serene, others energizing and exhilarating. Here is a small sampling of activities and adventures available.
Free Activities And Tours Included In Your Stay
Self Guided Kayaking: The Villa on Dunbar Rock has 2 sea kayaks available for complimentary use by our guests. Guests are free to explore the nearby cays, paddle to the main island or simply tour around the waters. Those interested in a more in-depth kayak experience should consider making a reservation for an all-day sea kayaking tour with our “neighbor” Roland.
Little Waterfall Tour at Bo’s Place: At some point during the week when returning from diving or killing time on a surface interval, we’ll take a short hike up to one of the small but extremely picturesque waterfalls and explore the gardens surrounding Bo’s place.
Tour of Bonacca Town: Our staff enjoys taking any guest who wished to go for a walking tour of Bonacca Town. This afternoon visit is generally conducted on Tuesday afternoons or whichever day we skip the afternoon dive in exchange for a night dive.
Friday Afternoon Cruising: Friday afternoon’s are enjoyed by all as we pack up the bar and the staff and head out for an afternoon tour aboard the Sea Angel. We’ll tour the harbors of the Guanaja settlements of Mangrove Bight and Savannah Bight before heading to Graham’s Place located on a nearby private cay. As you arrive at the resort the first site you will see is the all-natural aquarium that was built into the dock for your viewing pleasure. The aquarium is home to a variety of sea turtles – green, hawksbill, and loggerhead to name a few. There is also a turtle crawl so that the turtles may nest and lay their eggs in a protected environment before being released into the wild. Stepping off the dock, we’ll head to the bar or you can enjoy one of the many hammocks before our departure – perfectly timed to catch the sunset.
Recommended Tours/Tour Guides and Other Activities
Guided Snorkeling Tours: Dunbar Rock offers half and full day guided snorkeling tours to some amazingly shallow and vibrant reefs. Half day tours are $25.00 per person or $50.00 per person for a full day tour. The full day tour includes lunch. Both require a minimum of 4 people. Taxes and optional gratuities are not included.
Sea Kayaking With Roland: Our favorite tour guide Roland offers a variety of different sea kayaking trips around the island that can be tailored to your interest and experience level. A full day tour includes your guide, kayak and equipment and a picnic lunch for $80.00 per person with a minimum of 2 people. Taxes and optional gratuities are not included.
Bonacca View Hike With Roland: This is a lovely hike into the tropical forest on Guanaja. On the way you will visit the natural water reservoir that supplies a big part of the island with fresh water. From there you enter the pine forest where you can enjoy amazing views of land and sea while inhaling the fragrant aromatic of the Caribbean Pine Tree. At around 640′ (195m) above sea level you arrive at a quaint cabin where you’ll enjoy a short picnic, enjoy your views of Bonacca and Fruit Harbour Bight before heading back to your starting point.
This 2 – 3 hour hike is suitable for everybody, and is perfect for an early morning hike or a late afternoon.
The hike is $35.00 for one person or $25.00 per person for 2 people, including the picnic. Taxes and optional gratuities are not included.
Rappel & Canyoneering Adventure With Roland: If you are ready for excitement and an adrenalin rush then this is the tour for you. You’ll hike up through the beautiful mountains of Guanaja before rappeling down 9 different waterfalls, with the highest waterfall being higher than a 100 feet.
From an elevation of over 800′ you’ll descend into micro climate zones with wild flowers and jungle and exciting views of the island.
Hang over the edge of the falls and feel as free as the eagles that glide by in their effortless flight. Not even the locals know of this beauty and excitement that can be found in Guanaja’s mountains.
This amazing tour is $125.00 per person with a minimum of 2 people. Taxes and optional gratuities are not included.
Guanaja is a diverse Caribbean fishery surrounded by sand, turtle grass, and coral flats. Our staff can assist with making reservations for you to fish with one of the well respected fishing guides on the island from Fly Fish Guanaja. Here is a sample of what you can fish for:
Bonefish: The bone-fishing in Guanaja is phenomenal. We hunt big singles reaching 10 pounds right in front of the lodge. Guanaja has several flats surrounding the island and we see schools of 10-200 fish all day long. In general, the bonefish in Guanaja are bigger than most in Belize and Mexico. We regularly land 5-8 pound bonefish.
Permit: Guanaja is one of the few permit fisheries in the world. We see on average 10-50 permit a day and get several shots. Our permit range from juveniles to full blown giants over 30 pounds. We find permit tailing on the flats all over the South Keys (our lodge is one of these keys), and also fish them in river mouths and deeper water. We use 10 weight fly rods for permit.
Tarpon and Snook: We catch baby tarpon and snook where the rivers meet the flats. Our baby tarpon range from 5-40 pounds and we sight-cast to them on the moving tide. We also have big resident tarpon reaching over 100 pounds. We often get into large schools of snook and land over 20 in a session. We use 8-10 weight rods for the baby tarpon and 12 weights for the giants.
Trigger Fish: Every flat has a couple of trigger fish all the time in Guanaja. The trigger-fish get up to 25 pounds and are a blast to catch on a fly. They are generally more forgiving than permit and put up a wild fight.
Barracuda: Guanaja is surrounded by barracuda ranging from 1-40 pounds. We fish barracuda on slack tides or when they are molesting our bonefish. We enjoy watching them explode on flies and also use conventional tackle when necessary.
Jacks: There are several different kinds of jacks around Guanaja. We see big schools moving fast and furious and cast flies to the boiling water. Check out this Amber Jack we caught last year!