A vacation at the Villa on Dunbar Rock is a very special occasion. So allow us to help you prepare and answer as many questions as we can in advance.
Guanaja is pronounced “gwa-na’-‘ha.
Guanaja or Pine Island as named by Christopher Columbus, is the most undiscovered and pristine of the three islands off the coast of Honduras that make up the archipelago called The Bay Islands.
Guanaja is the eastern-most of the Bay Islands off of Honduras. It is situated about 18 miles east of Roatan and 30 miles north of the mainland of Honduras. (16° 24′ 0″ N, 85° 54′ 0″ W)
The island is the most mountainous of the three and has an abundance of year-round fresh water springs, waterfalls, hiking trails, and beautiful beaches. It is also split in two by a man-made channel that provides access to the airport and serves as the main “thoroughfare” for nearly all transportation, which is by boat. (There is only one road on the mainland and only a handful of cars.)
There are about 10,000 people here, with the majority living on the cay called Bonacca, which can be seen from Dunbar Rock. The other 2 smaller settlements are Mangrove Bight and Savannah Bight.
The native islanders of Guanaja are descendants of the immigrants from the English-speaking Bahamas and Cayman Islands who first settle on the island in the 1800s. In more recent times, residents of mainland Honduras have moved to the islands, resulting in a population that for the large part speaks both English and Spanish.
US Dollars and Lempiras are widely accepted everywhere. There is no need to exchange Dollars for Lempira’s. Small bills are encouraged, as generally you will receive change in Lempiras. Banking is limited on the island of Guanaja. There is only one bank, Banco Atlantida, and no ATMs. It is recommended you carry cash, as traveler’s checks are not accepted, and cannot be changed at the bank. Most establishments do not accept credit cards.
Prevailing ocean breezes keep the temperature comfortable year around. The temperature is generally in the low 80s, only occasionally getting in to the high 80s during August and September. The average rainfall is 100 inches a year which helps keep the island lush and green. Guanaja’s rainy season usually begins around October and lasts until December or January.
Airline luggage restrictions are constantly changing. Be sure to check your airline’s web site(s) for the most current information on baggage allowances and restrictions. If flying Aero Caribe, you are allowed one or two checked bags totaling 50 lbs. for free. Any checked baggage over that will be charged approximately $0.60 per lb. Luggage that qualifies as carry-on by your international airline can either be held on your lap, if very small tucked under your seat, or checked plane side before boarding. (There are NO overhead compartments on these planes.)
To enter Honduras, you must present a U.S. passport with at least six months remaining validity. U.S. citizens do not require a visa for tourism, but you must provide evidence of return or onward travel. For other nationalities, it is your responsibility to ensure your own visa requirements, and no refunds will be awarded for customers denied access for lack of a proper visa.
Travelers must clear Honduran Immigration to depart the country. Travelers must return the copy of their immigration document or entrance permit they received when entering Honduras before exiting. If you are departing via air, travelers must pay an airport tax of approximately $40.00 US. In most cases this will already have been included in your domestic airline ticket payment. But if not, the airport tax is payable at the airport in cash in either U.S. dollars or lempiras or by credit card.
We are very happy to say that the Villa <strong>does not have </strong>the sand fleas that plague many mainland and Bay Island locations. When you are on the cay no bug spray is needed, but it should always be applied when visiting these other areas.