QUESTIONS ABOUT GUANAJA
“How do you pronounce Guanaja?”
Guanaja is pronounced “gwa-na’-‘ha.”
“What is the history of the island?”
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.
“Where is Guanaja located?”
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)
“What is the topography like?”
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.)”
“How many people live on the island?”
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.
“What languages are spoken in Guanaja? Will I be able to get by speaking English?”
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.
“What is the currency? Are ATM’s available?”
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
“What is the weather like in Guanaja?”
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.
“What luggage restrictions do I need to know about?”
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.)
“What are the entry requirements?”
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.
“What about exit requirements?”
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.
“Tell me about the no-seeums”
We are very happy to say that the Villa does not have 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.
“Where exactly is Dunbar Rock located?”
Just off mainland Guanaja, about a 10 minute boat ride from the airport.
“How do you get from Guanaja Airport to The Villa?”
You will be greeted by Dunbar Rock representatives as you deplane. They will take your luggage tags and collect your luggage for you. The Guanaja airport is a small, open-air structure. From the tarmac you will be able to see directly through it to the boat dock behind it, where the Dunbar Rock boat will be waiting to take you to the Resort. (Note: There is only one road on Guanaja and nearly all transportation is via boat.)
“How many rooms does The Villa have? Can Dunbar Rock accommodate groups?”
We have 10 rooms total: two Ocean Front Kings (1 king bed), six Ocean Front Queen (2 queen beds) one Presidential Suite (1 king bed) and one Penthouse Suite (2 queen beds) . Groups can easily be accommodated and are most welcome!
“Are the rooms fully air conditioned?”
Yes. Each room is individually air conditioned as is the dining/living area in the common room. Rooms also have ceiling fans for those who prefer.
“Do I have an ocean view from my room?”
Yes. All of the rooms look out on the water.
“What is the maximum number of people in each room?”
Maximum occupancy, using existing bedding is two adults in the Ocean Front King rooms and 3 adults in all of the other units.
“What is your policy on children?”
No children are allowed under 10 years of age unless they are part of a party that has rented the entire Villa. Otherwise, children 10 and older are welcome at the full adult rate.
“Is there a beach?”
Yes there is a beach with shaded areas.
“What times are meals served?”
There is a communal coffee urn in the dining area and we invite the first person up to plug it in if it is not already going when you arrive! Our staff will generally beat you to it as they get there early to prepare for your breakfast, which begins around 7:00 – 7:30 for divers or later for those who plan to sleep in. Lunch is served whenever the dive boats get back for divers, and dinner general around 6:00 or whenever requested around that hour. Staff are available to serve you at the bar as well. The local beer is great and inexpensive at $2.75. Drinks made with local spirits – which are also very good – are approximately $4.50. Specialty drinks run about $7.00. There is a water cooler in the common area from which you can refill water bottles, or bottled water can be purchased at the bar.
“What if I have a dietary restriction?”
Due to our small size and remote location, we offer a limited menu and must provision in advance for our guests. It is critical therefor that guests with food allergies or dietary restrictions notify us of their circumstances well in advance. When you make a reservation you will be sent a questionnaire to complete and this will help us identify any special needs you may have.
“What credit cards are accepted at The Villa?”
Visa and Master Card.
“Are tips included in the package price?”
No, though tipping for good service is customary and encouraged. 10% is standard. We utilize a tip pool to ensure housekeepers, restaurant servers, bartenders, cooks, dive staff, tour guides or anyone else who provides good service, participates in an equitable manner. It is best for you to present tips directly to Denis, the General Manager. Any tips given directly to individuals will also be pooled. If you feel someone did an outstanding job, please be sure to mention that to the General Manager as positive feedback can increase an individuals’ overall compensation. By the same token, we also need to know about anything or anyone whose service fell short.
“Can we drink the water?”
Yes! There is a fresh water spring on mainland Guanaja from which the Resort obtains and purifies the drinking water. It is available to you free of charge from the water cooler in the common area and on the dive boats. The water is safe to drink and of excellent quality, however bottled water is also available at the bar for purchase. Be sure to remain well hydrated while on holiday!
“How should I pack?”
Dress at the resort is very casual. If you plan to hike, bring a pair of closed-toe shoes. We’ll provide shampoo and hair dryers in the bathrooms. Beach towels and all linens are provided. Please bring your own travel alarm clock if needed. The electric plugs in your room are the standard US 110 V plugs. European visitors will need to bring their own adaptors.
“Is wireless Internet available?”
Free Wi-Fi is available in all rooms with varying strength, but has a strong signal in the dining/living area in the common room.
“Is there somewhere I can keep my valuables?”
Every room has a digital safe in the closet.
“Are there security personnel working in the evenings?”
Yes. For your peace of mind there is private security on duty from 6:00 pm – 7:00 am.
Diving, Snorkeling & Activities Questions & Answers
“Who provides dive services for Dunbar Rock?”
We have our own PAID/SSI dive operation on property.
“Do you have rental gear?”
Yes we have all new Mares weight integrated rental BCD’s in a variety of sizes as well as new regulators, full foot fins, masks and snorkels and dive computers. However we do ask that you notify us in advance if you wear an “unusual” size BCD or fin size. We also have wet suits, but in limited quantity, so you may wish to consider bringing your own.
“Is there a required Dive Orientation program?”
Nothing is required, but if you have been out of the water for some time, we encourage you to take a self-guided off-shore refresher dive to check your buoyancy and dive equipment while still within safe distance of the dive staff and facilities. The flats around the island directly off the beach is a perfect area for a refresher.
“Are there any marine park fees?”
All visitors to Guanaja are now required to make a $10.00 (annual) cash contribution to the Environmental Fund for the Protection of Guanaja Island. Proceeds go toward the preservation of the reefs, mangroves and general ecosystem as well as to fund environmental education programs for Guanaja residents.
“What is the boat dive schedule?”
Boats generally depart on regular schedule at 8:30 am for the morning 2-tank dive, returning for lunch with the afternoon boat leaving a reasonable time after lunch has concluded. If we are diving the north shore of Guanaja, we will stay out for a three tank dive and lunch will be prepared during a break between the second and third dive. One night dive is included with any seven night package and is generally conducted on Tuesday evening, or whenever the majority of divers prefers to go. Additional night dives may be scheduled with a minimum of 6 divers.
“What other activities are available?”
Please visit our Exploring Guanaja page for more details or ask our Reservations Staff.