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Old September 22nd, 2003, 09:18 PM
sdolliver
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Default what to do in costa maya, roatan, puerto limon help

We are sailing on the Zenith on Nov 9 and the ports that we haven't been to are: costa maya, roatan, puerto limon and colon panama, can you offer any advice on these ports. We welcome any comments or advice. Thank you very much Sharon
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: what to do in costa maya, roatan, puerto limon help

I know others don't share this opinion, but Roatan is my wife's and my favorite island. But we are on the more adventurous side. Roatan does not have any overly developed shopping area, but you can find some wonderful deals all over the island, especially on the carved Mahogony boxes which range in size from about 5x7 up to a good sized trunk . Prices on most things are so reasonable, we never felt we needed to bargin the sellers down. But be warned, it is a very poor island. My wife and I have walked around the village area and never felt threaten or the like. Also, we found out on our second trip to the island, that a cab ride should only cost you about $1-2 person. When the ships get in port, the cabs try to jack up the rates to $10 because the cruise passangers don't know any better, however, if you have a little negoiating skills, you can bring them down. We found this out from one of the locals.

As far as things to do, the diving and snorkling are great. The last time we went, we took a cab to west end ($5), and stayed at the beach for a few hours (free) and then walk down the street and had some great chicken tortilla wraps ($12). The cruise line will offer the "west end beach excersion" for about $45 which basically does the same thing (except you get their lunch), later in the afternoon, we took about a 15 minute walk down a deserted beach (that was cool) to a place called Keifito's Plantation Retreat where I had arrange for a horseback ride ($25 each - I think). It ended up being only myself, my wife and the guide (who spoke no english). We rode to the top of a nearby hill and then down to the shoreline where we ran the horse along the shoreline right at the waters edge. Lots of fun.

Anyway, do a search on Roatan, and you'll be able to find a lot of fun things to do on Roatan, if you don't want to do the ships stuff.

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Old September 23rd, 2003, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: what to do in costa maya, roatan, puerto limon help

At Limon, Costa Rica there is a Red Canopy booth just after you get off the ship. They will have a board with all of the tours listed with their prices. thus no haggling and it is very professional. We took the number one rated tour to the Tortugero Canal and the Banana Plantation. This included many stops: Playa Bonita beach, Flora & Fauna exhibit, cost of canal boat ride, walking tour of the Dole Banana Plantation, etc. (Other tours only did a drive by of the plantation.) It was $45 per couple plus tip. We had a great day. Our driver even took us to a local supermarket at my request. I purchased about 10lbs. of coffee, a bottle of vanilla and a Qt. of fresh fruit juice all for about $11 US. He helped with currency conversion too. Don't venture off by your self outside of the local crafts bazaar area. It is unsafe. Attacks do happen. They sell gorgeous mahagony bowels, boxes, sculputres, etc. for a very reasonable cost. I always wanted a nice salad bowl set; Bought one with 8 bowls, big bowl and salad forks for $25. Only problem, it is heavy so make sure you have an extra tote bag to carry it home.

At Colon, we did our only ship's tour. Again, not a place to venture out on your own. Crime is bad. We took the Ocean to Ocean train tour @ $135pp. This was well worth the price as we did get to experience both the topography of this country, the inner workings of the Canal Locks, stops were made at the Balboa Yacht Club to view the Bridge of the America's, tours went through the renovated cityside of the old and new Panama City, etc. The train is beautiful and a great way to spend the day. These two ports are not beach stops at all. Again, I bought coffee in the Super99 market right in the Colon 2000 shopping plaza. Souvenirs were a little more expensive here but you can get some nice Panamanian clothing.
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