Vacationing in Roatan, Honduras

What stands out the most about my vacation to Roatan are the different animals I saw.

In Arlington, Virginia I regularly notice squirrels and Cardinals and bunnies exploring my backyard. I saw none of these forest animals on my summer vacation. Instead, in Roatan I watched in amazement as I encountered the smallest birds, the biggest reptiles and animals that moved with their house on their back.

Each morning, I ate my breakfast at the restaurant table next to an open window. The first day I was so surprised to see what was happening just feet away from me. The tiniest birds swooped in to eat their breakfast. They were visiting a bird feeder hanging from the tree less than a yard stick away from the opened window. One tiny hummingbird swooped in and hovered at eye-level to the bird feeder. Then his long, thin beak fit into one of the four narrow, round spouts at the base of the feeder. This feeder wasn’t like the one in my house filled with seed. Instead, it was filled with liquid nectar. Because his wings were moving so fast, he was able to stay suspended in midair. He first took a sip. Then he scooted away from the feeder and swallowed, still in midair.  Then he scooted back to the feeder for another sip. This movement repeated over and over and over again. As he moved, his tiny wings flapped so fast. It was just a blur of color. Then suddenly, two new hummingbirds swooped in and the first one flew away. This “hummingbird show” continued outside the open restaurant window the entire time I ate each morning. So many hummingbirds came to enjoy their a morning treat,  I lost count of how many I saw. I watched in awe at their hard work as I enjoyed bites of my Island Breakfast – scrambled eggs, refried beans, sausage, and plantains with pineapple juice.

Click the link to view the video of the Roatan Hummingbird!!

Following breakfast each day, I took a walk and always crossed paths with this animal:


Black Iguana – no video needed as he just stayed still sunning himself!

He is a Black Iguana. For no real reason, I have never had a fondness for reptiles. If asked, I might say I hate reptiles. Maybe it is their dark color or And this one was so long and black. Yet, he did nothing. He was just enjoying the hot rays of the sun. I snapped his picture, easy to take for unlike the hummingbird’s frantic pace, he just stood still and enjoyed the morning warmth.

Finally, while walking, I got the oddest sensation. The hiking path in front of me appeared to be moving. Moving? Why? I stopped and knelt down. Covering the path were dozens of tiny shells. The shells were different shapes, some rounder, some long and cylinder shaped. All were moving. Why? Because they were hermit crabs!  I have read about hermit crabs but suddenly I had dozens literally crossing my path while hiking on vacation!

Click to watch the Hermit Crab video!

Now I’m back home in Arlington. This morning, I saw 2 squirrels, 4 Cardinals and 3 bunnies in my backyard as I ate my American breakfast – muffin and orange juice. With eat bite of my meal, I happily recalled the different animals I met each morning on an island in Central America during my 2016 summer vacation.

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 7.46.27 AM

Roatan is an island off the coast of Honduras in Central America. It is marked by the red dot.

Have you traveled this summer?

Did you see anything similar or different from what you always see in your hometown?


7 thoughts on “Vacationing in Roatan, Honduras

  1. dianeandlynne says:

    Lovely! Hummingbirds are forces of nature. At any time (but particularly when we’re on vacation) watching animals bring us back to what’s important about life. The stillness of existence.
    Sounds like a great vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Adrienne says:

    I spent a week at my sister’s house in Canada. She has 4 acres in the woods 3 hours north of Toronto. The hummingbirds there were amazing, as were the mosquitoes!


  3. franmccrackin says:

    I really enjoy the interactive, multi-media aspects to your posts. Clicked both links and studied the map 🙂 I also love the structure of your piece- in Arlington, then Roatan, then back home to Arlington with those familiar animals, and ending with questions for your reader.
    Here’s one answer- in Bangkok, big monitor lizards roam around the parks, streams and canals like squirrels!


  4. Erika Victor says:

    I notice the change in wildlife as I travel too. When I lived in Mumbai I used to count the number of different animals I saw on the way to work each day. This morning I was dive bombed by a bat on the way in to school.
    I agree with Fran about all the pieces of your writing fitting together so nicely.


  5. Amy Warntz says:

    I love the lazy lizard! I sounds like a wonderful vacation and exotic too. We visit Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland and it is so peaceful there. Thanks for sharing about your trip to Honduras. ~Amy


  6. franmcveigh says:

    What a great compare and contrast piece to use with your students! Such fun to “watch and observe” and just “see what we can see” when we aren’t rushing around!


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