Here’s a little info. on Guanaja….
Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1502, on his fourth and final voyage of discovery. He found excellent water (the island has its own fresh water source from mountain streams) and noted that he had, “never tasted water of better quality.”
Guanaja was so covered in pine trees that Columbus initially named it Isla de Los Pinos, Pine Island. Sadly, most of the pine trees were destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Mitch sat over the island for nearly two days, with sustained winds in excess of 200 mph.
Most of the approximately 10,000 people who live in Guanaja reside in the town of Bonacca. The two main settlements on mainland Guanaja are Mangrove Bight and Savannah Bight. There is only one bank on the mainland, and no ATMs.
You are hard pressed to find a place that accepts credit cards in Bonacca or on mainland Guanaja, cash is king. The local currency is the lempira, and the current exchange is 23.5 to 1.00. American currency can be used, but the bills must have no tears, wrinkles, etc. or they will no be accepted. We ran into this problem when buying gas, before we exchanged for local money.
As of 2006, there were only three cars on the island, but now it’s closer to 40 (oh the traffic!). While there is only one road (two miles long) from Mangrove Bight to Savannah Bight, the most common means of transportation are boats. A channel locally known as “The Canal” allows access from the south to the north side of the island, without having to go all the way around. Scott is eager to travel it with the Aluminum Princess.
Guanaja’s waters support an extensive coral reef that is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, second only to the Great Barrier Reef. There are also several waterfalls on the island, and they are also on Scott’s to-do list.
We look forward to exploring Guanaja, by both land and sea!
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”