Roatan Review - Media Luna Resort

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CajunDiva

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We returned a few weeks ago from trip #4 to Media Luna Resort and trip #5 diving with Aqua Adventures. I was all set to compose a trip report, and then life happened. The kind of life you never expect to happen...in your own home town...to people who are familiar to you. A depraved maniac opened fire in one of our home-town movie theatres, murdering two wonderful ladies and injuring numerous other people. I am so proud of the response of our local community and the example we set for others who are watching. South Louisiana is a special place full of special people. When something like this happens, there are no other people I'd rather be with. But it still should never happen. There is just no rhyme or reason...

So...back to my trip report. This trip, we had the luxury of staying for 2 weeks. We were celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary, so we decided to try something we have never done before in Roatan...relaxing and enjoying the resort. We arrived a full week before our friends and were determined to relax and just enjoy a few days to ourselves. The first problem with this was that we learned our friends at Aqua Adventures were conducting a day trip to dive the beautiful Pigeon Caye area near Barbareta. We simply couldn't pass up an opportunity like that! So the day after our arrival, we set out for a day of adventure. Unfortunately, my luggage did not arrive with me, so I didn't have my dive gear. But at least I had a bathing suit, so I was good to go. One of the managers at Aqua Adventures was kind enough to loan me his dive gear, and I was able to perform decently with it. This was one of the most special days I have encountered on Roatan. The only negative thing turned out to be the weather, which nobody seemed to have any control over :( It was like the beginning of monsoon season! The seas were beginning to kick up a bit, so Capt. Gary took the inside passage through the mangrove canals to give us a scenic and smooth ride. It was spectacular! I have never experienced this end of the island by water and I was thoroughly impressed. We stopped at one pristine reef near Pigeon Caye to enjoy a dive among the beautiful corals of the south side of Barbareta. The condition of the reef here was much better than what I am accustomed to on Roatan, and although the weather was unstable and the visibility was not the best, we enjoyed the dive immensely. After diving, we were taken to a beautiful island (Caye), where Gary and his crew prepared Steak, Chicken and Lobster over an open fire for all of us. I couldn't believe the quality of the food we were served - it was delicious. After lunch, the heavens opened up and there was no sunshine to be seen. Fortunately, the ice chests were full of Salva Vida and Imperial (which I discovered was VERY tasty!) so the trip back to Media Luna wasn't so bad after all :wink: I was feeling no pain by the time we returned. As luck would have it, the manager of the resort set up a special anniversary dinner for us that night. We enjoyed a lovely meal with special table service, and to cap it off we had a bottle of wine. It would have been rude not to drink the whole bottle...right :confused: The walk back to our bungalow was rather interesting...

Fortunately, there was a United Airlines flight arrival the next day, so my luggage did get to Roatan. The manager of Media Luna followed up with a friend at the airport and made sure it was delivered to the resort. By the time we returned from our Pigeon Caye day, my suitcase was waiting for me at reception. So there was no reason not to take advantage of the spectacular shore diving at Media Luna before our friends arrived. The resort sits on Half Moon Bay, which is a great reef that most of the dive ops on the south side of the island frequent. It's a choice dive site because it is home to a couple of nice seahorses and three rare resident frogfish. We enjoyed our frequent searches for these beautiful creatures...rare findings indeed. There was one large yellow one who posed regularly for photographs. We also spotted a brown colored smaller specimen, but it remained in hiding, making pictures impossible. We never were able to located the third, so we have a challenge for next trip. I was happy to discover that my favorite little seahorse still lives in the same coral enclave, and it is still just as active as before. It can usually be seen swimming around it's residence :D

Once our friends arrived from back home, the seven of us embarked on a six day quest to see as much of the south side dive sites as possible. We made it our mission to help create new divers with a passion for the environment and a love for the reefs of Roatan. This was an easy task with the help of the phenomenal staff of Aqua Adventures. These guys are talented and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure their divers have a great time. We couldn't have been happier with everything they did for us and with us. Even during inclement weather and bumpy seas, we had absolutely no problem completing our dives and safely re-boarding the boat at the conclusion of each dive. With the weather conditions that persisted all week the week before our dives and the continued winds out of the east, the visibility was far from great all week, but we managed to make the most of our diving and all had a great time.

It's amazing how once you start doing 3 or 4 dives each day, there's not much time for anything else. Media Luna Resort maintains an animation staff who are there to make sure all of the guest have a great time. We really did enjoy the atmosphere of the resort, and this trip we felt that the food quality has improved even more. I'm not a big fish eater, but the daily offerings of sea bass were just too good to pass up! There were also beef, pork, poultry and vegetable selections available at every meal. We certainly didn't go hungry :wink: But by the time we finished dinner each evening, we were ready to crash for the evening. So we missed most of the great shows put on at the resort, but I never missed downloading the photos I had shot that day and having fresh batteries ready for the following day. Guess I'm pretty die-hard!

Cajuncru Diver is working on a dive movie of our experiences, so I'm sure he will put in his 2 cents worth and share the movie. Thanks for the read, and here are just of a few of my favorite photos from the trip:

1st Mate Wilmer.jpg Arrow Crab.jpg Banded Coral Shrimp.jpg Daren with Frogfish.jpg Daren with Turtle (2).jpg Daren with Turtle.jpg Frogfish (2).jpg Frogfish (3).jpg Frogfish.jpg Green Moray Eel.jpg Grouper.jpg Jellyfish.jpg Nudibranch.jpg Octopus (2).jpg Octopus (3).jpg Octopus (4).jpg Octopus.jpg Peacock Flounder.jpg Pipefish (2).jpg Pipefish.jpg
 

Doc

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Wow! Another crappy day on the South side shallows.

Big old turtle, ugly frog fish, spiffy jellyfish, cool pipefish, and an obviously camera hogging octopus.
 
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CajunDiva

CajunDiva

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I know, right??? That octopus was something else. You'll never guess where we saw him!!!
 

drrich2

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It sounds like Roatan is blessed with a number of fine dive op.s/places to stay; I imagine it could be hard to pick one (unless you want lots of shore diving, in which case CocoView seems to shine out). I don't recall hearing of Media Luna Resort, so I'm curious:

1.) What led you to try this place, and to prefer it so as to keep returning to it?

2.) Is Aqua Adventures an onsite or nearby dive op.?

Richard.
 
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CajunDiva

CajunDiva

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Hi Richard -

For a couple of years during the construction of Media Luna, each time we would go out east to dive Calvin's Crack, I would see this BIG, round roof under construction, and it always fascinated me.

PICT0013-001.jpg I would ask the boat crew what that place was and they didn't really know, except that it was supposed to be a new resort. I was impressed with the diving out east on the south shore and looked forward to the day when there might be another dive operation in that direction.

Our first visit was in 2011. We found the resort to be absolutely stunning. It turns out that BIG, round roof I was seeing all the time is the large open air dining and entertainment venue. The resort itself was just opening, but provided a really good product and has only improved since then. It is not a dedicated dive resort, but as Doc would say...it is a "resort that offers diving". There are ways for a non-diving spouse to be entertained while on their own. The resort has a beautiful pool, a gorgeous deck overlooking the bay and sunset, a wine bar, a recreation area with pool tables, etc, an on-site spa and an animation staff who do their best to keep the guests busy doing any number of fun things. I must confess that I have never taken part in any of these options because I'm pretty much a dive bore, but there's nothing wrong with having options :wink:

Aqua Adventures is the on-site dive operation. We are very happy with the staff there. They offer 3 boat dives per day as well as shore diving, which is phenomenal. The resort is situated on Half Moon Bay, which is a dive site frequented by all of the south side dive operations, especially lately since the frog fish have been discovered :D We have enjoyed years of diving CocoView Wall, and yes it is a spectacular shore dive. Even having experienced that quality of diving, I am highly impressed with the life at Half Moon Bay, and after four trips haven't grown tired of it yet. In fact, there are more new and interesting critters to search for each trip, including seahorses, batfish and now...frogfish.

Aqua Adventures also has a dive shop at Las Rocas Resort in West Bay and they are in the process of establishing a new venue at Parrot Tree Plantation. Last year we dove the west side of the island with them, and we look forward to visiting their Parrot Tree operation in the future. They have been operating on Roatan for years, and will be there for years to come. The owners are super people and we are proud to call them friends.

The reason we continue to return is because we are relationship people. When people treat us well and take good care of us, we tend to do the same thing in return. We form friendships that we cherish and can't wait to go back and see our buddies again. Roatan is a special place full of special people that we treasure. We will continue visiting as long as we are able.
 

large_diver

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Thanks for the report and the pics. Great octopus shots!

I've seen that same round roof and have wondered the same thing :)

So sad about the events in Lafayette - glad you are safe.

Chris
 
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CajunDiva

CajunDiva

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Thanks for the kind words Chris. It's such a shock when something like this happens in your own backyard. Our community response has been so amazing and moving. Here is our logo:

11752327_444170332451633_2913487136460238688_n.jpg
 

Doc

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I know, right??? That octopus was something else. You'll never guess where we saw him!!!

In the Ocean?

I'm thinking he was right in the small cove formed by Media Luna's iron shore peninsula. They love shallow areas with rubble bottoms.

Media Luna has a doable shore dive. Are tanks available for that? What hours?
 
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CajunDiva

CajunDiva

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OF COURSE tanks are available for that...ANY hours! Just sign up and let the shop manager know what you want.

You are WRONG on the octopus guess :D It was probably the last place you would guess, so I'll just spill: It was at MARY'S PLACE! My favorite area of Mary's Place is not as often explored...

You're right about the shore diving at Media Luna. I have an incredibly busy day, but I will post pictures of those areas later this evening or tomorrow, along with more information about the dive details.
 
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