The Countdown Is On!

With only 17 days until the first large cruise ship – the Norwegian Jewel – arrives in Trujillo, we are getting everything ready to host the new guests aboard the ship. Banana Beach is offering day passes to all cruise passengers and crew members. For only $30 for adults and $15 for kids, you can spend your day relaxing in a lounge chair on our clean, sprawling beach or partying by the swimming pool which is fun for all ages with its slide and water fountain. Our day pass includes transportation, to and from just outside of the cruise port to Banana Beach, use of our three swimming pools, sand volleyball, and beach and a welcome drink. Food is available for purchase with prices ranging from $4 to $15. Our English-speaking staff will be happy to help you. Our menu is varied with a little bit of seafood, Tex-Mex and, of course, the classics like chicken wings and hamburgers. Beer and drinks start at just $2. Have a cocktail at our existing open-air bar or enjoy a drink while watching the waves at our new bar right on the beach pictured below. For more information and to reserve your spot today, e-mail us!!

Will be ready for cruise season!

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Trujillo Is Open For Business

Yesterday, in Trujillo, expatriates and Trujillanos alike gathered in Banana Coast Landing to witness the dedication of the new cruise port to all of the people who believe in the future of Trujillo and sold their land and homes to Banana Coast. It is thanks to them, the hard work of Randy Jorgensen, the municipality of Trujillo and all of the foreigners invested in this grand project that Trujillo is now host to the first operating mainland cruise terminal in Central America.

While many claimed it couldn’t be done and were skeptic, Cotizar and Island Concrete worked tirelessly under head architect Dino Rietti to build the vision into a reality. Phase I of the cruise terminal is complete and ready to receive ships. The big question is, will the sleepy town of Trujillo be ready for their eager guests? As Randy emphasized, it is now the people and businesses of Trujillo’s job to make the cruise passengers, their guests, feel welcome, safe and happy. Trujillo must step up to the plate to greet our new guests. Foreigners expect clean, functioning bathrooms, clean beaches, clean streets. The common denominator here? CLEAN. No one wants to step off a world-class ship and walk the beach road lined with over-flowing trash bins and vultures. The only thing people should stumble across on the white, sandy beaches is beautiful seashells. I am personally excited to witness these inevitable positive changes and to see the quaint, beautiful town of Trujillo live up to its potential.

Back to the event, there were several high profile socialites in attendance including the President of Honduras, Mr. Porfirio (Pepe) Lobo, his brother Ramon Mancho Lobo, Marco Tulio Castillo, the Vice Minister of Tourism, Ms. Synthia Bennett Soleman, the mayors of Trujillo and Santa Fe among many others. I was lucky enough to be a part of the VIP attendees thanks to Mark Rowley, my boyfriend and part owner of Banana Coast Tours and Campo Del Mar Park System.

Working for a resort and development, I have high hopes for the buzz cruise ship drop-offs is sure to create! It is time the world recognizes all of the hidden beauty around every corner in Trujillo Bay. The bay surely is an untapped gem on the brink of discovery. Here at Banana Beach, we are excited about the expected traffic and value the port will bring to the area. If you are looking to invest in beach property before Trujillo becomes the next Caribbean hotspot, you’ve got just over a year until that first ship arrives. Banana Beach has new, turnkey beach condos available now for move-in! If you buy a condo with us, you can immediately receive a return on your investment through our rental program. Our growing project isn’t just a piece of pie in the sky. We are on the ground operating and selling now. For more information, please email me at Jenna@BananaBeachBums.com . If you are looking to make a smart investment or seeking a tranquil vacation spot, Banana Beach is the place for you.

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Paddling With The Dolphins

Spotted! Trujillo Bay is teeming with dolphins. Just two days ago, my boyfriend, Mark, (who to my knowledge is at work) busts into my office, out of breath, saying something about dolphins. Surprised to see him just after 9AM and distracted by his soaked shorts and wet t-shirt, it takes me a minute to realize he wants me to follow him to the beach. As we quickly make our way to the water, I learn that he has paddle boarded all the way from Campo del Mar with a couple of others following a friendly pod of dolphins. When we make it to the beach, a huge smile crosses my face as I watch, from shore, a group of 6 or so dolphins swimming alongside the paddlers only about 40 yards out. Eager to get closer, I sit on Mark’s board and we paddle out a ways to intercept the dolphins.

What an amazing experience! It was as though the dolphins were showing off for us. One swam right under our paddleboard and two others jumped right out of the water. The needlefish they were after were quite a site as well when they fled for their lives. I was amazed by how far they flopped atop the calm ocean surface in an attempt to escape before plunging back under water. I actually thought a couple of them were going to flip right up onto the sandy beach. Another clumsy needlefish actually ran right into one of the paddleboards and flipped up and over it! I just wish I could have snapped a few photos. It truly was an unforgettable experience, and the coolest part is, it was a random, wild dolphin encounter. It wasn’t one of those “swim with the dolphins” excursions put together by a tour operator where trainers are feeding their tame, socialized dolphins fish and you get your photo taken. After about a week of rain, the sunshine and playful dolphins were an exciting, welcome sight that I will always remember and smile about.

Just another dream day in paradise!

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Christmas Time In Trujillo Bay

Aside from the snow, below-freezing temperatures and classic English Christmas carols that dominate radio stations just before Thanksgiving, Christmas in Trujillo Bay isn’t much different from the beloved holiday back home. Festive decorations in all colors and styles can be found in the shops around Parque Central as can Santa Claus figurines and Nativity scenes. In fact, it’s no surprise (close to 97% of the country is reportedly Catholic) that an elaborate, miniature Nativity scene can typically be viewed in the park as Christmas approaches. Some people put up Christmas lights as well. Banana Beach is no exception. Our lights are up, our garland is hung and our tree is now lit! On a side note, I also personally love how all of the gas stations seem to decorate for the Christmas season with lights and garland. The Uno station on the way out of Trujillo even has a tall, lit Christmas tree in the parking lot, bringing Christmas cheer to those passing through.

As in the United States and Canada, the extent of Christmas celebrations depends on income. Several wealthier families have embraced North American influences and decorate a Christmas tree and distribute presents from ‘Santa Claus’. For some of the families living in poverty, gifts may or may not be exchanged but families still spend the holiday together. Las Posadas is a commonly celebrated tradition here where families and relatives gather together at one home for a few days or just for Christmas Eve. Around midnight on Christmas Eve, a prayer will be read and everyone will then rejoice ‘Feliz Navidad’ and hug one another, grateful for the passing of another year.

What would Christmas be without a special meal! Dinner is often served after midnight. Tamales are usually a central dish. The spiced cornmeal is stuffed with chicken, beef or pork, and a variety of additional fillings including rice, potatoes, beans, capers, olives and peas. The tasty combination is then wrapped in fresh banana leaves and dipped into boiling water to cook. I definitely intend to try these this year! Wealthier families also opt for serving a turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce much like we do in the States.

The Mystic at Banana Beach will also be hosting Christmas dinner this year. Juergen has several tasty dishes in mind that you will definitely want to come out and try. We will be sending out an e-mail with the detailed menu in the days following. Trust me when I say, you will not want to miss it!

Cheers from the Banana Beach Crew.
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Feliz Navidad!

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Condo Furniture Shopping in Full Force!

We’ve escaped to the big city and are here in San Pedro Sula picking out furniture for our new condos under construction! We have found a few VERY nice looking pieces and are also having some beautiful wooden furniture custom-made. They showed us a prototype the other day and I was just amazed with the craftsmanship! I think our condo buyers will be very pleased with the high quality products we are including in our furniture package for each unit.

That’s right! ALL of our condos come with a furniture package so you can skip the inconvenience of furnishing your vacation or retirement home yourself. If you think shopping for your home in Honduras is like shopping for your home in North America, think again! Buying with us allows you to avoid the unexpected, hair-pulling hassles like finding something you love that is out-of-stock, having something custom-made that turns out looking nothing like you described, or having to pay to have something from a distant city delivered and assembled. We make it easy for all of our buyers and residents and I am confident they will be very happy with the warm, comfortable feel we are striving for.

It’s crazy to think that in just three short months, our beachfront condos will be ready for move-in and to rent. If you and your extended family and friends are looking for a picturesque, entertaining place on the beach, we are your best bet and value in Trujillo Bay! Calling out to all native Catrachos…ask us about our Semana Santa accommodations!

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Home Sweet Home

One of the most frequently asked questions I have encountered in my year and a half stay in Honduras when I tell people back home where I work is, “Is it safe there?” This is inevitably followed by a rambling series of vague recollections of horror stories these people have read in the newspapers or online. I can honestly say, I do not know the statistics. But in my opinion – and I have done my fair share of traveling in South America and Europe – Honduras is like any other country in the world; there is crime in the big cities and you have to have your wits about you. You have to be aware of your surroundings.

Trujillo, however, has a population of just over 30,000 people, and it has a quaint, small town charm about it. Driving into town, I honk at strangers and they wave and smile back at me. Just the other day, I was driving my truck from Banana Beach into Trujillo through a neighborhood and a man parked at a Pulperia (like a corner store) flagged me down. It turns out, I had lost my brand new spare tire out of the back of the truck the day before and he had stopped to pick it up and was holding on to it to return to me. How awesome is he!

As a twenty-three year old blonde female, I drive myself to and from town solo both during the day and at night. I shop in the fresh vegetable market, enjoy a good book in Parque Central and layout on the beach here at Banana. I enjoy my time relaxing, carefree, just as I would back home (except I’ve got a pristine white sandy beach in my backyard here).

In fact, I enjoy working at Banana Beach and the lifestyle so much that my boyfriend and I are even going to be raising a baby here. I am pregnant and due this February. One of the first things out of my mother’s mouth after processing the news was, “Are there hospitals there? Are you going to have the baby there?” My mother goes to work where she saves lives on a daily basis and is a very intelligent woman. This just goes to show you how the unfamiliar is perceived… how people could mistakenly assume Trujillo is a crime hub overflowing with rapists, robbers, gunmen and the like living in tiny shacks and out for blood.

Banana Beach Resort is a family-run business – my paradise – and I will be bringing a third generation into the mix. In my mind, there is no better place to raise a baby than here at Banana. We’ve got security, swimming pools, a restaurant, friendly staff and a beautiful beach. If you come and stay for long enough or invest in a condo, Banana Beach will soon begin to feel like home.

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Always Striving For Excellence!

Our beachfront building and our garden side building are changing shape every day. Little by little we are making improvements around the property as well. Our bar at The Mystic, which was once lined with caña brava received a facelift. We now have beautiful natural stone in its place. We’ve also added a server station and counter bar in the restaurant that allows us to attend to big parties more efficiently. The back of the house has expanded and is being reorganized also so that food comes out even faster than it already does, and we always have whatever tasty meal it is that you’re craving from our kitchen.

With both our rental cabanas full and the swimming pools and restaurant bustling with guests yesterday, this weekend has been great. Thank you! Thank you! We look forward to seeing familiar faces relaxing with us this afternoon on this warm, sunny Sunday!

Cheers!

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The Condos are Taking Shape!

Here at Banana Beach, we are keeping busy! We’ve had beautiful, sunny, breezy weather, which has been perfect for pushing ahead with construction. The walls of the first floor in building E are up, and we will be pouring the second floor soon! It’s amazing how you can really start to see the units coming together! The front patios are enormous and will be perfect for lounging around in a hammock with a captivating book…not to mention you will have a nice ocean view.

Our condos will be the prime vacation getaway in Trujillo Bay whether you’re looking to own or rent as they come fully furnished with a comfortable yet chic vibe. I know I’d be buying one if I didn’t already live on-site. Whether you are looking to relax or party with family and friends, the rooftop patios on the second floor units will be badass! The wet bar will be covered and you will also have a spacious area for sunning and hanging out in the hot tub.

So e-mail us directly if you would like more information on owning or renting your very own beach condominium at Banana Beach. Info@BananaBeachBums.com

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We Sold Our 3rd Condominium!

We are happy to announce that we sold our 3rd condominium! Our spacious three bedroom/three bathroom unit with a HUGE rooftop patio is now off the market.

We do still have three one bedroom condos with awesome, private rooftop patios available. Or, if you desire an extra bedroom or extra space, we’ve got a two bedroom and a three bedroom condo on the first floor just 200 small steps from the beach! If that is still too far from the beach for you, check out unit 1J, our one bedroom beach front condominium. The beach is literally a step off your wrap around porch and you have a spectacular view of the sunset!

Contact us for more detailed information.

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Going Under the Knife in Trujillo

When my boyfriend, Mark, told me he was going to have surgery to remove his hernia, I wasn’t too worried. After all, it is a very basic, routine operation these days, particularly in Honduras where manual labor in your job is very common. Furthermore, everyone I had spoken with has had a positive experience with the hospitals in La Ceiba. However, when he told me he was having his operation done in Trujillo, my face dropped. Despite the historic town square and Trujillo’s quaint charm, there are many parts of our small town that need a facelift. Hospital Salvador Paredes is one of the many, or so I thought at first glance.

Having gotten his blood work done and purchased his pain medication and bandages from a pharmacy (the hospital doesn’t supply them) a few days prior, I drove Mark to the hospital for 5:00AM. We were told that patients normally have to camp out overnight before having a hernia operation to ensure they do not eat or drink anything. In our case, we were lucky that Mark convinced the hospital staff it was unnecessary as he promised to follow the rules.

So there we were at 5:00AM sleepy-eyed and hanging out in the patient campground (aka the patient waiting room). Entering the room, four single cots lined the right wall and four single cots lined the left wall all divided by small night tables. There were windows across the back wall dressed in blue curtains. With just a little bit of work, the room would actually have been very agreeable. A touch of fresh white paint, some repair to the sagging curtain rod, the removal of some broken equipment and it could have passed as a room in a North American hospital. The beds were comfortable and the room was air-conditioned which is always a bonus.

After about two hours in and out of sleep, the nurse came in and told Mark it was time. As they headed away to prep, I gathered our things and expected to follow. To my horror, when I entered the hall, they had disappeared. When I asked the nurse where I could find them, she told me he was in the operating room and I couldn’t follow. So much for wishing him luck before he went under the knife! I sat nervously waiting for an hour and a half when I received a text message from the surgeon, Doctora Anastasia Mejia, informing me that everything had gone smoothly and Mark had been moved to the recovery room. Thanks to meeting Ana at Banana Beach, I had her cell number and she had mine. Minutes later, she greeted me in the hall and took me into his room. I can absolutely say in their wing of the hospital, they take cleanliness seriously, which was very reassuring. I had to suit up in booties, a gown and a hair cap to go in and see him. The room where they were monitoring him was much nicer than the waiting room. Again there were multiple beds, however the room appeared to have been recently fixed up. All of the equipment was working and there was a nurse there to keep watch.

Finally after a few hours, we moved back into the original waiting area. With pain medication, Mark was kept comfortable. Then around lunchtime, he was served chicken soup and water. He passed the test by avoiding becoming sick, which was good news! That meant we were allowed to leave that evening around 6PM instead of having to stay the night. All in all, the entire operation and experience went smoothly. Mark was extremely impressed with Ana – both with her humorous bedside manner and her skill as a surgeon. They even put the precautionary mesh in during surgery to prevent future tearing in the same area.

To sum it up, for blood work, pain killers and a bandage, the hernia operation, and what would normally be one to two nights in the hospital (depending on your condition) it cost a grand total of 1200 Lempiras…in other words, $60. And get this, the surgery itself was only 300 Lempiras = $15. While parts of the hospital look run down, the care Mark received was pretty good and the maid came into the waiting room at least five times to sweep and clean.

I would recommend the hospital for routine procedures and basic care as well…just don’t dare to use a bathroom unless it is a dire emergency. They were disgusting! I won’t even go into detail. BUT, needless to say, Mark survived surgery in Trujillo, is doing well, and would recommend having hernia surgery there.

 

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