Thursday, 27 December 2007

Rolling into Roli’s Place, Omoa

22nd December onwards.

Backpackers in Omoa, Honduras

We picked out Omoa as the place for Christmas and maybe New Year because the guide book said it was a quiet fishing village with a good backpacker’s hostel called Roli’s Place, a Honduran resort and a quiet beach nearby. Georgia remembered it as a nice resort with a good beach 10 years previously. It shouldn’t be too built-up or noisy yet still some Honduran Christmas action.

It is easy to get to. The bus from the Guatemalan border to Puerto Cortes passes through the village and drops you off at the road to the backpackers and the beach. The walk to Roli’s is all flat, 1 km, through the village. The hostel is beautiful, with gorgeous gardens alive with hummingbirds and butterflies attracted to the flowers. The dock is a short stroll away.

But this is where most of the attractions of Omoa sadly end. The beach has been washed away by a recent expansion of the gas factory, a new breakwater changing the currents and so leaving a narrow strip where once football and volleyball pitches lay. The nearby quiet beach is quiet, surrounded by mangroves, with ospreys in the sea, but it is covered in rubbish. Many mangroves were cut down for the gas terminal and large lorries transporting gas trundle through the village.

If you want somewhere to hang out, recover from travelling and enjoy peaceful nights sleep then Roli’s is perfect. Duck in if you are on the coast road. His 10.30pm quiet curfew is strictly adhered to so it is not for the party crowd. He boasts of throwing out the backpacks of those repeatedly breaking the curfew and when we were there a couple of backpackers were given a firm warning for talking outside the dorm after 11pm. He does provide free use of sea kayaks, bicycles, table tennis, table football and a kitchen, all set in his tranquil gardens, which make it an ideal port f call for quiet recuperation from the road. There are a variety of very nicely kept double rooms at 160 - 220 lempiras,  a dorm at L70, or you can either sling a hammock or camp for L50 a person in 2007.

In December 2007 Roli was talking of selling up and leaving, so I don't know what the future holds for the place. As of November 2008 he seems to still be in business. Its worth checking his website - - to check.

There is one great attraction if you find you need to stopover at Omoa – the Paticceria Italiana. Sheltered behind white Roman columns is an Italian bakery owned by an extremely charming Neapolitan. He bakes awesome panetone, delicious pan blanco, exquisite cakes and great pizza as well as having a good supply of Californian champagne. What a find!

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