Everyone can stop looking; Paradise has been found. Much as you would expect from the indefinable Paradise, it was found in an unlikely and remote location, tucked away like family heirloom. Much a like any Paradise seeker, I am tempted to keep this find hidden away in hopes of preserving its pristine condition. But, if I keep it to myself, then I can’t brag about how I spent a day in paradise. Oh, the quandary.
~Kayaks in Waiting for Adventure~
Calling all Paradise Seekers
Little French Key is a private island located on the southern side of the beautiful island of Roatan in the bay island chain of Honduras. It is the home to a very lucky (and shrewd) entrepreneur and his family, who has created an all- inclusive resort atmosphere with equal parts luxury and adventure. The cozy utopia is home to a private zoo where animals are rescued and rehabilitated, as well as white sand beaches, two restaurants, and countless hammocks and lounge chairs. For adventurers, the island offers kayaks, snorkeling tours, a jump platform, and a lookout treehouse. All of this, and the unbelievable beauty of the island, is offered to guests as a means to connect to creation. In the words of the owner, “It is often that we need to play our part in the cosmic plan and do our best to make the place better than we found it.” It is this mission and hospitality that are infused in the spirit of the island.
~The Ferry to Paradise~
Welcome to Little French Key
Little French Key is only accessible by boat from Frenchy’s 44, a restaurant and launching dock on the main island. Tickets and all access passes are purchased there and the ferry to the island takes only a few minutes. In that trip, you can easily see Little French Key in the distance and dream of a day in paradise. A guide meets each boat at the dock and provides a short tour of the island, ensuring that guests are acquainted with the lay of the land. From there it is just a matter of choosing the best way to relax all day.
Ecologically and Culturally Focused
In the first few words with the owner of Little French Key, his enthusiasm for his home is infectious. He shares that his greatest reward is to see visitors leaving with relaxed smiles on their faces, but he also has a bigger mission for Little French Key. From the start LFK was designed to be an ecologically friendly destination that would embrace the culture of Honduras and share it with others. All of the employees are local islanders, thus creating jobs and economic growth for the area.
In the eco-friendly department, LFK is covering all the bases. Most of the electricity is generated from a wind turbine and rainwater is collected from roofs for daily use and irrigation. To baffle and inspire, the sewage system is an eco-friendly Piranha based bio-digestive closed loop that releases zero discharge into the sea.
~Treehouse Lookout on Little French Key~
How to Spend a Day at LFK
After our tour of the island, everyone has an idea of what they want to do-and it’s all something different. Two boys can’t wait to hit the reef and do some snorkeling, the littlest just wants to play in the protected cove, and the oldest has found a hammock and has no intentions of moving. We all agree that we want to visit the zoo, where we are promised the once in a lifetime chance to hold a monkey. Lisa, the spider monkey comes out to meet us, and as an 18 month old baby, she is so willing to hug and be hugged. Everyone is thrilled by having her long arms wrapped around their neck and gently cuddling her. We are also offered the chance to hold a kinkajou, but she is a rambler and not as easy to hold.
Snorkeling calls for my adventurers and they head out with their dad, while more relaxed pursuits of swinging and swimming call for the youngest, oldest and me. For a moment we venture to the top of the Treehouse lookout to enjoy the view, but for the most part we are the picture of beach bums. We relax until the call of hunger calls us to the restaurant where an authentic dinner of filet minon, giant prawns, chicken breast, yucca chips, fresh salsa, and coconut rice is waiting. Everything is delicious and even my picky eaters are plowing through the food. As we are scarfing down the huge quantities of food, the snorkelers arrive back from the reef and join us in eating while sharing their snorkeling stories.
~Delicious and filling meal was included with the price of the island admission~
After dinner, we head over to the other side of the small island to try our hand at kayaking. The older boys have kayaked and feel comfortable in the water, but the eight year old has never had the chance to try kayaking on his own. The water is clear and smooth, so we set him out to practice, and in minutes he has mastered the craft with pride. All of the boys spend an hour bouncing from kayak to the floating island in the center of the lagoon. Even with a cruise ship in port, the island is uncrowded and unhurried. There is never a wait for activities and always a place to sit in solitude and serenity.
~Kayaking with Confidence~
From our position in the lagoon, a line of jumpers can be seen assembling 20 feet above the water in preparation for the plunge. The chance to take the leap is too much for my adventurers and they are soon at the top and poised to jump. After the first jump, they are addicted, and each jump is just a continuous motion of swimming back to the dock to climb the stairs and jump again. Even the more cautious of our group try it once, just to say they did it.
Soon, the only person who hasn’t jumped is mom, and my boys taunt me with teases and dares. The jump isn’t something that I really want to do, but I long ago learned that parenting boys is a lot of saving face. Heading into the teen years, there is no way I am going to let them best me in any event, at least while I can still help it. Moms of boys can’t show fear. With that in mind, I jumped. They cheered. I can maintain my honor as a tough mom for a few more years.
~Yep, I jumped~
After “just one more jump mom” we caught the very last boat back to the island and waved goodbye to Little French Key. We took with us memories of a day spent in blissful calm, and the knowledge that while others may keep looking, we know exactly where to find paradise.