Paya Bay Resort
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Paya Bay Resort: The Garifunas

THE FASCINATING GARIFUNAS

A beautiful part of our multi-ethnic culture here in Roatan are the Garifunas. Never enslaved and only slightly Christianized, the Garifunas retain much of their original African culture and spiritual practices. They offer an authentic live glimpse into 18th Century African folklore and traditions.

A Brief History of the Garífunas

A fascinating element of Roatan's history relates to the arrival of the Garífuna people. They trace their ancestry back to a slave ship that wrecked on the reefs off the island of St. Vincent (Lesser Antilles) in the early 18th Century. As a result of intermarriage, the Garínagu (this is what the Garifunas call themselves in their own language) are a mixture of African, Arawak, and Carib genes. When the British took over Saint Vincent after the Treaty of Paris in 1763, they were opposed by French settlers and their Carib allies. The Carib eventually surrendered to the British in 1796. The British separated the more African-looking Caribs from the more indigenous looking ones. Five thousand Black Caribs were exiled to Roatan, but only about 2,500 of them survived the voyage. The village of Punta Gorda in Roatan was the first Garífuna village and remains today a proud bastion of the unique cultural heritage and traditions cultivated by the Garífuna people.

The Garífunas at Paya

Once a week, usually Thursday nights, we have the Garínagu Tribal Beach Party on Bliss Beach. The Garifunas perform a lively show of African drums and their own unique dance, the Punta.

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Good Energy

Good Energy

Our mantra is Feel Good, Be Happy. It is about giving yourself permission to do exactly that! We believe that it is easier for people to both Feel Good and Be Happy when they are surrounded by Good Energy.

Good Deeds

Good Deeds

We realize we are caretakers of a beautiful little section of our planet. It's our goal to practice sustainable development so that the next generations of visitors to our island can continue to enjoy this special place.

The Crystals

The Crystals

The resort sits atop a huge vein of energy-enhancing quartz crystals. A Mayan Shaman explained that one of the reasons people report feeling so good at Paya Bay is a result of the presence of these crystals.

The Payas

The Payas

Paya Bay was once their home and their energy can still be felt in the woods and radiating from the rocks. Peaceful hunter-gatherers, the Payas lived in harmony with the land and the sea.

Marine Park

Marine Park

Paya Bay Resort is an active supporter of the conservation efforts promulgated by the Roatan Marine Park organization. We want to do all we can to help conserve our beautuful, unique marine environment.

Green & Organic Effort

Green & Organic Effort

As we continue to develop the property, one of the key concepts that guides us is harmony. Harmonious Development means, for example, leaving refuge areas for the indigenous wildlife.

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Upcoming Yoga / Wellness Events

Gypset Yoga Retreat at Paya Bay Resort. Jan. 19-26, 2019