Roatan Guide: Honduras

Roatan, where the water is clear and the Salvavida is cold.

Yes, Salvavida is their local beer. & Yes when it is 80 degrees in Roatan, you will enjoy the cold beer. Welcome to the Roatan Guide.

Serious Note:

Have you ever heard of Roatan, Honduras? I haven’t either. Not until this past week.

Roatan Guide: Honduras

Roatan is an island 50 miles off the coast of Honduras. It is 37 miles in length and 5 miles wide, situated within “The Bay Islands”. Surrounded by clear water, scattered jungles and fun activities this is an Island that won’t disappoint. Growing in tourism in the past 5 years is an understatement, so put it on your bucket list now while it is still less traveled.

How to get there:

Flying to Roatan has become much easier out of the United States than it had been before. Delta, American Airlines and United all have direct flights from Miami, Houston and Atlanta, to name a few. Tourist can also fly to Tegucigalpa or other countries international airports then take a smaller flight to Roatan’s airport.

Another way to visit Roatan is a cruise ship. Recently, due to Puerto Rico’s devestation, cruise ships have been docking at Roatan 5-7 times a week. This number use to be 1-2 times a week. May need more than a day to explore Roatan, but a cruise ship would also be a good way to experience Roatan.

Language:

Roatan is a Honduran Island, one would assume they spoke Spanish like the rest of the country. Even if you speak Spanish to the people of Roatan they will respond in English. Roatan is considered a English speaking Island.

Food:

African, Spanish and Carribbean influence play an important role in the Honduran local cuisine. Carne Asada, seafood, rice and beans are just a few of the popular foods that you can find. Monkey Lala is a chocolate, alcoholic beverage that is very popular. Tastes like chocolate shake.

Monkey Lala

Everyday life:

Honduras is technically a third world country. There is a lot of things about everyday life that is different than my life in the United states; here is a few things I learned.

  • Don’t use sink water, even when brushing teeth
  • Electricity will constantly turn on and off, making generators kick in
  • Don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet
  • It is Island time, everyone is 30 minutes late
  • Be mindful what you eat; ice, fruit, seafood
  • Drink bottled water
  • Items are negotiatable

Money:

Honduran money is Limperos, but on the Island they will take anything from Limperos or USD. Some smaller shops you may pay with USD but get change back in Limperos. VISA & Mastercard are the main credit cards accepted in Roatan. They’re accepted at all restaurants, hotels and spas. They do accept tips here.

Communities:

Coxen Hole: Capital city of Roatan, also where the cruise port and airstrip are.

Sandy Bay: Most of Roatan’s culture attractions and marine reserve resides here.

French Harbour: Biggest fishing area and trade.

West Bay: Largest public beach in Roatan.

West End: Great street for day drinking or going out at night.

Where to Stay:

Many of the places to stay are on the west coast of Roatan. The beautiful thing about the hotels in Roatan is that they aren’t commercialized. No Hilton, no Best Westerns, all local brand to their cultures. Hotels, Lodges, Boutiques, Bed and breakfasts’ are a few of the option people can stay. Other options could be finding a place on AIRBNB or plentiful of hostels.

Depending on what type of area and place people would like to stay depends on the price of the hotel. It is easy to find a very nice place to stay for $60-120/night. People may make it cheaper or more expensive depending on budget.

To Do:

There is not a short list of items to do in Roatan. It may be a small island but has plentiful options to keep anyone entertained.

Water Sports:

Jet ski’s, paragliding and so much more is found on the beach. Up and down the beach gentlemen are trying to get you to partake in an activity.

Scuba Diving/Snorkeling:

Some of the best in the world. This isn’t a joke. The huge Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the second in size, only to The Great Barrier Reef. Which makes this a hot spot for Diving and Snorkeling. Another awesome part, the reef is in swimming distance from the beach. This makes it easy to purchase snorkeling equipment on the beach and take yourself out to the reef. Now that I am PADI Certified I would love to go back here for diving!

Fishing:

The reef is the biggest tourism drive to Roatan, but fishing is a close second. Being surrounded by water it is easy to see how fishing is booming. Enjoy a full or half day excursion to fish for dinner. Keep in mind, there is strict laws and rules that need to be followed to keep their reef pristine.

Zip line:

Roatan is also known for zip lining, start in the jungle, end up on the beach. This is a great way to see beach and jungle with some adventure.

Daniel Johnson’s Monkey & Slot Hangout:

Yes, you heard me right, a hangout, with sloths and monkeys. If you love exotic animals, this will sure to please.

Massage:

This is always a priority if needing a relaxing vacation. Massages can be given indoors or right on the beach by wonderful ladies.

Sherman Arch’s Iguana Farm:

As the name entails, Iguana Farm allows tourists to see a countless number of Iguanas, turtles, fish and a couple other animals. The highlight is being able to feed the Iguanas by hand.

Beach:

Need I say more, enjoy a cocktail and the countless number of restaurants on the beach. West Bay beach is one of the best and biggest on the islands, this is where you will find a lot of the tourists.

Carambola Botanical Gardens:

40 acres of walking trails through the Carambola Botanical Gardens. This is perfect for hiking, ecotours, photography, seeing wildlife and so much more.

A month ago I knew nothing about Roatan, Honduras. I never thought I would LOVE this place and spread the word so much. Of course, I am already trying to find time to come back and bring my husband. 

Take this Roatan Guide: Honduras with you on your next trip!!

Have you been to Roatan, what would you add?