If you haven’t heard of the Honduras Caribbean Bay Island known as Roatan, then listen up. The incredibly beautiful island, which may not be as well-known as its neighbors in Jamaica or the Cayman Islands, offers a whole host of exciting adventures for travelers taking to its shores.
So, you’re deciding to venture off the beaten track, but what should you know about Roatan and its tourism before your trip? Whether it’s a quick stopover on a cruise or you’re just curious to know more about the island, there are a few things you should consider. We’ve created a rundown of everything to know about Roatan, as well as a few tips for things to do. All you need to do is concentrate on packing!
Roatan’s beaches are famous and for good reason. Think powdery, deserted stretches with soft, white sand and turquoise blue waters. The beaches are what postcards and travel brochures are made of. While beaches in nearby countries like Cuba and Panama are stunning in their own right, Roatan oozes a certain charm and calming tropical atmosphere that can only be found on the island.
Being an island, Roatan is full of beaches, and where you stay generally determines which beaches you’ll visit. Closest to the port is Mahogany Beach but you’ll also find West Bay Beach and Esmeralda Beach at the tip off the island. West Bay Beach is the longest on Roatan and is also the most accessible to sun-worshippers. Spend the day snorkeling in the colorful waters or enjoy a tasty local lunch in one of the beachside restaurants. Other names worth mentioning are Camp Bay Beach, Half Moon Bay, and Flower Bay each with their own unique vibe.
Great attractions nearby
For those of you who have been on a cruise before, may know that when you dock, the port isn’t always close to the main areas or tourist attractions. One of the great things about Roatan is its port is next to some wonderful activities. There’s the private island of Maya Key which you can explore on a guided tour, or if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a jungle top zip line located close by too. The closest beach to the port is probably Mahogany Beach, it’s a little further than the previous attractions mentioned, but if you really want to take a dip in the sea and relax on the beach for the day, it’s definitely worth the extra journey.
Roatan is also known for its diving opportunities. Considered some of the best diving experiences in the Caribbean, if you want to see an array of marine life and plants, Roatan is surely the place to do it. However,
if you’re not a diver, there’s still something for you. Other water-based activities include snorkeling to catch a glimpse of some of the wonderful marine life, swimming with dolphins, and hiring a kayak for the afternoon.
Tourism in Roatan is heavily based on beaches and diving experiences, but the cuisine is also something you need to try while there. Most tourists, when visiting another country, want to try delicacies of that destination and Roatan certainly puts on a representative spread. They’ve got baleadas (a flour tortilla stuffed with red beans), conch, and plenty of seafood specialties served up across the island. If you need something to wash down all the mouth-watering dishes, sample the Honduran coffee available — it’s said to be some of the finest in the world.
Roatan is indeed a paradise but it’s not all beaches and water sports on the island. There are plenty of chances to explore the jungles and mountainous terrain of Roatan too. Take a canopy tour or whizz through the scenery on a zip-line. You’ll find the true essence of Roatan when you’re suspended above the incredible wildlife — as well as be making some unforgettable memories.
About the author: Sage Fitzpatrick is a travel blogger currently living in London. She can be found drinking tea, reading and traveling the world. When she’s not traveling she spends her time blogging about her travels over at A Virtual Postcard.