Traveling to Roatan, Honduras

As I sat looking up beautiful places to visit for a week (that wasn’t difficult to get to), I couldn’t resist looking at the natural beauty of Roatán, Honduras.

What won me over with Roatán is how the island attracts every type of traveler, from the budget traveler to the cruise ship tourist. Roatán’s main industry is tourism, and of course followed by fishing. Most every traveler are united by a passion of scuba diving. Why wouldn’t they be? The island is bordered by the second-largest barrier reef in the world, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

I chose Roatán for many reasons from the lush jungle, to the white sand beaches, and the ancient history that lies within the borders.

Location 

The largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras, Roatán is approximately 48 miles long (77 kilometers) and 5 miles wide (8 kilometers). Nestled 40 miles (65 kilometers) off the northern coast of Honduras, Roatán lies in one of the most magnificent seas in the world, the Caribbean. Roatán has become an important scuba diving, cruise ship and eco-tourism destination in Honduras.

Resting on an exposed ancient coral reef, most habitation is in the western half of the island.

Coxen Hole is the main town on the island and the capital of the Bay Islands Department of Honduras. The city was founded by Caymen Islanders in the 1830’s.

Roatán once was home to over 5,000 pirates!!

Getting there:

The islands airport, Juan Manuel Gálvez Roatán International Airport (RTB) has service twice daily allowing tourist an easy travel.

I flew American Airlines through Dallas Fort Worth, but Delta and United fly there as well. 

Flights from other cities can connect in Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula. If you flew there instead of RTB, travelers should head to the port of La Ceiba, where they can book a Galaxy Wave Ferry out to Roatán. Once you’re on the island, buses and taxis are available. Or, if you’re hardheaded like me and prefer to navigate yourself, Roatán has several car rental companies.

Things to do:

  1. Scuba diving and snorkeling are among the top reasons tourist visit Roatan.
  2. Gumbalimba Park:
    • Accessable from the cruise ships and hotels, this beachfront park offers tons of family activities. Not only do they offer the water activities and leisure of the crystal clear beach and ocean, but also diverse attractions in over 20 acres!
      • Animal preserve with jump-on-your-shoulders monkeys
      • Free-flying exotic birds and other native animals.
      • Botanical gardens with over 200 colorful plant and tree species, numerous water falls and fountains, a picturesque hanging bridge over the fishing pond.
      • Peaceful sandy beach with lounge chairs situated for the sunlovers or hammocks hung among the tree clusters for shadelovers.
  3. Soar through the tree-tops on a zipline while you’re experiencing Roatan.
  4. See the beautiful island through sight-seeing tours

Where to stay:

When to travel:

Roatán’s temperatures consistently remain in the eighties year-round, making it a year around travelers paradise. The winter rainy season begins in October and lasts until January or February. But, June and July can also be quite rainy. Make sure to pack your rain coat.

Tips:

The Honduran currency, the Lempira, can be exchanged at a bank in French Harbour or Coxen Hole. It pays to exchange your money for their currency, prices in US dollars are usually jacked a bit.

And remember, anywhere you go in Central America, always drink bottled water. When you go to a restaurant, ask for NO ICE!! 

 

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