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| style="background-color: #f5f5f5;"| <small>Seasonal</small> [[Montreal]]-Trudeau, [[Ottawa]], [[Toronto]]-Pearson || style="background-color: #ebf2e2;"|<div style="text-align:center;"> International
 
| style="background-color: #f5f5f5;"| <small>Seasonal</small> [[Montreal]]-Trudeau, [[Ottawa]], [[Toronto]]-Pearson || style="background-color: #ebf2e2;"|<div style="text-align:center;"> International
 
|-
 
|-
! style="background-color: #eeead3;<div style="text-align:left;" |TACA Airlines
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! style="background-color: #eeead3;<div style="text-align:left;" |Avianca Airlines
 
| style="background-color: #f5f5f5;"| [[Houston]]-Intercontinental, [[Miami]], [[San Salvador]]|| style="background-color: #ebf2e2;"|<div style="text-align:center;"> International
 
| style="background-color: #f5f5f5;"| [[Houston]]-Intercontinental, [[Miami]], [[San Salvador]]|| style="background-color: #ebf2e2;"|<div style="text-align:center;"> International
 
|-
 
|-
! style="background-color: #eeead3;<div style="text-align:left;" |TACA Airlines
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! style="background-color: #eeead3;<div style="text-align:left;" |Avianca Airlines
 
| style="background-color: #f5f5f5;"| [[San Pedro Sula]]|| style="background-color: #ebf2e2;"|<div style="text-align:center;"> International
 
| style="background-color: #f5f5f5;"| [[San Pedro Sula]]|| style="background-color: #ebf2e2;"|<div style="text-align:center;"> International
 
|-
 
|-
! style="background-color: #eeead3;<div style="text-align:left;" |TACA Regional <small>operated by</small> Isleña Airlines
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! style="background-color: #eeead3;<div style="text-align:left;" |Avianca Regional <small>operated by</small> Isleña Airlines
 
| style="background-color: #f5f5f5;"| [[La Ceiba]], [[San Pedro Sula]], [[Tegucigalpa]]|| style="background-color: #ebf2e2;"|<div style="text-align:center;"> Domestic
 
| style="background-color: #f5f5f5;"| [[La Ceiba]], [[San Pedro Sula]], [[Tegucigalpa]]|| style="background-color: #ebf2e2;"|<div style="text-align:center;"> Domestic
 
|-
 
|-
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===By boat===
 
===By boat===
The island is visited by some cruise lines, such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
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The island is visited by a number of cruise lines, such as Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
  
A new cruise ship stop named Mahogany Bay opened up recently outside of French Harbor. The beach is nice and the setting amazingly surreal, with 2 rusting shipwrecks within view.  Cruises also port in Coxen Hole.
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There are two cruise ship ports, Port of Roatan in Coxen Hole, and Mahogany Bay outside of French Harbor. Mahogany Bay has an onsite beach, shops, and activities such as zipline, so cruise visitors don't have to experience the rest of the island. The beach is nice and the setting amazingly surreal, with 2 rusting shipwrecks within view.  Cruises also port in Coxen Hole.
  
 
====By ferry====
 
====By ferry====
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The former catamaran service by Captain Vern that  provided direct ferry service between West End, Roatan and Utila is no longer operating.
 
The former catamaran service by Captain Vern that  provided direct ferry service between West End, Roatan and Utila is no longer operating.
  
Other options are to ''island hop'' travelling on The Galaxy Wave between Roatan and La Ceiba and then The Utila Princess between La Ceiba and Utila.
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Other options are to ''island hop'' traveling on The Galaxy Wave between Roatan and La Ceiba and then The Utila Princess between La Ceiba and Utila.
  
 
Afternoon boats can be more rough due to stronger winds. Make sure to take some travel sickness pills if you are unsure how you will react. The trip from La Ceiba to Roatan is much more rough then the return trip. Some locals will only fly from the mainland to Roatan, but will take the ferry from the island to the mainland.
 
Afternoon boats can be more rough due to stronger winds. Make sure to take some travel sickness pills if you are unsure how you will react. The trip from La Ceiba to Roatan is much more rough then the return trip. Some locals will only fly from the mainland to Roatan, but will take the ferry from the island to the mainland.
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English, Spanish, Garifuna.
 
English, Spanish, Garifuna.
  
English is widely spoken, especially in the West End and West Bay communities and is the native language of Roatanians of British and African descent (except for the Garifuna). Spanish is spoken natively by all residents who have come from mainland Honduras and is the second language of many of the native English speakers. Spanish is the official language of Honduras and as such is the primary language of the school system. Garifuna is spoken by the Garifuna people who are descendants of the Kalipuna peoples of St. Vincent.  There is also 'Island Talk' spoken by the native Caribbean people.
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English is widely spoken, especially in the West End and West Bay communities and is the native language of many Roatanians of British and African descent (except for the Garifuna). Spanish is spoken natively by most residents and is the second language of many of the native English speakers. Spanish is the official language of Honduras and as such is the primary language of the school system. Garifuna is spoken by the Garifuna people who are descendants of the Kalipuna peoples of St. Vincent.  There is also 'Island Talk' spoken by the native Caribbean people.
  
Most individuals living on Roatan are bilingual (English/Spanish).
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Many individuals living on Roatan are bilingual (English/Spanish).
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
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* '''Marine Science Museum''', at Anthony's Key Resort.
 
* '''Marine Science Museum''', at Anthony's Key Resort.
 
* '''Micro brewery''', Roatan makes beer.
 
  
 
* '''Oak Ridge''', is a small village on the eastern end of the island.  On arrival, you'll be offered water-taxi tours to the Hole-in-the-Wall restaurant, neighbouring communities, and around the harbour, but it's also pleasant to walk through the village, which has many brightly coloured wooden houses on stilts along the shore.
 
* '''Oak Ridge''', is a small village on the eastern end of the island.  On arrival, you'll be offered water-taxi tours to the Hole-in-the-Wall restaurant, neighbouring communities, and around the harbour, but it's also pleasant to walk through the village, which has many brightly coloured wooden houses on stilts along the shore.
  
* '''Pigeon Cayes''', visit the deserted islands.
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* '''Pigeon Cayes''', Two small deserted islands.
  
 
* '''Punta Gorda''', renting a scooter and driving to Punta Gorda takes about 1 hr each way, and goes through some beautiful countryside.  It can be nice to get away from the touristy areas and get back into places that look and feel like Honduras. The town of Punta Gorda is friendly and you may run into a beach party if you are lucky.
 
* '''Punta Gorda''', renting a scooter and driving to Punta Gorda takes about 1 hr each way, and goes through some beautiful countryside.  It can be nice to get away from the touristy areas and get back into places that look and feel like Honduras. The town of Punta Gorda is friendly and you may run into a beach party if you are lucky.
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* '''Whites Beach''', is supposed to be beautiful.
 
* '''Whites Beach''', is supposed to be beautiful.
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*<see name="Marine Park" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The marine park is a protected area of reef stretching from West Bay to Sandy Bay and snorkeling and diving are good ways to see the marine life. Go out in a kayak, a boat, or just swim out from the shore. The reef is less than 100m from shore in many locations.</see>
  
  
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*<do name="Arches Iguana Farm" alt="" address="French Harbur" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""></do>
 
===Diving===
 
===Diving===
 
Roatan is known for its Scuba Diving. There are many dive shops all over the island, but the majority are located on the west side.
 
Roatan is known for its Scuba Diving. There are many dive shops all over the island, but the majority are located on the west side.
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==Learn==
 
==Learn==
 
* <do name="Cooking Classes" url="http://www.ooloonthoo.com/classes.htm" alt="" address="Sandy Bay" directions="" phone="+504 9936-5223" email="" fax=""  hours="" price="" lat="latitude" long="longitude" tags="">World class progressive Indian cuisine classes.</do>
 
* <do name="Cooking Classes" url="http://www.ooloonthoo.com/classes.htm" alt="" address="Sandy Bay" directions="" phone="+504 9936-5223" email="" fax=""  hours="" price="" lat="latitude" long="longitude" tags="">World class progressive Indian cuisine classes.</do>
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* <do name="Roatan Institute for Marine Science" url="http://www.anthonyskey.com/rims/roatan-institute-for-marine-sciences.htm" alt="" address="Sandy Bay" directions="inside Anthony's Key" phone="" email="" fax=""  hours="" price="" lat="latitude" long="longitude" tags="">In the past decade RIMS has established itself as a dedicated teaching institution. The facility is visited year-round by colleges, universities and high schools from abroad to study tropical marine ecosystems and the bottlenose dolphins housed at the facility. Many programs are for academic credit, some are in conjunction with other field research stations, and others are simply introductory courses to the ecology of coral reefs in the Caribbean.</do>
  
 
*<do name="Spanish Lessons" alt="" address="West End" directions="Main Street" phone="0050497269133" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Spanish and English Lesson with Certified Teachers, wonderful time and extra activities in the Islands, spanishroatan@yahoo.com. </do>
 
*<do name="Spanish Lessons" alt="" address="West End" directions="Main Street" phone="0050497269133" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Spanish and English Lesson with Certified Teachers, wonderful time and extra activities in the Islands, spanishroatan@yahoo.com. </do>
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
The US dollar (US$) is generally accepted all over the island, however, your change is mostly given in Honduran lempiras.  This method of money exchange is not recommended generally but if you're only stopping for the day from a cruise ship, it's an easier option to changing money that you may not use up.
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<!-- The same establishment can only be listed once in this article - not multiple times in different sections! See [[tout]] for why.-->
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The local currency is the Lempira, but US dollars are accepted in almost all shops and restaurants, however, your change is mostly given in Honduran Lempiras, and the exchange rate varies from in each shop.
 
   
 
   
Prices of everything skyrocket when cruise ships are in town, if you are looking to purchase anything, including food, it is best to wait until they have left port.
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Local handicrafts abound and can be had for very little money. Look for Central American arts and crafts, brightly-painted pottery, wood carvings, costume jewelry, tee-shirts, cigars and clothing.  Remember that the asking price should only be considered a jumping-off point for some downward haggling.  It's expected and if you have the stomach for it, you'll likely end up with a final price somewhere around 40-50% lower.
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 +
West End has many gift shops. There are many tourist shops where you can buy t-shirts, hats, swim-ware, etc.
 +
 
 +
* <buy name="Beach Kind Boutique" alt="" address="West End" directions="Downstairs @ The Beach House, Half Moon Bay" phone="+504 99 71 71 46" url="" hours="10 am - 10 pm" price="$5 - $80" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Bikinis, Beach Bags, Beach Towels, All things beach..</buy>
 +
*<buy name="Waves of Art" alt="" address="West End" directions="Turn left at the roundabout 100m on your left" phone="+504 2445-4093 " url="http://www.waves-of-art.com/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Art gallery featuring paintings, photography, and crafts from local artists.</buy>
  
Local handicrafts abound and can be had for very little money.  Look for Central American arts and crafts, brightly-painted pottery, wood carvings, costume jewelry, tee-shirts, cigars and clothing.  Remember that the asking price should only be considered a jumping-off point for some downward haggling.  It's expected and if you have the stomach for it, you'll likely end up with a final price somewhere around 40-50% lower.
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If you're in West Bay, there are also shopping options available.
  
<!-- The same establishment can only be listed once in this article - not multiple times in different sections! See [[tout]] for why.
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*<buy name="So Tropic" alt="" address="West Bay Beach Mall" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.sotropicroatan.com" hours="9 AM - 5 PM" price="" lat="" long="">Gift shop with all your vacation needs - T-shirts, bikinis, beach wraps, towels, sunglasses, hats, local souvenirs, etc.  Just two minutes from the West Bay beach.</buy>
* <buy name="Beach Kind Boutique" alt="" address="West End" directions="Downstairs @ The Beach House, Half Moon Bay" phone="+504 99 71 71 46" url="" hours="10 am - 10 pm" price="$5 - $80" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Bikinis, Beach Bags, Beach Towels, All things beach..</buy> -->
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==Eat==
 
==Eat==
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* <eat name="The Beach Club San Simon" alt="" address="West Bay, Roatan" directions="Between La Sirenas + Mayan Princess" phone="+504 445 5140" url="http://www.thebeachclubroatan.com" hours="10AM-10PM" price="Moderate" lat="" long="">Lounge style feel with changing rooms, showers, and beach beds. Free wifi.</eat>
 
* <eat name="The Beach Club San Simon" alt="" address="West Bay, Roatan" directions="Between La Sirenas + Mayan Princess" phone="+504 445 5140" url="http://www.thebeachclubroatan.com" hours="10AM-10PM" price="Moderate" lat="" long="">Lounge style feel with changing rooms, showers, and beach beds. Free wifi.</eat>
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*<eat name="Cafe Escondido" alt="" address="West End" directions="Above West End Divers" phone="" url="http://www.cafeescondido.com/" hours="" price="$5-10" lat="" long="">Fresh daily specials and a small menu of sandwiches, rice bowls, and more. Second floor deck overlooks sea.</eat>
  
 
* '''Gio's''', French Harbor. One of the nicer dining experiences on the island.  It's a longtime mainstay for expats and islanders who can afford to dine out.  Seafood is the specialty of course.
 
* '''Gio's''', French Harbor. One of the nicer dining experiences on the island.  It's a longtime mainstay for expats and islanders who can afford to dine out.  Seafood is the specialty of course.
  
 
* <eat name="Hole in the Wall" alt="" address="via Jonesville" directions="You must take a small water taxi from Jonesville" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">All-you-can-eat lobster and steak on Sun and Wed. This restaurant is a hidden gem on the island. It is very popular with the people who own vacation homes on the island. It is low-key, and has some of the best food offered on the island</eat>
 
* <eat name="Hole in the Wall" alt="" address="via Jonesville" directions="You must take a small water taxi from Jonesville" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">All-you-can-eat lobster and steak on Sun and Wed. This restaurant is a hidden gem on the island. It is very popular with the people who own vacation homes on the island. It is low-key, and has some of the best food offered on the island</eat>
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*<eat name="Hungry Munkey" alt="" address="West Bay Beach Mall" directions="" phone="504 9503-8842" url="http://www.hungrymunkey.com" hours="11 AM - 7 PM" price="$5-$10" lat="" long="">Pizzas, subs (bread baked fresh in-house every day), hot dogs, baked goods, soft serve ice cream, and cold drinks.  Casual, laid back atmosphere, fresh and affordable.  Only a two minute walk from West Bay Beach.</eat>
  
 
* <eat name="JavaVine Cafe &amp; Wine Bar" alt="Internet Cafe, Wine Bar &amp; Lounge" address="West Bay Beach Mall" directions="formerly Cool Beans Coffee House" phone="504 2445-5048" url="http://www.JavaVine.com" hours="7:30am-10pm" price="$1-20" lat="16.274634" long="-86.597040">Serving some of the best coffee and coldest beer on Roatan.  Pastries, sandwiches, pizza, and tapas in a relaxed, chill atmosphere with soothing tunes.  Fully licensed, with a large selection of wine and spirits.  Free WiFi for all customers.  Only a 2 minute walk from beautiful West Bay Beach.</eat>
 
* <eat name="JavaVine Cafe &amp; Wine Bar" alt="Internet Cafe, Wine Bar &amp; Lounge" address="West Bay Beach Mall" directions="formerly Cool Beans Coffee House" phone="504 2445-5048" url="http://www.JavaVine.com" hours="7:30am-10pm" price="$1-20" lat="16.274634" long="-86.597040">Serving some of the best coffee and coldest beer on Roatan.  Pastries, sandwiches, pizza, and tapas in a relaxed, chill atmosphere with soothing tunes.  Fully licensed, with a large selection of wine and spirits.  Free WiFi for all customers.  Only a 2 minute walk from beautiful West Bay Beach.</eat>
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*<drink name="Turtle Shack Cafe" alt="Turtlegrass" address="Calabash Bight" directions="east of Oak Ridge" phone="+504 89507588" url="http://www.turtlegrass.net/turtle_shack_cafe.html" hours="" price="Meals $6-8" lat="16.24.02 N" long="86.20.22 W">A water access only restaurant on the largest bay on Roatan. Seafood gumbo to cheeseburgers, cold Honduran beer and fruity island drinks. Boat transportation provided from Oak Ridge. Also a great stop for those on the mangrove tour.</drink>
 
*<drink name="Turtle Shack Cafe" alt="Turtlegrass" address="Calabash Bight" directions="east of Oak Ridge" phone="+504 89507588" url="http://www.turtlegrass.net/turtle_shack_cafe.html" hours="" price="Meals $6-8" lat="16.24.02 N" long="86.20.22 W">A water access only restaurant on the largest bay on Roatan. Seafood gumbo to cheeseburgers, cold Honduran beer and fruity island drinks. Boat transportation provided from Oak Ridge. Also a great stop for those on the mangrove tour.</drink>
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*<drink name="The Thirsty Turtle" alt="" address="West Bay" directions="Bananarama" phone="" url="http://www.bananaramadive.com/thirsty-turtle/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Beachfront Bar on West Bay Beach. At night they have live music, crab races, and other activities. Good place to grab a beer and drink it in the sea.</drink>
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==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==

Revision as of 12:21, 8 April 2014

West End Village on Roatán

Roatán is one of the Honduras Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Contents

Understand

The island of Roatan is located 30 miles off the north coast of Honduras atop the worlds second largest coral reef. The reef attracts many fish, and is world known for scuba diving. It is approximately 77 kilometres (48 mi) long, and less than 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) across at its widest point. Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands at about 77 kilometres (48 mi) long, and less than 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) at its widest. The island has a number of beaches, all of which are public. Originally an English colony, and later ceded to Honduras, Roatan has a mixture of english and spanish speaking natives. With two cruise ship ports, Roatan has become a cruise destination, and roads and beaches can be busy when ships are in port. Prices for services may be higher when a ship is in. In recent years the island has experienced a lot of development and has a number of resorts along with more rustic accommodation as well. The western side of the island is the most populated and where most tourists stay, and the eastern side is more remote and isolated. Roatan has a warm climate with daytime temperatures between 80-90 year round.

Villages

French Harbor, Roatan
  • West Bay - is the furthest-west area of the island, has some good restaurants and places to stay, and several large resorts have been built on the beach. It's arguably the best stretch of beach in the western portion of the island - powder-white sand that is very well maintained. The reef is a short swim away for excellent snorkeling, especially near the west-most tip, also known as Tabyana Beach. West Bay is also home to some of the best sunsets. It is recommended to spend beach time in the West Bay and bar time in the West End.
  • West End - has some good restaurants and places to stay, and it is definitely the most fun town on the island. There are bars, restaurants, live music, right on the Caribbean. West End is currently undergoing a major reconstruction project on its main street that will improve transportation and the sewage lines; however, it makes the street very difficult to travel by foot or car. The project has been completed, though small improvements are likely to be made sporadically throughout the year.
  • Coxen Hole - is where the airport is located, and most of life's necessities can be found here, including stores, restaurants, and banks.
  • French Harbor - has some good restaurants and resorts and most tourists do not venture further east than French Harbor, which is at roughly the mid point of the island. Past this point are a few newer beach resorts, resort communities, and some private towns with beaches and resorts. Many of the resorts, restaurants and bars on this part of the island were in the past a secret of locals and expats but with the west end becoming more crowded the secret is out and more tourist are finding their way to the east end of the island. One point of interest would be Jonesville and the infamous Hole in the Wall restaurant reached by taking a small water taxi from Jonesville to reach it. Another is Camp Bay Beach Adventure Lodge and the Tasty Tarpon Restaurant located on Camp Bay Beach the largest of all the beaches of the Bay Islands and can be accessed by car or boat.
  • Punta Gorda - Fishing community of the Garifuna.
  • Oak Ridge Fishing community with few roads, and buildings on stilts over the water.
  • Camp Bay - is a further on from Oak Ridge about 4.5 miles and home to the largest natural beach on all the Bay Islands - Camp Bay Beach, which you can gain free access to at a couple different locations and has a small beachfront resort and restaurant: Camp Bay Beach Adventure Lodge. Camp Bay is about the furthest you can go in a car. Past Camp Bay are the mangroves which are quite beautiful when navigated by boat and kayak. There are many tours through the mangroves which can be chartered from various points on the island.
  • Port Royal Small community, originally founded by English pirates

Get in

By plane

Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Manuel Gálvez) (IATA: RTB, ICAO: MHRO) is on the island of Roatán. Several US airlines offer non-stop flights to Roatan on weekends.

  • American Airlines, flies non-stop from Miami (Saturdays only), and from Dallas.
  • United Airlines, offers direct flights from Houston (Daily during high season, less often other times), and from Newark (weekend).
  • Delta Airlines, flies non-stop from Atlanta (Saturdays only).

American, Delta and Continental offer flights to San Pedro Sula's's Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Ramón Villeda Morales) (IATA:SAP, ICAO:MHLM), also known as La Mesa International Airport situated on the mainland, from which you can then get connecting services to Roatan.

Avianca, a group of five regional airlines, offers service from Miami, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Toronto, Houston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC with connecting service to Roatan, including mid-week flights, plus flights from elsewhere in Central America.

There are also local airlines such as SOSA, CM Airlines, air viva and Isleña (part of Avianca's regional service) connecting the island with La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, and Tegucigalpa. Prices are all over the map due to fuel costs and inflation, but usually average in at about US$200 for a flight from Tegucigalpa-Toncontin to Roatan

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aerolíneas Sosa La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa
Domestic
air viva La Ceiba, Utila,San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa
Domestic
Blue Panorama Airlines Milan-Malpensa
International
United Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Newark
International
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
International
Sunwing Airlines Seasonal Montreal-Trudeau, Ottawa, Toronto-Pearson
International
Avianca Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Miami, San Salvador
International
Avianca Airlines San Pedro Sula
International
Avianca Regional operated by Isleña Airlines La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa
Domestic
Charter flights Seasonal From Milan, Italy, to Roatan
International

By boat

The island is visited by a number of cruise lines, such as Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

There are two cruise ship ports, Port of Roatan in Coxen Hole, and Mahogany Bay outside of French Harbor. Mahogany Bay has an onsite beach, shops, and activities such as zipline, so cruise visitors don't have to experience the rest of the island. The beach is nice and the setting amazingly surreal, with 2 rusting shipwrecks within view. Cruises also port in Coxen Hole.

By ferry

The Galaxy Wave [1] is a new ferry that travels to/from La Ceiba on the Honduras Mainland. The ferry is clean, comfortable, and very reliable. It departs from La Ceiba twice daily, once in the morning at 09:30 and once in the afternoon at 16:30. Departure times from Roatan are 07:00 and 14:00. It costs about US$28 US (524 lempira) for a 1 way trip. Prices have risen significantly recently.

The former catamaran service by Captain Vern that provided direct ferry service between West End, Roatan and Utila is no longer operating.

Other options are to island hop traveling on The Galaxy Wave between Roatan and La Ceiba and then The Utila Princess between La Ceiba and Utila.

Afternoon boats can be more rough due to stronger winds. Make sure to take some travel sickness pills if you are unsure how you will react. The trip from La Ceiba to Roatan is much more rough then the return trip. Some locals will only fly from the mainland to Roatan, but will take the ferry from the island to the mainland.

Charter boat

Another option is to charter a boat from one of the locals. Normally the best way to go about this is to approach one of the dive schools as they normally aren't using their boats in the afternoons. Find other travellers who want to do the same and go in a group of 4 or 6.

Get around

Roatán has a system of paved roads connecting the most important communities of the Island. From the Western End of the Island, at the community of West Bay, the road leads through West End, Sandy Bay, Coxen Hole, Brick Bay, Mount Pleasant, French Harbour and Oakridge - Punta Gorda after which it becomes a dirt road and continues east for a distance, to the area of Paya Bay, Camp Bay, Port Royal, and other eastern communities.

Bus

Buses run every 15 min between Coxen Hole and West End during the day. They depart from opposite the market in Coxan Hole. Buses run every hour to Oak Ridge, stopping at the new ferry terminal and passing through French Harbour, Polly Tilly Bight, and Punta Gorda on the way. These buses leave from opposite the HB Warren supermarket in Coxen Hole.

Taxi

There are hundreds of taxis and they can be bargained with. But ask the price in advance and if it seems high, ask another. Many taxies are "colectivo" or shared and will be stopping along the way. Prices from the airport are fixed during the day and negotiable at night. A cab from the airport to West Bay is US$25. Tipping is not expected by drivers. If you are looking for contact details for a reputable taxi driver during your stay, the roatan taxi directory is a community contributed list of drivers with ratings from other travelers.

Water Taxi

There are water taxis during daylight that link West Bay and West End for US$3 per person 1 way. Wait on the end of a dock, and flag them down.

Scooters

Renting scooters is a fun way to see different areas of the island. The rental agencies will happily provide you with detailed maps and explanations on how to best see the island. Scooter rentals can be found on the main road in West End and West Bay. Be careful as the roads have no shoulder and local drivers stop in the middle of the road, and may pass on curves.

Talk

English, Spanish, Garifuna.

English is widely spoken, especially in the West End and West Bay communities and is the native language of many Roatanians of British and African descent (except for the Garifuna). Spanish is spoken natively by most residents and is the second language of many of the native English speakers. Spanish is the official language of Honduras and as such is the primary language of the school system. Garifuna is spoken by the Garifuna people who are descendants of the Kalipuna peoples of St. Vincent. There is also 'Island Talk' spoken by the native Caribbean people.

Many individuals living on Roatan are bilingual (English/Spanish).

See

  • Cameo Factory in Coxen Hole
  • Carambola Gardens
  • Caves of Helene, explore the caves.
  • Dolphin show, at Anthony's Key Resort.
  • East end, if you are up for an adventure, visit the east end of the island past Oak Ridge to Camp Bay Beach the largest of all the Bay Island beaches. The road changes from pavement to dirt/gravel mix and continues on to Punta Blanca and Camp Bay. A 4x4 vehicle is not required for the journey and you'll see many driving compact cars and scooters. This end of the island is home to many locals and some expats as well as a few resorts, one that needs to be mentioned is Camp Bay Beach Beach Adventure Lodge wich is the only resort on Camp Bay Beach. It is also the home of the Tasty Tarpon restaurant and a place to gain free access to the beach with free parking and a depot for your east end adventure from snorkeling/ diving to fly fishing and Mangrove Forest boat or kayak tours. There are a few other interesting stops along the way such as Marble Hill Farms where wonderful local jams & jellies are made. Asylum bar & grill is on a palapa literally over the calm waters in Camp Bay which can sometimes feel like the restaurant at the end of the universe after the long journey of getting there. Luckily these places always have beer on ice and grilled food which makes the trip worth it. If you're looking to get off the beaten path and out of the tourist ridden West End, this is it.
  • Garifuna Village Tour, in Punta Gorda
  • Iguana Farm, near French Harbor.
  • Mangrove Forest Kayak tour, at Camp Bay Beach Adventure Lodge
  • Marine Science Museum, at Anthony's Key Resort.
  • Oak Ridge, is a small village on the eastern end of the island. On arrival, you'll be offered water-taxi tours to the Hole-in-the-Wall restaurant, neighbouring communities, and around the harbour, but it's also pleasant to walk through the village, which has many brightly coloured wooden houses on stilts along the shore.
  • Pigeon Cayes, Two small deserted islands.
  • Punta Gorda, renting a scooter and driving to Punta Gorda takes about 1 hr each way, and goes through some beautiful countryside. It can be nice to get away from the touristy areas and get back into places that look and feel like Honduras. The town of Punta Gorda is friendly and you may run into a beach party if you are lucky.
  • Roatan Butterfly Garden
  • Whites Beach, is supposed to be beautiful.
  • Marine Park. The marine park is a protected area of reef stretching from West Bay to Sandy Bay and snorkeling and diving are good ways to see the marine life. Go out in a kayak, a boat, or just swim out from the shore. The reef is less than 100m from shore in many locations.


Do

West Bay, Roatan



  • Arches Iguana Farm, French Harbur.

Diving

Roatan is known for its Scuba Diving. There are many dive shops all over the island, but the majority are located on the west side.

  • Caribbean Divers Roatan, Sundancer (Sandy Bay), 504-9975-6009. Stay at the Sundancer cabanas in Sandy Bay and walk down to the beach to access some of the best diving on the island.
  • Coconut Tree Divers (Coconut Tree), Half Moon Bay, West End (Turn left at West End roundabout, shop is immediately on your left.), +504 2445-4081 (), [2]. 8AM-5PM. The only PADI Career Development Center in Roatan. The shop offers 4 daily dives: the morning boat leaves at 9AM for 2 dives and returns at around 12:30PM. The afternoon dives go out at 1PM and 2.30PM respectively. Night dives are available every Tues & Thurs. The shop's 2nd boat, Wish-U- Were-Here, is dedicated for cruise ship visitors on various cruise ship schedules. 1 day experience program, PADI Discover Scuba Diving, for those who want to try scuba diving for the first time; inc. basic theory in the classroom, a short session in shallow confined water, followed by a 45-60 min dive in the afternoon. Friendly, experienced staff. Nitrox and Trimix are available. Snorkelers welcome. ~US$30/dive.
  • Tyll's Dive (Tyll's Dive Shop), West End (When you enter into West End turn left and we are across the street from The Blue Marlin (formley known as Purple Turtle)), +504 9698 0416, [3]. 9AM-5PM. Scuba divers with a small family atmosphere. Caters to small groups of 8 or less. Offers 3 dives a day starting at 9AM, 11AM. and 2PM, six days a week, Sundays and night dives upon request. Prices include all dive rental equipment. Small dive classes are offered from Open Water to Dive Master. 1 on 1 dive instruction available, Crowd free diving, multi-lingual staff, well maintained dive equipment and an on hand technician. All the dive Instructors are PADI Certified as well as emergency first aid responders. From $25 per dive.

Fishing/Boat Charters

The fishing is good just off the reef in Roatan. Marlin, Barricuda, Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and much more can be caught in these waters.

There is great snorkeling and diving to be found here and many dive shops to go out with and some people like to dive with the Dolphins at Anthony's Key

If you are a good swimmer, and keep an eye out for motorboats, you can swim straight out from west end towards the white buoys for about 200 m, you will arrive at a 10-30 ft deep reef that is great for snorkeling and freediving. Slightly further out the reef gets much deeper and you hit the wall.

  • Bahia Watersports, West End (between ronnies and luna beach), +504 9994-5308 (US:+1 281 249-5712), [4]. 42' Hatteras Sportfish for charter. Deep sea fishing, diving, snorkeling, or take a trip to a nearby island like Utila or Cayos Cochinos. This boat has good penn reels and fighting chairs and the interior is fitted with couches, flat screen TV, dvd player, kitchen, bathroom. Also available for overnight charters.
  • Cool Running Tours, [5]. Local fisherman providing fishing charter, snorkeling, or an island tour by boat
  • Fly-Fish. with Pescado Roatan, bonefish and permit on the fly [6]


Walking

You can walk along the beach to West Bay from West End in about 45 min, and can take a water taxi back if you like. They seem to stop running around sunset unfortunately, so make sure to catch them before it is too late. Parts of this walk are remote, so it's best to travel in a group.

Horseback riding

  • Shirkie's Barrio Dorcas Ranch, [7] Horseback riding on the beach at West End.

Other

  • Submarine Dive (Half Mile Dive), Half Moon Bay, West End, +504 3359-2887. Karl Stanley has been designing, building, and piloting deep sea submersibles for over 20 years. He has logged over 1,300 dives and can take you to depths of 2,000 feet. Strives to provide cost-effective, direct access to the deep water for anyone who wishes to explore those depths. Tours from 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet for 1.5-4 hr. His operation is the cheapest submersible tourist operation in the world. You can visit the website for more details on trips and prices. $400-1,500.
  • Roatan Island Tour Plus, Sandy Bay (Sandy Bay), 011 504 3236-7210, [8]. all day. Private tours of Roatan. Explore the island, enjoy jungle canopy zipline rides, wildlife farms, scuba diving, snorkeling, and native village experiences.
  • Kayak trips around the Island and through the mangroves on the east end of the island.
  • Zipline, Roatan has 4 zipline jungle canopy tour adventures
  • Black Pearl Golf Course, 18 hole golf course designed by Pete Dye.

Learn

  • Cooking Classes, Sandy Bay, +504 9936-5223, [9]. World class progressive Indian cuisine classes. (latitude,longitude)
  • Roatan Institute for Marine Science, Sandy Bay (inside Anthony's Key), [10]. In the past decade RIMS has established itself as a dedicated teaching institution. The facility is visited year-round by colleges, universities and high schools from abroad to study tropical marine ecosystems and the bottlenose dolphins housed at the facility. Many programs are for academic credit, some are in conjunction with other field research stations, and others are simply introductory courses to the ecology of coral reefs in the Caribbean. (latitude,longitude)
  • Spanish Lessons, West End (Main Street), 0050497269133. Spanish and English Lesson with Certified Teachers, wonderful time and extra activities in the Islands, spanishroatan@yahoo.com.

Buy

The local currency is the Lempira, but US dollars are accepted in almost all shops and restaurants, however, your change is mostly given in Honduran Lempiras, and the exchange rate varies from in each shop.

Local handicrafts abound and can be had for very little money. Look for Central American arts and crafts, brightly-painted pottery, wood carvings, costume jewelry, tee-shirts, cigars and clothing. Remember that the asking price should only be considered a jumping-off point for some downward haggling. It's expected and if you have the stomach for it, you'll likely end up with a final price somewhere around 40-50% lower.

West End has many gift shops. There are many tourist shops where you can buy t-shirts, hats, swim-ware, etc.

  • Beach Kind Boutique, West End (Downstairs @ The Beach House, Half Moon Bay), +504 99 71 71 46. 10 am - 10 pm. Bikinis, Beach Bags, Beach Towels, All things beach.. $5 - $80.
  • Waves of Art, West End (Turn left at the roundabout 100m on your left), +504 2445-4093, [11]. Art gallery featuring paintings, photography, and crafts from local artists.

If you're in West Bay, there are also shopping options available.

  • So Tropic, West Bay Beach Mall, [12]. 9 AM - 5 PM. Gift shop with all your vacation needs - T-shirts, bikinis, beach wraps, towels, sunglasses, hats, local souvenirs, etc. Just two minutes from the West Bay beach.

Eat

There are many great places to eat on Roatan, with the highest concentration of restaurants located in West End and West Bay. You can find traditional island food as well as delicious "north american" offerings, and seafood abounds - you can find top quality lobster for dinner for around US$15.

  • Asylum (La Sirena), Camp Bay Beach (Far northeastern end of the island past the main paved road), +504 3320-6004 (), [13]. 9AM-9PM or whenever the drinking stops. A Beach Bar on the end of a 40 ft dock stretching into the waters. Offer fishing trips on the Cayuca boat. Reef snorkel a few hundred meters from the dock, bring your own snorkeling gear, or rent a package for $5 a day. Camp on the beaches of Asylum for free with your own equipment or rent a camping package for $5 a night. Local residents of Roatan can utilize the camping packages for free. Asylum's Mermaid Grill will cook any fish you catch and prepare a meal for you. moderate.
  • The Beach Club San Simon, West Bay, Roatan (Between La Sirenas + Mayan Princess), +504 445 5140, [14]. 10AM-10PM. Lounge style feel with changing rooms, showers, and beach beds. Free wifi. Moderate.
  • Cafe Escondido, West End (Above West End Divers), [15]. Fresh daily specials and a small menu of sandwiches, rice bowls, and more. Second floor deck overlooks sea. $5-10.
  • Gio's, French Harbor. One of the nicer dining experiences on the island. It's a longtime mainstay for expats and islanders who can afford to dine out. Seafood is the specialty of course.
  • Hole in the Wall, via Jonesville (You must take a small water taxi from Jonesville). All-you-can-eat lobster and steak on Sun and Wed. This restaurant is a hidden gem on the island. It is very popular with the people who own vacation homes on the island. It is low-key, and has some of the best food offered on the island
  • Hungry Munkey, West Bay Beach Mall, 504 9503-8842, [16]. 11 AM - 7 PM. Pizzas, subs (bread baked fresh in-house every day), hot dogs, baked goods, soft serve ice cream, and cold drinks. Casual, laid back atmosphere, fresh and affordable. Only a two minute walk from West Bay Beach. $5-$10.
  • JavaVine Cafe & Wine Bar (Internet Cafe, Wine Bar & Lounge), West Bay Beach Mall (formerly Cool Beans Coffee House), 504 2445-5048, [17]. 7:30am-10pm. Serving some of the best coffee and coldest beer on Roatan. Pastries, sandwiches, pizza, and tapas in a relaxed, chill atmosphere with soothing tunes. Fully licensed, with a large selection of wine and spirits. Free WiFi for all customers. Only a 2 minute walk from beautiful West Bay Beach. $1-20. (16.274634,-86.597040)
  • Ooloonthoo Restaurant, Mangrove Bight (Main road outside West End), +504 9936-5223, [18]. 6-9PM. The only Indian restaurant in Honduras. World class progressive Indian cuisine. A/C dining and year round sunset views. By reservation only $40.
  • Rendezvous Sushi Grill (Roatan Sushi), Main Road, West Bay, +50499786955, [19]. 6:30AM-10PM. Sushi. Quiet, romantic and away from the 'boom, boom, boom' of the beach. Reservations required. (16.273537182604112,-86.59729827081681)
  • Roatan Rum Company, Rum Point (Main road half way between West End and West Bay). Offering visitors complimentary Rum Cake treats while overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean from high atop "Rum Point" at The Rum Runners Bar and Patio hang'in with Captain Jack the resident Pirate. Rum everything is their motto Original Roatan Rum Cake, Rum inspired Sweet Treasures and a Rum Infused Hot & BBQ sauces featuring the “Saucy Girls". Free Samples in the Gift Shop. Complimentary Pirate Hats and Swords for the "Wackiest" photo ops in Paradise.

Drink

Roatan boasts a wide array of experiences for night life depending on your taste. Since the arrival of cruise ships, prices have risen somewhat and restaurants and bars cater to cruise passengers as well as North American and European tourists. These types of establishments are relatively easy to find as they are mostly located in and around the West End. Prices here are generally higher than in most other places on the island.

The best part about drinking in the west end is the pub crawl that occurs almost every night. Its virtually mandatory to start at Sundowners and enjoy drinks whilst watching the sun go down over the beautiful bay in front. When Sundowners shuts at 10PM the whole bar shifts about 50 m down the street to kick on at the Purple Turtle where you can enjoy live music out the back. The Purple Turtle closes at midnight and from here most people continue on to the Nova Bar or the Twisted Toucan's will be the joint to party at and where you will meet most of the locals in the region this being a favorite haunt. Most people go home from here but if you really are feeling like an adventure grab a group of friends and head down the beach to FuBar.

  • Blue Marlin. Until midnight. Look out the back for live music.
  • Booty Bar, (across from Eagle Ray's). Until late. Caribbean Pirate themed bar.Mix of locals, expats and tourists. Great sunsets. Happy Hour 5PM-9PM every day. Good for dancing after 9PM.
  • Foster's. Until late. DJ. Good on Fridays.
  • Hip Hop. Until late. Local outdoor dance club on the hill. Mostly a younger crowd and night owls. Outdoor club on the hill. Plays mostly Reggaeton. Cheap local beer and liquor served in red plastic cups. Outhouse style bathrooms with toilets.
  • JavaVine Cafe & Wine Bar (Internet Cafe, Wine Bar & Lounge), West Bay Beach Mall (formerly Cool Beans Coffee House), 504 2445-5048, [20]. 7:30am-10pm. Serving some of the best coffee and coldest beer on Roatan. Pastries, sandwiches, pizza, and tapas in a relaxed, chill atmosphere with soothing tunes. Fully licensed, with a large selection of wine and spirits. Free WiFi for all customers. Only a 2 minute walk from beautiful West Bay Beach. $1-20. (16.274634,-86.597040)
  • La Sirena, Camp Bay Beach (In Asylum). Sunday barbecue with cold beer. A palapa bar/restaurant built over the water, good if you are on the less populated east end of the island.
  • The Landing @ The Beach House, West End (Upstairs at The Beach House, Half Moon Bay), +504 99 71 71 46, [21]. 12 midday - 10 pm. The Landing @ The Beach House, West End (Upstairs at The Beach House, Half Moon Bay), ☎ + 504 99 71 Beachfront deck with unbeatable views over Half Moon Bay, The Landing serves up fresh tapas and ceviche with decadent, creative cocktails in a relaxed and quiet atmosphere. All Day Fresh Fruit Smoothie Menu. The Deck Screenings are held every Monday with an emphasis on documentary and non-mainstream films. Wifi is Free. Open 12 midday - 10 pm Monday to Saturday. $6 - $10.
  • Nova Bar. Until late. Haunt of locals who stay out late.
  • Sundowners. Until 10PM. Good place to start the night.
  • Turtle Shack Cafe (Turtlegrass), Calabash Bight (east of Oak Ridge), +504 89507588, [22]. A water access only restaurant on the largest bay on Roatan. Seafood gumbo to cheeseburgers, cold Honduran beer and fruity island drinks. Boat transportation provided from Oak Ridge. Also a great stop for those on the mangrove tour. Meals $6-8. (16.24.02 N,86.20.22 W)
  • The Thirsty Turtle, West Bay (Bananarama), [23]. Beachfront Bar on West Bay Beach. At night they have live music, crab races, and other activities. Good place to grab a beer and drink it in the sea.


Sleep

There are excellent accommodations ranging from US$4-$400 per night. Condos are available as are beach cabanas.


  • Anthony's Key Resort, Carretera Pavimentada Principal, Sandy Bay, Honduras, tollfree:1 800 227 3483 (), [24]. Private cabanas on the palm studded hillside and lagoon. Serene and peaceful with views of the ocean. $900-1,500/wk.
  • Bananarama [25], Clean bungalows on a beautiful beach, free use of kayaks, restaurant, breakfast is included.
  • The Beach House, West End (Half Moon Bay, on the beach at the entrance of West End), +504 9971 7146, [26]. checkin: 1pm; checkout: 12:00. The Beach House is a four suite luxury boutique hotel right on the beach on Half Moon Bay. Each suite is fitted with a fully equipped kitchen and private beachfront balcony with dining and sun loungers, TV, DVD, Wi-Fi, Room service from The Landing Bar and Tapas menu. US$95-150.
  • Blenny house, West end, Roatan (North-east side of West End, ask taxi driver), +504 3303 2328, [27]. checkin: 03/15/2014; checkout: 3/22/2014. Jenny offers remote cabins for two people and a full family house for 6, but possibly more people. The accommodation is on the quiet end of West End on Roatan. So the noise from nightlife is far away. The location is beautiful. The cabins offer a double bed, private bathroom, porch with ocean view and outside kitchen. The family house has two nicely decorated bedrooms with bathroom in each. Upstairs is a huge living area and surreal ocean view terrace. It has a kitchen with oven, microwave, cooking facilities, dishwasher, etc. Jenny is a good host and she will make your stay is comfortable. US$50-60 for cabin, US$1000-1500 per wk for house. (16.30943076424597,-86.59419536590576)
  • Camp Bay Beach Resort, Camp Bay, +504 3307 1266, [28]. checkin: open; checkout: 11:00. Full service Beach Front Resort. Room service, Tasty Tarpon beach front restaurant with American and Honduran menu. Scuba diving and diving courses for certification's.
  • Coconut Tree Hotel, [29]. Great accommodations for travelers on a budget. All cabins have A/C and a refrigerator. Cabins in Westend and Westbay. Dorms available to Coconut Tree Divers [30] customers.
  • Coral Vista Villas, West End, +1-855-288-7006, [31]. Located on a peninsula in the heart of West End, the five Coral Vista villas provide an oasis of luxury, right on the water and just steps from the energy and variety of Roatan's most popular village. These four-bedroom homes are perfect for extended families as well as groups of friends. Each one has AC, WiFi, private pool, multiple balconies and high-end furnishings.
  • Fantasy Island Beach Resort, tollfree US number: 1 800 676 2826, [32]. checkin: open; checkout: 11:00. Resort with tennis courts. A/C rooms with satellite TV, refrigerator, telephone.
  • Infinity Bay Spa & Beach Resort, +504 2445 5016, tollfree US number: 1 866 369 1977, [33]. Resort & vacation villas.
  • Las Verandas, 855-224-6620 (), [34]. checkin: 3:00pm; checkout: 12:00pm. Las Verandas captures the essence of Roatan with its deep blue skies, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and sunset views. Las Verandas will provide accommodations for even the most discerning guests on the golf course, The Black Pearl. Pete and Perry Dye’s Championship Golf Course will be in addition to assorted water activities, including world-class diving, snorkeling and shallow or deep-water fishing. (16.377277,-86.464055)
  • Mango Creek Lodge, Port Royal (In Roatan's East End and accessible only by water), +504 9723 1424, [35]. Eco lodge offering diving, fly-fishing and eco adventures. The lodge has access to some of Roatan's healthiest reef. Great base for exploring the caves of Helene, hiking the island of Morat and visiting the pristine Pigeon Cayes. Accommodation is in over-the-water cabanas each with a private dock, swim ladder and hammock.
  • Marble Hill Farms, East End, US:+1 970 688-4120, [36]. Rustic eco-lodge, small casitas with kitchenettes, bunk lodging and package pricing including diving and lodging. New fishing and diving boats, numerous activities; diving and kite boarding, strolling through the gardens, and tasting homemade jams and jellies. Includes the Crow's Nest restaurant. Backpacker dorms with bunk beds and common bathrooms. Casitas – cabin style rooms with double beds and private bathrooms. Condo style rooms with double beds and private bathrooms. Dorm from US$20, rooms from US$55. Dives from US$25. Many packages available.
  • Mayan Princess Beach Resort & Spa, +504 2445 5050, [37]. 1-2 bedroom villas with kitchens, 250 ft swimming pool and a diver center.
  • Mariposa Lodge, West End. Good value with these furnished apartments. Hot water, kitchenettes, DVD and book exchange $45.
  • Villas del Playa, West End (down west end road past fosters between Ronnies Barfeet and Luna Beach), +504 9994 5308, US:+1 281 249-5712 (), [38]. Luxury condos located right on the beach facing the sunset on the Caribbean Sea. 2 bedroom, 2 baths. 3 bedroom, 3 baths. 3 bedroom, 3 bath penthouse with 1,900 sq ft rooftop that has full kitchen, BBQ pit and private pool. Each condo has full stainless steel granite counter-top kitchen, central A/C, U/V water filtration, comfortable living room with couch that folds into bed, flat screen TVs with cable in every room, washer/dryer, free Wi-Fi and beach side swimming pool. Wheel chair accessible with elevator.
  • West Bay B & B, [39]. Clean, quiet, and affordable rooms located just one block from the west bay beach. A/C, TV, DVDs to borrow, beach gear to rent, internet cafe. The owner Glen is fantastic and very accommodating, he also cooks breakfast every morning.
  • West Bay Lodge resort & spa, West Bay (Across from West Bay Mall, 2-minute walk from the beach), +504 2445 5069, [40]. Recently renovated air-conditioned bungalows surrounded by lush tropical plants, mango and avocado trees. Pool, massages available at Serenity day spa. Candlelight dinner available (6 course meal with a bottle of wine for total of $60 for pair). The price of breakfast at Tasty Tarpon Restaurant is included in the room price. Daily specials are as follows: Monday: French toast vanilla butter & powdered sugar; Tuesday: egg baleada Honduran specialty; Wednesday: banana pancakes, caramelized bananas, bacon; Thursday: egg baleada Honduran specialty; Friday: omelet with jack cheese, toast & pineapple jam; Saturday: tipico (typical Honduran breakfast); Sunday: waffles with caramelized pineapple & bacon, $2 mimosas. Available Tu-Sa 08:00-21:00; Su-M 08:00-15:30 pm.

Stay safe

Get out

  • Bay Islands are in the Caribbean Sea, venture forth from Roatan and visit the 2 other larger islands in the group


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