Backpack & Snorkel - Making Memorable Moments
Backpack and Snorkel - Making Memorable Moments

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Making Memorable Moments on Roatan

The information on this page and much more (google maps locations, more reviews, website links, etc.) is available in our Cruising the Caribbean Guide.

 

Why you should visit Roatan

 

Roatan belongs to Honduras, but it is English speaking and safe island which is a world away from the crime that plagues the mainland.  It sits right at the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the second largest barrier reef on the planet, and it has excellent snorkeling and diving.  Diving on Roatan is inexpensive and neighboring Utila has some of the cheapest diving lessons in the world.

 

 

Gerneral Information

 

Roatán is located about 40 miles (65 km) off the mainland of Honduras.  It is approx. 48 miles (77 km) long and max. 5 miles (8 km) wide.
The island can be reached by plane, cruise ship or ferry from La Ceiba and Utila.
Tourism is the most important economic sector, with fishing coming in second.

On his fourth and last voyage to the New World (1502–1504), Columbus visited the neighboring island of Guanaja.  The contact with the Spanish proved to be the end of the indigenous population through slave trade and diseases like smallpox and measles.  None of the indigenous people survived.
The island changed hands between the Spanish and English a few times.  After England abolished slavery, lots of English speaking people settled here from the Cayman Islands in the 1830s and 1840s.  These people eventually formed the largest group on the island.  In the 20th century, there was another, this time Spanish speaking, immigration wave from mainland Honduras.  In the early 21st century there as a large influx of English speaking expats from the US, Canada and Europe who made Roatan their home as tourism strongly increased on Roatan.
English is the first language spoken by the islanders and many also speak Spanish.

 

The climate that you can expect on your trip to Roatan is shown here:

 

  • West Bay Beach: This is Roatan's best and most popular public beach and it features white sand, palm trees, turquoise water, excellent snorkeling, many amenities like restaurants and jet ski rentals and glass bottom boat tours.  The beach is almost 1 mile long and therefore not too difficult to find a spot even with a cruise ship in town.
     

  • Half Moon Bay: This is a busy beach with lots of activities: dive tours and fishing charters leave from the many of docks, there are rentals for paddle boarding, snorkeling, diving, etc. and there are lots of restaurants.  And, yes, you can sunbathe, swim and snorkel here too.
    There is a street behind the beach, so be prepared for some noise.
     

  • Camp Bay Beach: One of the eastern most beaches in Roatan.  It is located in a sparsely populated part of the island and, even on cruise days, it will not be too crowded here.  As the beach is so remote, there are no services here.
     

  • Mahogany Bay Beach: This manmade white sand beach is in short walking distance from the cruise port.  It was made for cruise ship passengers and will be busy on cruise days.  There is no reef here, so snorkeling and diving are not good, but swimming and sunbathing are wonderful.  There are restaurants and your typical cruise ship beach activities.  

Tourism is a major source of income on Roatan.  
Roatan has two cruise ports and lots of tourists arrive here as part of a cruise.  Please also check out Rudy's Cruise Guide for Beginners & Others.

 

Cruise ships typically offer excursions which comprise of one or more of the following activities:

  • Reef snorkeling or diving
  • Harbor boat tour
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Glass bottom boat tour
  • Beach break
  • Monkey Sloth Sanctuary
  • Zip-line canopy tour
  • Iguana farm
  • Horseback riding
  • Mangrove tour
  • Eco Caribbean Culture Park (Botanical tour)
  • ATV tour
  • Island tour
  • Shopping

 

The best Beaches

 

Roatan's white sand beaches have turquoise water and often good snorkeling.  The West End has the cruise port and the highest population density, whereas the East End is much more sparsely populated and you may have some beaches almost for yourself, unless there is a cruise ship in town.

For Pinterest users, here are pins that you can use:

Roatan Weather
Roatan Weather
Making Memorable Moments at Mahogany Bay Beach
Making Memorable Moments at Mahogany Bay Beach
Making Memorable Moments at Mahogany Bay Beach
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments on Roatan
Auto Europe Car Rentals
Engagement rings and fine jewelry.
Making Memorable Moments on Roatan
  • Little French Key: This is a private island with white sand beaches, turquoise waters, palm trees and free loungers and a tour of the Animal Rescue Center.  Add-ons that can be purchased: paddle boards, kayaks, snorkel gear and/or tour, horseback swimming, mini pig interaction, manicure, pedicure.
    It is advised to book in advance.

 

Other Attractions

 

Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout

 

You can book this 1.5-2h excursion incl. drive from and to the cruise port or hotel through their website (https://monkeyandslothhangout.com) or you can combine it with an island and/or snorkel tour for longer excursions.  
At the center, you will be able to interact with sloths, monkeys and parrots.  The tour also includes explanations about the different plants on this beautiful island.

Making Memorable Moments at Mahogany Bay Beach
Making Memorable Moments at Mahogany Bay Beach

Here are some more photos taken from various places on Roatan

Making Memorable Moments on Roatan

Are you interested in more white sand beaches and turquoise water destinations?

Check out my reviews of other Caribbean islands and Rudy's Cruise Guide.

Making Memorable Moments at Mahogany Bay Beach
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments on Roatan
Making Memorable Moments at Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout on Roatan
Backpack & Snorkel Online Store
Backpack & Snorkel Online Store
Backpack & Snorkel Online Store