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Island Life Insight: An Overview of Coxen Hole Roatan

Coxen Hole Roatan is not a popular part of the island for expats to purchase property and live, but it is a significant destination in terms of general expat life needs. It is also the hub where many tourists will arrive in Roatan, so it’s helpful to understand what you might find there and what you might need to get done in Coxen Hole. As the administrative center for the Municipality of Roatan, Coxen Hole offers government offices, large grocery stores, medical facilities, and so much more.

While you might not be seeking island property in Coxen Hole, we still think it’s important to get an overview of the city and feel familiar with the area. If you haven’t yet, be sure to take a look at our Comprehensive Guide to Roatan Island in Honduras so you get a feel for the rest of the island, too. And we would love to help if you have any questions at all. Feel free to get in touch so we can help you figure out your dream life in the Caribbean!

About Coxen Hole Roatan

Coxen Hole is the administrative center of Roatan, which is the western half of the island of Roatan. The eastern half is called Santos Guardiola and is governed separately, with its administrative center at Oak Ridge. There are many administrative buildings and government offices located in Coxen Hole, as well as a variety of stores, medical facilities, and more.

Coxen Hole is also where the Port of Roatan cruise dock is located, so many international tourists will arrive into Coxen Hole when visiting Isla Roatan. The Port of Roatan was built in 2007 and partly owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The other cruise ship dock is located at Mahogany Bay, which is mid-island near French Harbour, and is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines.

While most tourists won’t spend much time in Coxen Hole, there are a few popular tourist attractions based out of this part of Roatan. The popular Shark Dive, organized by Waihuka Dive Center, is based across from the Woods Hole medical clinic. This is the only operation allowed to conduct the shark dive on the island, with permission and oversight from the Roatan Marine Park. If you come to Roatan and want to do the shark dive, whichever dive shop you dive with will be able to organize this for you to join Waihuka at Coxen Hole.

Divers in the water getting ready for a scuba dive in Roatan Honduras with their dive boat and captain beside them

Another popular tourist destination near Coxen Hole is Maya Key. This island is just off-shore and houses an animal rescue center plus plenty of amusement opportunities.

What Expats Need in Coxen Hole

Coxen Hole is the municipal capital of Roatan and also a hub for services and amenities. If you are visiting Roatan on vacation, you might want to stop at the large grocery store in Coxen Hole after arriving at the airport before heading to your vacation rental or hotel. While there are small mini-marts all around the island, you’ll see the greatest diversity of products at the larger stores.

Coxen Hole also has medical facilities, with the public hospital the private hospital at Woods Hole, and several pharmacies throughout the town. These are not the only medical facilities on the island, however. There are others including the new CEMESA hospital in French Harbour and the smaller clinics in Sandy Bay at Clinica Esperanza and Anthony’s Key Resort.

Coxen Hole also houses several administrative or government offices that might be useful for expats and longer-term visitors. From driver’s licenses to residency applications to accountants and lawyers, you’ll find many offices located right here in the capital.

Transport Links to Coxen Hole Roatan

Coxen Hole and its surrounding areas are a hub of transport links for the island of Roatan, whether by air or sea.

Airplane in the sky

Coxen Hole Roatan Cruise Port

First, there is the Port of Roatan cruise ship port welcoming thousands of tourists from around the world, with the busiest times between November and April when there can be cruise ships arriving up to six days a week. There is, of course, a noticeable difference on cruise ship days in many respects. Traffic around Coxen Hole is dramatically higher as thousands of tourists arrive and hop into taxis or tour buses to head to their destinations around the island. It’s helpful to know the cruise ship schedule so you can avoid peak times if you need to run errands in Coxen Hole!

Flights to Roatan Island

There is also the international airport just east of Coxen Hole. Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (airport code RTB) welcomes flights from all around the Americas direct to Roatan. Generally speaking, here are the flight paths you could seek to arrive in Roatan:

  • Air Transat from Montreal
  • Air Transat from Toronto
  • American Airlines from Dallas
  • American Airlines from Miami
  • Avianca Airlines from San Salvador (direct connections from across the Americas)
  • Delta Airlines from Atlanta
  • Sunwing Airlines from Montreal
  • Sunwing Airlines from Toronto
  • Tropic Air from Belize City
  • United Airlines from Houston

There are also plenty of alternative ways to fly to Roatan, including utilizing the Cayman Airways connections via Grand Cayman (originating in Miami, New York, Tampa Bay, or from Kingston, Jamaica). You could also look for flights into the mainland first, particularly San Pedro Sula as a major airport hub or La Ceiba or Tegucigalpa. From any of those, you can catch a domestic flight connection to Roatan island.

Ferry to Roatan Island

The ferry port is well outside of Coxen Hole, located at Dixon Cove en route to French Harbour. Nonetheless, taking the ferry is another way to reach Roatan. You could arrive from La Ceiba on the mainland or you could take the ferry from Utila to Roatan, connecting the two most popular of the Bay Islands, especially for scuba divers.

Soft sand beach and palm trees on Roatan island

We hope this guide to Coxen Hole Roatan was helpful! You can always feel free to reach out if you have any questions about expat life here on the island and where to handle your real estate or legal questions. We’re always happy to help you adjust to this new island life!

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