Overview of Roatan
An overview of Roatan, what to expect while you’re here and how to make the most of your time.
Coxen Hole and French Harbour are the main commercial townships of Roatan. Both towns have grocery stores, banks and a variety of local stores, which cater to all your general needs.
The ports of entry are located in the central part of the island. The ferry dock and the Mohagany Bay cruise ship port are located near French Harbour on the main road.
The Port of Roatan is located just west of Coxen Hole, and the International Airport just east.
The towns of West End, West Bay are the most popular beach and tourism spots on Roatan, both offer sandy beaches and a close to shore reef.
Hotels from luxury to budget can be found, water front rental homes, international and local restaurants with fresh seafood being a specialty, dive shops, gift stores, and some fun beachside bars and restaurants pepper the beaches of West End and West Bay.
Roatan has steadily grown in the past few years. The island was a hidden secret in the Caribbean for many years that was overlooked as people focused on more popular destinations, but times have changed.
Roatan truly does offer the best of both worlds. Today the island boasts of modern facilities while it retains its untouched, Caribbean charm.
A ferry connects Roatan twice daily to the mainland of Honduras, the airport.
You will find public and private hospitals on Roatan and a recompression chamber for divers. Ambulance service is also available. Larger medical centers and hospitals are available on the mainland of Honduras.
During the past few years the international boating community has also begun to discover Roatan and the waters of the Bay Islands, due to this a growing number of marinas that have opened offering a wide range of services for boating people.
While this may all sound like many other Caribbean destinations, Roatan still has its untouched charm, miles of remote sandy beaches and small fishing villages.
In recent years, many quality- planned developments have begun on Roatan.
One of the many beauties of the Island is that due to the topography of the island many such developments can exist while still leaving miles of shoreline, remote beaches, and stunning hilltops available for people or investors who want to enjoy a more secluded life in the Caribbean.
Roatan is a great place for families and active people. If you love the outdoors and the water there is maybe no better place in the Western Caribbean than Roatan.
The island is world-famous for diving and has been rated as one of the premier locations for diving in the Caribbean. If diving is not your thing you are in luck the snorkeling, kayaking, boating, and sailing options are endless.
The sports fishing is great: tarpon, marlin, and tuna are all caught offshore, while on the East End of the Island world-class fly-fishing can be found on the many mangrove and sand flats.
Out of the water the activities include horse riding, biking, hiking, golf, and just exploring in search of the ultimate hidden cove or fresh lobster lunch. Other options include zip-line canopy tours, a mangrove boat tour, a glass bottom boat tour, and an island tour.
Fun family or group activities include visiting the Iguana Farm, the Sloth Farm, Botanical Gardens, Hydroponics Farm, or Garifuna (Afro-Caribbean) village at Punta Gorda.
Roatan even has its share of unique adventures. You can swim with the dolphins, dive with a whale shark, the largest fish in the sea; and explore the deep blue on the “Idabel”, a deep-diving submersible that will take you to depths of 2,000 feet.
Of course, our favorite pastime on Roatan is being able to take it easy and relax.
Roatan is home to a wide colorful range of restaurants, whether local or international cuisine is your thing, you will be delighted in Roatan.
A large fishing fleet provides an endless supply of delicious, fresh seafood including lobster, crab, shrimp, conch, and a variety of tropical. But there is something for everyone. Steak, chicken, hamburgers, pizza, pasta, quiche, and vegetarian platters can be found in Argentinean, French, Italian, Cuban, Caribbean, Sushi, and Island style restaurants throughout Roatan.
Many special events are held during the year in Roatan. Christmas and Easter (Semana Santa) are busy times on the Island as visitors come from around the world to soak up the sun and to enjoy some Roatan fun.
An international triathlon is held yearly and is becoming known world wide as one of the most challenging and exciting courses on the international triathlon circuit.
Roatan is also the home of the Free-diving World Cup. The Roatan Music Festival raises money for local charities, featuring live music and a huge variety of food and drinks.
The catch and release fishing tournament draws an international crowd in September of each year. As new events pop up, not all of our activities are found in this overview of Roatan. Please contact us for more details about special events happening during your stay.
If you would like some more information to add to this overview of Roatan, do not hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to share our life experiences on Roatan with you. We look forward to hearing from you soon. If you’d like to read more, we invite you to check out our other blog posts The Comprehensive Guide or the History of Roatan.