What is a better destination during summer vacation than eye-popping beaches with crystal-clear waters? The cool breeze, the breathtaking view, the warmth of the sand, and the alluring tan you can get are all good reasons to plan your next vacation to Roatan, Honduras.
If you are already familiar with this amazing spot in the Caribbean, you will immediately realise how much fun awaits you there. However, if this is the first time you have heard about it, let us introduce you to a piece of paradise on the northern coast of Honduras.
The “Nature and Adventure” Concept
Usually, when people seek a relaxing vacation, they look for a destination where they can connect more with nature and less with concrete. This is what Roatan is trying to offer its visitors; time to unwind, an opportunity to learn about a distinctive culture, and a bunch of activities on land, underwater, and even up in the air. That’s all possible through the “Nature and Adventure” type of tourism that Roatan depends on. In fact, the Roatan Tourism Bureau is promoting tourism on the Island, considering it a “Sun and Beach” destination, which many tourists find enticing.
Typically, the “Nature and Adventure” tourism programmes include different environmental activities, such as bird watching, horse riding, hiking, scuba diving, boating, snorkelling, and more. Being an island with about 55 diving centres and a thriving cruise industry, Roatan attracts millions of tourists every year.
What Does Roatan Have to Offer Its Visitors?
Matchless beaches, rich coastal flora, coral reefs, diving opportunities, and stunning seascapes may all be found at Roatan. Combined, these factors create a charming —and unique— aquatic experience. It’s worth mentioning that the barrier reef surrounding Roatan is ranked the second-biggest in the world. Such a status dubs scuba diving the one marine activity both visitors and locals find most exciting. Other aquatic activities include sailing and fishing.
If you think you will spend the whole vacation in the sea, think again! That’s because the wildlife on the island is worth exploring. You can’t miss interacting with the adorable sloths, taking pictures with the white-face Capuchin monkeys, and challenging your friends to spot all 47 different species of beautiful birds on the island.
In addition to all of that, you might be pleasantly surprised by the island’s excellent lodging options. Since Roatan is a top-notch tourist destination, it provides a variety of hotels and resorts that meet everyone’s needs and preferences.
How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Roatan, Honduras
When planning a trip, you will first need to figure out where you will go, what you can do, how long you are staying, and how to get there. To make it easier for you, we have created a list of the best tourist spots and activities that you should include on your checklist:
Little French Key
It is a small private island a few minutes by boat from Roatan that is much sought after for its crystalline sea and the perfect isolation that can be enjoyed on the beach. A gorgeous coral reef full of tropical fish, lobsters, sea urchins, and other marine life surrounds almost the whole island. The island itself is home to the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, along with white-sand beaches, rolling hills, and stunning palm trees.
Little French Key is more than just a big beach; it’s a cutting-edge resort offering multiple services, including massages, mani-pedis, paddleboarding, a zoo with rescued animals, restaurants, pubs, and more! To make this trip even more refreshing, you should get yourself some “Monkey Lala,” the island’s signature drink.
The island has lovely coves bordered by rock jetties that block the waves from entering, creating a wonderful, calm surface in the water that is ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding. Little French Key also provides a guided snorkelling tour to Mayatlantis, a fabulous underwater park. This place gives you an opportunity to experience swimming among replicas of ancient Maya ruins, which is quite astonishing!
Another “key” to well-spent time is the private island, Maya Key. This place has endless fun options, from history and culture to exotic animals and picturesque landscapes. If you are a fan of sea lions, this island is highly recommended.
There are two totally awesome beaches that go on for miles like a strip of sweet snow, alongside plenty of sun chairs waiting for you. You can chill at the beach or lounge on the big sun deck by the pool. The pool’s cool and shady spot is perfect for families with little ones. Chow down on some crispy banana chips and BBQ chicken at Ironshore Bar and Restaurant if you get a little hungry, and chill out with one of their hometown brews or pick from a huge list of cocktails.
If you’re into history, you have to check out the Mayan Interpretation Centre and Ethnic Honduran Art Exhibit Centre. They have some cool displays and artefacts that will give you a glimpse into Roatan’s past and distinctive culture.
West Bay Beach
West Bay Beach, located on the Northern Coast of Honduras, about 64 kilometres from La Ceiba, enjoys year-round temperatures of about 27 degrees Celsius and warm water. It is likely the most exquisite beach on the whole island. The transparent water is populated by tropical fish, making it a perfect Caribbean destination for snorkelling, and the more than a-kilometre-long beach is surrounded by lush vegetation.
West Bay Beach offers a diverse range of activities for all kinds of beach lovers, whether you prefer playing in the sand or surfing the waves. You can enjoy delectable umbrella drinks, relax under a palm tree’s shade, savour the day’s catch, or indulge in some local dishes. With so much to offer, West Bay Beach is the perfect destination for any beach enthusiast.
Are you ready for a tour bursting with colour? Because the diversity of animals, birds, and plants in Gumbalimba Park will definitely blow your mind! Instead of spending all day at the beach, you can take a break and spend a few hours in this park inspired by jungle life.
You will have the amazing opportunity to witness a playful group of monkeys swinging right before your eyes, and if you are lucky enough, you will have one climbing on your back. The park also features giant parrots called macaws. Taking a picture with one of these colourful parrots will give you a real-life experience of being one of the “pirates of the Caribbean.” The park is home to more wildlife creatures, like big bugs and iguanas.
Gumbalimba Park’s Monkey Trail Canopy (zip-lining) Tour is another exciting option for those looking for an adrenaline rush. There are 17 stations throughout the tour, which usually takes around an hour to complete.
Carambola Botanical Gardens
This is another mesmerising garden, with a path leading to the top of a hill from which you can admire a spectacular view of the panorama below. The place expects visits every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For only $15, you can spend an unforgettable time exploring the garden with its fascinating animals and plants, including the remarkable chocolate tree and the renowned Honduran mahogany tree.
When you visit Carambola Botanical Gardens, you can’t miss the Iguana Wall on the trail towards the Carambola mountain’s peak, one of the most incredible spots in the park where you can witness the beauty of iguanas and parrots in their natural habitat.
What is the Best Way to Travel to Roatan?
Whether you prefer travelling by air or by sea, Roatan is easily accessible. You can choose from three different options for travelling: a plane, a ferry, or a cruise ship. Sometimes you will need to combine two different transportation methods if you are heading to one of the surrounding islands and resorts.
Since Roatan is a popular tourist destination, it receives countless flights through its international airport, the Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport (RTB). In fact, this airport serves almost a quarter (23%) of all international flights to Honduras. Affordable taxi services are available at the airport to make your trip easier and more relaxing.
If you want to save money and avoid the possibility of flight cancellations due to bad weather, using the ferry is your best bet. Galaxy Wave is the name of the ferry which departs from La Ceiba and docks in Dixon Cove, near Mahogany Bay on the island of Roatan. It takes around 75 minutes to get from La Ceiba to Roatan. There are two daily departures of this reliable mode of transportation.
Where to Lay Your Head at Night
North and northwestern Roatan has the greatest hotels, especially for those who like admiring sunsets from their terrace. Here are a few options with different costs and services:
Mr. Tucan Hotel
This beachfront, 3-star hotel in West End will check every box on your hotel features list. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it also has plenty of services like currency exchange, free parking, and scrumptious breakfasts.
When it comes to the rooms, you can expect to find free Wi-Fi, a private bathroom with a hairdryer, a seating area, and a flat-screen TV in each. The hotel provides eight different types of rooms and suites. This includes twin rooms, double rooms, deluxe apartments, and more.
Infinity Bay Resort
Whatever you are looking for in a resort, you will find it at Infinity Bay, located in West Bay Beach. During your stay at this brilliant resort, you can access a wide range of free services like airport shuttles, Wi-Fi, and parking.
You can saddle up for a thrilling horse ride, paddle through the crystal-clear waters in a canoe, reel in the catch of the day while fishing, explore the stunning surroundings on a hike, and even dive into the depths of the sea. On top of that, guests can enjoy biking with the convenience of bike rental, indulge in the ultimate relaxation experience with the luxurious sauna, and stay fit and active with the gym facilities.
The resort features modern villas fully equipped with beautiful wood furniture, refreshing air conditioning, a cosy sitting area, and a modern flat-screen cable TV. Every villa boasts a balcony with breathtaking views of the lush gardens and sparkling pool. And that’s not all—the kitchens are fully equipped with a stove, fridge, and coffee maker. It’s like having your own personal paradise right at your fingertips.
Casita Azul, Blue Island Divers
If you are looking for more privacy, this resort will be perfect for you. Most facilities are private here, including a private beach and a free private parking area. Imagine waking up every morning to the sound of waves crashing on the shore, with a stunning studio island-style beach house surrounded by lush greenery right on the oceanfront. But it gets better—the place also features a restaurant, a bar, and free shuttles to the airport.
This amazing beach house is the perfect spot for you and your loved one to relax and unwind. With a cosy, queen-sized bed, a clean bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator, a coffee maker, and a toaster oven, you’ll have everything you need for a dreamy, romantic vacation. The beach house is located right on the property of Blue Island Divers, where you can experience the thrill of diving, snorkelling, and canoeing just steps from your front door.
Time to Book Your Trip!
Roatan is an exceptionally beautiful island located in the Caribbean. The island has all it takes to have the perfect vacation away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. If you are interested in tourist destinations with picturesque landscapes, you should take a look at some of our recommendations: Most Beautiful Tropical Islands in the World and Dominica: A Heavenly Island on Earth.
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