Roatan, a small tropical paradise located about thirty miles from the Honduran mainland, is one of the Bay Islands. Visitors come to this tropical paradise by ferry, air or cruise ship. The island is quickly becoming a popular vacation destination as word spreads of the dazzling white, pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters and unhurried lifestyle.
With its blissful climate, Roatan has festivals almost every month of the year, but especially around holidays. The Roatan Shrimp Festival is one of the largest and offers visitors the opportunity to sample local food and culture. The Semana Santa Roatan is a week-long event.
Diving may be the single most popular reason people come to Roatan. In fact, divers may be credited for the renewed interest in this off-the-beaten path location. Roatan is bordered by the second largest coral reef in the world, and these waters are alive with tropical fish, turtles, dolphins and whales. Night diving and exploring shipwrecks are also popular underwater adventures.
Horseback rides on the beach are reasonably priced and offered at a variety of times. The moonlight rides are especially popular, though the opportunities to observe shorebirds and wildlife on a daytrip are equally appealing.
Explore the jungle canopy by Zip line. Tours are available for beginners and for those with experience and are quite affordable. Or sign up for a four-hour tour that includes both land and underwater sites. The driving portion includes a narrated trip through the jungle and ends with a snorkel tour.
A four-hour tour on a glass-bottom boat is another way to explore the crystal waters and exotic aquatic life. As with most other activities on Roatan, these are quite reasonably priced. Fishing charters are available from several establishments.
The Caramboia Botanical Gardens and the Butterfly Farm may be the perfect stop for families traveling with small children. The entry fees are quite modest.
Shop for Central American arts and crafts in the shops near the cruise ship dock. Here you will find a variety of items, including jewelry, baskets and Honduran coffee.
Roatan is a small island, about thirty-five miles long and four miles wide. Most visitors stay on the western side of the island, which is more developed and provides visitors more services. Rental properties, hotels and tourist services are clustered in the town of West End. West Bay has the coveted unspoiled beaches and turquoise waters. The largest town is Coxen Hole, which is also the site of government offices. Punta Gorda is the largest settlement of Garifuna peoples where their culture and melodic language still thrive.