Roatan Island is a small Caribbean Island, 40 miles off the North coast of Honduras. To call it paradise has to be somewhat of an understatement. The locals are friendly, the atmosphere is laid back, and it is the kind of place you don’t want to leave. It’s a busy little island and even more so on cruise ship days. Cruise ship days run from Tuesday – Thursday. I spent a week on the island exploring and beach hoping around. One afternoon, I sat myself down with coconut in hand, watching all the cruise ship goers packing up their beach towels and wondered what I would possibly do with myself, if I only had one day here. It is literally a vacation paradise, you could spend your vacation week here lying on the beach sipping cocktails, or exploring and feel like it just wasn’t enough. If your cruisin’ on through and undecided what to do with your time, I have had the pleasure to break it down for you.
This popular spot on Roatan Island is where all the action happens. With shops, restaurants, a small beach to soak up the sun, all you need to do is buy a fresh coconut and relax. Keep in mind it is a busy part of the island, and the beach area is small, but it’s the best spot for souvenir hunting, cocktail drinking and mingling with the locals.
If water sports and snorkelling is your thing, you have to get to West Bay. A long stretched out beach, lined with restaurants and every possible water sport you could imagine. To get to West Bay you have to catch a water taxi from West End. You can’t miss the taxi dock, and the friendly locals are always more then willing to point you in the right direction. $3 for a one way ticket, and a 10 minute boat through clear blue caribbean water.
Mangroves at Oak Ridge
I used Discover Roatan for my day exploring through the mangroves. This is such a cute little tour! Taking you to Oak Ridge, a very traditional Caribbean town on the Southern part of the island, you weave in and out of mangroves that pirates made a few hundred years ago. Yep, real pirates! The water surrounding the mangroves is literally crystal clear. This for me was seeing the ‘real’ part of Roatan. There are stilted houses on the water, old fishing boats locals still use to fish and a relaxed atmosphere that gives you an inside look to traditional island life.
Little French Key
This is the ultimate tourist trap. I have to admit though, I loved it. There was a lot going on, it was busy, there was music pumping from the bars, but there was so much room on this little island, that you could escape all that. It is the best part of the island to meet people, and even better if you have kids that need entertainment. You can do just about anything here from relaxing in the clear blue waters to horseback riding.
Roatan is ranked as the number one dive spot in the Caribbean. And home to many diving shops and dive schools. I met a lot of diving instructors and diving students on my visit to Roatan, it really is the place to dive. Not being a diver myself, I can’t say how the diving was, but I highly doubt it would be anything less than amazing. Being the ultimate beach bum to watch the gorgeous sunset everyday in the afternoons, I would see divers come in from their dive excitingly explain what they saw that day. Did I mention, I love people watching!
Rent a Car
This is the best way to see every little bit of the island. You can stop and take those gorgeous pics at all the look out points, explore where the locals hang out, and even drive to the other side of the island. It doesn’t take long, about 2 hours, so you’ll be back in time to board the ship! The driving is easy, mellow and not at all hard or stressful. There’s a few car rental places on the island, with Avis being the most popular. If you are still a bit unsure whether your driving skills are up to driving around, you can always hire a driver for the day.
Have you been to Roatan Island? How did you spend your time there?
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