If you’re ready to enjoy pure white sand, aquamarine waters, delicious seafood and spectacular underwater life, Roatán is the place to visit. Located 48 kilometres north of Honduras, this remote island boasts a fantastic mixture of Spanish, Paya Indian, African and British influences and is underpinned by a complex history of pirates, slave-traders and battles.
Roatán is home to the second-longest barrier reef system in the world. Here, visitors can dive and snorkel to enjoy stunning coral formations, colourful schools of fish, whale sharks, manta rays, turtles and dolphins. This is the perfect place to stop to relax in pristine surrounds.
Cruise lines that head to Roatán include Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises.
Cruise ships dock on Roatán’s south side at either Coxen Hole or Mahogany Bay.
There are a few facilities in Coxen Hole, including an ATM, some shops and a few restaurants. Past the port gates, visitors can find a great variety of authentic food and attractions.
There are a number of facilities located off the pier of Mahogany Bay, including a shopping plaza, restaurants, a tourist information centre, ATMs and transport options.
How to Get Around
Visitors can catch a taxi or a bus to adventure through Roatán, or they can hire a car or a motorbike instead. When catching public transport, especially a taxi, it is recommended to agree upon a fare before travelling.
Travel times from Coxen Hole Port:
It is a 21 minute journey to Gumbalimba Park
It is a 14 minute journey to West End
It is an 18 minute journey to West Bay Beach
It is a 15 minute journey to Sueno del Mar (Diving Resort)
It is a 31 minute journey to Half Moon Bay.
Travel times from Mahogany Bay Port:
It is a 39 minute journey to Gumbalimba Park
It is a 31 minute journey to West End
It is a 36 minute journey to West Bay Beach
It is a 33 minute journey to Sueno del Mar (Diving Resort)
It is a 14 minute journey to Half Moon Bay.
Currency – The official currency of Roatán is the Honduran lempira (HNL). The colourful banknotes come in HNL1, HNL 2, HNL5, HNL10, HNL20, HNL50, HNL100 and HNL500. The lempira is divided into 100 centavos, with coins coming in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 centavos.
Time Zone – Roatán falls under Central Standard Time (CST), putting the island 6 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight Savings Time is not currently observed.
Weather – While Roatán’s rainy season varies slightly each year, October to February tend to be the wettest. The hottest month is June, with temperatures averaging 30 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest with temperatures only dropping to 26 degrees Celsius.
Gumbalimba Park – Located on Roatán’s West Bay is the popular Gumbalimba Park. This area is home to around 8 hectares of exciting attractions, wildlife and gorgeous flora. While there, pay a visit to the park’s botanical gardens, which is home to over 200 plant species, as well as picturesque waterfalls, fountains and even a fishing pond. Keep an eye out for local monkeys and exotic birds, and explore the park’s gift shop and historical wall paintings in Coxen Cave. For those seeking thrills, zoom through the treetops on a zip-line ride. If you’d rather kick back and enjoy a coffee and a light meal, visit the poolside café. The best way to get to Gumbalimba Park is to take a bus ride from the docks. Have a chat to your cruise line to see which shore excursions could best suit you needs.
Snorkelling and Diving – Explore incredible underwater worlds by going snorkelling in Roatán. This island is home to 25 accessible dive sites and a great array of beaches perfect for discovering coral formations and sea life. The West End area of the island is calm, proving to be an enjoyable place to dive. Head to the Sueno del Mar Diving Resort to go on diving tours. West Bay Beach and Half Moon Beach are also magical places to snorkel.
Horseback Riding – Whether you’re a beginner rider or if you’re more experienced, Roatán offers fantastic horseback riding tours around its island. Many start on a tranquil beach, where you are taken through scenic roads and lush greenery. As you go, make sure to stay on the lookout for local wildlife, especially the white-tailed deer and cute agouti. If you decide to go horseback riding, take a camera and fill it up with precious memories.