Roatan Guide: Tropical Island Paradise in Honduras

Roatan is an island lover’s dream paradise, and it also happens to be quite friendly for first-time travelers.

The Central American country of Honduras is more than just a Central American state. It also owns the tropical paradise island of Roatan – which means it’s a Caribbean destination too. Roatan is approximately 40 miles from the northern coast of Honduras and is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras.

Another tropical island paradise to be considered largely unknown in North America is the tropical island paradise of Phu Quoc in Vietnam. One can even visit China for a tropical island vacation without a visa on their large tropical island of Hainan. There are plenty of tropical destinations off the beaten track just begging to be discovered.

What you need to know about Roatan

Uniquely, this island is very different from mainland Honduras. While the official language of Honduras is Spanish, most of Roatan’s native speaker population is actually English. It is a holdover from the days when the island was controlled by British pirates and privateers and the British crown claimed the islands.

  • Population: About 65,000
  • Language: Officially Spanish, a large part of the island’s population speaks English as their mother tongue
  • Length: 77 kilometers 48 miles
  • Width: 8 kilometers or 5 miles

The Bay Islands are a chain of tropical Caribbean islands that stretch along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system. It is the second largest reef system in the world.

  • Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System: The second largest reef system in the world

Roatan has a beautiful tropical climate and is covered with lush jungles and verdant forests. Coming here one will find an often overlooked tropical Caribbean island with crystal clear Caribbean waters. Not only is the air temperature warm year round, but also the average water temperature is 78 ° and 84 ° F (26-29 ° C) year round.

Related: Caribbean Islands: A Guide To Each Top Destination (So You Can Easily Choose)

Diversity And Cuisine Of Roatan

Today, Roatan’s population is diverse, having been influenced by its original indigenous population, and later by Afro-Caribbean, Spanish and English. Today, the culture of Roatan Has been described as “one of the most colorful in the Western Hemisphere”.

When it came to currencies, you had to worry too much about exchanging money. While the official currency is the Honduran Lempira, US dollars are readily accepted.

  • U.S. dollars: Easily accepted on the island

It’s not just the idyllic beaches. Roatan cuisine is varied and delicious. If one wishes to try “authentic” Roatan cuisine outside of restaurants, it will be delicious and delicious.

The cuisine here includes tamales from southern Mexico and Central America, potato salad, fried chicken, mainland Honduran beans, tortillas, seafood, coconuts, fried green plantains, a barbecue introduced by sailors working between the US Gulf Coast and the island, and much more.

Point: Try their baleadas – a cross between a burrito and a quesadilla

Roatan: An assortment of culinary influences

Related: Caribbean vs. Gulf of Mexico: should you stick with one or go with the other?

Activities and attractions

Although the Caribbean and the beaches are the island’s main attraction, this tiny island has so much more to offer. Zipline the jungle canopy, snuggle up with monkeys and even sloths at an animal shelter, swim with sea turtles, and ride crashing waves on the beach.

  • Lazy : See sloths at the animal refuge

There is no shortage of things to do on the island of Roatan, according to Island House Roatan the top five things to do are:

  • Diving: See Shipwrecks, the incredibly biodiversity-rich Mesoamerican Reef (swim with hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, tuna, eels, rays and more)
  • Nautical sports: Go paddling, kayaking, snorkeling and more
  • Sunbath: Enjoy the island’s pristine waters and white sand beaches
  • Island tours: The island may be small, but there is a lot to see and explore when visiting the island
  • Boat rental / fishing: Land a 40-pound fish or simply enjoy a cruise on Caribbean waters

When to go and how to get there

The weather is a wet and dry season. The dry season runs from January to August – and it’s the most popular time of year. The rainy season is mainly from October to December and there can be heavy rains during this time.

  • Dry season: January to August (most popular)
  • Rainy season: Mainly from October to December

Roatan is easy to get to. There are direct flights from the United States from Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, as well as from Toronto and Montreal in Canada. Plus, daily flights connect the island to the mainland – as well as a daily ferry if you prefer.

  • Juan Manual Gálvez International Airport: Has direct flights to the United States and Canada

It is not necessary to rent a car on the island. The island is small and there are a lot of inexpensive taxis servicing the island.

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