Visit the Beautiful Island of Roatan
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Today we want to share with you something special:
Explore Roatan in the Honduras Bay Islands!
In terms of absolute distance, Roatan in Honduras is one of the closest Caribbean islands to the United States, but when it comes to culture, value, and even good looks, Roatan is a world away.
Spanning an impressive 40 miles, Roatan attracts all types of travelers, from the luxury cruise ship to the budget backpacker. Most are united by a passion for diving: the island borders the second largest barrier reef in the world.
As part of the Bay Islands of Honduras (which also include Utila and Guanaja), Roatán endured centuries of turmoil under British, American, and Spanish influence. Add in the island's indigenous tribes and Afro-Caribbean settlers, and it's no wonder Roatán's people are one of the most diverse in Central America.
Get Your Bearings
Because Roatan is so long and thin, most of its luxury resorts and hotels are located on private beaches outside of the island's cities. But that's where the life and flavor of the island is! Roatan's major communities include:
- Coxen Hole: The capital of the Bay Islands is Coxen Hole, the largest city in Roatan and the first place you will see - both the pier and the airstrip are located in Coxen Hole. Although travelers rarely stay in the city, it is the island's center for politics and commerce.
- Sandy Bay: Most of Roatan's cultural attractions are found in Sandy Bay, such as the Institute of Marine Sciences and the Carambola Marine Reserve and Gardens. Sandy Bay is located across the wide strait from Coxen Hole Island.
- French Harbor: The lively French Harbor is the center of Roatan's fishing trade. Several of Roatan's most exclusive hotels are located here, as is the only iguana greenhouse on the island.
Punta Gorda: The only Garifuna settlement in Roatán, Punta Gorda boasts a dynamic culture that has remained largely unchanged since the late 18th century. Travelers are welcome. Many of Roatan's other local towns are found in this part of the island, including Jonesville, Oak Ridge, Port Royal, and Camp Bay.
What to Do in Roatan
Fortunately, the diversions of Roatan are endless. In addition to scuba diving and snorkeling, the beautiful waters of Roatan can be enjoyed by kayaking, fishing trips, and glass bottom boat tours. Inland island attractions include horseback riding, cycling, museums, and miniature golf. Best of all, there are two separate canopy tours! For a different setting (if you need it), book a boat to other Honduran islands, like the pristine Cayos Cochinos, or a plane to the ruins of Copán in western Honduras.
Dinner time in Roatan is always an adventure. While fresh fish and lobster are the obvious choices, don't be put off by local Caribbean cuisine like fried meatballs and coconut bread.
When to go
Roatan temperatures remain consistently in the 1980s throughout the year. The winter rainy season begins in October and runs through January or February. June and July can also be quite rainy.
How to get there and move
Taca, Delta, and Continental Airlines fly directly to Roatan International Airport from Houston and Miami (just a few days). Flights from other cities connect to Tegucigalpa and / or San Pedro Sula. Overland travelers should head to the port city of La Ceiba, where they can book a ferry to the island. Once on the island, take a bus or a taxi. Or if you prefer to sail alone, Roatan has several car rental agencies.
Tips and practicalities
It's worth (literally) exchanging your money for the Honduran currency, the lempira, at a bank in French Harbor or Coxen Hole. Prices in US dollars generally increase slightly.
When Columbus landed on Guanaja, Roatán's sister island, just 10 miles east, in the early 16th century, he wrote: "I have never tasted such fresh, better quality water." As much as we like to believe in it, we always recommend drinking bottled water in Central America.
Americans already know the basilisk lizard by an intriguing name: Jesus Lizard, in honor of his incredible talent for walking (or running) on water. However, his name in Roatan is even funnier: the monkey Lala! Keep an eye out for these harmless little dragons.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about Exploring the Island of Roatan, Honduras
Source: Mr. Montiel
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