Nomad Guide to: Roatan, Honduras

Roatán Honduras

After hearing many good things from a few people, I went to checkout Roatán, Honduras. I knew someone who was living there and they had great things to say about the place. Most people have never heard of this little island tucked away next to Honduras, in Central America. Roatán is a well-known location for scuba divers. There’s a massive reef around the island and scuba diving is very big there. Ironically, I didn’t even go scuba diving while I was there. My girl friend wasn’t up for it, so we didn’t go.

 

Map of Roatan

(From roatan.net)

If you’re into a scuba diving I highly recommend visiting. There are many many diving shops, and it’s cheap; so I’m told. While, I only went snorkeling there, I also hear the scuba diving is very excellent. If you’re not into scuba, it’s still not a bad little island to checkout in the “Caribbean”. While technically it’s in the Caribbean, it’s actually pretty far from all the other more popular Caribbean destinations.

There are lots of things to do on the island. Cruise ships stop by each week, so there’s a lot of typical cruise ship activities: zip-lining, scuba, snorkeling, sitting on the beach, animal encounters, etc. We stayed at home when the cruise ships where at port. (not our scene) To be honest, we found the place pretty boring after night. There are lots of little bars and places to eat, but that seemed about all.

There are many beautiful little islands around the main island to go see. This is honestly the best part of visiting Roatan! There are lots of little cruises to snorkel, and see these amazing islands.

We went to Little French Key, a little island in the middle of the Roatan. It was ridiculously nice, and one of the most beautiful, picturesque places I have ever been! Though, it is a very touristy spot, we didn’t care.

Little-French-Key-Excursion-Roatan-Honduras-1024x691

(Yes it really looks like this, even better in person!)

Where to work at

There aren’t a lot of good coffee shops to work at. I opted for staying at the house we rented, which got old, very fast. However, I found one nice coffee shop that had decent coffee, good food, and air conditioning!

Javavine

https://goo.gl/maps/ErWYHbRmY9L2

It was a nice little spot and a great break from working at the house. I took a water taxi over to West Bay, walked along the beach, and hung a left at a place called Bananarama Resort. There was a long alley, that ended at a road, and a small strip mall.

Where to stay

My friend told me one of the best places to stay was in West End. It’s basically a small town with a mix of locals, some tourists (not many), and expats. I’m glad we stayed there to be honest.

Another good option is the very touristy area, West Bay. That area has a very nice beach and swimming area. However, I personally, wouldn’t want to stay over there. Too touristy for my liking.

There are a few other areas you could stay at. It is probably possible to stay in the main city on the island, Coxen Hole. That is where all the locals live and is not very touristy. It is a lot cheaper, however. I honestly wish we ventured more into the town, to eat. Still, I wouldn’t want to stay that far from the beach.

P.S we loved this place on airbnb.

How to get around

This was one of the most frustrating parts of being on the island. There are taxis, but they are very expensive. They want to charge you $10-20 USD a trip! Very outrageous for Latin America, in my opinion. We often went from West End to West Bay to hangout. We would take a water taxi to and from for $3 USD. Much better. However, we were often forced to wait for another person to show up for them to even take us. I wish we had rented a car, we would of seen much more of the island. I think there are “collectivos”, or little vans. These will take you to places on the island, cheaper, but we didn’t look into it.

Things I liked

  • I really loved the beach at West Bay. (Touristy, but AMAZING swimming area)
  • Loved loved all the little islands you can visit.
  • The weather wasn’t bad at all, even in the middle of summer.
  • It is a very laid back place and the people are reasonable chill and friendly.
  • I believe it’s cheaper than other destinations in proper Caribbean.

Things I did not like

  • Pretty much all the food and restaurants were pretty horrible.
  • It is still super expensive and everyone wants USD instead of Honduran Lempiras.
  • The internet was HORRIBLE. My cell phone had better internet and I often had to tether to get reliable internet.
  • It’s a pain to get around without a car. Plus, those expensive taxis…
  • The infrastructure:
    • Internet is terrible.
    • Electricity was constantly going out! (I couldn’t take a shower the day I left because of this.)
    • Water isn’t available everyone on the island. (scary)

Overall, I had a good time in Roatán, but I don’t think I would go back. Maybe, unless it was just for a few days to go scuba diving. The problems with electricity is pretty ridiculous. Some places have generators, but many don’t. There are damn beautiful places to see on the island and around it. However, I think I would rather just go see another island in proper Caribbean.

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