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Fantasy Island beach in Roatan - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com
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Caribbean - Roatan

The island is located near the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea and the second largest worldwide after Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It has become an important cruise ship and scuba diving destination in Honduras.

For many years the island was a hidden gem, with some of the most beautiful white beaches and the best snorkel and diving spots in the Caribbean, but it was 'discovered' around 2005 by cruise ships and hotel developers.

There are three types of travelling experiences in Roatan. First would be the typical Caribbean resort-oriented beach vacation experience which can be found at any number of islands in the region. This type of vacationing is still developing on Roatan, however, in the past few years it has become a bit more common and the island offers many resorts and activities that would appeal to those who prefer this type of setting. Alternatively, Roatan can still be experienced through the back door and more rustic accommodations are abundant. If you are looking to sleep under a mosquito net with little to no view of any other human, you can certainly experience this on Roatan. The final type of travelling experience on Roatan is the cruise ship, these visitors are generally in town for short bursts of time and come in huge numbers, it's not unusual for you to wake up and have West Bay suddenly be covered with several thousand cruise ship passengers rubbing shoulders to find a small patch of available beach to soak up the sun in. Several cruise ships have ports in Roatan, but some dock only in the exclusive private towns and beaches owned by the resort, and you will hardly notice them except for the large ships on the horizon.

Luckily there are still parts of the island that harken to past times when Roatan was more of a remote destination. Although development is spreading to all parts of the island, one can still find more rustic settings and establishments east of French Harbor.

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Photos

Overhead view of Roatan beach - Courtesy of www.aa.com Fantasy Island beach in Roatan - Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Scuba diving in Roatan reefs - Courtesy of www.divetrip.com

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Located off the coast of Honduras, the island of Roatan beckons to travelers seeking an affordable and adventure-driven Caribbean experience. Turquoise waters and the worlds second largest barrier reef surround the island, which is home to an international airport and cruise terminal. Island activities include zip-line canopy tours, horseback riding, snorkeling with dolphins, immersion in the Garifuna culture, and scuba and snorkel trips. For those looking to relax, stroll amid botanical gardens and relax along the white sand beaches. - Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com

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Activities

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Nature/Parks/Beaches Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum

Coral reefs on Roatan - Courtesy of images.nationalgeographic.com Nature/Parks/Beaches World's 2nd Largest Reef

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Nature/Parks/Beaches Little French Key

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Travel Information  Travel Information

Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (RTB) is on the island of Roatán. Several US airlines offer non-stop flights to Roatan on weekends. American, Delta and Continental offer flights to San Pedro Sula's's Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP), also known as La Mesa International Airport, situated on the mainland, from which you can then get connecting services to Roatan.

The island is visited by some cruise lines, such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. The Galaxy Wave is a new ferry that travels to/from La Ceiba on the Honduras Mainland. The ferry is clean, comfortable, and very reliable. It departs from La Ceiba twice daily, once in the morning at 09:30 and once in the afternoon at 16:30. Departure times from Roatan are 07:00 and 14:00. It costs about US$28 US (524 lempira) for a 1 way trip.

Once on the island, renting scooters is a very economical and fun way to see the island. Buses run every 15 min between Coxan Hole and West End during the day. Taxis and water taxis are also available.

find flights to Roatan [RTB]Find flights into RTB

More Information

History: The island of Roatan was home to the Mayan Indians when Christopher Columbus arrived to "discover" it on his last journey to the Americas. Their matriarchal culture goes back for a thousand years. During the Colonial period, Spanish and English colonizers lived together on the island, but the vastness of riches on the continent led to constant attacks from pirates. The colonizers finally left the islands and the pirates made the islands into their strategic headquarters in the early 1600's. In 1742, under the command of Mayor Caufield, the English settled again on the island and reconstructed the old Port Royal. In 1782, the Spaniards regained control over the island and the English completely abandoned Roatan for 15 years.

English-Speaking?: YES

Weather: Roatan has a hot season and some rainy seasons. Although it is humid year around, rain fall can be scarce during the hot season, resulting in many beautiful, sunny days. During the rainy seasons, there may be several downpours in a day, beginning and ending abruptly. Unlike other areas of the world that stay overcast and rainy for days on end, Roatan can change quickly from rainy to bright sunshine, even during rainy season. Don't let rainy season prevent you from coming. There is no guarantee that it will rain on any given day, it is simply that the likelihood of encountering rainy weather is much greater during rainy season.

The first rainy season is during June and July. The winter rainy season is from October to February. Strong winds can accompany the rain and cooler weather, making a jacket necessary at times during the rainy season.

Customs/VISA: Roatan's long history of mixed peoples has resulted in a melting pot of diverse cultures that prevails on the island today and offers visitors a warm and attractive environment, not only because of the unique Caribbean beauty of beaches and jungles, but also because of the kindness, respect, and warmth of the island's people.

Currency: US dollar (US$) and Honduran Lempiras

Famous People: Pirate Captain John Coxen

Immunization: You may enter Honduras without having shots and health documents unless you are coming from certain countries. Yellow fever vaccinations are required for travelers from countries where yellow fever is common. Contact the Honduras embassy in your country of origin to find out the requirements prior to traveling. Only drink bottled water.

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Festivals


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Dining  Restaurants and Dining

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com La Sirena de Camp Bay

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Cafe Escondido

Courtesy of salz.smugmug.com Creole Rotisserie Chicken

Courtesy of scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net Roatan Oasis

Courtesy of media-cdn.tripadvisor.com Temporary Cal's Cantina

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Accommodations  Hotel and Accommodations

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Las Verandas Hotel & Villas  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of mw2.google.com Mayoka Lodge  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Paradise Oceanic Hotel  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Clarion Suites Roatan at Pineapple Villas  Check availability and book reservations now

Most of the 25 rooms are facing the ocean and all of them have private bath, hot water and running water 24 hours a day, fan and air conditioning and cable TV. - Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Splash Inn Dive Resort  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Parrot Tree Plantation  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Infinity Bay Beach Resort  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of www.islaroatan.net Paya Bay Resort  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Blue Ocean Reef  Check availability and book reservations now

Courtesy of OceanIslandTravel.com Fantasy Island Beach Resort  Check availability and book reservations now

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