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About 40 miles (65 kilometers) off the coast of Honduras, the island of Roatan is home to one of the largest barrier reefs in the world—so you can trust that water adventures here reign supreme. Most travelers will get acquainted with Roatan on their cruise itinerary, with ships docking at Coxen Hole, the largest town and capital of Honduras’ Bay Islands. Visitors tend to spend their days vacillating between heart-pumping adventures, like scuba diving or ziplining, and taking it easy on island time, sipping cocktails against a Caribbean sunset.
Roatan’s dry season generally lasts from February to August. Within that window, the most popular months to visit are March–June; if you want to avoid peak crowds but still sneak in some great sunny weather, opt to schedule your visit from June–August. That being said, the island hovers around 80ºF (26.7ºC) year-round, so there’s no real “bad” time to visit Roatan.
Being a tourist hot spot, there are plenty of ways to get around Roatan. If you’re staying at a hotel, ask your concierge if the property has any transfer services. Otherwise, taxis abound—make sure to agree upon a fare first thing—as do minibusses. Water taxis are a convenient way to get to/from West End and West Bay; for roughly $3 per person, you can simply flag one down at the nearest dock.
More often than not, Roatan’s West End is more relaxed and less crowded than West Bay, though both have their share of tourists. If you truly want to get away from it all, nab accommodations on the East End, aka North Shore. It’s not nearly as walkable and amenity-rich, but if you stock up on groceries (like at Eldon’s in Coxen Hole) and bring your own snorkel gear, you’ll be all set.
The island of Roatan, off the coast of Honduras, is known for fantastic snorkeling and diving—it lies on one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, the 700-mile (1,126.6-kilometer) Mesoamerican Reef. The island is a popular cruise ship destination, with nearly 2 million visitors flocking here almost year-round for idyllic Caribbean adventures....More
Roatan, the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands, claims the second-largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Reef. It stretches for some 700 miles (1,126.6 kilometers), offering snorkelers and divers of all levels endless opportunities to commune with the Caribbean’s colorful marine life. The island is a popular and accessible cruise ship destination to boot....More
With flight schedules to Roatan typically running on a weekly basis, you may not have much choice when it comes to how long you stay—and cruise ship visitors may have just a few hours. That being said, 3 to 4 days is a good amount of time to get to know the island and see its most beautiful spots....More
With warm weather year-round, the best month to go to Roatan depends on what you’re looking for. The rainy season tends to last from September to January, with most travelers opting to avoid this half of the calendar. March–June tends to see the biggest crowds, making July–August a good shoulder season option....More
Roatan has a huge tourism industry—so while Spanish may be the official language, English is widely spoken and understood across the island, from West Bay to West End and beyond. Locals often speak Creole English, which takes bits and pieces from French, Spanish, and Garifuna to form its own dialect....More
The best place to stay in Roatan depends on what you’re looking for. If you like being in the thick of the action, stay in West Bay. If you like a little more space and are willing to walk or take a water taxi, opt for West End or Sandy Bay. If you really want to escape into nature, try East End....More