Miles of wide white beach, lush mountainous jungle, and a sleepy local atmosphere make Roatan a perfect escape for those who like their getaways to have a sense of soul exploration and raw wilderness. An island lover’s paradise, Roatan can offer the gentle breeze of the Caribbean ideal while offering a sense of adventure for those who want the excitement. Exotic, different, yet still somehow close, Roatan, Honduras is an excellent escape.
Day 1: Get Oriented
It’s easy to give-in to the desire to spend your first hours running for the shoreline, Mai-tai in hand. And while a beach day is perfect for many, consider spending your first day on this Honduran island getting to know it a bit better. Explore. West Bay and West End are two names you’ll likely use as reference frequently. West Bay is the furthest western end of the island. Look here for some good (but pricey) restaurants, white-sand beaches and luxury resorts. Linked by way of water taxi (about $3/ride) you can reach West End, the main town of the island where you’ll find all night dancing, drinking, and a variety of shops.
Day 2: Hit the Ocean
It would be a shame to come to Roatan and not explore the underwater world a little bit. Right on your doorstep lies the second largest coral reef system in the world (the first being the Great Barrier Reef in Australia) and a great mangrove swamp just begging to be discovered. Whether snorkeling or diving, exploring the hundreds of species of sea life, the manta rays, the moray eels and the little sea-dragons with funny heads – the world is important, exciting, and all around you – in Roatan.
Day 3: See the Rest
Roatan might be the largest island off the coast of Honduras, but it’s still relatively just a little guy. Explore the rest of the island whether on dune buggy or water taxi, but make sure you see it. Gumbalimba Park is an amazing jungle paradise full of parrots, monkeys, rope-bridges, and other things that will make you think you’ve stumbled onto the set of an Indiana Jones movie. Other explorations include the marine sanctuary, and a soap factory just east of French Harbour where they show tourists how the local soap business employs residents while providing world-class souvenirs. It’s a way to see more of the island, meet some locals, and get outdoors.