Wondering how to get here, where to stay, frequently asked questions, information about our island’s history and medical facilities? Just browse below!
As far as accommodations goes, right on our doorstep, we have Coconut Tree Resort, consisting of 12 cabins in West End, as well as beach side options in West Bay. In the heart of West End you can walk to the dive shop, the beach and most other conveniences- the location is unbeatable. There are many different options in West End and elsewhere, contact us for more information.
Getting to Roatan
GETTING TO ROATAN BY AIR
Roatan is serviced by the Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport. We have direct international flights from Atlanta, Houston, Toronto, Miami and El Salvador. There are regular domestic flights from Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba on mainland Honduras. There are always talks of new airlines coming and new routes opening up. Watch this space for any updated travel advisories. Delta, American and United Airlines fly directly from the U.S. to Roatan. United flies from/to Houston and from/to Newark on Saturdays. Delta flies from/to Atlanta. All three airlines have daily flights to San Pedro Sula on mainland Honduras from various U.S. cities. Cayman Airways also fly twice a week out of La Ceiba to Grand Cayman.
INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES SERVICING ROATAN
- Delta Airlines Local tel: 2445 2181
- United Airlines Local tel: 2445 0224
- TACA Local tel: 2445 1088
- American Airlines
DOMESTIC AIRLINES SERVICING ROATAN
VISA’s, VACCINATIONs, AND PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS
For US and Canadian citizens and many other nationalities, you will be issued with a one month or three month tourist visa. Citizens of certain countries must apply in advance for a visa. Please check with your local Honduran consulate to see if one is required for your country of citizenship.
A certificate for yellow fever vaccination is required if arriving within 6 days of being in a country at risk for yellow fever. For a listing of countries with this requirement, please check with the Honduran consulate especially if you are arriving from South America.
Roatan has a twice a day ferry service. The Galaxy Wave to the island from La Ceiba. The ferry terminal on Roatan is situated in Brick Bay a 30 min taxi ride to West End. Telephone +504 2455 1795.
La Ceiba – Roatan 9.30am and 4.30pm
Roatan- La Ceiba 7.00am and 2.00pm
TRAVELLING BY CAR ON ROATAN
If you are arriving from the airport or ferry, hang left at the exit, follow the road West by-passing through Coxen Hole, Sandy Bay until you arrive at the entrance to West End. We are right at the entrance, directly to the left of the roundabout – you can’t miss the sign! Most taxi drivers will know our location so there is no need to give them specific directions. If you’re looking for a taxi on Roatan, you can visit Roataxi, the roatan taxi directory full of contact details for drivers.
If you are coming from West Bay, follow the road until you reach a T-junction, turning right will take you to Flowers Bay and Coxen Hole, turning left will take you to the West End entrance at the next T-junction. It should take about 15 minutes.
This is a common question asked by guests visiting Roatan. West End has 2 ATMs location: Coniahs Mall in the middle of West End. There is also an ATM in the gas station store, a 5 minute walk out of West End. While these ATMs allow you to skip the notoriously slow lines at Coxen Hole’s banks, they only allow small transactions per day and the local currency Lempiras. If you need to withdraw a large sum of cash, plan several days ahead or venture into Coxen Hole (closed sundays).
Casual clothing is the norm, t-shirts, shorts, beachwear and sandals are acceptable everywhere. You might want to bring long pants or a dress for finer dining (totally optional) and you would definitely want a rain jacket and a long sleeved shirt for rainy season.
It’s a good idea. Locals claim that the sand flies and mosquitos can smell new blood, but you probably do not want to test that theory. Also, bring reef safe sunscreen. Avoid sunscreens with high levels of Titanium Dioxide. This mineral does not biodegrade and is found to react in warm seawater to form hydrogen peroxide which is harmful to all sea life.
Oxybenzone and octinoxate, the two chemicals recently banned in Hawaii and are believed to cause coral bleaching.
Avoid sunscreens containing petrolatum, commonly known as mineral oil, which takes years to biodegrade, and are known to be harmful or fatal to aquatic life and waterfowl. In a nutshell if you don’t have the right sunscreen, don’t use it. Wear a rashguard and a hat.
We have a variety of underwater cameras on site for rental. From 1 dive to multiple days we have you covered. Available to rent is a Canon G11 $15 for 1 dive or $30 for the day. A Canon G16 is $40 for the day, $10 extra for strobes. Also contact Alexandra who is the in-house photographer for rental details or a private hire for the day.
You might regret it if you do. Fortunately, we keep purified cold water at the shop and on the boats. Bottled drinking water is available for about $1/gallon at the Coconut Tree Mini shop. It is a great idea to bring your own drinking bottles as every plastic bottle consumed here ends up in our landfill waste disposal.
No, you will most likely need to get a local SIM card to use the network. Some unlocked smartphones may accept local SIM cards that can be loaded for internet access. There are also an increasing number of places offering free WiFi.
The official currency of Honduras is the Lempira, locally referred to as “lemps”. US Dollars are accepted everywhere on the island, though you may sometimes struggle to find change for larger denominations. Lempiras are currently exchanged at 24:1 to the US Dollar, though exchange rates may vary by operator.
Although Spanish is the national language of Honduras, English is the native language of the Bay Islanders, as the Bay Islands are a former British colony. In practise, most islanders are bilingual. In areas of the East End, the traditional Garifuna Language is still spoken by some people (Punta Gorda).
Taxis are everywhere on Roatan. Typical airport to West End fees are $25 per person, though it is possible to negotiate lower prices outside the airport. Taxi rides to Coxen Hole should cost in about 30-35 Lempiras per person, while transportation to Sandy Bay is typically 20-25 Lempiras per person. Alternatively, you can catch a colectivo (community van) to Coxen Hole for 25 Lempiras per person. Direct fares, where they do not pick up other passengers on the way, are higher so be sure to agree the price ahead of time.
Water taxis ferry you between West End and beautiful West Bay beach for around 100 Lempiras per person. Water taxis stop running after sunset. Be sure to pre-agree your taxi rates at night, as they are not the same as the day time.
Cruise ship visitors wishing to arrange transportation should look at Murphy’s Roatan Tours. If your looking for a reputable taxi driver on the island, the community driven roatan taxi directory is a good place to look.
Hurricane season starts mid-summer and lasts through early November. Roatan’s location in the southwestern Caribbean basin usually keeps it out of harm’s way. Storms commonly divert northward to Cuba or the Yucatan Peninsula. We survived the devastating 2005 hurricane season relatively unscathed; Hurricane Wilma, our most serious storm of that season, only caused minor cosmetic damage. Our last direct hit was Hurricane Mitch of 1998. Given that hurricanes and tropical storms are wildly unpredictable, be sure to check your weather predictions before scheduling a vacation.
Roatan offers a favorable tropical climate all year round, where the temperature generally ranges between 77°F and 88°F (25°C and 30°C).
All during the year the weather patterns change frequently on Roatan. Mid-October to December or mid-January are the rainiest times on Roatan. However, rainfall is often periodic and a typical day or week in the rainy season can include days that have full or partial sunshine. April and September tend to be the hottest months.
The summer months are warmer and typically there is less breeze. It’s easy to cool off on even the warmest days with a short swim in the Caribbean Sea. The heat on the mainland of Honduras in the mid to late summer months sometimes causes night time electrical storms on Roatan.
See Weather Underground for current weather conditions.
Roatan uses the same electric voltage as the U.S.: AC (60Hz), 120/240 volts. The local electric provider RECO has outages from time to time, but they typically do not last long.
Water, coral and fish! Seriously though, Roatan is home to over 95% of all known Caribbean coral and fish species. No matter where you dive, you are bound to see something amazing!
Roatan’s Hyperbaric chamber is located at Cornerstone Medical Center at Anthony’s Key Resort, a 5 min taxi or boat ride from the dive shop. See the Medical Facilities section for more details.
Course costs include all equipment rentals, tank fills, boat transportation, guiding, instruction and certification fees. PADI requires that all students purchase their own books for the core courses; read the course information specific to you to find out the breakdown of prices. We also support and encourage the optional USD 10 donation for the Roatan Marine Park. We hope this helped you with some common questions asked by guests visiting Honduras.
1. I’m leaving tomorrow.
2. I’m not drinking tonight.
3. I love you (but honestly, we really do love you guys!)
There are many excellent medical professionals on Roatan, however the facilities may not be what you are used to. Here is a list and contact numbers for the hospitals and clinics.
- Anthony’s Key Resort 2445-3003 (Hyberbaric Chamber, 5min taxi ride)
- Woods Medical Center 2445-1031
- Clinica Ezperanza 2445-3224
- Public Hospital Coxen Hole 2445-1227
- Cemesa Hospital 2516-0174
- Medicentro La Ceiba 2440-3737
Medical services are available on Roatan and are well spread throughout the island. Towards the west there is medical staff available at Anthony’s Key Resort, home of the Hyberbaric Chamber. Coxen Hole has the main public hospital for the island, but there is also Woods Medical Clinic. Serious injuries or severe conditions should head to the mainland.
RESTAURANTS IN ROATAN
Here is a list of best places for eating in / out in Roatan Honduras. From quality island cooking to authentic Indian plates, West End offers a wonderful dining selection to satisfy every taste and budget. West End also has a popular bar scene, where it usually starts at Sundowners beach bar and continues down the road into the night.
THINGS TO DO
Looking for ways to enjoy Roatan without your scuba gear? Roatan has plenty of activities to keep you entertained. From ziplines to submarine tours and iguana farms, our beautiful island will keep you busy without breaking your budget. Take a day to explore our island and bring home some incredible memories and souvenirs.
Early Bird Charters
Island Dream Adventures
Christopher Columbus became the first European visitor to the islands on his fourth voyage (1502-1504). The Spanish soon after began using the islands for purposes of slave raiding; no original Native American communities survived. The first English colony was established near Port Royal in 1638. This started a two-hundred year struggle between Spanish conquistadors and British pirates for control of the island’s plentiful resources. The natural mangrove tunnels on Roatan’s East end became both battlefields and refuges during the ensuing conflict. This discovery of the entire Bay of Honduras attracted a diverse array of individual settlers, pirates, traders and militarists during the 18th and 19th centuries. This included famed pirate Henry Morgan who established his fort in present-day Old Port Royal.
Sir Henry Morgan, we’ve all heard his name but did he actually ever come to Roatan? It turns out he did.
In 1665, shortly, after the sack of Campeche, Morgan returned to the waterways on the Mainland and found his 5 ships taken by the Spanish, he outfitted 2 barques, and 4 canoes and set off overloaded with his prize to the only place he new was safe. Roatan had been completely depopulated in 1650 and by this time the island was left to the jungles. The only visitors were the Dutch, French, and English pyrates.
Morgan, Morris, and Jackman visited Rattan(Ruatan) in 1665(Esquemeling 1856) watered, provisioned and repaired their small fleet, desperately overloaded Morgan convinced some of his men to settle in Port Royal. A secret settlement, on a deserted island. Estimates put the population of Port Royal at 5,000 pyrates. Current population is at around 20 people. In all they spent 22 months at sea. There is a rumour of one more Morgan visit, after the sacking of Panama……but this is where the island legends take over from the public record.
The British fleet defeated the French at the leeward Caribbean island of St. Vincent in 1797, seizing control of the French-allied Black Caribs on the island. In the process of deporting these Caribs, the British became engaged in conflict in the Bay Islands. The Caribs were hastily marooned on the northern coast of Roatan, becoming the Bay Islands’ first permanent settlers and seeding the initial population of the modern-day Garifuna culture. While the Garifunas have since spread along the northern coast of Central America. The Garifuna East-end village of Punta Gorda still marks the birthplace of their culture..
MODERN DAY ROATAN
With the discovery of Roatan Honduras the 20th century saw a significant influx of new cultures on Roatan. European and Commonwealth expatriates steadily populated the west end of the island, laying the foundations for our present tourist industry. Spanish-speaking mainlanders have tripled the original resident population, settling near the commercial hubs of Coxen Hole and French Harbor. The native islander population has gradually integrated with these other two cultures while still maintaining their own cultural identity in the fishing villages of Oak Ridge, Punta Gorda, Paya Bay, and Helene. Most residents of Roatan are now bilingual, though in some areas Spanish has entirely replaced English as the primary language.
At the turn of the 21st century Roatan faces the increasing challenge of maintaining its historical and natural beauty in the face of accelerating ecotourism and development. The Roatan Marine Park, a volunteer organization that oversees the protection of areas of the reef, is one of many efforts currently engaged in conservation work. At the end of the day, we are all tourists on this island, let’s work together preserve this beautiful and historic island for future generations.