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The 12 Best Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras

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Roatan is one of those places that you really need to explore to see the true beauty. This island that belongs to Honduras can be misinterpreted pretty easily. There are actually a ton of things to do in Roatan, Honduras!


Stepping outside of the port (if you are cruising) you are immediately bombarded by people incessantly trying to sell you things. Get past this, and you will enjoy a beautiful place with a lot to offer.


We're going to tell you everything to know when traveling to this island, from the best things to do in Roatan, Honduras, to how to move around on a budget. Let's jump right in and see all that this Caribbean paradise has to offer.

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Where is Roatan, Honduras?

Roatan is one of the Bay Islands, that belong to Honduras, in Central America. This small island is situated in the Caribbean Sea, and is frequently visited by cruise ships doing Western Caribbean itineraries.

Where is Roatan, Honduras

Roatan is part of the Bay Islands in Honduras.


How to Get to Roatan, Honduras

Roatan is a small island that belongs to Honduras. There are quite a few ways that you can visit here, by air and by sea. Here are the different options that you can choose from.


Visiting Roatan by Sea

The most popular way to visit here is by cruise ships, as it is on many Western Caribbean itineraries. Several cruise lines stop here for the day including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, and more.


If you're not cruising and want to visit Roatan on your own from the mainland of Honduras, there are ferries from La Ceiba. The ferries depart twice daily, and takes about 75 minutes. Galaxy Wave is the company that provides this service, and you can book online or in person at La Ceiba.

cruising to Roatan

Cruising Is one of the most popular ways to visit the island of Roatan.

Another popular way to visit Roatan is by sailing from the island of Utila. You can click below to grab your ferry tickets in advance.


Visiting Roatan by Air

Want to visit Roatan without cruising or having to stop in the mainland first? There are several direct international flights that go from Atlanta, Houston, Toronto, Miami and El Salvador. If you are going from the mainland of Honduras and don't want to take the ferry, you can fly from one of the domestic airports of Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula or La Ceiba.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can put from "your city" to "Honduras". This way you can see if it is cheaper to fly direct or to fly elsewhere and get the ferry. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates!

Search for a flight to Roatan:

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Entry Requirements for Roatan, Honduras

Before traveling anywhere new, you'll need to make sure that you comply with the entry requirements. Here is what you need to know for entering Honduras.


Visa Requirements for Honduras

Some countries do not need a visa to enter Honduras, and can stay for a period of up to to 90 days as a tourist. However, there are quite a few nationalities that do require a visa. You can check the official site to see the list of countries that need a visa for Honduras.


Another thing to note is that in order to enter Honduras, you will need to provide proof of your yellow fever vaccine. When we crossed the land border from Nicaragua to Honduras, they requested the physical copy.


If you are visiting Roatan on a cruise though, you won't need to get a visa, nor a yellow fever vaccine. You will just need a passport, and whatever requirements that the cruise line requests (most cruises come from the US).


Covid Requirements for Honduras

In order to enter Roatan from the mainland, you'll need to comply with the regulations of the countries. This means you'll need to provide proof of vaccination, or have a negative Covid result within 72 hours of flying. If you are cruising to Roatan, you'll need to confirm the requirements directly with the cruise line, as it may be different.


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Local Adjustments for Roatan, Honduras

While many of the Caribbean Islands are similar to the US, Roatan is a Honduran Island. Here are a few things to keep in mind while traveling to Roatan, Honduras.


What Language Do They Speak in Roatan?

The official language in Honduras is Spanish. However, it is very common that locals (especially in touristic areas) of Roatan speak English. Many locals grow up speaking a creole English, similar to many other Caribbean islands.


What is the Best Currency to Use in Roatan?

The local currency of Roatan is the Lempira. As of March 2023 the official exchange rate is about 24.66 Lempiras for 1 US dollar. All tourist places accept and prefer USD, but it is actually better to use Lempiras if you are going to local shops or using taxis or buses. 


Credit cards are not accepted very often, so it is always smart to have cash on you. If you are visiting for just one day, you can definitely get by by just using USD. However, if you are planning to spend a few days, we highly recommend taking out local currency from an ATM.


ATMs are few and far between, but there is an ATM right in the downtown area of Coxen Hole, about a 10-15 minute walk from the port, at the local bank.


What Plug Adapter Do I Need for Honduras?

The outlets in Roatan are the same as the US, which are plug types A and B. Honduras runs on a 120V supply voltage and 60HZ.


Can You Drink Tap Water in Roatan Honduras?

The water in Roatan is not safe to drink, so we suggest sticking to bottled water. If you receive water from a restaurant or hotel, it's probably been purified already.


Is Tipping Expected on Roatan, Honduras?

Tipping is definitely expected in Roatan in restaurants, and after tours. The average is 10%, but you will also see people tipping between 10-20% for tours.

Let’s be honest...who doesn’t want to have the best vacation in the Caribbean? The area is full of paradise beaches, crystal clear waters and a relaxing vibe. The list of places to go is huge. But while they are might be amazing, they can be super pricey if you don't

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Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras

Want to know the best things to do in Roatan, Honduras? Well we have twelve different fun activities that you can do during your visit.


Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #1: Hold A Sloth

While we’re not fans of zoos and captivating animals, we can’t help but mention one of the most popular things to do in Roatan, Honduras. Interacting with sloths, one of the strangest but cutest animals out there, is a highlight of the island.


About 25 minutes away from the port of Coxen Hole, there is a place called Daniel Johnson's Monkey & Sloth Hangout. It is $10 to enter, and includes sloths, monkeys, parrots, and a few other animals. 

holding sloths in Roatan

Visiting the sloths is one of the top things to do in Roatan, Honduras.

We like this place more than the others because they are a reserve for animals that were mistreated on the mainland, and are taken care of here because they can’t survive in the wild.

Monkeys LOVE coconut oil! Make sure you don't have any on you or they will cling to you, and won't want to let go!

Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #2: Visit Little French Key/ Big French Key

Visiting these keys is one of the most popular things to do in Roatan, Honduras. The two island resorts are located in the same place and a small swim away from one another. There are animals, swings, lounge chairs, and activities, making it an easy place for all types of ages and groups.

Little French Key swing
Little French Key swings, things to do in Roatan, Honduras
Little French Key, Roatan
Little French Key, things to do in Roatan, Honduras

Little French Key is the perfect place to spend the day for families.

This is one of those places usually sold in excursions for a lot of money, but we still think it's worth coming for the day! There is a ton to do, and it's the perfect spot to spend time with family or friends.



Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #3: Take a Ride Through the Mangroves

Visiting the mangroves is one of our favorite things to do in Roatan, Honduras! This place isn’t well advertised, but it is definitely worth the visit. Oak Ridge is about 45 minutes away from downtown Roatan and you can go by renting a car or just hopping on a local bus for about fifty cents to a dollar.


Once you arrive to Oak Ridge, there will be a few boats that will take you on tours through the mangroves for just $10/person. For a bonus, they can even take you to a great restaurant on the water in Jonesville, which we will talk about further in the article.

Boat Through Mangroves, things to do in Roatan, Honduras

Sailing through the mangroves only costs $10 USD!

Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #4: Zip Line Through the Jungle

Some of the longest and most exciting zip lines in the Caribbean are in Roatan, Honduras! This is one of those things that you can arrange through the kiosks inside the port, or drive yourself. The prices vary, as even if you show up on your own there are no posted prices, but it is definitely something to experience!

Ziplining through the jungle, best things to do in Roatan, Honduras

Roatan has some of the best zip lining in the Caribbean.


Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #5: Visit West End & West Bay

One of the best things to do in Roatan, Honduras is to enjoy the beautiful Caribbean beaches that the island has to offer. Two of the most popular are West End and West Bay. They are both different beaches and tend to get mixed up with one another. 


The beach of West Bay is good if you like clean beaches with resorts lined up. West End is a little more local and has more shops and options for food across from the beach. If you’re looking for an easy beach day these are both good options.

West End, Roatan

West End Beach is one of the most popular things to do in Roatan, Honduras.

Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #6: Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

Roatan has some of the best reefs in the Caribbean! Grab your snorkel gear or rent some on one of the beaches. There are plenty of opportunities to learn how to dive and see some really beautiful marine life. 


Another great thing to try is helmet diving! Feel like an astronaut underwater and dive deep to see all that the waters here have to offer. This is a common excursion sold by cruise ships, but surely can be booked by a local agency as well.


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things to do in Roatan Honduras
Things to do in Roatan Honduras Pin
Things to do in Roatan Honduras Pin

Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #7: Learn About the Art of Chocolate

Located right at West End, there is a The Roatan Chocolate Factory. Learn how cacao is grown, and how chocolate is created, and try some tasty samples, or even take some local homemade chocolate souvenirs back home with you.

Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #8: Sail Around by Catamaran

One of the best ways to explore the Caribbean is by boat! Hop on a catamaran to tour around the coast and see all the different beach areas, while sipping on some rum punch. Jolly Roger Catamarans was our favorite one, giving us the chance to snorkel, and whipping up a delicious Caribbean lunch for us.


Exploring by boat is one of the best things to do in Roatan, Honduras, and there are plenty of different options to do so.

Let’s be honest...who doesn’t want to have the best vacation in the Caribbean? The area is full of paradise beaches, crystal clear waters and a relaxing vibe. The list of places to go is huge. But while they are might be amazing, they can be super pricey if you don't

Read More

Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #9: Check out the Private Island of Maya Key

Right next to the dock where most cruise ships dock in Coxen Hole, lies the beautiful tiny island of Maya Key. Also known as Anthony's Key Resort, this is a great place to get away for the day, and have everything in one spot.


Maya Key has water activities, an animal sanctuary, a pool, beaches, spa, gift shop, and restaurant.


Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #10: Go Horse Back Riding in the Water

Located about 20 minutes from the port of Coxen Hole, is a beautiful beach with a tiny islet. Here you can go horseback riding through the hills, and then through the crystal clear waters, and around the cute little island. 


Tours are sold onboard if you are on a cruise ship, but you can also go on your own by going directly to Palm Beach.

horseback riding, things to do in Roatan, Honduras
Horseback riding on the beach, best things to do in Roatan, Honduras
Roatan beach for horseback riding

In Roatan you can go horseback riding in the ocean.

Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #11: Visit Gumbalimba Animal Sanctuary

Gumbalimba is a privately owned, eco-adventure and history park. This park is located right on the beach, and has an animal sanctuary, trails, a pool, restaurant, and zip lining. We really enjoyed this place to go for a few hours to learn about all different aspects of history and culture of Roatan, and because the animals are not kept captive.

monkey at Gumbalimba Park in Roatan

The monkeys at Gumbalimba are free and will voluntarily jump on top of you.

Our favorite part of Gumbalimba was the area with all of the wild monkeys, They are super playful and will just come up to you on your own. Just watch your belongings! They can be the cutest little thieves.


Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras #12: Enjoy the Beaches of Paya Bay & Camp Bay

These beaches are near each other and on the other side of the island. If you rent a car, this one hour drive is worth it. Beautiful and untouched, we really enjoyed not having a beach packed with a million tourists. As a plus, there are plenty of viewpoints and nice scenery along the way!

Camp Bay, things to do in Roatan, Honduras

Camp Bay and Paya Bay are both two untouched beaches of Roatan


Getting Around the Island of Roatan

The island of Roatan isn't too big, so a lot can be explored even in just one day! Here are the different options for getting around to see the best things to do in Roatan, Honduras.


Taxi

The easiest option but most expensive option is a taxi. This is our least favorite, as for us it seems to be a waste of money. But if you are willing to spend and want to save time, this can be an option. Normally taxis here will offer to be your driver for the day, or plan to pick you up at a certain time.


*Be aware that if you get a taxi in the port or even right outside the port they will tell you prices those of which are extortionate compared to what locals will pay. A driver might want to take you to West end for $20/person, when it should only cost $4 or $5. Make sure you bargain.


Rental Car

The most fun and adventurous option is to rent a car. The beauty of having a car is that there are so many great things to do in Roatan, Honduras, and this is the perfect way to be able to go to a lot of places without having to get a taxi each time. If you are going a longer distance, this will also save you money, and give you flexibility of where to go.


To rent a car simply book online. All of the cars are located at the airport, which is only a few miles away from Coxen Hole. It's also great because the layout of the island is very simple, so it’s easy to navigate. Sometimes you can even find wild horses or viewpoints where you can freely stop and take pictures.


Here's a site we use to book our rental cars:

Public Bus

The cheapest option is to take public transportation. Parallel to the main road you can find an area where all of the public buses leave from. They aren’t very luxurious looking, but it is definitely a cheap and interesting option. 


They go all over the island so it is easier than you would think. For places like West End and Oak Ridge this is a great option because a taxi driver will charge you at least 5-10 times the price.

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What & Where to Eat in Roatan, Honduras

In Roatan there is a huge difference between eating local food, and eating in restaurants, but we have recommendations for both tastes.


Baleadas

If you are in Roatan this is the most popular food you can try. A “Baleada” is a tortilla with beans, and can have eggs, ham, or other types of protein added. They are a grab-n-go type food and typically cost about $1.


Freshly Squeezed Juices

Fresh juices are easy to come by and are served in plastic bags with a straw for around fifty cents. Our favorite place to go is about a 10 minute walk from the port of Coxen Hole. It is right after you cross a small bridge on your right hand side and says jugeria.


Jugeria

The jugeria mentioned above is right in the heart of Coxen Hole. Here you will find local ladies with gatorade sized containers of all different fresh juices, from orange to Horchata. They serve baleadas, fried chicken, & empanadas. Grab some and take them with you on the go.


Turtle

Another local dish which is a little controversial is turtle. We’re not saying we support it, but it is something interesting to try. Plenty of restaurants right in Coxen Hole offer this unique dish.


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Trico Bar & Grill

If you’re looking for a restaurant with seafood and great views, we found this spot in Jonesville which is amazing, called Trico Bar & Grill. Not only is their food tasty, but it's located right on the water. It is beautifully decorated with mosaic tiles, a waterfall, and infinity pool at the top!


If you have a car you can drive to the Jonesville point marina, or if you want you can be taken there by boat from Oak Ridge, in addition to your mangrove tour. This restaurant is absolutely beautiful, and usually not busy, so it is a real hidden gem!

Things to do in Roatan, Honduras

Trico Bar & Grill has an infinity pool and great seafood.


Where to Stay in Roatan

While many people cruise to Roatan, we definitely suggest visiting for a few days on your own if you can. If you do plan on staying in Roatan, Coxen Hole is the best area for being well-connected, but isn't quite as nice. The island has plenty of great hotels scattered along the beaches. Personally, our favorite are those that are located at West Bay or West End. West Bay is better for those that want to more resort-style stay, while West Bay is great for those that want a more local vibe.


Want to check out the different places to stay? Simply refer to the map below:

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Is it Safe in Roatan, Honduras?

While the country of Honduras has a reputation for being rather dangerous, luckily this is not the case for Roatan. This island is actually the safest area in the entire country, and is highly controlled for who can live and visit there from the mainland.


Unfortunately, there is a lot of poverty across the island, so parts may not seem very inviting. However, we can insure that you aren't in any danger. We suggest contributing to the local businesses so that you can make a difference in the areas that have less money.


Other Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Roatan, Honduras

Roatan is a gorgeous island. Just make your plan before hand and know what you are doing so you can pass through the overwhelming crowd of local drivers and tour guides in your face. Remember, don’t judge a book by its cover. Outside the port (Coxen Hole) looks very poor and dirty, but it is extremely safe and an island not to miss out on.


The Caribbean is beautiful, but it is very easy to get ripped off and be taken advantage of. Check out our article to get the most out of the Caribbean!

Beaches of Roatan

The best time to enjoy Roatan is in the winter months.


What is the Best Month to Visit Roatan, Honduras?

The best time to visit Roatan, and any Caribbean island, is in the winter, from December to March. Temperatures are pleasantly hot, but not nearly as humid as the summer months. It also makes for the perfect tropical getaway. We suggest avoiding the summer months, as is it much hotter, more humid, and very crowded.


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August and September are two months to avoid at all costs, as this is hurricane season.

What to Wear & Pack on a Trip to Roatan, Honduras

The island of Roatan is always hot, so make sure to bring light and casual clothes. You won't need any fancy clothes or heels. Here are a list of things you should bring on your visit to Roatan, Honduras:


  • Sunscreen (the sun is super strong)
  • Towel (if you are cruising you can get one from your ship)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Flip Flops (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops, as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Sneakers (if you go zip lining)
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • Bug Spray
  • Bathing Suit
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)
  • Waterproof Phone Pouch (we use the Cafago Waterproof Phone Pouch)

Have you ever though what would your travel essentials be? when you're traveling, there's certain situations you want to be prepared for. Here you will find a list of what we found out to be absolute necessary items.What to pack? That's the biggest question when preparing for a trip. No

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Is Roatan Honduras Worth Visiting?

We absolutely love Roatan, and think that it is definitely worth visiting! In order to enjoy all that it has to offer, we suggest spending around 5 days.


Planning on going to other destinations in the Caribbean? Check out our guides for different cruise ship ports around the area.


How about traveling through Central America? Check out our favorite destinations in Central America to hit up.


Ready to book your next trip? Let us help! We can help you explore more, all while spending less. Want to learn how? Check our different travel planning packages.


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