Beautiful aerial shot of beach resort in Roatan

Things to do in  Roatan

Grab your snorkel mask

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.

Top 8 attractions in Roatan

West Bay Beach

With a coconut palm-lined stretch of white sand and a colorful coral reef just offshore, West Bay is one of the most popular beaches on Roatan and among the prettiest in all of Honduras. The area around the beach offers a wide range of accommodations as well as restaurants, cocktail bars, and shops.More

Gumbalimba Park

Cross the rope bridges to Gumbalimba Park on the jungle island of Roatan, Honduras, and step into a botanical garden and animal preserve, home to more than 200 rare species of plants and orchids. Cool off in the freshwater swimming pool, wading pool, cave, and sandy beach where you can rent kayaks and snorkeling gear, among other attractions.More

Roatán Butterfly Garden

The Roatán Butterfly Garden provides an oasis for tropical plants, parrots, and, of course, beautiful butterflies. The 2,992-square-foot (278-square-meter) walk-through enclosure features some 30 types of rare butterflies, as well as colorful birds and plants native to Honduras.More

Roatán Cruise Ports

Roatan’s Cruise Ports are located off the Caribbean coast of Honduras and offer access to the Bay Islands’ fabulous beaches, beautiful coral reefs, and upland forest. There are two cruise ports in Roatan—Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole—and each serves different cruise lines.More
Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda

Named for its distinctive promontory rising over the sea, Montevideo's Punta Gorda neighborhood is known for its beaches, the winding Darwin’s Ladder staircase—named for the famed scientist, who spent time studying the soil here—and its waterfront park. Visit to enjoy views of the ocean, or bring a swimsuit and go for a dip at Playa Verde.More

Sandy Bay Roatán

One of the cleanest and best-maintained beaches on the island of Roatan, Sandy Bay Beach is quieter than the West End, with enough restaurants, shops, and resorts for a comfortable stay. A reef just offshore offers excellent snorkeling right from the beach.More

Carambola Botanical Gardens and Nature Trails

Carambola Botanical Gardens and Trails comprises more than 40 acres (16 hectares) of floral gardens and lush jungle trails along the hillside of Carambola Mountain. Parrots and iguanas roam the gardens, where rare orchids, medicinal plants, spice plants, and fruit trees flourish.More
Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge

This beautiful little neighborhood of boat houses on stilts lies on the southern end of the island, just east of French Harbour. A small restaurant, beautiful bay, and a lot of peace and quiet mark the area, where the main pastime is sit back, relax, and enjoy the leisurely pace of island life.More

Top activities in Roatan

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All about Roatan

When to visit

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.

Getting around

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.

Traveler tips

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.


People Also Ask

What is Roatan island known for?

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.

What makes Roatan unique?

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.

How many days do you need in Roatan?

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.

What is the best month to go to Roatan?

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.

What language do they speak in Roatan?

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.

What is the best part of Roatan to stay?

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.

Frequently Asked Questions
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