Where is Roatan located?
Roatan is part the Bay Islands of Honduras. Honduras is located in Central America and has borders with Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. The Honduran North Coast borders the Caribbean Sea while a small section of the Southern Coast borders the Pacific Ocean.
The Bay Islands are located between 70 and 40 miles from the Honduran North Coast in the Caribbean Sea. The Bay Islands consist of over 70 islands and cays. The larger three islands are Roatan, Utila and Guanaja.
Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands and is approx 30 miles long and from 1 to 4 miles wide. A mountain ridge runs along the spine of the island and reaches approx 800 feet above sea level at its highest point.
What flora, fauna and marine life can be found in Roatan?
The warm tropical climate of Roatan supports a wide variety of plant life and eco-systems.
Roatan is home to tropical forest, which is home to a wide range of species including fruit trees such as Hog Plum, Nance and Strangler Fig. You will also find bromeliads, ferns, orchids, bamboo, and palms.
A variety of plants are found along Roatan´s tropical beaches. Coconut palms, coco plums, sea grapes, almond trees and a variety of vines and flowering plants create that special beach environment we all love.
Mangrove forests are found throughout Roatan and play an important role in protecting the coastal shoreline from storm and wind damage. Mangroves are also important breeding grounds for marine life.
Roatan is also very rich in local wildlife. You will find twelve mammal species inhabit Roatan. The majority being bat species, you also have Agoutis, two varieties of rats, Opossum and White-tailed Deer.
About 40 reptile species are found in Roatan including the endangered Hawksbill turtle. You also find six species of frogs, 15 lizard species and 13 snake species.
Over 120 species of birds live on Roatan, approx only 40 species actually live and nest on Roatan, the rest are migratory birds. The Yellow-nape Parrot is found in Roatan and is an endangered species.
Roatan’s coral reef is one of the most beautiful reef systems in the world. It is easily accessible from the shore in many spots making it great for not only divers but snorkelers also. The West End Marine Reserve covers the Western tip of Roatan and is a protected area which is home to a majority of the Roatan dive sites and home to some of the Caribbean’s best diving.
What food and drinks are available in Roatan?
Roatan offers a wide variety of food and drink options. You will find a wide range of restaurants offering everything from pizza & pasta, Indian, Thai, Argentinian, Mexican to local beef and seafood. Most restaurants mix international style dishes with the fresh Honduran products to produce unique dishes. You will also find in Roatan local Honduran restaurants which offer some of the local coastal and mainland specialty dishes.
Roatan is home to a few fast food restaurants such as Pizza Inn and Bojangles. The mall in French Harbour will also offer a food court with fast food restaurants.
The locally made Honduran beers are Salva Vida, Port Royal and Barena. You will also find served in most bars Corona, Miller and possibly a few other imported beers. Rum drinks are very popular in Roatan and most bars will offer a mixture of rum cocktails from a cuba libre (rum and coke) to a monkey lala.
Are there banks and what currency should we bring?
Banks in Roatan are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm and Saturday from 9 am to midday. This does vary though from bank to bank. It is recommended to avoid visiting banks at the end of the month or before or after a public holiday as the banks can be extremely busy, and you may need to wait 1 to 3 hrs to be served.
The official currency in Honduras is the Lempira though US$ are accepted through out Roatan and the Bay Islands. Credit cards are accepted in some restaurants, hotels and stores. There maybe an additional charge for credit card purchases. It is recommended where possible for smaller purchases to use cash.
Cash advances can be taken on major credit cards at most banks. Also ATM machines can be found in West End, Coxen Hole and French Harbor for cash advances on major credit cards.
Traveler’s checks can be exchanged at most banks or hotels. US$ travelers checks are recommended as most other currencies will be hard to change in Roatan.
What languages are spoken in Roatan?
Spanish is the official language of Honduras and Roatan. English is spoken through out Roatan and the Bay Islands, and most local residents speak some English and Spanish.
In what time zone is Roatan?
Roatan is in the Central Time zone and does not observe daylight saving time. Honduras and Roatan is 6 hours behind Greenwich mean time (GMT).
What type of electricity is used in Roatan?
The local electricity in Roatan is 110 volts, 60 MHz. This is identical to the USA, and also uses the same plugs. Voltage drops and irregularities in quality of electricity can occur, so consider bringing a surge protector for valuable items.
Is there good internet and communications in Roatan?
In Roatan you will find Internet cafes and phones for international or local calls available in West End, Coxen Hole and French Harbour. The majority of major hotels in Roatan will also offer internet and phone services for guests.
What shopping options can be found in Roatan?
Roatan is home to a wide variety of shopping options, from the t-shirt and souvenir stores to art galleries and local craft stores. A shopping mall is currently being completed near French Harbour which will feature a variety of department style stores.
Supermarkets can be found in Coxen Hole and French Harbour while smaller style grocery stores can be found in West End, Sandy Bay, Oak Ridge and Punta Gorda.
Is there an airport tax?
All international passengers are required to pay approx a $40 per person departure airport tax. Only cash is accepted for this departure tax.
Is it safe in Roatan?
Roatan is a very safe holiday destination, though basic travel common sense is required. Be careful where you walk at night, do not carry or show a lot of valuable items, do not leave unattended items on the beach etc.
Is the drinking water safe to drink?
Tap water is not recommended to drink in Honduras. All good restaurants and hotels will provide purified water or use purified water in food preparation. Purified water can be bought easily throughout the country.