Roatan, a small island located 37 miles off the north coast of Honduras, is one of the hidden gems in this world. Most people have never even heard of it because it’s not advertised too often. Cruise ships occasionally stop at this island for a day though, and a friend had been there and told me that was her favorite place the cruise visited. I began looking into it when Joe and I were looking for a tropical New Years getaway for the end of our 2014 and beginning of 2015, and came across just a few other friends who had traveled to Roatan before. We heard nothing but rave reviews from these friends and other online forums so decided to go for it. Below you'll find more info about our adventure and a quick video of our favorite clips from the trip!
This random, tiny island ended up being one of the coolest places I’ve been. The locals are an amazing melting pot of cultures. We met tons of other people throughout our week in Roatan, and found that most of them traveled here to snorkel and ended up loving it so much that they decided to return permanently. I think that says a lot about the culture of the place. Most people that live on the island are transplants, which I think says a lot about the place. It means that something about this Honduran island made them want to pick up and leave everything to move across the world to be there, and that is truly special.
Most of the people that we met on the island were big into scuba diving. They traveled from all over the globe to dive in Roatan, and told us that Roatan is one of the most sought after diving spots in the world. I had no previous interest in scuba diving ever. I’m used to the darker blue waters we have here on the Pacific Coast and the constant paranoia that some shark is lurking behind me. But once I visited Roatan, Joe and I decided that we want to get certified in a place like this with crystal clear waters, colorful corals, and shipwrecks.
The island is basically made up of a jungle that ends on the beach; it has the best of both worlds! You can literally zip line through the jungle from the top of a mountain all the way down to the beach, which is pretty darn amazing! This island also has lots of wild life. You’ll see monkeys and wild birds in the trees as you’re zip lining! The island is easy to drive across. The roads have lots of potholes so be warned, but you can rent a scooter or ATV to get around. We liked to explore different areas around the island to do different activities like yoga, kayaking, and snorkeling.
The main two areas where people stay are West End and West Bay. West Bay is known for its resorts, lounge chairs on the beach, and great snorkeling. West End is more where the locals and the divers stay. There are little B&Bs, local restaurants and pubs, stores and dive shops. You’ll find restaurants and bars on the beach in both locations, and to be honest, you can’t go wrong with either on such a small island. You can take a cheap 10 minute water taxi ride (which is also very beautiful!) from West End to West Bay and vice versa until sundown, so it’s easy to hang out in both areas no matter where you do choose lodging.