Most Roatan travel revolves around exploring the second biggest barrier reef in the world, which Roatan is nestled right in the middle of. The second biggest barrier reef in the world - the MesoAmerican reef - runs from the Caribbean coast of Mexico down the coast of Belize and Guatemala, and ends off the coast of Honduras.
This reef happens to be very healthy, especially the reef in Honduras. Other Roatan travel activities range from incredible snorkeling, sailing, beach lounging, hiking, horseback riding, and lots of other activities. Before I went to Roatan, I expected to enjoy the pretty beaches and nature and have a relaxing vacation. I am so enthusiastic about Roatan travel and want to share this gem with others! Read on to find out everything you need to know in my Roatan travel guide.
From where to stay, what to do as a non-diver, and where to eat. I spent 10 days getting to know this island, and I want you to enjoy it as much as I did! I stayed in 4 places all around the island of Roatan during my 10 days of Roatan travel. I would recommend 3 of those places - they were all amazing in totally different ways. Each would appeal to a different type of traveler. Every corner, every piece of furniture or artwork is carefully thought out and curated. The rooms are beautiful, large and comfy.
The staff is very attentive and ready to help you with anything you need.
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The common areas and pool are super beautiful and very comfortable and inviting. And the restaurant is one of the very best places to eat on the island see below in the What to Eat section. This is absolutely the best West Bay Roatan hotel. If you want quick access to the famous and beautiful nearby West Bay Beach, but prefer a more private and luxurious hotel, Ibagari is a perfect fit. Hotel: Ibagari Boutique Hotel. Includes : Air conditioning, wifi, ocean view, pool. Book Here : Reservations. This area is only minutes from West End by car, but feels worlds away.
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The grounds at Roatan hotel, Puerta Azul , are right off the main road, but feel tucked miles into the jungle. The space is full of waving palms and pretty tropical plants.
And the wooden bungalows blend right into the natural environment, while offering a comfy and chic place to relax. This jungley hotel is right on the beach, so your room is only steps from the sand. Puerta Azul has an incredible foot pier with a deck at the end that is perfect for lounging, watching the sunset, or jumping into the clear aqua water. So you have a quiet relaxing vacation spot within a few minutes of all the amenities of West End. These only cost a couple of dollars per person, and offer a quick and easy way to get around during your Roatan travel.
Hotel: Puerta Azul Boutique Hotel.
- Roatan Travel Guide: Non-Diver's Guide to Where to Stay, What to Do + Where to Eat on Roatan Island.
- Popular destinations in Roatan.
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Best For: The discerning traveler who wants a quiet and restful vacation within minutes of the action. If you want a special Roatan vacation, Camp Bay is the place for you. This means that you are surrounded by wild and beautiful nature - jungle and long stretches of white sand with no one else around except a few other hotel guests. The lodge is also known for its kite surfing.
The hotel can set up classes or rent out equipment for this See below in the What to Do section. This is also a great place to really get to know the original Roatan culture- the Garifuna people.
The tiny community of Camp Bay nearby with only about people! These events are open to all, but are for the local people to play music, dance, eat, and enjoy the end of their week. But Camp Bay Lodge is best used as a place to escape it all, enjoy nature, do some kite surfing, and swing in a hammock with a good book. Room rates are very reasonable, and there is an onsite restaurant where you can get all your tasty meals.
Hotel: Camp Bay Lodge. Best For: The adventurous traveler who likes to get off-the-beaten path. Includes : Air conditioning, wifi, unlimited drinking water. There are over snorkel spots around the island of Roatan! The Cayos Cochinos are a little known and protected island chain closer to the Honduran mainland. The reef and the islands here are basically untouched. You will see some of the most vibrant and plentiful sealife in these waters.
This tour is much closer to the island and not weather dependent. There are also many places within swimming distance of the Roatan shore to enjoy some easy snorkeling. The easiest is the reef right off the shores of West Bay. You can rent snorkel gear on this beach, and simply swim out along the rock wall along the southwestern edge of West Bay Beach to see some beautiful marine life.
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Be sure to ask about any currents and be careful if you plan to swim out very far. Another great spot for snorkeling is off the coast of West End. But instead of going on an organized day tour to this beautiful reef, you can simply ask a water taxi at the West End pier to take you out to the reef, wait while you snorkel, and then bring you back when you are finished.
Be sure to settle on a price before you leave. You can also get lots of info here about where to snorkel and how to protect the reef. You can also snorkel right off the shore of West End beach if you want something more lowkey. I recommend doing this in the morning before the crowds arrive. Probably nothing. If you want to enjoy the beautiful view from a boat and relax with some rum punch, you might want to book a sunset sailboat tour during your Roatan travel. Carambola is a pretty botanical garden within a couple minute drive of West End.
You can take any shared taxi making the trip between Coxen Hole and West End and ask to be let out at Carambola Gardens. This is probably not the most mind blowing botanical garden in the world, but it was very beautiful, and had lots of examples of local flora that were nicely labeled. There are also some nice and well maintained paths that wind up the mountain. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the top, and then you are rewarded with an incredible view of the shore.
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I loved visiting the garden because I love the jungle and being surrounded by tropical plants. I also love hiking and a view so this was a great stop! West End beach is actually a really pretty and underrated beach. The trick is to enjoy it before the cruise shippers arrive. You can check this schedule or this one for cruise ship days, but the easiest thing to do is to time your beach hang to be before noon. You will most likely have the white sand and clear waters to yourself!
The same can be said for West Bay Beach. I took a morning beach run around 8am and barely saw anyone else around on this famous beach, besides diving tour staff preparing their boats for the day. If you time your beach visit for the morning, you should be able to enjoy a peaceful and tranquil beach. We spent one lazy afternoon parking ourselves at the beach chairs in front of the Argentinian Grill. It all depends on your perspective and what you are looking for.
The beach of Camp Bay is a long stretch of white sand and clear water with some reef reaching to the shore. This is a great place for enjoying nature, doing a little beach or jungle hiking, and enjoying a swim with no one else around. If you are interested in culture, be sure to visit Punta Gorda during your trip to the East End.
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