Roatan and the Bay Islands
We will talk a little bit about Roatan, which probably is the most attractive travel destination in Honduras for visitors coming from all over the world. Roatan is an island in the Caribbean side of Honduras, and it is part of an archipelago of islands with the name of "Bay Islands". There are many islands on this archipelago, and Roatan is the largest island and the most famous one. There are 3 main islands on this archipelago: Roatan, Utila and Guanaja. There are several minor islands also. Roatan is the largest island as we said.
Roatan is very near to Honduras mainland, it's only 15 minutes flying from La Ceiba. There is an International airport in Roatan. Several airlines fly to Roatan like Continental, Delta, United, Taca. There are also local Honduran airlines. It's pretty easy and quick to get to Roatan from the US, no need to make many connections, if you take a while to find out the proper itinerary you can find a direct flight to Roatan.
Roatan is about 40 miles long, and 1 to 5 miles wide depending on what part of the island you take the measures, it's a narrow type of island. This pretty small island attracts visitors from all over the world, every type of tourist go there from luxury cruises to people traveling on their own with backpacks trying to make the most out of their budgets.
The main reason for people and visitors going to Roatan is for diving adventures. Roatan is surrounded by the second largest coral reef in the world, the largest one is located in Australia. The coral reef in Roatan is pretty much the same coral reef that goes all the way to Belize, which is also a famous diving destination.
But even if you're not a diving fan, you will enjoy your visit to Roatan, you will find spectacular beaches to take a swim into the ocean, you will also find mountains and diverse landscapes.
The main resorts and hotels are located outside of the main towns of the island, but you can get to any part of the island very quickly, there is a paved main road that goes almost to every part of it.
There are several communities in Roatan:
Coxen Hole: it's the main city in Roatan, it's the capital city. Most visitors to Roatan get to Coxen Hole when they arrive to Roatan because the airport is right there, and the Cruise ships dock is also there. However, most visitors only make quick visits to Coxen Hole and quickly go to other parts of the island.
Sandy Bay: most cultural attractions of Roatan are located in Sandy Bay, which is north-west from Coxen Hole, you have to travel the whole width of the island to get there. But remember, only 4-5 miles wide, not very far away from Coxen Hole.
French Harbour: going east from Coxen Hole, always in the south shore of the island you will get to French Harbour, which is the core of the fishing trade in Roatan. There are several hotels and resorts on this area.
Punta Gorda: if you continue traveling from Coxen Hole to French Harbour, and you take the road out of French Harbour to the north-east, you will eventually get to Punta Gorda in the north shore of the island. Punta Gorda is pretty much the only garifuna settlement in Roatan, and has remained almost unchanged for centuries.
All those communities are the main towns we could say. However, the best places to enjoy the beach, the sand, the ocean and the coral reefs are located outside of the main communities. There are several places. One of my favorite places to visit in Roatan is the West End area, which is located in the west end of the island of course.
Well, this was only a quick introduction to Roatan and the Bay Islands, there is a lot more information to share when it comes to this place, we will be sharing with you more of it in separate posts.