Enoying Roatán, Honduras
Roatán, one of the world’s best locations for snorkeling and diving, is also a popular cruise destination. Roatán is the largest of the Bay Islands group, located about 30 miles off the coast of Honduras in the Western Caribbean. The island is bordered by the world’s second-largest barrier reef, but there is more to this 36-mile long island than world-class diving.
Through the centuries, Roatán has been settled by travelers from the Honduran mainland, former Afro-Carib slaves and colonists from Great Britain and Spain, which has made the island quite diverse. Coxen Hole, the capital of the Bay Islands and a center of politics and business, is a starting point for tours of Roatan’s villages, flower farms, mangrove tunnels and lovely beaches.
The Sandy Bay community offers a number of cultural attractions, including the Institute of Marine Sciences (where dolphin encounters can be arranged as a cruise line shore excursion) and the Carambola Botanical Gardens. French Harbor is the center of the island’s busy fishing industry and home to an iguana reserve that provides great photo opportunities. Punta Gorda is a settlement of the Garifuna people, descendents of African slaves who settled on Roatán in the late 1700s, who maintain their unique Garifuna customs and culture. Visitors are welcome.
While there’s a lot to see and do on the island itself, it’s hard to resist devoting your time to the gorgeous turquoise water and sandy beaches of Roatán. In addition to snorkeling and diving among colorful sea life, you can enjoy sunning, swimming, kayaking, charter fishing trips or glass bottom boat tours.
Roatán is on many Western Caribbean cruise itineraries, which often include Belize, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, too.
Talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert about an itinerary that will allow you to experience the wonderful island of Roatán.
If you've never been a cruise, you may enjoy this glossary written for first-time cruisers.