Roatan

Caribbean Bay Island. Honduras.

Inspiration

“One day, you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” – Paulo Coelho, Author

Let’s talk bucket lists. We all have them, whether you know you do or not. There is always a place you see and think to yourself “Someday I’ll get there” or “I could never….” Roatan is our first ever bucket list location. Jeron had been wanting to visit the island ever since it was only known to backpackers. You might ask how he knew about it, but I never ask. As I’ve mentioned before, there is a reason he is the planner and I am the moral support. He just knows.

Why we picked It

Years ago when we were first starting out, we had a little 1920’s home in Ogden, Utah with a gigantic front porch. Utah summers can get quite hot and stay quite hot well into the night, so our front porch was our saving grace once the sun went down. We would put the boys to bed and sit on the porch enjoying the nice cool breeze and dream. Dream of the kind of futures we wanted for us and for our children, and dream of travelling. The place that was discussed more often than any others was our bucket list location, Roatan. As I stated before, most of the time when people have bucket lists, they are unattainable “dreams”. So as young 20-somethings with two small children, Roatan seemed like a place we would only dream about, but never actually visit. (As an aside, the above is 100% true for Bali as well.)
After our first solo trip to Zihuatanejo, we were inspired. Almost as soon as our plane landed, we were on to researching the next destination. Roatan wasn’t our first choice. It wasn’t even our third or fourth choice. Remember, unattainable bucket list “dream”. So after narrowing the list down quite a bit, Jeron threw Roatan back into the mix at the last minute. We said to ourselves, “Why not?, Why not do it now? Who said bucket lists have to wait?”. So it was decided, all those nights of dreaming of Roatan and we were finally going. Now we just had to get there…
At the time we went to Roatan, the only flights to and from the US were on Saturdays. So that settled the “how long do we stay” issue. We decided to take Jeron’s dad Jerry along for the adventure and on a cold winter’s day, all three of us boarded a plane for Roatan.

What We Loved

Roatan was everything we had dreamed about and more. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and friendliest people we have encountered. Even though it is a small island, we never ran out of things to do or see, in fact there is quite a bit we missed. Our days typically started out at The Lighthouse Restaurant in West End, where we would sit and plan our day over one of the best Bloody Mary’s we have ever had. I love to lounge on the beach, cocktail in hand and soak up the sun. Jeron does too, for about an hour…and then he gets antsy for the next adventure. What we love about Roatan is that there is plenty of relaxation and adventure for both of us to be happy. So if our ideal day consisted of motorbiking from beach to beach, enjoying a bit of relaxation at each stop, Roatan was the perfect place for that. The climate was also fantastic when we were there. We did have one day that it rained pretty heavily, but it was only an hour or so of inconvenience and we were happy to wait out the storm in a roadside bar with the locals. Because the island is small and not too populated, we felt safe on the motorbike as there was not too much traffic. We also loved that we could get from our home in Brick Bay to Camp Bay on the other side of the island and back in one day. This makes Roatan the perfect island for exploring, as you never seem to be too far to get back to where you came from before dark. We did not do any bar hopping at night because we made a point to be back to the house before dark as some of the roads could be quite sketchy and unsafe for motorbikes. We spoke with some backpackers that were staying in a hostel on the island and they said there is a nightlife in Roatan, but as with anything you need to keep your wits about you, not to mention your ID. If they ask for your ID and you cannot produce it, you can get into some trouble. But just because we did not experience the stereotypical nightlife of bars and clubs, we still enjoyed ourselves well into the night drinking cocktails and chatting with Pichi, the caretaker of the home. We always advise people to get out of the hotel or resort and explore their surroundings. The thing that made this trip so great was that it was entirely made up of us getting out and exploring our surroundings. We had the most amazing time and I think we all learned something about ourselves on this trip and took something away from it that will stay with us for a lifetime. I got my fair share of luxury while Jeron and Jerry got their fair share of adventure and we all did it together.

Roatan Travel Tips

Here are a few tips to make your trip to Roatan Honduras less stressful:
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The Airport Code for Roatan is RTB

When we traveled to the Island, the only flights out of the US were on Saturdays, but that has since changed and you can pretty much go any time that works with your schedule. The only thing that you need to take into consideration is that not all international airports fly to Roatan, so you may have a layover or 2, depending on where you are originating from. In our case, we flew out of Salt Lake City and stopped in Houston on the way there and back.
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The currency in Roatan is the Honduran Lempira

We were able to pre-order our money through our bank, it was ready in about 10 days. Since the island is so small, it made it much easier to have the money on us when we arrived. US dollars are accepted on the island, but we find that using local currency as much as we can cuts down on the exchange rate confusion.
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Bugs!!

The bugs on the island are extremely dense and extremely aggressive! Since I have allergic reactions to almost every bug bite I have ever had, we research the bugs wherever we travel to. We studied up on Roatan and found that the brand most people recommended for this regions was Sawyer Bug Spray.
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Cruise Days

The aspect we are not thrilled with is that the prices tend to go up a bit at the bars and restaurants near where the cruisers come in, and some beaches close completely to tourists that are not on the cruise. But there are plenty of other beaches on the island, each more beautiful than the next, so this is not something to deter you but rather just something to be aware of. And the cruise ships don’t stay docked at the island for long.
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When To Visit

The rainy season in Roatan and neighboring islands is typically October through February. And they do mean rainy. We had one experience with a rainstorm on the island, and I can’t imagine having days of it, but that is what the rainy season is like. The best time to travel there would obviously be anytime outside of the rainy season. We visited in March and the weather was absolutely perfect and the climate was typical of the Caribbean.
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Transportation

There are a few modes of transportation offered on Roatan, whether you rent a motorbike, rent a car or take a taxi. We have a link below that details the different ways to get around the island, it all comes down to your preference of how you want to explore this beautiful place.
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Try to Give Back

Roatan is located on a barrier reef, so conservation is very important. There are several organizations on the island to volunteer with weekly ocean clean-ups and conservation efforts. A quick google search of “Roatan Conservation” will net you a variety of different options. We encourage you to volunteer a bit of your time while on vacation to help keep Roatan and the waters surround it beautiful so that generations to come will be able to enjoy its beauty.

MOre Roatan…

About our VRBO in Roatan Honduras

About our VRBO in Roatan Honduras

Roatan was our first experience with VRBO, Vacation Rentals By Owner, a site similar to Airbnb. The particular house we rented was owned by a family in the US, but had a live-in...

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About Roatan Honduras

About Roatan Honduras

Located about 40 miles off the coast of Honduras, Roatan is the larger of the 3 Bay Islands that also include Utila and Guanaja. Although it is the larger of the three, it still only measures about 48 miles long by 5 miles across. Christopher Columbus landed on the...

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Transportation at Roatan, Honduras

Transportation at Roatan, Honduras

There are a few choices as far as transportation on the island; rental car, cab, bus or motorbike. We chose to rent a motorbike and found it was the perfect way to see the island. We rented our bike from Captain Van’s Rentals in West Bay. This company was absolutely...

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What Are Cruise Days in Roatan Like?

What Are Cruise Days in Roatan Like?

We don’t have anything against cruises. In fact, as of this writing, we have never even been on a cruise. That being said, anybody that has traveled to an island or region that serves as a cruise ship stop knows that the atmosphere changes completely when the boats...

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There are so many bugs in Roatan!

There are so many bugs in Roatan!

The bugs on the island are extremely dense and extremely aggressive! Since I have allergic reactions to almost every bug bite I have ever had, we research the bugs wherever we travel to. We studied up on Roatan and found that the brand most people recommended for this...

read more

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