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 perfect to work with. Not only do they offer a variety of different bikes, they also offer car rentals and they will deliver them to you if needed. In our case, they brought the bikes right to the house the night we arrived, all gassed up and ready to start our adventure the next day. If you have any issue at all with your bike while you are renting it, they make every effort to remedy the situation and get you back on the road. Jeron’s dad rented a bike and had some mechanical trouble with it, but one call to Captain Van’s and they were on their way with a replacement bike within the hour.
We chose the bike route, but if we had decided to go the car rental route, we most likely would have chosen Captain Van’s for that as well. There are, however, two places to rent a car located at the airport when you fly in if you don’t want to take a cab to West Bay for your rental.
As for taxis, they are a bit pricey considering that the island is so small. To get from West Bay to Coxen Hole, for instance, is roughly $7 USD during the day and almost $14 at night. But if you want to experience the Roatan nightlife, a taxi is definitely a way to get around as you might not want to be on the roads on a bike at night.
There is also a public transportation system on the island. The minibuses are a bit cheaper than the taxis, there are just a lot of roads on the island that aren’t accessible by bus. We did not utilize the buses simply because we could not get picked up from where we were staying.
No matter the mode of transportation you chose, safety is always a priority. If you follow our lead and go the bike route, you should know that helmets are absolutely the law and you must have one on at all times. You should also know that potholes and speed bumps are prevalent on the island. There are certain times of the day that you just cannot tell the difference between a pothole and the shadows from the trees, so it’s important to be alert. The speed bumps are always painted, so although they tend to pop up out of nowhere, you will be able to see them before you get to them. Also be aware that honking horns on the island is not a rude gesture, but rather a “head’s up” to the other drivers on the road. So don’t get offended if one of the locals gives you a little beep as they pass by.
Given our experience on the island, we definitely recommend exploring it on a motorbike. You have the freedom to stop on the side of the road and explore the surroundings and not have to worry about having a larger vehicle to park or about being in the way of traffic. It is also wonderful to get a nice breeze on the bike on a hot day’s ride and be able to explore some of the more remote roads you encounter. But whether you chose to explore Roatan on motorbike, in a car or even by bus, you are sure to be in for a treat with this island.