If you're wondering why Honduras is in a section of a website dedicated to Caribbean Islands well our excuse is that it has a few Islands that offer great vacations in paradise and some of the worlds best value scuba diving. Honduras diving is centred on both the islands of Roatan and Utila. The Bay Islands are known locally as Islas de la Bahia.
When to Go
The high season for Roatan is usually considered to be around Christmas and New Year and then through to June. During the rainy season (August to December) temperatures can be a little fresh in the evening but in the day the sun usually comes out enough to make for a good holiday but you should get some lightweight rain gear in case a tropical storm is around. This would make you very unlucky indeed. You could still go diving in some sheltered spots on the south side via the shore like in Flowers Bay. Usually Roatan isn't affected by Hurricanes. The last significant one Mitch.
How to get to Roatan and Utila
For backpackers there are daily ferries twice per day from the mainland port of La Ceiba. If you want to travel from Utila to Roatan they are synchronised to allow you to connect. Otherwise there is a catamaran service for about $50 single way. More information can be found in Getting to Roatan Flights into the only local international airport (code RTB) on Roatan and Cruise ships into Coxen Hole and the newly created Mahogany Bay by and for Carnival Cruise Liners.
Where to stay in the Bay Islands
If you run or own a property resort in Honduras you can take live bookings or simple enquire with Roatan Divings own Roatan Vacation Rentals - Add Your property today.
Check out the Roatan and Utila Resorts listed on our site for ideas on places to stay.
Normally the bulk of visitors to the Bay Islands stay in Roatan, Utila, Guanaja and Cayos Cochinos (Hog Islands) in that order.
Roatan Key Areas of interest and Beaches
Consisting of Westend village and west bay this is the main touristic hub on Roatan. It has the best restaurants and some of the finest resorts. The island is spreading its touristic wings east and if you don't mind the quieter side then check out the east end or places like sandy bay.
Camp Bay Oak Ridge and Port Royal
Jonesville, French Harbour and Coxen Hole for the main centres not so interesting for tourists however. The airport is just outside Coxen Hole and the Cruise ships arrive there and slightly further along at Mahogany Bay if they are Carnival.
Beaches of Roatan
One of the best beaches in the Caribbean never mind the Bay Islands ! With resorts that are not high up it feels like a nice place to be. There are dive shops restaurants and bars to keep you hydrated. The diving is fantastic off here I especially love Mandys Eel Garden which is reachable from shore and free diveable.
Half Moon Bay
when you arrive at the T junction in west end you are in Half Moon Bay – turning right takes you into west end village. This is an awesome spot join and ask us in the forum where the secret spot is ! It's a great place to snorkel. Also offering paddle boarding in steves paddle shack next to Roatan Radio. When its open the Beach House has an amazing breakfast and you can have it while enjoying the views of the bay. Divers getting ready etc.
There is little actual beach here instead its waterfront is home to restaurants like the Blue Marlin and diveshops like Ocean Connections and the Jetty of West End Divers.
Things to do in Roatan
There has been an explosion of tours and excursions in recent years so the problem is choice. Simply go and see what you fancy. We will throw into the mix some Deep Sea Fishing with Artley and his Blue Cool Running Tours. You can get fishing for amazing fighting pelagics for the lowest prices I have seen in the Caribbean !
Restaurants in Roatan
For our readers we recommend in westend village the Blue Marlin, Tongs and The Splash Inn. Service is poor throughout Roatan unfortunately excepting the Blue Marlin- fortunately the food is very good. We didn't like Eagle Rays due to the bill being incorrect and tax and tip being added automatically We recognise this could be a one off- tell us in the forum of your experiences please.
Roatan and Utila Nightlife
You should stay on these islands if you want to move your bumper to some sounds and meet travelling folk or expats as the scene is very social. In Roatan this means the west end and more westend village than westbay. In Utila there is only one centre East Harbour or Utila Town and its nightlife rivals that of Roatan and is made up of more backpackers due to it being cheaper.
Annoyances and some things to be aware of
The sand fleas flies or no see ums are a real annoyance unless you get used to them after a good while on the island. They if left unchecked will give you a terrible nights sleep as you scratch the bites producing nasty red spots that look very unattractive indeed. Get some Off or perhaps better eco friendly lotion. Once they do you they seem to then leave you alone for some reason.
If you are a cruise ship passenger you will be harassed upon arrival in the ports to get tours and taxis for example. You can book a tour or taxi in advance from http://roatan-diving.com this will help as you will be met and transported to your chosen dive shop or taken on your tour by the guide.
The Bay Islands are pretty safe generally and you should feel safe to walk around anywhere – just take precautions as normal and minimise those walks if you are especially female and alone. You should not experience theft in most reputable hotels in Roatan but again don't leave temptation in peoples way. Your holiday spending money will be a lot compared to the workers salary.
More specifically Honduras in the Caribbean this means the Bay Islands made up of RoatanGuanja and Utila and the islets of Barbaretta and Cayos Cochinos.
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A rapidly developing Marine Park is helping to protect the reef that surrounds the main touristic island of Roatan. Dives can cost as little as 20 USD per tank based on buying a package of 10. Utila always costs a bit less than Roatan in everything and the island has regular power cuts. Utila feels much more backpacker like but doesn't have the beaches or diversity of attractions that Roatan has to offer. The diving is comparable between both but Utila is famed for the largest fish in the ocean the Whale Shark.This is also a cheaper place to get your scuba diving license and one of the cheapest places in the world furthermore the safety standards here are much higher than in places like Vietnam etc where I have heard of some real poor professional stories. I think this is due to Roatan and Utila being close to the United States and more easily controlled verified by PADI.