Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands located about 60 Km off the shore of Honduras. The Islands are the tips of undersea mountains that extend out from the mainland's Omoa Ridge. The islands form the Bonacca Ridge; 30 miles from the mainland and the steep walls of the ridge are one of the most rare and beautifully formed reefs in the world. The Bay Islands cover about 92 square miles and include Utila and Guanaja, the smaller Morat, Barbareta and St. Helena, just east of Roatan. About 100,000 persons inhabit Roatan.
Roatán has become an important cruise ship, scuba diving and eco-tourism destination in Honduras. The people are friendly, easy going and approachable. Native Roatanians speak English. The island is approximately 30 miles long and 5 miles wide. Temperatures are in the 80' all year (28/30 degree centigrade). The dress is very casual everywhere on the island. Roatan is not as commercially developed as other islands in the Caribbean so you may not have some of the conveniences you are used to but this is part of the charm of this paradise island.
Traditionally English has been the dominant language on Roatan, spoken with a Caribe accent. There has been an influx of Spanish interest from the mainland and you will now hear as much, if not more, Spanish as English on the Island. On the less developed East End of the island, it's worth striking up a few conversations just to hear the old accents and colloquial turns of phrase. With the increase in tourism on Roatan, you're likely to meet many bilingual Islanders.
There is no shortage of taxis to get you around the Island, just choose one you like the look of. Expect to pay about $15 to get into West End and $25 into Coxen Hole or the Airport. The best way to get about from West Bay Beach is by "water-taxi" to West End. They operate daily from around 7am - sunset. The trip takes about 10 minutes through the lagoon and will cost about 60 Lps. ($3-$5) per person. If you wish to take a water-taxi outside of these times, you should arrange a special pick-up with one of the captains, especially when visiting West End in the evenings for dinner. If you would like to rent any sort of vehicle or hire a transportation service all you have to do is ask us, and we’ll help you find what you are looking for.
There are three large supermarkets on the Island: Eldon's Supermarket on the main street in Coxen Hole; Plaza Mar and Eldon's Supermarket behind the gas station in Coxen Hole; and Eldon's Supermarket in French Harbour. West End Village is just a short boat/taxi ride away and has two or three smaller grocery stores where you can buy all of your essentials. In West End vegetable trucks park along the main road daily, full of fresh fruit and vegetables. You can get ice and rum at Coconut Tree (at the entrance to West End); open 7am-8pm daily. There is a duty-free store in West End at the mall just past Cannibal Cafe for wine and other spirits. Most of the souvenir shops carry Guatemalan goods like hammocks, clothes and carvings. Be on the lookout for Lenca pottery, highly stylized brown and cream-colored vases from the mainland of Honduras. Watch out for fakes and feel free to try and bargain. Honduras has a wealth of hardwoods and there are many chests, tables and small pieces of furniture that show a high degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail.
What to Bring
Your passport must be valid for a full 6 months past the date of travel.
U.S. cash in small denomination bills or Lempiras (local currency is about 24 Lempiras to $1 US dollar). You can change U.S. Dollars almost anywhere on the island but you may not be able to change any other currency here, so bring U.S. Dollars with you.
Credit cards are not accepted everywhere and when they are accepted there could be an additional charge.
Diving certification card, diving or snorkeling gear (or you can rent on West Bay Beach).
Bathing suits and cover ups.
Lightweight clothing or cotton blends: t-shirts, shorts, blouses, comfortable walking shoes, sandals or flip-flops.
Bring at least one long-sleeve top and slacks; ladies can enjoy summer dresses for dining out.
A very light sweater or jacket and rain-gear.
Sunglasses, hats with brims.
Favorite personal items, toiletries, medications etc., don't count on finding them here.
Any favorite foods or spices you have, selections are often limited on the island.
Sunscreen, repellent, antihistamines, anti-itch cream. Mosquitoes and sand flies are around all year.
Camera, music, cd's & reading material. These items are also readily available.
If you have informed us that you require transportation from the airport, our driver will meet you and drive you to your rental where we will meet you and check you in. If you are renting a vehicle we will see you at Casa de Paradise.
Check out is 10 A.M, this time can be flexible as long as there are no other guests checking into the same rental the same day. There is a departure tax collected at the airport of $39 USD.
We trust you will enjoy our beautiful island paradise and our spectacular West Bay Beach