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Roatán has so Much, so Close. Who Knew?

Contributing Author September 4, 2019 4 5

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Guest Kate Seger digs in and finds great experiences that are both unique and relatively close to home. Discover Roatán…

There are many travel locations around the world that don’t immediately jump to mind when one is considering a vacation. One such oft forgotten and neglected destination is Roatan. Formerly known as Ruatan/Rattan, the 37 mile long island off the coast of Honduras is an ideal escape for travelers seeking crystal clear water, white sand beaches, fishing, boating, and scuba diving.

Whether you are looking for a typical Caribbean vacation or a rustic adventure complete with mosquito netting, Roatan offers unparalleled opportunities for all types of travelers. The West End of the island is typically known for its flashy resorts, wide array of restaurants, and exciting nightlife. The West Bay, on the other hand, is renowned for its well-maintained powder white beaches. Camp Bay, farther off the beaten track, is the starting point for those seeking to explore the immense mangrove forests by boat or kayak tour.

Flamingo tongue
A flamingo tongue crawling on a sea fan on the underwater reefs of Roatan Honduras.

Best of all, Roatan’s location is positively idyllic! The island itself is little more than a 2 hour flight away from Houston, with direct flights available from airports in Houston, Miami, and Atlanta. Additionally, Roatan is easily accessible from mainland Honduras via San Pedro Sula, which offers even more flight options. From mainland Honduras, travelers can choose to take either a 15 minute flight to the island of Roatan, or to travel by sea on the new one-hour passenger ferry from La Ceiba to Roatan.

For those who prefer travelling by sea rather than air, the entire trip to Roatan can be undertaken by boat. In recent years, Roatan has become a destination for cruise ships as well.  Many of these cruise ships dock exclusively in private towns and beaches owned by various resorts, allowing the cruise ship passengers to enjoy their beautiful facilities during their stay on Roatan.

Aerial view of Oak, Ridge, the Venice of the Caribbean, in Roata
Aerial view of Oak, Ridge, the Venice of the Caribbean, in Roatan, Honduras.

Also unique to Roatan is the fact that it is located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean. The Mesoamerican Reef is second only to the Great Barrier Reef in the world in size. This has made tourism an important part of the Roatan economy and the small island offers a wealth of scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities to visitors.

Roatan is unique in that, despite being located in the Caribbean, it is outside the hurricane belt. In 120 years only 7 hurricanes have struck the island of Roatan. This is because the island is sheltered by the mainland of Honduras. Honduras proper’s extension from Central America serves to protect the island from potential landfall of hurricanes. The island of Roatan is also free of volcanoes, making it one of the Caribbean islands least prone to natural disaster.

Ultimately, Roatan is the perfect destination for any traveler seeking a glimpse of Utopia relatively close to home.

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Contributing Author

General travel tips and advice on destinations, hotels and flights.

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