Roatan is a large island in the Caribbean Sea off of Honduras’ northern coast. The island, which rests between Útila and Guanaja, is Honduras’ largest bay island at 48 miles long and roughly 5 miles wide. While Roatan was once an agricultural economy, it’s since become a travel destination adored by today’s savviest world explorers.
Roatan presents numerous interesting sights and adventures for travelers from the United States. Plus, the temperatures are always warm, and two distinct wet and dry seasons each provide a unique view of the island’s beauty. English is commonly spoken throughout the island, making it an easy transition for U.S. visitors.
Are you still on the fence? Here are seven more reasons why you should travel to Roatan.
In This Article
- A Unique Travel Experience
- A Relatively Unknown Island
- The Thriving Party Scene
- Ecotourism Opportunities
- Historical and Cultural Sites
- Beautiful Beaches
- Unique Wildlife
- Visit Roatan With Windstar Cruises
1. A Unique Travel Experience
If you’re interested in traveling somewhere far outside of the norm, Roatan is a destination to add to your list. Everything about the island is different from what you’d experience anywhere in the continental U.S. The island’s diverse topography holds something new to explore each day of your trip. The restaurants offer unique twists on the seafood dishes you’ve come to know, plus a wide variety of authentic local dishes to enjoy.
Roatan is also unique in its variety of things to do. Any visitor can have a satisfying stay in Roatan participating in scuba diving, hiking, dining, dancing and more. There’s plenty to love about the Island’s unique cultural blend, too. Roatan’s culture is distinct and rich, but U.S. visitors will find comfort in the English language’s commonality.
2. A Relatively Unknown Island
Another reason Roatan is such a great place to explore is that it’s one of Honduras’ hidden gems. Although tourism is a driving force in the Roatan’s economy, the island is relatively unknown, meaning it remains peaceful and free from major crowds. Combined with the thriving local cultures, immersing yourself in the Roatan experience comes naturally.
All in all, Roatan’s relative obscurity makes it an easy island to explore.
3. The Thriving Party Scene
Roatan has a little something for everyone, including those who enjoy nightlife entertainment. Visitors can find plenty of clubs, pubs and lounge restaurants across the island. Venues will feature live bands playing reggae and various other styles of music or host DJs every day of the week. Whether you want to dance the night away or enjoy a relaxing evening with a cocktail and a cigar, Roatan has an option for your taste.
Many of Rotan’s establishments take advantage of the unique scenery and landscape. Some of the most popular spots are open-air clubs that let you feel the warm island air while enjoying a delicious tropical beverage. Others project out over the Caribbean sea and feature windows built into the floor that allow guests to peer at the water below.
4. Ecotourism Opportunities
There’s a lot for ecotourists to explore in Roatan due to the island’s wide range of landscapes. Visitors can enjoy everything from deep-sea dives to forest expeditions and hikes to the island’s highest peaks. One of the most fun ways to experience Roatan’s ecosystems is through canopy tours, where travelers soar through the forest on zip lines before arriving down by the pristine Caribbean waters for a swim.
Ecotourism has a place at the center of Roatan’s economy, and its importance continues to grow. Visitors love exploring the island’s diverse topography, meaning preserving the natural scenery and wildlife is a high priority. Visit Roatan for yourself to experience the beautiful geography and contribute to the island’s economy.
5. Historical and Cultural Sites
As an island long populated by indigenous people before Christopher Columbus’s arrival during the early 1500s, Roatan has a rich history and is home to a few vibrant cultures. The island has seen centuries of English, Spanish and American influence. Combined with its deep indigenous and African roots, Roatan boasts a colorful history that many towns wear with pride.
The Garifuna people still inhabit Roatan and share their dancing, music and cuisine with travelers. The Annual Festival is a celebration of Garifuna history and culture that’s an awe-inspiring addition to any travel itinerary. We also recommend visiting Punta Gorda, Roatan’s oldest settlement.
Beyond local history, Roatan’s proximity to mainland Honduras means taking a day to visit other sites like the Copan Ruinas is well within reason.
6. Beautiful Beaches
When discussing reasons to visit an island in the Caribbean, the beaches are an easy factor to include. Roatan’s white-sand beaches are as beautiful as any, and there’s plenty to do both on the shore and out in the water. Sea temperatures off of Roatan average 80 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for a care-free swim. Destinations like the Little French Key, West Bay Beach and Maya Key are wonderful places to put your toes in the sand and take a dip in the blue water.
If you’re interested in what lies beneath the surface, Roatan is sure to impress. The island rests atop the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system, meaning its waters are full of diverse aquatic wildlife. You can take a snorkeling or scuba diving tour for a relatively low price in Roatan. Experienced guides will show you around the underwater havens that surround the island.
7. Unique Wildlife
With such a diverse range of territories, there’s bound to be a variety of unique wildlife roaming the island. Roatan is home to diverse wild animals and various interesting plants. A wildlife encounter can be your ticket to get to know some of the island’s most intriguing creatures.
Roatan’s forests are crawling with iguanas and geckos. Meanwhile, various native and migratory birds fly overhead the palm trees. There are even places where you can have up-close and personal interactions with sloths and monkeys. Experience all of Roatan’s finest plant life and wildlife by visiting one of the local gardens or parks.
Visit Roatan With Windstar Cruises
Roatan is a gorgeous island you’ll want to add to your travel bucket list. If you’re looking for the best way to visit Roatan and other beautiful islands in the Caribbean, allow Winstar Cruises to be your vessel. We offer a spacious travel experience on ships with small guest lists, enabling our guests to have the most intimate experiences at destinations like Roatan.