In general it is good to know a little more about your destination, so we have prepared some helpful Roatan facts.
Roatan is about 36 miles long and at its widest part, 5 miles wide. The Western part of the island all the way from West Bay to French Harbor is very well developed with accommodations of any price range and taste. From French Harbor to Oakridge you have a paved road which then goes into a dirt road continuing to Camp Bay, and in rainy season a bit tricky depending on the vehicle you have….
Camp Bay has for me the most beautiful natural beach on the whole island of Roatan- but don’t think that that is it. Roatan ends with the island of St. Helene where you can only go by boat. Separated by a channel leading through the mangroves, it is very pristine and secluded beaches are everywhere.
On the way, you can drive into the fishing villages of Punta Gorda and Oakridge. It feels that on the East end, time stood still for a while. It’s beautiful and secluded with tourists rather passing through. On Sundays, Punta Gorda has live bands playing the “punta”, people dancing, good local food and beer. If you have the time, don’t miss it.
The island has several bigger supermarkets(Eldons, Plaza Mar) importing a lot of products from the US. In Coxen Hole you will find a few local stores(Isleño, Pollo Rey) that have….. local things. From toilet paper to fruits and vegetables or meat. Quality in either one is good and where you shop depends at times if you like to save a buck or two. You will find a few trucks along the road selling fruits and vegetables- always a good choice and mostly fresh. Their assortment is from Guatemala or the mainland Honduras.
Coming to Roatan, you do not need to change from US Dollar to Lempira, the local currency. Here everybody accepts US Dollar but you may get your change in Lempira. Exchange rates may vary……
Most banks are in the town of Coxen Hole. Atms you can find in West Bay, West End, at fuel stations, airport etc. Most give the local currency, only some give you Dollars. I heard that some are not safe, so please ask somebody before you want to take money out.
In the first place please make sure US Dollar bills are unmarked, not torn, have no edges missing etc. No bank nor shop accepts these bills, especially not from locals! So please keep that in mind when you pay AND tip somebody. Thank you.
There is no dress code here on the island, other than light clothes, sandals/flip flops and a smile……just enjoy your Roatan vacation!
Traffic……yep, if you want to rent a scooter- please be safe. Here we have only one road, “Highway 1”. Coming off the road, you head either downhill or into a dirtwall…..neither one you want to meet. Especially taxis have often no functioning back lights or blinkers plus they brake instantly. Many other cars would not get a pass in an inspection looking at the tires etc. So always keep your distance and anticipate.
Rainy season starts around end of October and ends around February. It can be raining an entire day or just present itself in on-and-off-showers. But there may be days with no clouds and lake-like waters too….. regardless be prepared and bring a rain coat, long trousers and long sleeve shirt- just in case.
The bug repellent that works best for me is a non deet version. Mix any of these oils: coconut/olive/baby/moringa oil and add a little essential oil of lavender or citronella. The oils keep the sandflies away and the lavender or citronella keeps the mosquitos away. Apply as many times as you need to.
Feel free to contact us if you need anything else.