Renting a Car in Roatan: 13 Key Tips for an Easy Trip!

A car by the ocean in Roatan on a beautifully sunny day

Stretching 37 miles long but a mere 5 miles wide, Roatan is a long and spread out island that is deceptively large and difficult to access with public transit.

With its hilly landscape, turquoise-lined coast, and dense forests, driving through Roatan is beautiful — at least, it is when you aren’t trying to squeeze through the occasional narrow, pedestrian-packed street or get stuck behind a truck kicking up dust for miles on end.

Yes, Roatan’s driving conditions can occasionally test your skill (and patience) due to some unpaved roads, traffic, and steep roads, but it’s a small price to pay to be able to access the island’s more remote corners.

west bay of roatan on a sunny day

Many of Roatan’s coolest sights are rather dispersed, stretching along the island.

If you’re staying in the West Bay or West End, as most travelers do, you’re a long way from East End beaches and places like the Daniel Johnson monkey and sloth sanctuary.

Renting a car in Roatan is the easiest way to get around the island and see all of its sights: here’s what you should know before you do just that!

Where to Rent a Car in Roatan

Allison Green with her rental car in Roatan

I recommend checking Discover Cars when renting a car in Roatan — they check over 500 agencies to find the best deal for your rental.

If you want a car for the entirety of your stay in Roatan, renting a car at the airport is a good call, as the airport is about a $25-30 USD taxi ride away from most hotels and resorts.

If you just want to rent a car for a day, you may find it easier to rent a car from a local agency — ask your accommodation to help you arrange that.

If you book far enough in advance, a weeklong car rental is about $300-400 USD, breaking down to about $50 per day, but it can vary depending on how long you rent for and when.

(Psst: don’t skimp on getting full coverage insurance, especially if you’re visiting the more remote areas of Roatan. Last thing you want on your vacation is a cracked windshield from some kicked up gravel or a keyed car to stress you out all trip — true story from past Iceland and Mexico trips!)

Check the best rates for car rentals in Roatan here!

Key Things to Know Before Renting a Car in Roatan

Roatan is larger than you think — and transportation can get costly!

Camp Bay Beach in Roatan, in a remote part of the East End
The most beautiful beach in Roatan is also the hardest to reach: Camp Bay Beach in the East End

I mentioned this a bit in the introduction, but it bears repeating: Roatan is a surprisingly large place once you get oriented!

For example, once we arrived, we heard that one of the most fun things to do in Roatan was visit Punta Gorda on a Sunday afternoon to see the indigenous Garifuna culture being celebrated.

We were instantly intrigued — and then we immediately learned that getting there would take about an hour each way, and we’d have to hire a driver for a half-day, costing at least $120 USD.

Had we had our rental car already, it would have been a no-brainer to go! Unfortunately, we only had our rental for one portion of the trip.

Note: If you also plan to visit Utila, there’s no need to rent a car there — there aren’t even really any cars there! You can get around by tuk-tuk or rent a scooter, golf cart, or ATV.

Have all your documents ready for pick-up.

documents for renting a car on a clipboard

Obviously, you’ll need a valid driver’s license to rent a car in Roatan, but you should have a few other things in order.

Technically, you should have an International Driving Permit alongside your license. We weren’t asked for one when renting a car, but you may be.

You also may be required to show your IDP if you’re driving and get pulled over or pass through a checkpoint (more on this later!).

Also, many rental agencies require a credit card, not just a debit card in order to rent a car.

There’s always a chance your rental agency may place a large deposit in the form of a hold on the credit card.

I’ve had holds from $400 when renting in Tahiti to $1200 when renting in the Azores, so ensure you have room on your credit limit just in case.

There are only a few car rental companies at the Roatan airport — reserve in advance!

econo rental car and sixt rental car companies outside the terminal of the airport
There aren’t too many rental agencies, so best to book ahead, especially in high season!

The Roatan airport (RTB) is quite small. Accordingly, there are just a few rental companies at the airport: basically, the big names you’ll find everywhere like Sixt, Hertz, and Avis.

If you plan to rent a car while you’re in Roatan, you should definitely reserve it in advance, especially if you’re traveling during the high season (roughly December through April).

The inventory is limited, so once it’s gone, it’s gone!

The inventory of automatic cars is even more limited.

Allison Green in a rental car with automatic transmission
As someone who can only drive automatic, I always double check the transmission type!

Here’s a note for my fellow Americans who are absolutely helpless at driving manual cars — be sure to double check that the car you are renting has the transmission type you want!

Roatan’s road conditions are a bit rough in places, especially in the less-developed East End. Also, many areas are quite hilly, including the touristic West Bay.

If you’re not absolutely familiar with driving a manual car, opt for automatic: otherwise, you may get stressed out by driving in in Roatan.

The weather can change on a dime.

rainy road in roatan
It had just been slightly overcast moments before!

Even though I visited Roatan during the “dry season”, I was pretty surprised by how quickly the weather could turn!

While driving towards the East End, I got caught in a total downpour. Moments before, it had been just barely overcast.

Luckily, it passed quickly, but it’s important to note this, especially since road conditions can quickly turn dangerous.

We saw a man on a scooter slip off his bike right in front of us at a roundabout — luckily, everyone was driving slowly and he wasn’t hurt further and was able to get up.

Plus, there are a few dirt roads that you’ll see, like the road to Camp Bay Beach, which could get muddy in extremely rainy conditions.

Observe posted signs and limits.

a road sign in roatan honduras
Always pay attention to posted signs!

This is pretty obvious, but keep an eye out for the posted speed limit signs — especially if you’re used to driving in miles per hour, your speed in kilometers may not be as intuitive.

Road signs are typically posted every few kilometers, so keep an eye out for them.

You may need a 4WD or SUV if visiting the East End.

driving on a dirt road in roatan
Grateful for having a high-clearance car on these roads!

We luckily had a 4WD SUV as our rental car while we were exploring the more remote parts of Roatan.

Frankly, I don’t know if a non-4WD or a non-SUV would have been able to navigate the road down to the East End.

Quite a long stretch of that road is unpaved, packed with potholes, and rather uneven.

Even in touristic areas like the West End, you may suddenly find yourself on an incredibly bumpy patch of road.

I needed to turn around at the end of the main road through the West End, and it was very uneven (I drive a low-clearance Kia back home, and I would have been trembling trying to do it in that car!)

Having a 4WD SUV meant we didn’t have to worry much about the road conditions, which was a relief.

Prepare for varying road conditions.

half the road paved half of it unpaved while driving in roatan
Roatan road conditions… vary

Continuing the point from the above, the road conditions in Roatan vary — and they can change pretty quickly.

A paved road can suddenly give way to a gravel road only to turn into a paved road again — followed by a section of road that is half paved, half gravel.

The area around the East End of Roatan in particular is like this, as it is slowly becoming more of a developed area.

It’s no major concern, but just keep your eye out and never get too comfortable when driving in Roatan!

Be ready for the occasional checkpoint.

Allison Green while driving in Honduras in Roatan
Be prepared to stop at checkpoints if indicated!

We saw two checkpoints when we were driving in Roatan along the main road — one that was on the other side of the street and one that we had to pass through.

For us when we were driving in Roatan, the officer just asked if we spoke Spanish — I do — and then he asked us to roll down the back window so he could take a look in the car. After that, he waved us on.

This is a good place to note that there is quite a visible police presence in Roatan.

What I’ll say is that Roatan feels very safe, and crime is low there compared to mainland Honduras.

That said, there’s a pretty extensive police presence in a lot of places — stuff like armed guards at gas stations, ATMs, and roundabouts — which can sometimes feel a little odd!

It can be hard to navigate more populated areas like Coxen Hole and West End.

The more populated areas of Roatan are a bit like a video game to drive through!

Pedestrians walk through the streets, cars are parked haphazardly, roads are narrow: you’ll have a small window to squeeze through an area or pass by, and you’ll have to take it.

Ultimately, I didn’t find driving in Roatan extremely stressful, but there are a few crowded areas where it was a little tough to find a place to drive between the heavy pedestrian traffic and lack of street lights to manage the flow.

Some two-way roads are very narrow.

On a similar note, there were definitely a few places where the two-way roads in the busier areas were very narrow.

Sometimes, one person may need to back up a little to let the other pass through.

Once, when we were with a taxi driver, it felt a bit like a game of chicken!

That said, we didn’t have any huge problems with this when we were driving, but it was something I definitely made a mental note of to pass on.

Similarly, watch for narrow two-way roads on curvy or hilly roads and highways — other cars may not be as attentive as you, so always drive defensively.

There’s limited parking in places like West End.

Allison Green with her rental car in Roatan
Luckily, where we stayed had free parking!

In areas like the West End and West Bay, the parking situation can be pretty limited.

It was fine since our hotel was a little bit outside the main West End area and we had parking on the premises, but there’s not a lot of parking in much of the main strip.

If you’re coming from another part of the island to a place like the West End, just realize there’s not a ton of parking, though there is a small parking lot in Coconut Tree Plaza just off the main road.

West Bay similarly is a difficult place to find parking, though it is possible; we drove around for a bit until we saw a sign for parking and just followed that until we found a free parking lot just behind the beach (I think on Fosters WB Road).

Watch out for scooters!

two scooters on a dirt road while driving in a car in roatan

In addition to all the pedestrian traffic you’ll see in the busier parts of Roatan, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for scooters!

Lots of people get around on motorbikes, and sometimes they’ll pass you rather quickly and closely — don’t get startled!

Additionally, give them plenty of room in bad weather — as mentioned above, I saw someone fall off his scooter in the rain.

Most importantly, always check for scooters if you are changing lanes or maneuvering around something, like a stopped car in your lane (quite common!).

Taking the Roatan to Utila Ferry: Everything You Need to Know

The ferry boat in Roatan Honduras

​The two largest of the Bay Islands in Honduras, Roatan and Utila, are both fantastic destinations for their diving, beaches, and laidback vibes.

Roatan is typically people’s first port of call in Honduras, as Roatan has the international airport.

Roatan is the destination for all international flights, as well as domestic flights from the mainland of Honduras (such as San Pedro Sula).

If your final destination is Utila, or if you’re visiting both islands on your trip to Honduras, you’ll likely want to take the ferry service between Roatan and Utila.

A person standing looking out onto the sea as she journeys from Utila to Roatan by ferry

Luckily, the ferry ride is (generally) a smooth one, especially once you’ve read a guide like this one to know a little more about what to expect on your journey from Roatan to Utila.

This guide will cover how to take the Roatan to Utila ferry, including how to plan your ferry trip, ferry schedules and costs, how to book tickets, and what the ferry crossing is like. 

Let’s get into it!

Planning Your Roatan to Utila Ferry

Walking towards the ferries, two boats on either side of a dock on a sunny day in Honduras

First of all, you’ll want to see when you are flying into Roatan and see how that affects your travel plan.

There is only one ferry per day to Utila from Roatan via the Utila Dream ferry company.

At present, if you are flying from the United States, there are two airlines that have daily arrivals in Roatan: United Airlines and American Airlines.

The United Airlines flight arrives at 11:30 AM, leaving you ample time to arrive at the ferry terminal before 2 PM.

If you are flying on the American Airlines flight, you arrive just before 1 PM, making it a real squeeze to try to get to the ferry terminal by 2 PM.

Sometimes, Delta Airlines will also fly to Roatan, arriving at 12:20 PM. I think that’s just enough time to make it as well, but the American Airlines connection would likely be too tight.

Personally, when I planned my Roatan trip, I took the United flight, but I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get through customs in Honduras or transfer to the ferry terminal.

The Roatan airport arrival area

I have travel anxiety and don’t like tight travel times, as a small delay can derail quite a bit, so the way I ended up planning my Bay Islands itinerary was a little different.

We arrived in Roatan and spent 3 nights there, took the ferry to Utila and spent 3 nights there, and then returned to Roatan for our final 3 nights enjoying all the fun things to do in Roatan.

However, that wasn’t exactly the most convenient, as we had to move around quite a bit, and because of our travel days, that limited our diving time in Roatan and Utila as well.

Allison Green sitting on dive boat wearing a wetsuit in Utila Honduras

I also missed out on a few of the fun things to do in Utila, like visit Water Cay, because of this.

Knowing what I know now, about how the Roatan airport works and how quickly I can expect to move through it, I would feel comfortable going directly from the airport to the ferry terminal on the 11:30 AM flight.

It only took us about 30 minutes to go through passport control, and while we didn’t check any luggage, we saw that the luggage was already unloaded by the time we got through immigration and customs.

It’s about a 5-10 minute drive from the Roatan Airport to the ferry terminal, since Dixon Cove is right next to Coxen Hole. 

There should be posted taxi fares at the airport, but I wouldn’t imagine a taxi would cost more than $10 USD (250 lempira), as our taxi from the airport to our hotel in the West End cost $30 (750 lempira) via a private transfer.

How to Reach the Roatan Ferry Terminal

Bags being dropped off at the Roatan ferry terminal

The best way and easiest way to arrive at the Roatan ferry terminal is by taxi, whether that’s from the airport or from where you are staying in Roatan if you end up starting your trip in Roatan.

​As mentioned above, we weren’t sure about the transfer times, so we started our trip in Roatan, visited Utila in the middle, and finished in Roatan.

Our taxi between where we stayed in the West End and the Roatan Ferry Terminal cost $35 USD (875 lempira) for a pre-booked private taxi.

You may be able to negotiate a better rate on the ground — or not! 

We personally used the same driver who picked us up at the airport, because we found it less stressful knowing our driver and knowing we’d have someone punctual, waiting for us and ready to go.

Business card that reads Omar Tourists Transportation with the phone number on it

If you’re in need of a driver, we used Dario from Omar’s Transportation company for all of our transportation in Roatan (phone number and email on the card above) and highly recommend him.

He was awesome, always on-time, and friendly, and speaks excellent English since he spent a lot of his youth growing up in NYC!

If you’re traveling from the airport, expect a maximum 10 minute travel time between the airport and the ferry.

If you’re traveling from the West End, expect about a 30-40 minute travel time.

If you’re traveling from the West Bay resort area, expect about a 40-50 minute travel time (and for the price to be about $5 USD /125 lempira more).

Buying Tickets for the Roatan to Utila Ferry

The small Roatan ferry terminal with a ticket booth

It’s very easy to buy tickets online for the Roatan to Utila ferry, so I recommend you do that to make sure you have one less thing to worry about before your ferry ride.

You can also book in person at the ferry terminal, but online is easier.

If you know when you plan to return to Roatan from Utila, you can buy round trip ferry tickest.

However, the prices are the same, so there’s really no need to book round trip unless you are certain of your dates.

It costs 1440 lempira for a roundtrip standard fare (about $58 USD) and 1620 lempira for a VIP fare (about $66 USD).

A one-way ticket costs 720 lempira for a single ticket (about $29 USD) and 810 lempira ($33 USD) for a VIP fare.

Frankly, I’m not sure what the difference is between VIP and regular, except that you get a private indoor area that may be a little roomier because only VIP ticket holders can access it.

Note that there is only one return time from Utila to Roatan, at 10:20 AM, so plan your trip accordingly! 

Many flights from Roatan leave around noon, which will not give you enough travel time to check in at the airport

Checking Bags for the Roatan to Utila Ferry

Holding a green bag tag for my luggage with a number on it

If you have anything larger than a backpack, the ferry staff will request that you check it. 

​While the process of checking bags is monitored, I’d still recommend removing anything valuable, such as a laptop or camera equipment, from your checked luggage to whatever you’re carrying with you.

Checking bags is free, and they give you a slip for your bag.

Don’t lose it, because they do check that it matches your bag when you arrive!

The Roatan to Utila Ferry Journey

Allison Green on the ferry taking a selfie

I get seasickness, so I’m always a little worried about how a ferry journey is going to go… but I’m happy to report that I had no issues on the ride to Utila or the ferry ride back to Roatan!

I did take Dramamine as a preventive measure, as I always do before a ferry ride, but the ride was very smooth and I think I would have been okay without it.

Granted, I traveled in May in the most pleasant part of the dry season, where there are very few storms.

If you are traveling in the rainy season when there are more storms (roughly October to February, though more frequent rains can start as early as August), you may have a rougher journey.

The ferry ride is about 1 hour long and is very comfortable. 

There are air-conditioned indoor seating options even for standard ticket holders, as well as an upper-deck outdoor seating option with fresh air and great views.

Interior view of the ferry boat with orange seats and air conditioned indoor area

Personally, I love the fresh air as it helps reduce my seasickness and also the views are lovely!

As you leave for Utila, you’ll pass along the south side of the island of Roatan, so there’s a lot to see along the way.

​Right at the ferry terminal, you’ll see a partially sunken ship, which is really cool to see from a different angle once you get moving!

partially sunken rusted ship as seen from the roatan to utila ferry

Then, you’ll traverse the coast of Roatan for about 10 minutes, admiring the island views, before you head to the open sea. 

After about 50 minutes, Utila is visible in the distance: you’ve nearly made it!

Some Tips for a Smooth Journey

Keep in holidays and peak travel times in mind.

Person sitting on the boat

We had lots of space, but we were traveling in May (no American holidays where lots of families may be traveling) and not during a high period.

One time to look out for is Semana Santa (the week surrounding Easter), where people from mainland Honduras, Mexico, and Central America tend to travel in higher volumes.

If you are traveling during a high period such as Semana Santa, Christmas, etc. you’ll definitely want to buy your tickets ahead of time, and you may want to pay a few extra dollars for VIP to give yourself a bit more space.

Since there’s only one daily departure… if you don’t get a ticket, you don’t go!

Book your ticket carefully.

The ferry boat in Roatan Honduras

One thing that’s a bit funky about the website is that it will sell you tickets for a departure that has already passed.

​I was buying ferry tickets a bit last minute, tired from diving and not paying close attention to the dates.

Even though I was buying the tickets at night, I was able to buy a ticket for the afternoon departure that had already left.

I had wanted to book a ticket for the next day.

When I arrived at the ferry terminal, a worker there noticed my mistake and told me to talk to the ticket counter.

They were able to change my tickets in their system, but it cost an extra 50 lempira ($2) per ticket to change.

Overall, it was just a $4 mistake, but it was a mistake that could be avoided nonetheless!

Keep an eye on your belongings.

Our bags at our feet while waiting for the ferry

In general, the Bay Islands of Honduras are extremely safe. 

That said, if you’re distracted by the beautiful scenery of the Caribbean Sea — you could potentially be an enticing target for petty theft.

Don’t leave your belongings unattended to go admire the view or use the bathroom.

Also, as mentioned above, make sure that any high-value items stay on your person and don’t go in checked luggage.

I found traveling in Roatan and Utila very safe and didn’t worry about theft during my trip, but these are precautions I exercise in every single travel destination in the world.

Arriving in Utila

view when you first arrive in utila with dock and colorful buildings and sea

When you arrive in Utila, you’ll see a line of red tuktuks waiting for you — do yourself a favor and take one! If you are staying in the central part of town, as most hotels are, you will only pay 30 lempira per person, a little over $1 USD.

If you have luggage, I recommend tipping your driver an extra 20 lempira per person (a little under $1) or so if they help you with your bags.

We didn’t realize the tuktuks were so cheap when we arrived and we dragged our luggage down a hot street about 10 minutes to our hotel — which was not pleasant at all.

tuktuks waiting for arrival of tourists in utila

​(I have trust issues from traveling too much in Eastern Europe, where you learn to dodge every taxi driver at your point of arrival because they’ll scam you into oblivion).

Luckily, that’s not a problem on Utila — the signs are clearly posted with fares, and in our entire Utila trip, we never once had a tuktuk driver attempt to upcharge us.

Take the tuktuk, trust me!

Can You Fly from Roatan to Utila?

Walking towards the ferries, two boats on either side of a dock on a sunny day in Honduras

While you can fly from Roatan to Utila, I don’t recommend it — it’s huge waste of carbon emissions for such a short flight, especially when there’s an easy ferry solution.

Plus, with only one daily departure directly between Roatan and Utila, at 8:10 AM, it’s unlikely that it’ll line up conveniently with your flight from another place.

Most American airlines, such as United Airlines, Delta Airlines, etc. tend to land around noon — meaning you’d have to wait for the next day to fly onwards to Utila.

33 Epic Things to Do in Roatan, Honduras

Camp Bay Beach in Roatan, in a remote part of the East End

While the island — a long, thin island shaped like a parenthesis — may look small, there’s a deceptive amount of things to do in Roatán, the most bustling of Honduras’ Bay Islands.

Roatán is a busy cruise port, and many people visit Roatán as part of a Western Caribbean cruise line stop — but I’d argue that one day in Roatán as a brief excursion from your cruise ship is not enough to enjoy this stunning Caribbean island.

From meeting adorable rescue sloths to diving one of the world’s largest reefs to enjoying beach days admiring the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, there’s so much to do in Roatán that it merits a vacation all of its own.

surfboard that reads roatan with painted scene

I spent about a week exploring Roatán island in May 2023, and so I’ve created this guide to all the wonderful things there are to do in Roatán.

Whether you’re visiting independently or as part of a cruise shore excursion, I’m here to help you make the most of your time with this Roatán travel guide!

The Best Things to Do in Roatán, Honduras

Go scuba diving (or get certified!) along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

divers half in, half out of the water with roatan divers boat in the background

Towering coral pinnacles, gently wavering purple gorgonian sea fans, rare black coral, vibrant sponges (some almost iridescent to the point of being neon): the underwater landscape of the island of Roatán is absolutely picturesque…

… and we haven’t even gotten to discussing the marine life yet!

Sea turtles — both hawksbill and green sea — call these reefs home, often with shark-suckers tagging along on their shell for the ride.

You’ll also see an eagle ray or two if you’re lucky!

In terms of fish life, you’ll be absolutely spoiled here: sharp-nosed pufferfish are everywhere, as well as purple-yellow fairy basslets, yellow-and-blue queen Angelfish, black-and-yellow French Angelfish, and the silly-looking colorblock rock beauty.

all sorts of fish forming a beautiful spiral shape underwater

Other fish species you might see are three types of butterflyfish (spotfin, banded, and foureye), schools upon schools of blue tang and ocean surgeonfish, bluehead and yellowhead wrasses, and all sorts of parrotfish (stoplight, rainbow, and queen being the most common).

Rarer fish you might spot include: the stunning indigo and barred hamlets, filefish (orangespotted, whitespotted, and scrawled are relatively common — the elusive tiny slender filefish is rarer and harder to spot), the adorably pouty smooth (or spotted) trunkfish, and the gorgeous honeycomb or scrawled cowfish.

For fans of macro life, you can spot flamingo tongues, banded coral shrimp, and my personal favorite, the purpe Pederson cleaner shrimp (who love a particular kind of anemone, but will occasionally perform dental visits on groupers), and pipefish like the Harlequin pipefish and the shortfin pipefish.

Allison Green in a cressi wetsuit diving underwater looking to the right

Sharks, unfortunately, are no longer common visitors to Roatán’s reefs because there is a dive company that feeds the sharks in order to “guarantee” shark sightings on a dive — which has changed the sharks’ behavior, and it’s now quite rare to see a shark while diving in Roatán.

If you want to travel ethically, I recommend not doing the shark dive here, because it has been proven that it has changed the feeding behavior of sharks, who no longer swim basically anywhere but this dive site, according to the dive shop I went with.

All I know is I can compare my experience diving in Cozumel with my experience diving in Cozumel: I saw perhaps a dozen sharks while in Cozumel in 15 dives, and I didn’t see one single shark in either Roatán or Utila in 14 dives.

If you plan to go diving in Roatan, read my full guide on the subject here!

I also have a guide to diving in Utila.

Note: I wore a 5mm wetsuit while diving in Roatan and it was perfect for me personally. I get cold while I dive, but that’s just me!

Getting Certified

Allison Green and her partner diving together underwater maintaining neutral buoyancy

With calm waters and minimal current, stunning marine life, and extremely low prices (though not as low as Utila), it’s no wonder than Roatán is a popular place to get PADI Open Water certified.

Depending on the dive shop you choose, expect to pay about $300-350 USD for a PADI Open Water certification course, including materials, rental, instruction, and fees. The course typically takes 3-4 days.

It’s also a popular place for more experienced divers to advance their certification with AOW, Rescue Diver, Specialty Certifications like Wreck Diving and Deep Diving, or even Divemaster courses!

Fun Diving

moray eel and cleaner shrimp hanging out together under the water

Roatán is also great for fun diving!

The dive sites are quite close to dive shops, meaning short boat rides and no need for long on-boat surface intervals (great for people like me who get seasick on motionless boats!).

I did a total of 9 fun dives in Roatán, including one night dive. I had a blast and would rank Roatán in my top 3 dive destinations I’ve visited (right after Cozumel and above Moorea/Tahiti!).

Where to Dive in Roatán

roatan diver boat from the water surface

I chose to dive in the West End because I didn’t plan on renting a car for the entirety of my stay in Roatán and I wanted to be in a more lively area.

I went with Roatan Divers as they had the best reputation and would happily go back to dive with them again — I see no reason to dive with any other shop on the West End!

That said, other dive shops that rate highly include Sun Divers Roatan and Coconut Tree Divers, which may be worth looking into as well.

I didn’t get a chance to dive in East End, although I wish I did, because I wasn’t able to dive some of the more famous Roatán dive sites like Mary’s Place.

Generally, East End offers a few quiet dive shops like Barefoot Divers as well as a handful of dive resorts like Coco View Resort with a house wall that you can dive as much as you want from the shore!

Go wreck diving at the El Aguila shipwreck

Allison Green and her partner scuba diving in Roatan

Assuming you’re at least Advanced Open Water certified, diving El Aguila is a must-do in Roatán!

Resting on the sea floor about 100 feet deep, this cargo ship was deliberately sunk in 1997 to make an artificial reef.

According to my divemaster, It was first sunk in a shallower area in front of Anthony’s Key Resort, likely to appeal to snorkelers… but then a hurricane passing through had other plans, and the rough waters made the ship tumble off the reef wall into deeper waters.

Now, it’s one of the most unique dive sites in Roatán: it’s fun to see how the marine life has started to reclaim the wreck, with sea sponges and sea fans growing on the boat’s stern and hull.

But in my opinion, the coolest part is spiraling up the mast, which is now home to all sorts of interesting soft corals that house some interesting macro life.

After you dive El Aguila, you’ll typically explore the shallows, where you’ll see all sorts of beautiful fish marine life in the coral formations.

Note: If you don’t have a Wreck Diving specialty, you won’t be able to enter the wreck. However, there’s plenty to see on the outside if you just have your AOW.

Pro Tip: If you’re Nitrox-certified, this is a great time to use Nitrox! Since you’ll max out at about 100 feet deep, you can use 32% Nitrox to have longer bottom times without needing to worry about hitting NDL limits.

Go on a snorkeling boat trip to admire Roatán’s coral reefs

snorkeling under the water

If you’re not SCUBA certified (and don’t want to be), snorkeling is still a great way to experience Roatán’s reefs.

While there are a few reefs you can access from the beach, like Half Moon Bay and West Bay Beach, a snorkeling boat trip will bring you to more remote snorkeling locations where there will be few fellow tourists.

Several tour operators in Roatán offer fantastic snorkeling boat tours that take you to some of the best spots around the island that other people can’t get to without a boat!

One option is Roatan Snorkeling Adventure — they have a 3-hour tour that brings you to two different snorkeling spots, and it includes all snorkeling equipment and roundtrip transport from your hotel or cruise ship.

Another option is the Jolly Roger Roatan Catamaran Sailing & Snorkeling Cruise. Similarly, they have a half-day tour with two snorkeling stops, and they include a lunch buffet and open bar in the tour cost, plus any snorkeling gear you need.

Finally, another option is West Bay Tours, with its full-day snorkel tour with 3 stops: the Blue Channel, a cool sunken ship, and Starfish Alley. You’ll see everything from colorful coral canyons to starfish-studded sandy bottoms!

Enjoy a zipline experience through the canopy

ziplines through the canopy of roatan with view of the caribbean waters on the other side of the forest

Another fun thing to do in Roatán is explore its lush and varied landscape on an exciting zip line tour!

From soaring over lush jungles to catching glimpses of the spectacular coastline, ziplining in Roatán is an exhilarating experience that’ll get your adrenaline pumping.

I didn’t zipline during my stay in Roatán — I’ve ziplined in Costa Rica and Arizona before, and to me, twice is enough — but our driver (and Honduran local) recommended Bodden Tours and their Mayan Jungle Canopy Zipline park.

Their most famous offering is their “Zip-n-Dip” package. This tour starts with a heart-racing zipline ride where you can admire the breathtaking views of the island from above!

Then, you’ll be taken to a monkey and sloth sanctuary, where you can learn about and interact with rescued animals.

The tour concludes with a relaxing time at West Bay Beach, one of Roatan’s most beautiful and popular beaches.

This particular tour is perfectly coordinated with cruise ship schedules, departing one hour after the ship arrives and ensuring that you’re returned one hour before the ship departs.

This seamless scheduling gives cruise passengers a worry-free experience as they explore Roatan’s natural beauty.

At a price of $65, the “Zip-n-Dip” tour offers a unique blend of excitement and relaxation, making it excellent value for money.

In addition to Bodden Tours, there are other companies that provide thrilling zip line experiences, such as South Shore Canopy Zipline and King Kong Extreme Zipline. These operators offer similar packages.

If you’re not visiting on a cruise, you can drive to or taxi to the Mayan Jungle Canopy Zipline and just book an independent zip line tour.

Eat the delicious Honduran classic, the baleada

a homemade flour tortilla, the honduran baleada, filled with bean spread, cheese, and whatever filling you like

You haven’t visited Roatán if you haven’t tried the local classic, the baleada!

Made of a huge freshly-made flour tortilla, stretched and baked on the grill in front of your eyes, the perfect baleada will retain a slight chew and pull to it.

You can order it sencilla (simple) with a delicious refried bean-style spread with some salty cheese sprinkles, or order it filled with a variety of fillings.

Avocado, ground beef, chorizo, and egg (or any combination thereof) are a few of the most popular fillings for the baleada.

The baleada with all its fillings is then folded in half like the largest taco you’ve ever seen — but you’ll likely need a knife and fork for this bad boy!

If you want the best baleada on the island, hit up Yahongreh? in the West End, open from 7 AM to 2 PM daily except Mondays.

Watch the sunset on West Bay Beach (or from your hotel pool!)

The article author, allison green, wearing a beach cover up with her feet in the pool, smiling as the sun sets behind her in roatan, honduras

One of the most popular spots to watch the sunset in Roatán is on West Bay Beach, since it has a practically uninterrupted view of the horizon so basically everywhere on the beach will have stellar sunset views.

A bit crazy and jam-packed with tourists during the day, the vibe on West Bay Beach settles down a bit at night, as the beach chairs empty out and people either go for dinner or cocktails and the beach itself becomes a little more tranquil.

While Half Moon Bay in West End is beautiful, it’s not quite as great for sunsets, since you won’t get to see the sun as well.

We also had great sunsets where we stayed at Cocolobo — the small infinity pool lined up perfectly with the setting sun for epic views!

This part of the West End juts out a bit, giving you a completely uninhibited view of the sunset.

If you can have your own stunning sunset — I highly recommend it — but if not, West Bay Beach is a great public option.

Spend the day relaxing at a beach club with a day pass

roatan honduras beach club view with yellow building palm trees and beach chairs

Even if you’re not staying at an all-inclusive or a beachfront resort, you can always get a beach club pass to get to enjoy the amenities at a fraction of the price of a long resort getaway.

If you’re visiting as part of a cruise stop, you can buy a shore excursion that includes transportation to a beach club and all the day’s amenities there.

If you’re visiting Roatán as an independent traveler, you can hop on a water taxi to West Bay from West End and obtain a beach club day pass from any of the West Bay resorts you choose.

  • Infinity Bay Spa and Beach Resort: Known for its stunning beachfront location and luxurious amenities, Infinity Bay offers day passes (recommended to book a week in advance) that provide access to their infinity pool, beach loungers, and facilities. It costs $30 per person for basic access (beach, pool chairs, pools, WiFi; no food) or $80 for an all-inclusive day pass (buffet lunch, unlimited cocktails, plus all beach amenities). You can also buy a day pass that includes transfers from your cruise ship post for just $10 more ($90 total). Book your day pass with transfer here.
  • Paradise Beach Hotel: This resort also offers day passes, with access to the beach, pools, and other facilities. It costs $65 per person, including transport, roundtrip transportation, a reserved beach lounger, but not food or drinks (those must be paid separately). You can book your day pass here.

Snorkel in Half Moon Bay

partly cloudy day but you can still see the spots where there is coral reef in the half moon bay part of west end, one small boat in the water

For a fun shore-accessible snorkeling spot, head to Half Moon Bay in the West End.

You don’t have to swim out too far in order to see the reef beginning, and there’s quite a bit to see in the shallows — and it gets better the further out you go.

You’ll see brain coral, soft coral sea fans, and elkhorn corals, which are a perfect house for parrotfish, angelfish, and the territorial damselfish that like to protect their preferred patch of reef.

If you’re lucky, you may spot schools of tangs or wrasses, eagle rays, sea turtles, or even moray eels!

Always remember to be respectful of the reef — that means you should avoid touching the coral or disturbing the marine life — and use reef-safe sunscreen to protect this fragile ecosystem.

There aren’t any rental shops offering snorkel rentals here on Half Moon Bay that I could see, unlike West Bay Beach, so be sure to bring your own mask, snorkel, and fins from home if you plan to snorkel here.

I recommend doing that anyway — it’s way more fun to be able to enjoy impromptu water activities and snorkeling with your own gear that you’re comfortable with!

Explore the delicious foodie scene of West End

a spanish tortilla with a salad with shredded beet and carrot in roatan

During my week or so exploring the West End of Roatán, I got to eat at quite a few delicious restaurants (so many, in fact, that a post on restaurants in Roatán is definitely in the works!).

Here are a few of my favorite spots to eat in the West End:

  • Loretta’s Island Kitchen for delicious coconut fish and lobster pasta, some of the best home-cooking on the island
  • Yahongreh? for delicious baleadas and breakfast sandwiches
  • Sandy Buns for obscenely large plates and a Texas-style menu (seriously, share anything you get — one plate is more than enough for two)
  • Stowaway for an eclectic tapas-style menu bringing inspiration from Spain and the Caribbean, with things like shrimp and mango ceviche and Spanish tortillas
  • Crisp for delicious fresh salads and poké bowls when you want something healthy, with lots of vegetarian options
  • Anthony’s Chicken for delicious jerk chicken and some of the best rice and beans on the island

Learn how to spearfish lionfish

red lionfish on the reef an invasive species in the caribbean

One of the coolest things I saw people doing in Roatán was spearfishing lionfish.

If you don’t know, lionfish are beautiful but invasive in the Caribbean, and their impact on the reefs is devastating.

Lionfish are voracious hunters, but they have no meaningful natural predators in the Caribbean (spearhunters don’t count!).

This creates a serious imbalance in the reef ecosystem, damaging the fish populations which thus puts the entire coral system at risk, since the balance is so precarious.

Generally speaking, spearfishing is not allowed in the protected marine park around Roatán, but there’s an exception for lionfish.

The Roatan Marine Park offers lionfish workshops for $70 USD — license and spear included! — where you learn how to safely spearfish lionfish independently.

These workshops are on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4 PM in West End, and a minimum number of 3 divers or snorkelers need to be present; for groups of 4 or more, they can offer the workshop at a different time.

You’ll need to watch a video beforehand and have your own BCD and reg (or have rented one from a shop), as this is not a dive shop experience but rather a grassroots conservation effort organized by the marine park.

Typically, you use a small Hawaiian-style pole spear to catch the lionfish. You can then place them in containment devices, like a lionfish zookeeper, to safely store the fish (remember — their spines are venomous).

Best of all, you’ll have some delicious food at the end of it (though of course, you’ll have to learn to properly prepare it, avoiding those spines!) — and you’ll be eating the most sustainable fish there is!

Eat lionfish everything.

delicious lionfish with coconut and lionfish ceviche

On that note, you’ll find lionfish all over the menu in Roatán — and it’s one of the best things you can eat, both for taste and for the reef health!

I loved the coconut-fried lionfish fingers we had at La Sirena in Camp Bay, which was spectacular.

We also tried lionfish ceviche, and in Utila, a place called Mister Buddha even offered lionfish tempura sushi!

Spend a peaceful day at Camp Bay Beach

the quiet sands of camp bay beach with just a few people walking along the beach during the day, otherwise just white sand and blue waters

The stunning white sand beach of Camp Bay Beach is little-visited, and that’s both a blessing a shame.

It just may be one of the most beautiful beaches in Central America, and yet there’s very few people there because it’s so hard to get to.

It’s about a 1 to 1.5-hour drive from West End, and you’ll be driving about 10 kilometers down a dusty gravel road (you’ll want a 4×4 car rental, ideally, to handle the roads and their potholes safely).

Still, getting there, you’ll see it was worth the long and dusty road: the beach is absolutely stunning and stretches for ages with white sand and stunning, calm turquoise-blue waters, all fringed by beautiful palms.

There’s very minimal amenities here — a few beach loungers and sometimes there’ll be a food vendor serving up basic eats, like BBQ chicken — so pack what you’d need for a day and don’t rely on anything being there!

Meet the sloths, monkeys, and macaws at Daniel Johnson’s Monkey & Sloth Hangout

Allison green, the author of the article, holding a two-toed sloth at a sanctuary

I’m always wary of places that call themselves animal sanctuaries — often, they’re green-washed animal tourism that doesn’t actually keep animal welfare in mind.

I was pleasantly surprised at how ethically ran Daniel Johnson’s Monkey & Sloth Hangout was. They do allow interaction with animals, but in a very limited way.

For example, they will place a sloth on you for you to hold, but it’s completely forbidden for you to stroke or pet the sloths (they get quite uncomfortable with this, but they don’t mind hanging onto you as if you were a tree as long as you stay still!)

Similarly, they will allow the playful capuchin monkeys to jump all over you, but you’re not allowed to pet them — but they’ll absolutely jump and climb all over you, especially when you’re given a few sunflower seeds to hold in your open palm!

You can also meet macaws, who will also be happy to perch on your arm (again, no touching or stroking the birds).

The macaws were really cool because a red and a green macaw had mated, creating a lot of beautiful hybrid macaw parrots that you usually won’t find in nature!

feathers of a rainbow colored macaw at a sanctuary on a woman's arm

Our tour guide explained that the reason why this sanctuary came about was that many exotic pet owners purchased sloths or monkeys, not realizing what hard work they’d be.

For example, these particular sloths on Roatán can really only eat two things that naturally grow on the island— hibiscus flowers and a very particular type of leaf (cecropia)that is really hard to find on the island.

Lazy exotic animal owners got sick of trying to source food for these sloths and gave them to local animal sanctuaries like Daniel Johnson’s, especially during the pandemic. Similarly, people who found monkeys were too much work also surrendered their animals.

The sloths are completely free-roaming in the mangroves around the premises.

The monkeys are in large enclosures with enrichment toys, and they are let out one or two at a time to have free time to roam around the premises without getting lost.

Monkey jumping on Allison Green's shoulder as she laughs ecstatically

There’s also one monkey who is always out and about, free-roaming, because she is the youngest and smallest monkey which makes her get over-groomed (aka: her hair completely pulled out) by the older monkeys.

She loves to jump on your shoulder and surprise you!

There are packages that include transfers for cruise ship visitors and those without rental cars, but if you visit independently with a car as we did, we paid $12 per person for a tour for two.

Go horseback riding

people on horseback wearing helmets on the beach

Another thing to do in Roatán is go horseback riding — exploring the island’s natural beauty from a unique perspective (and getting to interact with some lovely equines along the way!)

On the mainland of Roatán, you can find a few places that offer horseback riding. One option is at Jungle Top Adventures, a ziplining company that also offers horseback riding options.

You can visit independently if you have your own rental car and are planning to spend some time independently on Roatán.

If you are part of a cruise excursion, you can book a tour like this one, which combines ziplining, horseback riding, and beach time.

In the East End of Roatán (car required), you can also visit El Rancho Barrio Dorcas, where this peaceful rural ranch offers horseback riding tours led by knowledgeable guides. The trails take you through the hills, offering magnificent views of the island’s coastline and interior.

If you want to get off Roatán in favor of a smaller little island, there’s also the opportunity to horseback ride while on a day trip to Little French Key.

This cay is actually private island resort, and it offers horseback riding as one of its many activities. Little French Key offers a range of packages including different combinations of activities, so the cost may vary.

Take a glass bottom boat tour

glass bottom boat with glass panels looking below into turquoise sea

If you don’t swim, snorkel, or dive but you still want to see the bottom of the ocean, a glass bottom boat tour is a fantastic option!

Most of these boat tours depart from West Bay Beach and don’t need to be booked in advance — you can just walk along the beach and find one.

Roatan Glass Bottom Boat is the big company operating off of West Bay Beach, and it brings you over the reef with a large viewing area beneath your feet — see all the colorful coral and fish beneath you on a 45 minute tour!

You can also contact Ruthless Roatan Charters to see about their glass-bottom boat tours.

Go on an ATV island tour

atv tour roatan with a atv on the beach and caribbean sea background

If you like a little adrenaline in your day, an ATV tour may be a fun way to explore Roatán, especially if you’re visiting on a shore excursion and have limited time.

A tour like this one offers a half-day experience where you get to go on an ATV ride around the island, as well as visit a monkey and sloth sanctuary.

Book your ATV and sanctuary tour here!

Take a tour of Little French Key

waters of little french key in roatan with reef and building development as seen from above (aerial shot from drone)

One experience many people say you can’t miss on Roatán is taking a day trip to Little French Key, a stunningly beautiful private island retreats.

Off the coast of Roatán, the appropriately-named Little French Key is beloved for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling inm and a range of fun activities to suit all types of travelers.

It’s just a short boat ride from the mainland of Roatán, but you’ll feel a world away!

Whether you relax on one of comfortable loungers, shaded by a palm-thatched umbrella, and alternate sun-soaking with dips in the warm Caribbean sea, or get a little more active, Little French Key has a variety of activities for you to enjoy.

You can snorkel (equipment for rental if you don’t have your own), or you can take a glass-bottom boat tour if you prefer to stay dry!

There’s also a small animal rescue center here, complete with monkeys and parrots among other animals, or you can also go for a horseback ride or go paddle boarding.

And if you get hungry, Little French Key has a restaurant that serves a variety of dishes, including local seafood and international cuisine.

Visit Punta Gorda on a Sunday to see the Garifuna culture

Every Sunday, the normally-sleepy Punta Gorda comes to life with their Garifuna culture showcased front-and-center.

You’ll get the chance to hear Garifuna music and try local Garifuna food, a unique experience you can only have in parts of Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize.

The Garifuna are an Afro-Indigenous population with a distinct language and culture that is distinct.

We unfortunately weren’t able to time our visit for a Sunday, but we visited Punta Gorda on a sleepy Saturday, and we found the town very charming.

However, note that it is quite difficult to go to Punta Gorda as it’s located pretty much all the way on the East End of the island, and takes about 1 hour to get there by car.

It’s great if you have a rental car or are willing to hire a driver for a half-day excursion.

Typically, the scene picks up around 2 PM and winds down early in the evening.

Go kayaking through the mangroves

kayaking through a channel of the roatan mangrove forests

Upachaya Eco-Lodge and Wellness Resort, nestled on the north side of Roatan in Man O’ War Harbor, offers a unique way to explore the island’s natural beauty through their mangrove snorkeling and kayaking tour.

Mangroves, vital to the health of coastal ecosystems, create a unique environment that’s a haven for diverse marine and bird life. Upachaya’s tour is a wonderful opportunity to explore this unique ecosystem up close.

Limited to a maximum of ten participants, the tour ensures a personal and non-intrusive experience.

Starting off with a brief safety and information session, you’ll then embark on a tranquil kayak journey through the calm, clear waters of the harbor.

The dense mangrove tunnels create a serene and magical setting for the tour. As you paddle through, you might spot a variety of bird species nesting in the trees and fish darting in the shallow waters beneath your kayak.

But you won’t just kayak – snorkeling is also a possibility, and one that’s quite unique!

The mangrove tree roots provide a shelter that is a welcome respite to many different types of small fish, crabs, and the like. Snorkeling here gives you a unique perspective of this under-appreciated ecosystem!

Take a catamaran cruise

view of the town shoreline of roatan while on a catamaran

One of the most popular things to do in Roatán is take a catamaran cruise — better yet, one with an open bar!

On board a spacious catamaran, you’ll admire Roatán’s stunning coastline and Caribbean views. But the real fun begins when the catamaran drops anchor and you have the chance to don your snorkel and get exploring!

Using the snorkeling kits provided, you’ll dive into the clear waters and discover Roatan’s reef.

Home to a myriad of colorful fish and intricate coral formations, this underwater ecosystem is one of the most impressive in the Caribbean!

Back on board, you can take advantage of the open bar, offering everything from tropical cocktails to mocktails to fresh juices to cold beer. Whatever you drink, you’ll enjoy it with one of the best views on the island.

Book your catamaran cruise with open bar here!

Visit the Roatan Chocolate Factory

Allison Green wearing a striped tank top, hat, and colorful pants sitting on a colorful bench in the cafe at the roatan chocolate factory

Central America is known for its delicious chocolate, and Roatán is no exception!

Located in West End, the Roatan Chocolate Factory offers free tours of its chocolate-making facilities, and teaches you the process from bean to bar.

If you prefer to just learn through tasting, you can sample their chocolates — they’re stunning, with flavors like coconut, chili, and passionfruit — or order up something at the café.

The café is also adorably designed, so it’s a nice place to cool off and while away a bit of time while you’re exploring the West End.

They offer all sorts of chocolate-ified drinks, like frozen chocolate shakes, as well as tasty chocolate cakes and treats.

Explore the boutiques of West End Roatan

boutiques in roatan selling funky wares

There are a number of fun boutiques located in the West End of Roatán, selling everything from black coral jewelry to upscale clothing.

A particularly fun shop, the Rusty Fish, makes things only out of recycled items!

While visiting the West End, be sure to spend a little time popping into some of the small stores, where you can find all sorts of worthwhile souvenirs.

Spend a few days on Utila

the lovely waters of chepes beach with palapas in the water with little shelves for holding drinks or snacks

Utila deserves a full post of its own — click here to read my guide to Utila and all the fun things to do there!

While it’s not possible to visit Utila as a day trip due to the ferry schedule (learn more about getting from Roatan to Utila here), it’s still worth spending some time on Utila if you are visiting Honduras as an independent traveler and not as a cruise passenger.

On our trip, we spend six nights on Roatán and three nights in Utila and it was almost perfect…

I wish I had had one more day on Utila, personally, since we did so much diving that we didn’t get enough time to visit one of the pristine cayes like Water Caye or Jewel Caye.

We did, however, get to explore Pumpkin Hill (and Pumpkin Hill Cove), fit in four day dives and one night dive, explore Chepes Beach, visit the Utila Chocolate Factory and Iguana Station, and eat our hearts out!

Visit Gumbalimba Park

iguanas at gumbalimba park

A popular spot for families, Gumbalimba Park is located near the family-friendly resorts of West Bay, Roatan.

This diverse park offers a variety of attractions and activities, from an animal preserve — with free-roaming monkeys who like to hop on your shoulder and an iguana sanctuary — to ziplining canopy tours.

Among the tranquility of nature, the park also features a beautiful pool area and a tranquil beach, perfect for relaxation after a day of activities.

Take a dip in the refreshing water or lounge on the sun chairs to soak up the Caribbean sun!

Book a tour of Gumbalimba Park, including transport, here.

Visit the Carambola Gardens

Tropical, exotic two colored, bright green with blue lizard sitting on a wooden surface, looking, making eye contact

Open 8 AM to 4:30 PM daily except Sundays, the Carambola Gardens are a great place to escape the sometimes-busy vibes of Roatán, especially on a cruise day.

Tucked away in a quiet nook of Sandy Bay not far from Anthony’s Key Resort, this 40-acre botanical garden is a beautiful place to lose yourself for a little bit.

There are some jungle trails you can explore, lined with exotic flora, most endemic to the island.

The trails will bring you to different zones, each showcasing a particular plant species or ecosystem, such as the rainforest area (with mahogany and cacao trees) and the orchid area (with beautiful brilliant flowers).

Depending on the season, you may even see its namesake tree in bloom — carambola is the word for starfruit, and there’s no shortage of starfruit trees bearing fruit.

The trails will also lead you to a little ridge, where you can see stunning views over the West End and Sandy Bay!

Prices are $15 USD for entrance, including a brief tour of the gardens.

Rent a car and explore Roatan’s quiet East End

renting a red car in roatan against the blue background of the sea in camp bay at east end roatan

We loved having our own car to explore Roatán’s East End area on our own!

We visited Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout, Punta Gorda, Camp Bay Beach, and La Sirena de Camp Bay all on one day out and about, and it was the perfect quiet little excursion for us.

If you stay longer in the East End area, or are renting a car for more time, you’ll be able to explore some other scenic beaches and quiet areas of this less developed part of the island.

Do yoga with a sea view at Sundowners

yoga with a view of the sea at sundowners in west end

Every morning at 9 AM, you can do yoga with a stunning ocean view on the second floor of the popular beachfront bar, Sundowners Beach Bar in the West End.

It’s a great way to stretch out your back after a few too many dives (am I the only one who feels like a hunchback after I dive a few too many times in a row?) or just start the day off on the right foot, centered and grounded.

A drop-in class costs just $10 USD and includes mat rental.

Visit the Roatán Butterfly Garden

orange monarch butterfly on a red flower with green leaf

For a peaceful escape from cruise ship crowds and rowdy revelers, step into the Roatán Butterfly Garden, a hidden gem located in West End.

This serene and colorful oasis is home to a variety of butterfly species; the garden is a carefully designed habitat that supports a diverse population of butterflies.

From the striking blue morpho to the delicate longwings, the variety of butterflies here is truly striking!

Guided tours are available, allowing you to learn about the life cycle of butterflies, their importance in the ecosystem, and the threats they face in the wild.

But the garden isn’t home to just butterflies. As you explore, keep an eye out for the other residents. You may spot exotic birds, like the vividly colored macaws and parrots, and other creatures like iguanas.

Enjoy Roatán’s night life scene

the sundowner beach bar in roatan in west end during the day time with thatch style

I don’t drink, so I didn’t really go out and experience the nightlife scene of Roatán, but it is thriving in the West End for those who choose to seek it out!

Sundowners Beach Bar is a popular spot for music and dancing, and there are frequent karaoke nights at Blue Marlin.

Eat with hummingbirds over the sea at La Sirena de Camp Bay

the bar area and restaurant of la sirena on the water in camp bay, roatan on a sunny day

I’ve saved one of the best things to do in Roatan for last!

Having a meal at La Sirena de Camp Bay is an experience you’ll never forget: the owner, Walter, has created a little oasis at basically the very end of the island, so you feel like you’re at the edge of the world.

Hummingbirds dart all around you, drinking from a feeder, as you enjoy the view of the waves at this restaurant elevated above the crystalline waters.

Local kids nearby frolic in the waters, and the chalkboard menu reflects the catches of the day and local seafood that is so prized here.

We went with lionfish ceviche and coconut-fried lionfish fingers and both were absolutely delicious — accompanied by some coconut water, it was one of the best meals we had all trip.