Roatán is one of the most popular places in Honduras for those looking for that perfect tropical vacation. There are direct flights to Roatán from Italy, Canada, and the United States, and those on holiday from the latter are happy to find that the primary language spoken is English. The island of Roatán is laden with white sandy beaches, and surrounded by coral reefs, which makes it a diving and snorkeling haven.
Roatán is the largest of the Bay Islands. It is a long, narrow, hilly island, almost 60 km long (about 37 miles) and only 5 km wide (3 miles) at its widest spot. It’s rolling hills and mountains, with a maximum altitude above sea level of approximately 900 feet, makes every piece of property virtually a unique ocean view lot. The island is completely surrounded by a large reef system, part of the Mesoamerican reef which boasts the largest marine biodiversity in the world and is part of the second longest barrier reef in the World, extending itself from the Bay Islands in Honduras on the south end to the Mexican islands of Contoy, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel to the North.
The coast line of Roatán has outstanding white sand beaches, iron shore bluffs and mangrove forests surrounding the island. The combination is almost perfect and provides the best of all three worlds, tropical beaches, such as the one in West Bay is considered the best beach in Central America and one of the best in the world; The iron shore bluffs offer some of the best ocean front views on the island, and the mangrove swamps offer an insight to the tropical wetlands of the Caribbean and Central America.
In addition, the original vegetation of the island can still be seen on the eastern end of the island, here you will find the presence of the unique Caribbean Pine, a species of pine tree that has adapted itself to the hot, lowlands of the island, and that is unique to the Bay Islands of Roatán, Barbaretta and Guanaja. This pine species can also be found in the Honduran mainland, specifically in coastal areas. The pine forests coexist with an oak forest that gave its name to one of the most important cities in Roatán: Oakridge.
Most of the islands communities have English names. This is due to the fact that the islands were part of the British Empire until they were ceded to the country of Honduras in 1859 – 1860 as part of the treaty of Comayagua. Since the original settlers were brits from the Cayman Islands, they named the different communities with English names, that have persisted to this day.
Names such as Coxen Hole, French Harbour, Oakridge, Calabash Bight, Politilly Bight, Sandy Bay, Flowers Bay, etc. are all proof of the above. The descendants of the original settlers all have English names, Bodden, McNab, Hyde, Jackson, McLaughlin are all common names on the island, and to this day, islanders prefer to speak English over Spanish, which is the official language of Honduras.
Roatán has two different private cruise ship terminals, an international airport and regularly scheduled passenger ferry service from the port city of La Ceiba in mainland Honduras. It has a main highway that serves as a backbone to the island, linking West End, the westernmost community on the island to Camp Bay and Old Port Royal, the easternmost communities on Roatán. The majority of this road is paved, and the part that isn’t paved is an all-weather dirt road that can be driven throughout the year. Many less important roads interconnect with the main road and lead to smaller villages as well as to modern resort developments on the island.
Politically the island is divided in two municipalities: The Municipality of Roatán, with its seat of government in Coxen Hole, and the Municipality of Santos Guardiola, with its seat of government in Oakridge. There is no doubt that the most developed part of the island is in the municipality of Roatán. The airport, ferry terminal and both cruise ship terminals are within its limits. In addition, the most developed tourism center on the island, West Bay, is also within its limits, and many of the most important projects are here: The Black Pearl Golf Club, Roatán’s only golf course is a perfect example.
You can download the following documents.
Flyer (700 KB)
Information Sheet (4.5 MB)
- Mayan Princess Beach Resort
- Mayan Divers
Registration Package (338 KB)
Click on map below for larger view. Download pdf map.