Geotourism MapGuide: A travel guide to the places most respected and recommended by locals.
inspire me!
Inspire Me!
Review great places recommended by locals. Give thumbs up or add to your Trip Planner.
Show Me:
Photo © Chris Benson - Roatan Faces
Photo © Chris Benson - West Bay Beach
Photo © Chris Benson - Roatan Faces
Photo © Chris Benson - West Bay Beach
  • .
  • .
Roatán, Honduras

Welcome to Roatán, the largest of the three Bay Islands nestled in the warm waters 33 miles off of Honduras’ Caribbean coast. As part of the Mesoamerican Reef (the second largest reef in the world), Roatán boasts world-class diving and snorkeling via one of the most accessible reefs in all of the Caribbean. Roatán retains its authenticity as a real Caribbean island with its vibrant Caracol and Garifuna cultures and local traditions that run deep.

Although cruise ships do stop here…don’t expect South Beach Miami. From Roatán’s East End that feels stopped in time to its West End that caters to international tourists while maintaining a funky vibe…Roatán is home to an underwater paradise and lots to see above the water line as well.

Roatán is about 64 kilometers (40 miles) long and just 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide at its widest point, and the island is surrounded by over 97 kilometers (60 miles) of living reef, making it a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Part of the world's second largest barrier reef system, Roatán's waters are teeming with colorful coral and marine life. Dozens of world-class diving and snorkeling sites are accessible from idyllic beaches around the island and through numerous tour operators, primarily located in West End village.

Roatán is about 64 kilometers (40 miles) long and just 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide at its widest point, and the island is surrounded by over 97 kilometers (60 miles) of living reef, making it a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Part of the world's second largest barrier reef system, Roatán's waters are teeming with colorful coral and marine life. Dozens of world-class diving and snorkeling sites are accessible from idyllic beaches around the island and through numerous tour operators, primarily located in West End village.

Today, tourism has overtaken commercial fishing as Roatán's top industry with an increasing number of cruise ship passengers, a large second home market, and diving enthusiasts. Roatán is also a popular stop on the traditional Central America backpacker route.

The main strip of the island is the coastal beach town of West End which also doubles as the islands main tourism hub and its center for diving. West End features a wide variety of bars and restaurants ranging from Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, Argentinian, Mexican, American, Jamaican, Honduran and local island style cuisine. Because of these various different cultures West End offers some of the best dining, not only on Roatán but Central America as well.

Roatán is also home to the Roatán Marine Park (RMP) is a grass roots, community-based, non-profit organization located on Roatan. The organization was formed in January 2005 when a group of concerned dive operators and local businesses united in an effort to protect Roatán’s fragile coral reefs. Initially, the RMP's goal was to run a patrol program within the Sandy Bay-West End Marine Reserve (SBWEMR), to prevent over exploitation through unsustainable fishing practices. Over time, the organization expanded the scope of their environmental efforts through the addition of other programs to protect Roataán’s natural resources, including patrols and infrastructure, education, conservation and public awareness.

English is the first language of all native islanders regardless of race and Spanish is spoken second, whereas mainland Honduras is primarily Spanish speaking. It remains this way because of the islands past as a British colony as well as all islanders being the descendants of the British Isles.

-+
AtlasHybrid.Imagery(Satellite)OpenStreetMap

Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of the National Geographic Society.

Quick Facts