If you’ve wanted to visit a place in the Caribbean where you’re guaranteed to have warm weather and some of the cheapest scuba diving anywhere in the world, you should make your way to Roatan, one of the Bay Islands off the north coast of Honduras in Central America. There are plenty of places to stay in Roatan that can accommodate any type of traveller, from high end resort dwellers to backpacking hostellers. This article will go over some of the specifics of what you might want to know when it comes to getting to Roatan.
There are several North and Central American cities with direct flights to Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (RTB) in Roatan. If you’re flying from Central America, Avianca out of San Salvador or Tropic Air out of Belize City fly directly to RTB. Cayman Airways from Grand Cayman is a direct flight within the Caribbean. The Canadian options are with Air Transat and Sunwing who fly direct out of both Montreal and Toronto. In the United States, American Airlines flies out of Miami and Dallas while United Airlines flies out of Houston. Within Honduras itself, local companies Islena, Sosa, Lanhsa and CM Airlines all have several daily flights to Roatan from San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, Utila and Guanaja.
A ferry known as the Galaxy Wave Ferry leaves from La Ceiba from the dock called Muelle de Cabotaje twice a day. It lands in Dixon Cove, Roatan, which is midway between French Harbour and Coxen Hole. Depending on the weather, the ride can be a little rough at times. If you forgot to pack Gravol, don’t worry the staff at the ferry have plenty on hand for passengers.
Roatan has two large cruise ship ports that brings plenty of visitors to the island. Cruise lines that dock in Roatan are Norwegian Cruiselines, Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Costa Crociere. The ships dock at either Mahogany Bay Cruise Terminal in Dixon Cove or the Port of Roatan in Coxen Hole.
Customs And Immigration
Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months after your arrival in the country. Tourist visas are granted upon arrival to North Americans so there is no need to acquire a visa beforehand. For a list of countries that need to pre-apply for a visa, the Honduran Institute of Tourism website has the full list. Tourist visas last for a maximum of three months. To renew your visa you need to leave the country for at least three days before you return.
There is a departure tax that needs to be paid when leaving the country. The price varies depending on the traveller’s country of residence, so checking the Honduran Institute of Tourism website to find the exact price prior to departure is recommended. Often, international airlines have this fee already included in their airfare but make sure to confirm.
If you are travelling from a country where diseases such as rubella, rabies, hepatitis or yellow fever are likely, you’ll need to show proof of vaccination.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
The official currency in Honduras is Lempiras, although you can use US dollars. However, be aware you may receive a lower exchange rate when not using the local currency. If you do use US dollars, try not to bring large denominations as big bills (over 20 dollars) are rarely accepted – even at banks. Overly worn or torn bills may also pose a problem. The electricity is 120V 60Hz so you would use the same type of plugs as you would in North America. There are frequent power outages on the island. Spanish is the national language, although English is commonly spoken in Roatan. When looking for places to stay in Roatan, you may find vacation rentals more economical and personal than large resort hotels, although our island offers the full range of accommodations from all inclusive resorts to backpacker hostels that will suit any budget or taste.