Roatan Shore Excursion Reviews

Popular Things to Do in Roatan

If you are over the bustling, tourist-centric cruise ports commonly found on Caribbean cruise itineraries, Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras with roughly 50,000 residents, might be just the change you're looking for. The pace on Roatan is slow and ultrarelaxing, especially on its beautiful, white-sand beaches. It's an excellent spot for diving and snorkeling shore excursions -- the coral reefs are truly amazing and its waters are home to a stunning array of sea life including whale sharks, barracudas, manta rays and sea turtles. Of course, in waters this welcoming, water sports are another great excursion option.

Honduras is located near the equator, but isn't quite as hot as some other destinations in this area. Keep in mind that summer in Honduras is actually winter in the U.S. (and vice versa). Daily rain isn't uncommon in Roatan. Spanish is the official language, but English is also widely spoken. Currency is the lempira, but U.S. dollars are accepted in many places.

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Food and Drink in Roatan

Editor's Note: Addresses in Roatan do not exist the way we know them. We've included pertinent location information; locals and cabbies will be able to point the way.

One of the best drinks on the island is Salva Vida, a famed local beer. It can be found at just about any bar or restaurant. If you're not the beer-drinking type, pina coladas are always a sure bet.

Eldon's Supermarket: In the center of Coxen Hole, Eldon's Supermarket's cafeteria scrambles up eggs, along with fried beans and tortillas. (main street, Coxen Hole; open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; +504-2455-7518)

The Lighthouse: The Lighthouse, located in West End on the south side of the point, offers some of the best fish tacos, grilled lobster and conch soup on the island. (West End; +504-2445-4505 or +504-9728-5096; open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Trattoria da Piero: This restaurant, found at the Las Rocas Resort, is set on a rocky point at West Bay and known for authentic Bay Island dishes like shrimp with rice, chicken in coconut milk and beef in coconut milk. (open for lunch and dinner daily, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

Pura Vida: Pura Vida, at the Splash Inn in the center of West End, cooks up homemade pasta, pizza and seafood. (West End; +504-9626-7919; open daily, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)

Dale's Restaurant: Located along the water on the road from Coxen Hole to Little French Cay, Dale's Restaurant specializes in Honduran food, buffet style.

Fruit Carts: Just outside the Coxen Hole port gates, you'll find local vendors who drive by with fruit carts. Try fresh, sweet slices of local pineapple for just a dollar or two.

Beaches in Roatan

Best Beach for an Active Day: West End offers beaches, coral reefs for snorkeling, eateries and water sports like sea kayaking, diving and sailing. At the entrance to West End is palm-lined Half Moon Bay beach. Be prepared for large crowds on days when ships are in port.

Best Beach for Families: West Bay Beach, near the southern tip of the island, features clear, shallow water (about 5 feet deep) teeming with coral and colorful fish right offshore. The entrance fee is $10, which includes either a drink or the use of a beach chair, as well as access to showers and changing rooms.

Best Secluded Beach: Camp Bay Beach, past the village of Diamond Rock, is a 2-mile idyllic stretch of white sand with swaying coconut palms -- perfect for snuggling. Rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle for the unpaved road, and don't forget a picnic lunch.

Don't Miss in Roatan

Snorkeling and Kayaking: After paddling down the coastline at either Half Moon Beach or West Bay Beach, leave your kayak ashore to explore the magical coral reefs with your mask and snorkel. Snorkeling equipment is available for rent through tour operators, as well as dive shops, some restaurants and gift shops.

Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout: Obsessed with sloths? This is your chance to hold one, along with monkeys, scarlet macaws and other exotic animals. Set up an independent tour by Googling the establishment's Facebook page and sending a private message. Transportation is provided as part of the tour cost (cash only, paid upon arrival). (French Cay; +504-3174-5185; open daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

The Butterfly Farm: This fun attraction is located just before the entrance to West End. Hundreds of exquisite butterflies, representing 15 to 20 species, flit around in a 3,000-square-foot enclosure. Don't forget your binoculars and camera. (south side of main road at entrance to West End; +504-2445-4481; guided tours daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Scuba-diving: Roatan Dive Center at Sueno Del Mar, voted best on Roatan by Scuba Diving magazine, offers introductory diving lessons. Certified juniors, ages 10 to 15 years, must dive with an adult. (West End; +504-8880-3736 or +504-2455-4383;

Horseback Riding: Kids and beginners can join experienced equestrians in a memorable horseback riding trip to various locations at El Rancho Barrio Dorcas. (on the road from Sandy Bay to West End, across from Tropico Italiano; 1-888-200-7702; guided tours daily, times set with advance notice; 1-888-200-7702;

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