Roatan, Honduras – The Other Caribbean
Most everyone is familiar with at least a few Caribbean islands like Sint Maarten, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica and Grand Cayman but there are a number of lesser known tropical islands that share that same Caribbean Sea.
Roatan is the largest of the Honduran Bay Islands in the Caribbean and is becoming a popular cruise itinerary destination. Like many Caribbean destinations it is recognized for its beautiful beaches, water sports, including premier scuba and skin diving, and modern resorts. It also has a growing number of American and Canadian ex-patriots and seasonal residents attracted by its beauty and low cost of living. To accommodate more cruise ships the Honduras government and Carnival Cruise Line developed Mahogany Bay with modern cruise ship docks, a well equipped duty free shopping village and a beautiful beach recreation area with great facilities and water sports.
Where You Dock
Most Cruise ships are now docking at the Mahogany Bay facility on the southwest coast.
Mahogany Bay was built by Carnival Corporation with a man-made beach nearby, water-sport rental, snorkeling from that beach, a zipline canopy tour and several bars and restaurants at the beach area. In the village are all the standard shops including Diamonds International, Tanzanite International, a Harley Davidson store, pharmacy, and a number of local gift shops and stalls.
In addition to Mahogany Bay there is also the Port of Roatan located a bit farther west past Barrio Loma Linda where occasionally cruise ships may still dock. It is about five miles between the two port facilities.
The best way to get around Roatan is by hired taxi or a rental car. Taxi’s are inexpensive and drivers are eager to negotiate an island tour at a good price (share with other passengers and save more). Rental cars are readily available as low as US$11 per day (Expedia examples HERE) with a couple of offices near Mahogany Bay.
The local currency is the Honduras Lempira with one being worth about US 5¢. US Dollars are usually welcome and most major credit cards are accepted.
Outdoor recreation is the focus on this Caribbean island with sandy beaches and clear, warm water being the central attraction. There are also several zip line facilities on the island and a dolphin encounter at Anthony’s Key Resort that’s very popular.
If your ship docks at Mahogany Bay you can spend the day right at the ports beautiful beach. It’s equipped with water sports equipment, beach loungers and umbrellas with a number of excursions leaving right from the cruise port.
A little over a mile from Mahogany Bay is the town of Barrio Loma Linda. It is not a resort area but a typical small Honduran town with stores and restaurants along with a couple of crafts shops working in leather and wood.