Roatan, Honduras Cruise Port
- Overview of Roatan
- What language is spoken in Honduras?
- What is the national currency in Honduras?
- How do I get around Roatan?
- How can I stay in touch with home? Either via Email or phone?
- What are the top attractions and must-sees in Roatan? How long will it take me to get there and to explore?
- What are the best eats in Roatan?
- What are the must-drinks in Roatan?
- Which are the best souvenirs to buy in Roatan? Where can I get them?
- What is the weather like in Roatan?
Roatan, the largest of the Honduras Bay Islands, is located approximately 30 miles of the coast of Honduras. There are two main ports in Roatan: Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole.
The Mahogany Bay port is used mainly by Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines. Mahogany Bay is a private beach and village on the island of Roatan in Honduras. It is owned by Carnival Cruises and you access the beach by way of a chair lift from the port. It has an 825 foot long beach and numerous restaurants. The entire region contains 20 acres of waterfront and can serve up to 7,000 visitors daily.
The Coxen Hole port is used by Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruise Lines. Coxen Hole, also known as Roatan Town, is the capital of the Honduras Bay Islands and is the largest town on Roatan.↑ Back to Top
Most people speak both English and Spanish.↑ Back to Top
The Honduran Lempira (XCD) is the national currency. The current exchange rate is USD$1 to XCD$18.92 as of June 2011.
Do they accept US Dollars around the port?
US dollars are widely accepted across the island.
Where can I get or exchange money?
There is no need to exchange money if you are carrying US Dollars, as they are widely accepted. However, make sure to carry small bills as getting change for larger bills can prove difficult. Banks throughout the island will exchange other forms of currency.
- Banks closest to cruise port:
There are several banks in Coxen Hole where you can exchange money:
- Banco Atlantida in Coxen Hole and French Harbour
- Banco de Occidente in Coxen Hole
- Credomatic in Coxen Hole
- HSBC in Coxen Hole and French Harbour
- ODEF-OPAI in Coxen Hole.
- ATMs closest to cruise port:
There are ATMs at the Roatan International Airport and the HSBC at Credomatic Placa Mar, both in Coxen Hole. There are also ATMs in French Harbor at the Eldens Supermarket and several at the MegaPlaza Mall.
Be aware that ATMs are not as reliable on Roatan as you may be used to in the US or Canada and may not dispense in US Dollars, no matter what they say. Best bet may be to come prepared with cash or use the ATM in the ship's casino if you are running low on cash.
Walking around in the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center and to Mahogany Beach is easy and safe. Once in French Harbour or Coxen Hole, walking is a good way to take in the town.
There are taxis waiting in both port areas. Taxis on Roatan are not metered, so be sure to agree on the rate before getting into the cab, and confirm which currency is being quoted. Most taxi drivers can also act as tour guides for an additional fee. Taxis from Mahogany Bay will be more expensive than a return trip.
The bus system, that runs from Coxen Hole, has three routes and runs every 10 minutes. The "Ruta 2" bus will take you to West End for under USD$2 worth of Lempiras. The buses only take Lempiras, so make sure you have some local currency if you plan on taking a bus. Catch the buses in the center of Coxen Hole next to the Super Mercado about a 1/4 mile to the right as you leave the port area.
There are several car rental companies operating out of the Roatan:
- Avis has offices in the Roatan International Airport
- Ramirez Rent A Car operates out of French Harbour and offers pick up service at both cruise piers. Contact them by phone at (518)533-9800 or (518)495-4066 or by e-mail.
- Caribbean Rent A Car offers service from French Harbour and Roatan International Airport. They also offer tours for cruise passengers complete with pick-up and drop-off at the cruise port.
There are scooters, motorcycles and bicyles for rent at Captain Van's Rentals. Your rental price includes unlimited fuel as well as roundtrip transportation service from the Port of Roatan in Coxen Hole, to their West End location. If you are coming from Mahogany Bay you will pay an additional $6 per rental. It is best to make reservations ahead of time, as availability is limited.↑ Back to Top
How can I call home? Are there call centers?
Internet cafes which also offer international calling will be your best bet for calling home.
Where are the Internet cafes?
Internet access is available at most shopping malls and also at a number of Internet cafes across the island. Here are a few locations with Internet access closest to the port:
- Paradise Computers has four locations which offer Internet service, international calling and office services:
- At the cruise terminal in Coxen Hole where the cruise ships dock.
- Mango Tree Center is approximately 500 yards northeast of the port in Coxen Hole on the main road (see map.)
- In the Roatan International Airport
- In West End at the West End Divers building.
- Que Tal Cafe, located about 300 yards west of the port area in Coxen Hole(see map), is open Monday - Saturday.
- Travelers' Internet Cafe is located about 250 yards east of the port at the Welcome Plaza in Coxen Hole (see map.)
- BJ's Backyard in the beautiful Oak Ridge, located about a 40 minute drive east along the south coast from Coxen Hole, offers Internet access to its patrons.
What are the cell phone rates?↑ Back to Top
What are the top attractions and must-sees in Roatan? How long will it take me to get there and to explore?
- Sante' Wellness Center Day Spa is located approximately 15 km east of Coxen Hole on a small private quay just off the coast of Roatan, accross from Parrot Tree Plantation. This wonderful location offers professional spa services, as well as, snorkeling and diving. So if you are looking for a serene spa experience, it is just a quick boat ride accross the bay away. Contact them by email for more information.
- Roatan Iguana Farm, located near French Harbour, is an original Roatan attraction. The farm is owned by a local family. They keep several hundred iguanas on their property as a preserve. They protect the rare species which are eaten by locals and breed young iguanas to repopulate on the island.
- Anthony's Key Resort offers daily dolphin shows, dolphin encounters, snorkeling and diving with dolphins. Reservations for all Dolphin Programs must be made through the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences. Contact them by email for more information.
- West Bay Beach, also known as Tabiana Beach, is often regarded as the best beach on Roatan. Located near the southern and western most point of the island, West Bay Beach's white sand and clear water make it Roatan's most popular beach. It can get quite crowded when multiple cruise ships are in port and watch out for sand fleas (which can be said of almost any of the beaches in Roatan). A little bug spray can control the sand flea annoyance.
- Half Moon Bay, located at the entrance to West End, is an your best option if you are looking for an active beach day. Also a very popular beach with cruise ship passengers, Half Moon Bay offers a lovely beach that is lined with palm trees and a variety of beach activities, including sailing, snorkeling and diving.
- Palmetto Bay, located north of Coxen Hole, was the location of the infamous reality show Temptation Island. Its mile long of white sand and clear Caribbean waters make for a nice day at the beach. Water sports are not as accessible, although still available, as the coral reef is farther off shore than other beaches on Roatan.
Most of the best shopping on Roatan is found in Coxen Hole and French Harbour. The shops are near the cruise ports in each town and are filled with a variety of products. The vendors are known to be less pushy than other port destinations in the Caribbean and friendly to boot. The shops are often open air and not much more than Hand carved and hand sewn items are amoung the best products available among the shops.↑ Back to Top
The Black Pearl Golf Course at Pristine Bay Resort, designed by Pete Dye, is the first golf course on Roatan. It is a 7,057 yard, par 72 course located near French Harbour. Contact the course through the their website or by phone at 011-504-3358-3757↑ Back to Top
- Divers at Play takes visitors diving at any of the various sites throughout Roatan. Contact Divers at Play through their website or by phone at (954) 636-2844 in the US.
- West End Divers, located in West End, have everything from a dive shop to dive certification classes and numerous diving packages. For more information contact them by email or by phone at (786) 623-5627 in the US.
- BananaramaDive, located on West End Beach, is a full service dive resort that offers both dive and snorkel packages. For more information contact them by email or by phone at (727) 564-9058 in the US.
There are many different types of tours offered in Roatan, from favorites such as horseback riding and snorkeling to island tours which will take you to all of the main sites in Roatan. One of the most popular tours in Roatan is listed below:
- Check out this video of ziplining in Roatan.Ziplines offer an exciting way to take in the lush Roatan scenary. Almost 2 km of zip lines from 13 different platforms will safely take you through the Roatan rain forest, enjoying the colorful wildlife from up above. Clip'N'Zip Canopy Tours is one of the tour operators that offers this thrill ride. Contact them for reservations by email or phone at 011-504-9965-2135.
Iguana, is what's for dinner! Ok, not an ad campaign that will catch on in the states, but in Roatan iguana a part of the local fare. However, you may just want to stick with the fresh seafood that is excellent and fresh. From crabs to pan broiled fish, seafood↑ Back to Top
Salva Vida (translates as "Life Saver") is the popular beer on Roatan. You can find it at pretty much any restaurant and bar around town.↑ Back to Top
Coffee from Honduras is not only good, but makes a great souvenir. Try Cafe Copan or Honduras Coffee Company coffee.
Hammocks make a great gift and allow you to take a piece of island life back home with you. Tie it to your favorite shade tree and slowly swing while remembering your time in the tropics.
Items made from mahogany make very good souvenirs from Roatan. A chest, coffee table or even a small hand carved statue made from quality mahogany, which is in abundance on the Honduran mainland, make a great gift. Ask the store owner about accomodating delivery for larger items.↑ Back to Top