Roatan Divers and Roatan Divers Sandy Bay are conveniently located in the hearts of West End and Sandy Bay, and there are many affordable accommodation options located within walking distance of the dive shops. Small basic apartments can be found from around $350 per month. Accommodation with A/C starts from around $500 per month. In general, accommodation in Sandy Bay is more affordable than in West End.
While there are many apartments available for rent in this area, the challenge is that many of them will not be posted online. Apartments found online are generally meant for more short term stays and thus might be a out of budget for many. We recommend finding lodging for a few nights or a week while you get settled in and can search for a larger apartment that fits what you’re looking for.
Whether you’re traveling with a friend or as a solo traveler, we are happy to help you find the accommodation that is right for you!
The benefit of Roatan's international community is that there are tons of different foods to cover every appetite! In West End alone, we have local food (baleadas, pastelitos and almuerzos), hamburgers, Thai, sushi, Indian, Italian, tapas, Asian fusion and Western food (and then some). We definitely recommend taking advantage of the great street food available in West End at least once, and we are not ashamed to admit that we eat from the gas station more often than not. Roatan has a variety of foods to match a variety of budgets, so you can eat for as cheap or as expensive as you'd like.
The large grocery store on the island is Eldon's and is located in Coxen Hole. They have a wide variety of foods and typically accommodate special dietary needs with their "Western Foods" section.
We are accessible by direct international flights from San Salvador, Belize, Houston, Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Toronto and Quebec. The following airlines offer services fly to Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (airport code RTB) directly here on the island.
CM Airlines (this carrier offers regional flights to the island from Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Belize, Guatemala & El Salvador)
All private taxis that leave from the airport are $25 to West End, slightly more if you're going to West Bay. If you leave the airport and catch a taxi from across the street, you can get "collectivo" pricing for about $5 per person to take you into town, but that requires you to know what to ask, what taxi to find, etc, so if it's your first time on the island it's better to just take the private taxi so that you can start your vacation on a smooth, easy note.
The Galaxy Wave offers ferry service twice daily to Roatan from La Ceiba, on the mainland of Honduras. Travel time is about 70-75 minutes one way. To see their schedule and pricing, please click here.
The Utila Dream offers ferry service from to Roatan from Utila. To see their schedule and pricing, please click here.
The ferry Terminal is located in Dixon Cove, which is just east of Coxen Hole. You can catch a "collectivo" taxi from the ferry port for $5 per person (make sure to haggle down to that price) or a private taxi for $25 to West End. You might balk at the price, but it's 18 miles from the ferry port to West End, so it's not exactly a short trip. Remember, transport will not be as cheap on the island as it is on the mainland because our distances are longer and it's an island.
How do I get around the island?
There are several different ways to travel around Roatan. Since Roatan is 37 miles long, you're definitely going to need wheels at some point. Scooter and car rentals are very reasonable on the island, and if you're doing long distance hauls, I would recommend cars over scooters since our driving can be a little crazy and the roads aren't always paved or well-maintained. You can also take private taxis or "collectivo" taxis and buses, which are public transports that pick people up and drop people off as they go along. A "collectivo" taxi will cost 45 lempiras from West End to Coxen Hole.
The only place that you can really catch a boat to travel is between West End and West Bay. Because of the island's hilly topography, water taxis are quicker than cars, and will cost you $3 per person each way. They normally need minimum three people to go, so if it's just two of you and you don't want to wait, it will be $5 per person, or $10 in total.
What is the accepted currency?
We accept Honduran lempiras and US dollars on Roatan. You can pay in one currency and get another back in change and even pay a bill with both currencies! As a general recommendation, you should carry small denominations of US dollars as many places will not have the capability to handle larger bills, like $100 bills. $1 and $5 bills will make you every business' best friend here.
If you are paying in US dollar bills, please be advised that the bills must be clean and without any rips.
Can I use credit cards on Roatan?
Credit cards may have taken over the world, but Roatan is still a cash-friendly island. A lot of places will not accept credit card or can attach up to a 22% fee. Remember, most local businesses pay their staff and all expenses in cash, and a lot of small, local businesses won’t have bank accounts, so they really can’t take credit cards.
What is the tipping policy on Roatan?
Whenever you travel somewhere, regardless of what your tipping practices are back home, it's important to know your destination's tipping policies. Tipping practices on Roatan are similar to the United States, not just for restaurants, but for tourism related activities as well. We've given an easy guideline breakdown to make things easier for you once you arrive!
RESTAURANTS: Some restaurants will have gratuity included on their tabs while others do not, so make sure to check your receipt prior to settling. In general, tips are 10% - 20% of the pre-tax meal (even if you're taking food to go without table service, drop a dollar or two to the tip jar).
SCUBA DIVING: For diving and other tourism activities, tipping is not required, but encouraged. There's no set standard for tips in diving, but the generally accepted practice is $5 per person per dive, or 10-20% of your final bill. Some centers pool their tips and some do not, so please keep your dive center's tipping practices in mind when you're designating the tips. If the tips are not pooled, please make sure not to forget about the captains. They work hard to make your diving easy!
ISLAND TOURS: If you're on a guided tour of the island and you feel the guide went above and beyond, then tipping $5 or $10 extra is a great bonus for them. If the guide and the driver are separate, then please also make sure to remember the driver.
SUPERMARKETS: If you're shopping at Eldon's Supermarket or Plaza Mar, the youth that help bag groceries and carry your bags don't work for salary, only for tips, so please make sure to give them at least 20 lempiras (roughly $1) if they help you out and carry your bags to your car. For larger hauls, you should give 20 to 40 lempiras extra. It's not a lot to you, but it does make a big difference for them.
TAXIS AND WATER TAXIS: For taxis and water taxis, the price you agree on is the final price, so you do not need to tip them for a journey alone. Of course, if you're coming from the airport and have two 90 pound bags that your driver hauls up to the third floor for you, then you can give them a little extra for the effort.
Prices should be negotiated before you get in. If a driver tries to charge you an exorbitant fee, walk away. There will be other drivers that will offer a fair price.
These are all guidelines, not requirements, and as with everywhere else, tipping should be a reward for good service. If you feel you received poor service, you are not obligated to tip. If someone tries to pressure or force you into tipping, please notify their management.
Are there ATMs on the island?
If you’re not comfortable bringing a lot of cash to the island, then there are ATMs around the island that you can use. The ATM at the airport is easy because you can take out cash on arrival, up to $500 in US dollars or 5,000 lempiras. Only one of the ATMs at the airport gives US dollars and is the only one on the island to do so, so make sure you get the right one! You can also use the ATM at the PetroSun in West End or the ATM at Banco Atlantida in Coxen Hole. Since none of the ATMs have a very high withdrawal amount and can often be out of service or cash, another great option is cash advance from Banco Atlantida in Coxen Hole, where you can take out up to 20,000 lempiras with a bank teller by just showing your card and ID, and there’s no fees on this end.
For more information about currency on Roatan, check out our dedicated Top Five Tips post!