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Most Roatan-y Way to Spend a Port Day


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So my title kind of says it all--I'm looking for the most Roatan-y way to spend a day in port. I hesitate to use the word authentic--as that implies that other pursuits are not authentic and that's just not true; every travel experience is authentic in its way, so that sounds pretentious. But authentic would be the closest word I could find--other than "Roatan-y".

 

I will likely not return to Roatan, so I'd like to do whatever it is that people go there to do. Though sadly I do not dive, and that's my understanding of what people go there to do. Initially I wanted to go to Little French Key, having seen a cursory photo or two. But then I read about it and said no. In that same vein, I have zero interest in anything involving animals. No monkeys, no sloths, no big cats on chains forced to swim in the ocean. 

 

After reading A LOT of these posts on this forum, my current plan is to do a snorkel trip with Roatan Eco Tours. Since it seems that diving is where it's at here--and I don't dive--snorkeling seems the second best option. Also there's some mention of going to a little local restaurant after the snorkel, so that's nice too. But if there's a way to do anything on your own--or something more Roatan-y than the snorkel trip--I'm totally open to it. 

We sail in a little over a month; I just booked the other day. So this trip is coming together quickly. Thanks for any input! 

Oh, and if this helps, for my other port days I'm doing: 

 

Costa Maya. Maya Chan for a beach day. I realize I should do ruins here but I can only do one ruins tour and I'm doing...

Belize City. Lamanai Ruins.

Ocean Key (MSC). Beach day; maybe a jet ski or some SUP boarding. 

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Snorkeling tour and beach are perfect.... you will be amazed, even snorkeling at the fishlife.  Roatan is famous for the scuba diving, but the snorkeling is also considered fantastic for that reason, plus the reefs are so close to shore there plus very light current.  IMHO - Roatan and Bonaire have the best snorkeling in the Caribbean, hands down.

Do take bug spray for your legs after snorkeling though.  The beaches do have some sand fleas..it is a jungle island in every sense of the word.  

And do understand that Roatan is part of a third world country.  Most inhabitants live in poverty, so they will be selling trinkets everywhere you go...it is their means of putting food on the table for their families.  

We love Roatan.

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First off, Roatan is not Cozumel.  It’s not even Costa Maya.  Cabs are not regulated and, while you may find a reasonable fare over to West Bay beach, the return trip may not be so reasonable.  That said, I love Roatan as much as, or more than any other island.  There is no comparison to the snorkeling from the beach anywhere I have been except perhaps Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.   We have used Victor Bodden several times.  His “Best of” tour is really just having a driver for the day. Tell the driver where you want to go and to hang close for when you’re ready to go somewhere else.  We have snorkeled West Bay Beach and Half Moon Bay over by West End Village.  Both were top notch.  There is a restaurant in West End called El Bosque that has always been excellent.  There are a number of other restaurants in West End that I have heard good things about.  Last year we ate at the restaurant at Paradise Beach Resort on West Bay and it was not good.  Overpriced tourist food.  If you really feel adventurous you can snorkel West Bay for a few hours in the morning, then head east to Temporary Cal’s Cantina. It’s a hike over there but we really love it.  Local place sitting atop a hill with outdoor seating overlooking the Caribbean.  

 

We also did a ship excursion years ago to Maya Key, a private island near the airport.  Very nice day with a small pool and snorkeling from a very long pier that takes you right out to the reef.  The food was good also.  

 

Keep reading this Roatan forum for lots of other good ideas.  Many folks speak highly of Rony’s Tour service and we used Shore Excursioneer the time we went to Paradise Beach Resort.  While I can’t recommend the resort, the service provided by Shore Excursioneer was excellent.  

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15 hours ago, pf778c said:

Do you ride?  I can recommend a stable that gives tours around the surrounding countryside, otherwise you're right; the main reason to visit is for the diving.

 

Do I ride regularly? No. Can I? Yes. That sounds interesting! 

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8 hours ago, elbodans said:

Do I ride regularly? No. Can I? Yes. That sounds interesting! 

 

The place I rode with was El Rancho Barrio Dorcas. They are a small family-owned operation and arranged for transportation for me from the port with another family member who is a taxi driver.  Nothing luxurious, but very convenient!  He also took me rum shopping after the ride (I was able to find a great price on some Ron Zacapa - my idea of the prefect souvenir!).

 

The ride was through the backcountry, along the beach, and through the mangroves; about an hour and a half total.  The horses were well cared for, and steady.  Tack was Western.  They request a 10% deposit via PayPal, and the remainder in cash, as they cannot process credit cards.  Being Honduras, US$ are acceptable; just make sure they are not torn or wrinkly.  Contact info is:  Roosmarie Maten, North America toll-free:  888-200-7702 or locally 504-9687-1067 / 504-9555-4880.  This was in 2016, so prices and procedures may have changed, but their website appears to still be active.

2FLAqLsxT9K2iqGNHhPrjA?viewBox=1263%2C947&ownerId=A16EAAEBB2RKWB

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8 hours ago, pf778c said:

 

The place I rode with was El Rancho Barrio Dorcas. They are a small family-owned operation and arranged for transportation for me from the port with another family member who is a taxi driver.  Nothing luxurious, but very convenient!  He also took me rum shopping after the ride (I was able to find a great price on some Ron Zacapa - my idea of the prefect souvenir!).

 

The ride was through the backcountry, along the beach, and through the mangroves; about an hour and a half total.  The horses were well cared for, and steady.  Tack was Western.  They request a 10% deposit via PayPal, and the remainder in cash, as they cannot process credit cards.  Being Honduras, US$ are acceptable; just make sure they are not torn or wrinkly.  Contact info is:  Roosmarie Maten, North America toll-free:  888-200-7702 or locally 504-9687-1067 / 504-9555-4880.  This was in 2016, so prices and procedures may have changed, but their website appears to still be active.

2FLAqLsxT9K2iqGNHhPrjA?viewBox=1263%2C947&ownerId=A16EAAEBB2RKWB

 

Fantastic! Thanks so much!!! 

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