Roatán, located between the islands of Utila and Guanaja, is the largest of Honduras’ bay islands.
The island was formerly known as Ruatan and Rattan. It is aprox 60 km (37 miles) long and less than 8 km (5.0 miles) wide at its widest point.
The bay islands, originally populated by the Payan Indians, were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502. They remained under Spanish influence for many years until England established a colony in 1638. During the 18th and 19th century, a wide variety of people arrived on the islands, including some famous pirates like Henry Morgan, who used Roatan as his home base for many years.
In the 1830s, the Garifunas (black Caribs from St. Vincent) arrived on the island, shortly after the Britain’s abolition of slavery. Many migrated to the main land, and some settled in the village of Punta Gorda, where they still live.
Roatan lies on the southern edge of the Mesoamerican Reef System, the second largest barrier reef in the world, remaining relatively unspoilt in comparison with other more well known islands.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT DIVING
Our island has plenty of things to do while you are waiting for your next dive. Here are a few suggestions.
Carambola Botanical Gardens
Located in Sandy Bay, a 5-minute walk from our diveshop, the gardens and nature trails abound with hundreds of tropical plants, bananas, hibiscus, jungle cactus, chocolate trees, …
Choose any of the trails in The Gardens and enjoy the jungle or the mountain views of the Caribbean Reef.
Located at the entrance of West Bay Village, you will see and learn about of some of Honduras’ most colorful butterflies.
On any given day, there are around 15 to 20 species of butterflies with about 200 individuals.
This is also a perfect place to see and learn about Roatan tropical trees like cashew, mango, papaya, tamarind, key lime, sugar cane, breadfruit, and tropical plants including more than 25 varieties of hibiscus flowers, crotons, orchids, jasmine, ginger, lantanas, and parrot flowers.
The garden is also home to many hummingbirds and a small group of parrots, macaws, and toucans that have been acquired as rescue birds.
Located just past French Harbor, the Iguana Farm was started about 17 years ago by Sherman Arch. Iguanas have long been the main ingredient for island stews, even though today they are a protected species.
Currently, there are about 200 iguanas roaming freely on the property. Every year, iguanas are released into the wild in order to maintain the native reptile population on the island.
Enjoy the beauty of West Bay Beach, visit the laid back West End Village, and take a trip to the east end of the island.
We will recommend the best things for you to do, rent a car or scooter, arrange for a canopy tour, recommend restaurants, tell you about Roatan’s night life, and whatever else you may want to know, to give you the best taste of our paradise!