Mel’s Roatan guidebook

Mel
Mel’s Roatan guidebook

Neighbourhoods

Sandy Bay is a rather long, stretched out community, generally divided into the section that is west of Anthony’s Key, and the section that is east of Anthony’s Key, with a stretch of beach on each of these sections. Sandy Bay is a mix of residential and businesses, including the Mayan Jungle Zipline (hostel guests get a discount), several dive shops, the Carambola Botanical Gardens, several restaurants including Papa Bones Pizza, The Sunken Fish, The Beach Grill, Pirate's Den. Sandy Bay has a well stocked grocery store, Ramirez, which also sells a selection of wines and alcohol, and is a 3 min walk from the hostel. There are quite a few comedores, which are little local eateries that sell inexpensive local food. There’s great snorkeling off of either beach area in Sandy Bay, about a 400 meter swim from shore. Snorkel gear can be rented from the hostel for $5/day
7 recommandé par les habitants
Sandy Bay
7 recommandé par les habitants
Sandy Bay is a rather long, stretched out community, generally divided into the section that is west of Anthony’s Key, and the section that is east of Anthony’s Key, with a stretch of beach on each of these sections. Sandy Bay is a mix of residential and businesses, including the Mayan Jungle Zipline (hostel guests get a discount), several dive shops, the Carambola Botanical Gardens, several restaurants including Papa Bones Pizza, The Sunken Fish, The Beach Grill, Pirate's Den. Sandy Bay has a well stocked grocery store, Ramirez, which also sells a selection of wines and alcohol, and is a 3 min walk from the hostel. There are quite a few comedores, which are little local eateries that sell inexpensive local food. There’s great snorkeling off of either beach area in Sandy Bay, about a 400 meter swim from shore. Snorkel gear can be rented from the hostel for $5/day
West Bay is the most famous beach on the island, and is located about a 10 km drive from the hostel. The easiest way to get there is to take a bus or taxi to West End, and then a water taxi from there, but if you rent a car, you can drive the whole way. The beach is public access, however resorts and restaurants usually charge if you want to use their chairs. Dining is typically pricier in West Bay, however Totally Tacos (located next to the West Bay Mall) has very reasonable pricing and offers a discount with the hostel VIP card. Beachers is right on the water, has ok pricing, and will let you use their chairs as long as you consume something. There’s great snorkeling from West Bay, very close to the shore if you go to the south-most part of the beach.
15 recommandé par les habitants
West Bay
15 recommandé par les habitants
West Bay is the most famous beach on the island, and is located about a 10 km drive from the hostel. The easiest way to get there is to take a bus or taxi to West End, and then a water taxi from there, but if you rent a car, you can drive the whole way. The beach is public access, however resorts and restaurants usually charge if you want to use their chairs. Dining is typically pricier in West Bay, however Totally Tacos (located next to the West Bay Mall) has very reasonable pricing and offers a discount with the hostel VIP card. Beachers is right on the water, has ok pricing, and will let you use their chairs as long as you consume something. There’s great snorkeling from West Bay, very close to the shore if you go to the south-most part of the beach.
Coxen Hole is a little gritty feeling, but is an essential area of the island, home to many government offices including immigration (if you need to apply for a visa extension), City Hall, and the land registry, as well as many banks and multiple grocery stores and hardware stores. It is also the location of one of the cruise ship ports (Port of Roatan), and as such, there are many small vendors plying souvenirs. If you’re looking for a colourful mercado area, you might be a bit disappointed in what you find, but there is a market area that has fruit and vegetable stalls, and you can often find people with coolers selling fresh-frozen seafood. Coxen Hole is the terminal point for all the bus routes
10 recommandé par les habitants
Aéroport de Coxen Hole
10 recommandé par les habitants
Coxen Hole is a little gritty feeling, but is an essential area of the island, home to many government offices including immigration (if you need to apply for a visa extension), City Hall, and the land registry, as well as many banks and multiple grocery stores and hardware stores. It is also the location of one of the cruise ship ports (Port of Roatan), and as such, there are many small vendors plying souvenirs. If you’re looking for a colourful mercado area, you might be a bit disappointed in what you find, but there is a market area that has fruit and vegetable stalls, and you can often find people with coolers selling fresh-frozen seafood. Coxen Hole is the terminal point for all the bus routes
West End is located 4 km west of Sandy Bay, and is a touristy hub lined with bars, restaurants, souvenir stores and dive shops, including Eco Divers, which offers hostel guests an incredible discount. Easily accessed by bus or taxi. Good, not as pricey food options in West End include Rotisserie Chicken, Cannibal Café, and various street vendors. Popular spots for a drink are Sundowners (particularly around 4-6pm), The Blue Marlin, and The Booty Bar, but there are plenty of others to choose from. There is a Mares store as well as a Cressi store if you want to purchase any diving or snorkel gear.
34 recommandé par les habitants
West End
34 recommandé par les habitants
West End is located 4 km west of Sandy Bay, and is a touristy hub lined with bars, restaurants, souvenir stores and dive shops, including Eco Divers, which offers hostel guests an incredible discount. Easily accessed by bus or taxi. Good, not as pricey food options in West End include Rotisserie Chicken, Cannibal Café, and various street vendors. Popular spots for a drink are Sundowners (particularly around 4-6pm), The Blue Marlin, and The Booty Bar, but there are plenty of others to choose from. There is a Mares store as well as a Cressi store if you want to purchase any diving or snorkel gear.
French Harbour doesn’t have too many points of interest, but it does have the MegaPlaza Mall right on the main road (more of a plaza than a mall), which includes a huge used clothing store called Megapaca, as well as an Espresso Americano coffee shop, as well as several other shops and restaurants, banks, a private hospital and some UHT university facilities. French Harbour also has a cool spot called the Buccaneer, a restaurant and beer garden with swim area and hammocks over the water (there is an admission cost of $5 per person to use the water area, even if you are consuming at the restaurant or beer garden).
French Harbor Road
French Harbour doesn’t have too many points of interest, but it does have the MegaPlaza Mall right on the main road (more of a plaza than a mall), which includes a huge used clothing store called Megapaca, as well as an Espresso Americano coffee shop, as well as several other shops and restaurants, banks, a private hospital and some UHT university facilities. French Harbour also has a cool spot called the Buccaneer, a restaurant and beer garden with swim area and hammocks over the water (there is an admission cost of $5 per person to use the water area, even if you are consuming at the restaurant or beer garden).
French Cay is just a couple minutes past French Harbour, and is a small community that includes the Arch Iguana Farm, Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout, and 21 Dragonflies, where a friendly local family will show you the steps of making chocolate. There are also 2 private cays a short boat ride away from the community, Big French Key and Little French Cay, which are tourist venues that have a day fee to access their facilities.
French Cay Road
French Cay is just a couple minutes past French Harbour, and is a small community that includes the Arch Iguana Farm, Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout, and 21 Dragonflies, where a friendly local family will show you the steps of making chocolate. There are also 2 private cays a short boat ride away from the community, Big French Key and Little French Cay, which are tourist venues that have a day fee to access their facilities.
The little beachside community of Punta Gorda is the original landing site of the Garifuna population. There are several restaurants in Punta Gorda that sell Garifuna food such as machuca, and on Sunday afternoons, you can stop by to listen to the drum beats and Garifuna music as some of their community get up to dance the punta, and invite the audience to participate.
9 recommandé par les habitants
Punta Gorda
9 recommandé par les habitants
The little beachside community of Punta Gorda is the original landing site of the Garifuna population. There are several restaurants in Punta Gorda that sell Garifuna food such as machuca, and on Sunday afternoons, you can stop by to listen to the drum beats and Garifuna music as some of their community get up to dance the punta, and invite the audience to participate.
Jonesville and Oakridge area two neighbouring communities built along the water, with many of the homes on stilts directly over the water. Some of the homes are water-access only, with children going to school by boat. There are mangrove channels that offer protected routes between the communities, and you can pay to go on a boat tour through the mangroves, or rent kayaks at Trico's. While you’re there, stop by the well known Hole in the Wall restaurant (boat access only), or a few of the newer spots like Tricos Bar and Grill (live music on Tuesdays).
Jonesville
Jonesville and Oakridge area two neighbouring communities built along the water, with many of the homes on stilts directly over the water. Some of the homes are water-access only, with children going to school by boat. There are mangrove channels that offer protected routes between the communities, and you can pay to go on a boat tour through the mangroves, or rent kayaks at Trico's. While you’re there, stop by the well known Hole in the Wall restaurant (boat access only), or a few of the newer spots like Tricos Bar and Grill (live music on Tuesdays).

Food scene

Great coconut shrimp, often have drink specials. Not pushy service, you can use the lounge chairs free if you're having something to eat or drink.
18 recommandé par les habitants
Beachers Bar & Grill
18 recommandé par les habitants
Great coconut shrimp, often have drink specials. Not pushy service, you can use the lounge chairs free if you're having something to eat or drink.
These tacos are soooo good! Try the wasabi shrimp ones :)
Totally Taco Roatan
These tacos are soooo good! Try the wasabi shrimp ones :)
Beautiful view, nice stop for lunch while touring around the island. Tex Mex food.
7 recommandé par les habitants
Kristi’s Overlook
7 recommandé par les habitants
Beautiful view, nice stop for lunch while touring around the island. Tex Mex food.
One of my favourites, some inexpensive choices, tex-mex food. Upper seating overlooks the main road of West End
Cannibal Cafe
One of my favourites, some inexpensive choices, tex-mex food. Upper seating overlooks the main road of West End
It's a gas station, but actually a great spot for inexpensive food! Pastelitos, baleadas, sometimes conch soup. in the same building, there's Pizza Inn pizza and Blimpies subs.
Petrosun
It's a gas station, but actually a great spot for inexpensive food! Pastelitos, baleadas, sometimes conch soup. in the same building, there's Pizza Inn pizza and Blimpies subs.

Sightseeing

Camp Bay beach, on the far east side of the island (approximately a 1 1/2 hr drive from the hostel, not accessible by public transportation), is my favourite beach on the island. It is off the beaten path, so you could easily wind up with the entire beach to yourself. Pack a hammock along to hang between the palm trees, and a picnic lunch. Snorkeling is too far out to access easily without a boat, but the beach is great for swimming. If you would rather buy lunch out, you can continue a little further to La Sirena restaurant, or double back to Paya Bay Resort (which also has a clothing optional beach, if that’s of interest).
7 recommandé par les habitants
Camp Bay
7 recommandé par les habitants
Camp Bay beach, on the far east side of the island (approximately a 1 1/2 hr drive from the hostel, not accessible by public transportation), is my favourite beach on the island. It is off the beaten path, so you could easily wind up with the entire beach to yourself. Pack a hammock along to hang between the palm trees, and a picnic lunch. Snorkeling is too far out to access easily without a boat, but the beach is great for swimming. If you would rather buy lunch out, you can continue a little further to La Sirena restaurant, or double back to Paya Bay Resort (which also has a clothing optional beach, if that’s of interest).
There are lots of places with sloths and monkeys, but Manawakie also teaches you about all kinds of bush medicine and the history of the island.
MANAWAKIE ECO NATURE PARK
There are lots of places with sloths and monkeys, but Manawakie also teaches you about all kinds of bush medicine and the history of the island.
Hostel guests get a $10 discount at the zipline here! Includes entrance to the monkey park
Mayan Jungle Canopy Zipline
Hostel guests get a $10 discount at the zipline here! Includes entrance to the monkey park

Worship services

Non-denominational Protestant church with service on Sun morning on the 3rd floor at Infinity Bay. Lots of volunteer opportunities if you want to help out around the island
R Church
Non-denominational Protestant church with service on Sun morning on the 3rd floor at Infinity Bay. Lots of volunteer opportunities if you want to help out around the island

NIghtlife

A popular spot for happy hour drinks and to watch the sunset, as well as a starting spot for a night out
34 recommandé par les habitants
Sundowners Beach Bar
34 recommandé par les habitants
A popular spot for happy hour drinks and to watch the sunset, as well as a starting spot for a night out
Booty Bar
Great live local music on Sunday nights
Las Palmas
Great live local music on Sunday nights

Dive Shops

Great dive shop, discount for hostel guests
Sea Divers Roatan
Great dive shop, discount for hostel guests
Friendly dive shop, discount for hostel guests
Octopus Dive school
Friendly dive shop, discount for hostel guests