Guest Post: Ten reasons to visit Roatan, Honduras

Amy and Lance of we’re {not} having a baby! share their top 10 reasons to get off the beaten path and explore the remote island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras

 

Guest post by Lance Blackstone

 

we’re {not} having a baby! does Roatan

One of the great gifts of being childfree is the ability to travel. As a couple, Amy and I have the mindset that if there’s an opportunity to go somewhere, either for pleasure or work, we’re in. The result it that we’ve been quite a few great places.

There’s one place though that we keep going back to…well, actually two but that’s a story for another day. This story is about Roatan, Honduras.

Roatan-Map

 

Honduras: Murder Capital of the World

Usually when we mention Roatan the first question we get is “Where’s that?” Typically we explain that it is in the southern Caribbean, one of the Bay Islands, along with Guanaja and Utila.  These islands are possessions of Honduras. What happens next depends on how much you know about Honduras.

If the answer is “not much”, the next question is often about detailed geography, e.g. “Where exactly is Roatan?” Answer: West and a bit south of Jamaica. Sometimes the question is “How did we hear about Roatan?” Answer: Lance’s sister introduced it to us in 2007.

On the other hand, for people that know a bit about Honduras, their reaction is usually pretty striking. Mostly because Honduras is the murder capital of the world.

Roatan: Caribbean Island

Amy and I don’t let a little thing like sky-high murder rates get in the way of our fun. That’s mainly because most of those murders…actually, pretty much all of those murders…are happening over on the mainland. While the folks on the mainland are killing each other, Roatan and it’s native Garifuna population retain their Caribbean island charm and laid back-ness.

Top 10 Reasons to Go to Roatan

People love a good Top 10 list! Amirite? Here we go…

Roatan...here we come

Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone
Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone
10. Easy to get to

Flights out of Miami, Houston, and Atlanta will get you to the island in just a few hours. Upon landing, clearing customs is generally quick and painless. From the airport you can reach pretty much anywhere on the island within an hour’s drive with the majority of tourist lodging being less than 30 minutes away.

 

9. Snorkeling and Diving
Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone
Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone  We’re big “Fans” of Roatan. Get it? “Fans”? Sea Fans… Ahh, never mind.

Roatan has some of the best and most healthy reefs left in this hemisphere. Even where there is pretty heavy traffic – including the occasional idiots who feel compelled to stand on the coral -the reef surrounding the island is in pretty great shape.

Public Service Announcement: Don’t be an idiot!
Don’t stand on the reef!

 

8. Rum
Flor de Cana. Spanish for "Get in my Belly" Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone
Flor de Cana. Spanish for “Get in my Belly” Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone

If you’re a rum fan, be sure to pick up a few bottles of Flor de Cana at the local market. Even if it is Nicaraguan, not Honduran.

We prefer the 7 year both for mixed drinks and for sipping straight up on the rocks. The 5 year is pretty great too, but a little rough for sipping straight. If you’re a fan of mojitos, pick up a bottle of Flor de Cana’s white rum.

 

 7. Beer

If you’re a beer snob you may find the local offerings less than stellar. But for us it’s not about that. Beer on a tropical island is for staying hydrated. And nothing beats Salva Vida for that on a hot day! It’s a real life saver!

See what I did there?

Salva Vida is the Life Saver. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone
Salva Vida is the Life Saver. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone

 

6. West Bay Beach
West Bay Beach. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone
West Bay Beach. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone

West Bay Beach is a gem of a beach. It’s beautiful white sands reach for nearly a mile. This is probably the most touristy and built up resort area on the island, yet incredibly, the reef grows right up to the shore in areas and the wall is incredible if you swim out to it. It’s a perfect place to spend a day snorkeling and/or getting sun while always just a few steps away from bars and restaurants.

 

5. Cruise Shippers

So, Amy and I are not big fans of cruises. When we travel we actually like to enjoy the local scene, not bring a gigantic slice of ‘merica with us.

The joy we do get out of cruises is sometimes hanging with the folks off the boat. Why? Because they always seem so disoriented and rushed and generally stressed! After all, if they miss the boat, they’re screwed. They’ve got to down their beers as fast as possible, see the few feet of Roatan they’re allowed to, and then get back on board so they can do it again tomorrow on some other island they won’t remember very well!

For us, this is a fun reminder of how relaxed and chill we are.

Crazy Baby takes in the sights at Paya Bay. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone
Crazy Baby takes in the sights at Paya Bay. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone

 

4. The East End

Speaking of cruise shippers, sometimes you need to get away from them. There’s no better way to do that than a day trip to the east end of the island. Roatan is a long, narrow island with essentially one road running the length, so getting lost is almost not an option.

We sometimes drive our rented car or, more fun, rent scooters for the day. We stop along the way for food, beverage, and scenery. A few of our favorites stops are

  • Marble Hill Farms: local jams and jellies (and drinks)
  • Temporary Cal’s Cantina: food, amazing views, and drinks
  • Paya Bay Resort: food, amazing views, private beach, and drinks
  • La Sirena: food, amazing views, and drinks

Starting to detect a theme? Anywho…

 

3. Seafood
Roatan
The mighty hunter (Lance) returns with his kill…invasive Lionfish. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone

 

Roatan has great fresh seafood. You can pick some up at local grocery stores, but even better, you can often buy right off a boat. Or, if you’re the fishing type, you can charter boats. Your options include small skiffs that will take you just offshore, past the reef, to deep sea fishing day trips like our friends at Ruthless Roatan Charters.

Another option is to get certified to hunt the invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans) on the reef yourself.

One thing to mention…always follow the Responsible Seafood Guide to make sure you’re buying and eating in a sustainable way.

 

2. Sunset

Watching the sun go down at the end of a long, hard day is a well deserved reward for all the relaxation, good food, and scuba diving you’ve put in. Right? Right.

We like to head out to our palapa on the end of our dock to watch the sunset and see the stars come out. There may be drinks involved.

Are you kidding me!?! Look at that sunset! Photo  by Amy and Lance Blackstone
Are you kidding me!?! Look at that sunset! Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone

 

1. Sunrise

Ahh, the sunrise! When we go to Roatan, we typically invite friends and family to join. Afterwards, when we ask people what their favorite thing about their trip was its almost always watching the sunrise from the deck while sipping coffee. It’s hard to argue with this.

Coffee and reef. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone
Coffee and reef. Photo by Amy and Lance Blackstone

 

Bonus: Roatan is (mostly) Childfree

Being that Roatan is a bit off the beaten path, there aren’t a lot of tourist families traveling with small children. The ones that exist are easy to avoid by picking the right places to stay. Hint….not the major resorts.

If you’re interested in trying Roatan feel free to reach out to us for more detailed tips!

Lance & Amy Blackstone
werenothavingababy.com
werenothavingababy@gmail.com
@nothavingababy

 

 

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