Travel to and on Roatan
Roatan island has an international airport in Coxen Hole with jet service which has thousands of passengers
arrive and depart each week.
Direct flights to Roatan are available from Miami (MIA), Houston (IAH), New Orleans (MSY), and other cities in
You may fly to San Pedro Sula (SAP) or La Ceiba
(LCE) on the mainland of Honduras prior to taking a connecting
flight to Roatan (RTB), but you will probably take a much smaller plane
getting to the island. Flights are available between Roatan
and the mainland of Honduras daily.
San Pedro Sula
Airports in Honduras will shut down if there is too much rain. They lack some of the equipment required for full instrument
flying and depend on visibility. Honduran airports have also shut down due to haze from hundreds of forest fires.
Although Spirit Airlines does not fly directly to Roatan, the discount airline has flights from Fort Lauderdale to San Pedro Sula. You may
book a regional flight from San Pedro to Roatan.
Direct charters are available to Roatan from airline carriers such as CANJET, which flies between Montreal and Roatan.
Regional Airlines Providing Flights to and From Roatan Airport
Regional flights are available between Roatan (RTB) and La Ceiba (LCE). Regional flights are also
available between Roatan and San Pedro (SAP). Many passengers do not make reservations for these
flights - they simply go to the airport and buy a ticket, just like buying a ticket to ride on a bus.
Isleña Provides Regional Flights
Roatan Ferry - Galaxy Wave Yacht
The Safeway Maritime Transportion Company operates the ferry Galaxy Wave, which provides service between
Roatan and La Ceiba if you prefer to travel by boat rather than by plane. The morning trip is much better to take (usually) than the afternoon trip due to the fact that the sea is usually calmer in the mornings. Afternoon
seas often cause passengers to throw up.
The ferry passes within view of Cayos Cochinos (the Hog Islands), which are to the east of the ferry. As the ferry gets closer to Roatan,
you should be able to see the island of Utila on the horizon to the west. The large, prominent mound on Utila is called Pumpkin Hill.
Thousands of tourists arrive weekly on Caribbean cruises. Some days several cruise ships may dock at Roatan.
Roatan has two cruise docks, both on the south side of the island. The road serving the Coxen Hole dock is narrow and has only two lanes.
The connecting roads are congested, and become clogged when a ship is at port. Expect ground transportation delays getting in
and out of the Coxen Hole dock.
The Mahogany Bay dock is newer and, unlike the Port of Roatan cruise ship dock which is in Coxen Hole, it is not built in a
congested town. Vehicle access
in and out of Mahogany Bay is easier, but dock access is controlled. If you want independent and less expensive ground transportation,
you have farther to walk from the ship at Mahogany Bay or you may pay a small shuttle fee to get out to the public road.
If you are interested in visiting tourist shops, you may go on foot through Coxen Hole. If you want to see other parts of
the island, a taxi or minibus is recommended. If your docking port is Mahogany Bay, you need ground transportation if you want
to see more than the docking area. Don't pay Mahogany Bay's posted taxi prices. They are tourist prices, not islander prices.
If you want more reasonable fares, get to the main road.
Things to watch for with renting vehicles in Honduras include bait and switch tactics. A rental company may agree to a given
price and then surprise you with a higher price when you turn in the vehicle. Be sure they give you a final price in writing
prior to signing anything. Making your purchase with a reputable credit card company gives you recourse in case there is a
problem with fraudulent charges. Choosing a U.S. based car rental company also gives you more assurance of settling money disputes than
going with a locally owned car rental company.
|Car Rental Companies, Roatan
If you choose to drive or ride a vehicle, be aware that although speeds on the main road are usually around 35 miles per hour,
the road is very curvy and drivers do dangerous things like tail gating and passing around curves. The road is also very narrow
and has bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Be sure to fasten your seatbelt. Honduras has a seatbelt law.
If you drive, watch for pot holes. The asphalt road is thin and develops potholes which may not be repaired for months.
Scooters are very popular on Roatan with tourists.
Other Ground Transportation
Bus fares are very cheap, but buses can be slow, hot, and crowded. Buses generally run about every 30 minutes along the major
road that runs most of the length of the island.
Taxi prices vary substantially. If you get a taxi at the airport, you can expect to pay high prices. If you go outside the gate,
you can usually get lower prices. Taxi fares are often subject to negotiation. The island is overcrowded with taxis, so you won't
have to wait long to see several coming.
Roatan to La Ceiba - You may fly from the Roatan airport (RTB) to the LaCeiba airport (LCE) on the mainland of Honduras or
take the Galaxy Wave ferry from Roatan to La Ceiba.
Roatan to Guanaja - You travel to LaCeiba then fly from the LaCeiba airport (LCE) to the Guanaja regional airport.
Roatan to Utila - You travel to LaCeiba then fly from the LaCeiba airport (LCE) to the Utila regional airport or take the Utila Princess
ferry from La Ceiba to Utila. The Utila Princess docks right next to the Galaxy Wave, so passengers traveling between Roatan and Utila
have a convenient connection.
Roatan to San Pedro Sula - You fly from the Roatan international airport (RTB) to the San Pedro international airport (SAP).
International visitors arriving on private yachts must first dock at Coxen Hole to check in with Honduras immigration officials.
Hotel Recommendation - La Ceiba
Hotel Posada del Caribe is a short walk from the MegaMall. It is just west of the mall on the main highway. The hotel is nice,
less expensive than nearby hotels,
and features hot water and air conditioning. The MegaMall is a short taxi ride from the bus depot.
Nude Cruise to Roatan - Roatan was invaded by clothing-challenged people arriving as a part of a "nudist cruise". Some of these people
exposed themselves on public beaches, but police moved in and took care of the problem. This type of public indecency can
result in fines of 500 Lempiras. If you come to Roatan, do us all a favor and keep your clothes on. Animals are free to come
without clothes, but people are to wear clothes.