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Roatan travel

Travel to and on Roatan

Air Travel

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 the Americas.

International Airlines, Roatan
Delta
Avianca (Taca)
United
Spirit Air

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
airlines Honduras

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 Airlines, Roatan
Lanhsa Airlines
Sosa Airlines
Isleña Airlines

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
airline Roatan Honduras travel

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.

Cruise Ships

Cruise Docking Schedules
Port of Roatan (Coxen Hole)
Mahogany Bay
Caribbean cruise

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.

Mahogany Bay Roatan cruise ship dockings

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.

Rental Cars

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
Avis2445-1568
Dollar2445-0566
Econo2445-2249

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.

Regional Travel

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).

yacht sailing

Yachts

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.