It´s that time of year again! For those who don’t know, this upcoming weekend marks Semana Santa or Holy week. Far from the somber religious celebration intended for Easter, Semana Santa turns Roatan into a hedonistic playground. Roughly 15,000 people from all over Central America, mostly the mainland of Honduras come to play on the beach and party all night.
1) Parade West Bay Beach: There will be no shortage of beautiful people this weekend (perhaps a shortage of sober people). Pack on the sunscreen, get a bucket of bear and let the people watching begin. If crowds are not your thing then its best to stay away from West Bay Beach during the day.
2) Try The Food: There will be tons of vendors selling the best street food Roatan has to offer. BBQ is always good but if you get a chance try Mcoy, a coconut seafood stew with shrimps, conch, lobster, fish and maybe even a bit of iguana. Can’t go wrong with Hog fry aswell!
3) Party all night: The best place to party in Roatan is the West End. During the day West Bay will have some good venues but at night hit Franks, Nova, Blue Marlin or El Boske. Every year the cerveceria throws a big party as well so make sure to get wrist bands .
4) Make sure you have a place to crash: Semana Santa is not the time to show up without reservations!
5) If its all too much for you, head to the East End of the island for some peace and quiet!
Most of the year the temperature in Roatan ranges from 21 C to 32 C (70-90°F). The hottest months are July-September. It can get very hot and humid this time of year so make sure to hydrate! Hurricane season runs from June- October but typically the island is so far south that hurricanes don't hit. Rainy season in Roatan runs from September to December with it raining about 50% of the time October and November. The seas around Roatan are typically very calm. If it is rough on one side (wave height over 1 M and wind over 15 Knots) then typically it is calm on the other side. So if it is rough on the South side then the North side will be calm and good for diving, snorkelling, boat trips and Vice Versa. The weather reporting is ok in Roatan but a lot of times you have to go by instinct or the instinct of locals (preferably boat captains).
Ok Boys and Girls, going to answer a couple commonly asked questions:
1) Is it safe to drink the water in Roatan?
2) Are there sharks in Roatan?
A better questions is are there dangerous sharks in Roatan? The answer is no! Roatan has nurse sharks, reef sharks and hammerheads which are not considered dangerous. They wont even get close to you unless you are doing the Roatan shark dive. You might see a nurse shark but they will most likely be asleep on the reef bottom. As far as tiger sharks, bull sharks and great whites there haven’t really been any sightings.
3) Is Roatan Safe?
For most people, their favorite creature in the sea is a dolphin. They are smart, agile and always smiling. What´s not to love? Beyond that, dolphins are widely considered the most social animal in the sea. We are really blessed in Roatan to have one of the best dolphin centers in the world. Anthony´s Key is home to a pod of 32 Atlantic bottle nose dolphins, of which 3 are new born babies. They are housed in a large open ocean pen and individually looked after by a team of caretakers and marine biologists.
The center is open to the public and is one of the few centers in the world to offer an unrestricted snorkelling experience. The experience starts with a brief introduction in the water where you learn about dolphin behavior. From there you put on your snorkel gear and can snorkel with all 32 dolphins without any trainers. The dolphins are very curious and playful and will actually come right up to you, swim under you and even play catch with you. It is a free interaction so the dolphins are free to swim as they please without any guidance. The Roatan Dolphin Center is also one of the few in the world which actually lets their dolphins out into the open ocean where they are free to not come back if they choose. The dolphin snorkel is consistently ranked as the best excursion in Roatan, make sure to check this out on your next visit to the islands!
Well its that time of the year again! We just had the annual Roatan International Fishing Tournament. This year was by far the biggest and best yet. The tournament started early Friday morning and went til Sunday at noon. What separated this year from other years was the amount of large yachts (50ft +) from all over the Caribbean. The tournament has really grown with its catch and release policy.
The fishing tournament is not just about fishing, but about brining the island together. In my opinion New Years is a party for tourists, Semana Sanata is a party for mainland Honduras but the tournament is the one day when islanders from all over go to the West End to celebrate. The whole street is shutdown for the weekend and food stalls line the entrance with great bbq, seafood and cheap beer. My kind of party! The festivities go from day to night with live entertainment and the Steel Pan Alley Marching band putting on a world class show.
This year the tournament itself was housed at the entrance of the West End and had an incredible tent and DJ set up provided by Miller and many other island sponsors. The marlin competition was won by Ron Mcnab who caught 3 marlin and the Rodeo by Ashford Bodden. In total over 50 boats entered.
Roatan fishing is amongst the best in the world, this is not an event to be missed!
Before you set off for beautiful Roatan, you must create a comprehensive packing list. Aside from preparing for the weather, take into consideration what activities you might want to partake in while you’re there as well. But first thing’s first: for any international trip that you must check the expiration date of your passport. When traveling to Honduras, your passport must be valid for at least six more months. Another consideration is purchasing travel insurance before your trip – it never hurts to be safe (but it may hurt your wallet if you don’t take precautions).Roatan’s climate is warm and humid all year round, with not much variance in temperature. However, the area does have a dry and rainy season, so keep this factor in mind while choosing when to visit.
If you’re traveling during the rainy season, be sure to bring a lightweight raincoat (with a hood) and waterproof hiking boots. Roatan is a superb destination for those seeking an active vacation with hiking and camping opportunities. If you wish to take advantage of Roatan’s beautiful wildlife, be sure that the clothes you bring are protective yet comfortable. In addition to hiking, visitors should prepared to visit beautiful beaches to relax or engage in water sports. For these activities, bring at least two swimsuits as wet cloth may take a while to dry in the humid air. To keep your luggage light, bring rugged open shoes you can wear on land and in the water. Roatan is very casual in terms of dress so no need to pack your fancy duds because t-shirts and shorts will do just fine!