I am thrilled to tell you about my recent trip to Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras. AKA Roa. I only spent a couple days there, but it was a ton of fun. Lounging, snorkeling, shopping, adventuring, eating, you name it! I was lucky enough to join my good friend and her family for this trip. Before you go, there’s a few things you cannot go without. The sun is so bright and the bugs can be really bad at night. Do yourself a favor and before you depart and order yourself some good reef safe sunblock and bug spray. My favorite bug repellent is Natrapel, it uses picaridin instead of deet and it works great! My skin is oh so sensitive, and I have no problems with it. The rest of your beloved belongings will depend on your activities in Roatan. If you are spending a lot of time out on the water, or your skin is super sensitive, rash guards are a really good idea. I love Salt Life rashguards! Any good quality rashguard is great, they provide spf 50 sun protection, yet they are lightweight and durable. You can order those online before you go, or you can find them along the beach shops when you get there. A good wide brimmed hat is a plus too. You can find all of these items in my shop at the bottom of the blog, and don’t forget to browse through the full gallery of pictures!
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We arrived on the island midday on Sunday. You get a lovely view of parts of the reef and island as you fly in, the airstrip is right along the ocean! Roatan is beautiful, lush jungle in the middle of the ocean. Most resorts can arrange airport transfer for you for a minimal fee. We stayed at Bananarama which is in West Bay, it was a 30-40 minute drive from the airport. We stayed in a beautiful 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo. It was just a short walk to the center of the action of the Bananarama resort, yet it was still in a very quiet setting. Bananarama has four restaurants on site, a beautiful beach, and a lot of activities! We relaxed and hung around the resort Sunday. Perfect after spending the day flying. If you don't want to stay in a resort, there are plenty of places available to rent, short or long term, on AirBnB!
On the road into Banarama you will find a few cafes, shops, and bars. What you really need to look for though is the silver shack with no sign, it has amazing food! You will see all the locals there in the morning. We ordered baleadas every morning for breakfast, they are amazing. I had beef, chicken, and the egg baleadas. All of them are good! You must get there early or they will sell out of the meat! Not only is the food delicious, but it is cheap, it is only one dollar per baleada and they are a very decent size. These really are a must eat! There was free breakfast offered at Bananarama every morning, which we also took advantage of. Typical breakfast (eggs, beans, plantains and crema), tacos, waffles, fruit. It seemed to be a rotating menu.
(Inside my chicken baleada!)
On Monday we went to Little French Key, it was a perfect day as there were not many people there! Little French Key is a private island with beautiful beaches, exotic animals, good food and drinks. It is farther north on the east side of the island from where we were staying, about a 50 minute drive. You could buy different packages for the day which included different things. We purchased the cheapest package so we could pick and choose what activities we paid for. You could snorkel, kayak, or paddle board for an extra fee. The service was excellent, the drinks were cold and delicious, and the lobster tacos were phenomenal! When we returned back to Bananarama for the evening, we decided to take a walk down the beach and find something different for dinner. We came across Beacher's, which was a great find! That evening they had lobster on special. $22.50 for three lobster tails and two sides, and they were absolutely delicious. Worth every penny!
On Tuesday we took a full day snorkel trip to Cayos Cochinos. Cayos Cochinos is a set of two islands and 13 cayes just off the coast of the mainland. It was about an hour boat ride to visit Cayos from West Bay. After checking in on Cayo Menor, we watched a short video and headed out into the cayes. We hung out on a small caye for a while and had rum punch, fresh fruit, and some snorkeling time. We then headed to Chachahuate which is a small Garifuna community. We ate lunch with the Garifuna people and jewelry was available for purchase from the children. Lunch choices were grilled fish, fried fish, or fried chicken all of which came with rice and beans and plantains. You could also purchase rolls for cheap, totally worth it, they were so so good! We then took off for another caye, where we relaxed for a bit. After relaxing and hydrating (or drinking more rum punch), we headed out for another snorkel session! We snorkeled out around the caye and eventually the boat came and picked us up and we headed back for Roa. This was definitely a good day to be slathering on the sunblock and wearing rashguards. It was a long day in full sun! When we got back we decided to eat dinner at Vintage Pearl, which is a steakhouse and wine cellar within Bananarama. The wine was great, the filet was perfectly cooked and the mashed potatoes were incredible. I could have eaten another pound of those potatoes!
Wednesday was our last full day in Roatan. After our daily baleadas we headed down to the beach. We lounged, we swam, we walked the beach and checked out other resorts. You will find all kinds of live music and different activities up and down the beach! Plus plenty of shops and all kinds of random people selling food, drinks, and souvenirs. We hopped on a water taxi and headed up to West End. You can get water taxis all day while it’s light out for three dollars per person. It is approximately 6-7 minutes by boat to get to West End. West End has even more shops, restaurants and night life. Our first stop was Shawn Jackson Photography and Fine Art Gallery. His photographs are amazing! We then walked a few minutes down the street and has some amazing rotisserie chicken at Creole's Rotisserie Chicken. The chicken was nice and juicy and the portions were huge. I had a half chicken which came with two sides, I was stuffed for the rest of the day! After lunch we took a stroll down the main street and poked around in a few shops, we found amazing freshly made chocolate! Yes, I brought a few bars home. We finished up our West End adventure with huge rum punches at Lighthouse Reef, rum punch is so good! Upon our return we took to TripAdvisor to pick out dinner. It directed us to a restaurant down the street called Lala Gallery and Garden Cafe. This was my favorite restaurant the whole trip. The place was very beautiful and artsy, nestled back in the trees off of the road. Lala has a few tables outside and inside is an art gallery and shop. The shop had local honey, all kinds of arts, textiles, lenca pottery, jewelry, and knick knacks. When the food came out I was wow’d! Every bite was incredible. The ceviche was delicious and so was my thai shrimp salad. I ate until I was so overfull, I just couldn’t stop! All of their food is made from scratch as ordered. Even the banana bread was fresh baked after we ordered it. Lala also tries to use all organic foods when possible. This place was a total gem, I wish we had found it sooner! Sadly, after dinner, it was time to pack up our things so we could be ready to go back to the airport Thursday.
(Creole's Rotisserie Chicken)
(A peek of some of the beautiful art at Lala Gallery and Garden Cafe)
Thursday was our last day in Roatan. Bananarama rents out paddle boards, kayaks, and also offers dive trips and other excursions. So we got up early and got out on the paddle boards for a bit! It was so nice to be out on the water before the beach got busy. Seeing the beach and the crystal clear water from the paddle board was an awesome experience. It was my first time paddle boarding! I loved it! I think I’m going to need to buy a paddle board when I get home. Seriously. Once our time was up we took a quick dip in the ocean and headed back, packed up the last of our things, and the hotel bus took us back to the airport! You only need to allow yourself about two hours to get through the airport. If you go on a super busy day you may need a little more time. I hear Saturdays are pretty nutty. We had no problems getting through in a timely manner and had time for lunch. It was smooth sailing the whole way back!
(First time paddle boarding!)
I would highly recommend visiting Roatan for a few days if you need a quick ocean getaway. I could see myself taking a lot longer trip here too! There is so much to go do and to see. You can definitely keep yourself busy! Flip though the gallery to see more of our adventures.
Next up is more pottery, and then my trip to Milan! Stay tuned friends!
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It was interesting reading about your trip to Roatan, Amber! I've never been, but a colleague of mine spent part of last summer in the Honduras teaching/volunteering. I really enjoyed your pictures of food (I'm such a foodie!). Your post was very informative- thanks! :)
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