We thought about flying there for a present for my daughters graduation. It looked like a real island experience instead of a developed tourist destination. So if any have anyinput I would appreciate it. I told my Daughter maybe we ought to take a cruise there first to see the island. the Triumph will hav ean itinerary including Roatan but not until late 2009.
roatan is beautiful but i am not sure I would want to be there for any length of time. The stop the ship did was perfect. it is very very poor, I am not sure about the quality of hotels or the quality of food if you are planning a long stay...I would not do it. I think a cruise would be the safest way to see roatan.
another thing i need to mention. There is a whole lot to be said about the developed tourist places, they are generally safe, the food is generally safe and they do have a higher level of customer service and respect for the tourist and tourist dollars. But always do what is safe, that should be top priority.
I was there last month on a cruise stop. It is a beautiful island. Yet, it is the poorest island I have ever been to. It was quite a wake up call to see this. They don't even have traffic lights and the roads are terrible. There is also the matter of civil unrest that Dave mentioned. It had calmed down prior to my visit, but I have read it has started back up. If you are familiar with the phrase "a little dab will do ya" you will understand.
We went to a Dive Resort for the day and the staff were very friendly. They let us (2) snorkelers go along with the divers and use the property for the day.
I would love to go back to Roatan, but not for a lengthy stay. The cruise stop was perfect for me, and I hope to get back there. It is a true island experience. It is not developed like St. Thomas, St. Lucia, or even Tortola. It reminded me of St. Vincent. I love the experience, but not when there is unrest among the locals. If everyone is happy, then maybe. The main reason I love cruising so much is that you get a taste without having to be stuck somewhere you wish you weren't. San Juan, Great Harbour Cay, Salt Cay, Governor's Harbour, Nassau, and Freeport are the only islands I've done a land stay. I loved it, but was itching to take ferries or flights to other islands after 3 days. Costa cruises to Roatan in the winter of this year and the spring of next year, and I'm sure there are other lines as well. I think HAL was one. Check with your travel agent or maybe try "googling" cruises to Roatan. Best wishes, and please stay safe!
Thanks for all your replies. I first heard of Roatan when a friend of mine cruised there. Then on House Hunters international on HGTV showed a couple who went there and fell in love with the island and the people and bought a dive resort for 2.2million. They were from a northern US state. So in another episode another couple from the US went there and bought a home. I thought that if all these Americans are buying homes and resorts there I thought it would be safe. I will rethink this whole thing and probably take a cruise first.
Well - my question is answered. I was going to post asking about self-guided in Roatan vs. line sponsored tours. We're doing tours at other ports and I think we'll probably just set foot on the dock...walk around a bit and then enjoy Roatan from the other side of Norwegian Pearl's railing!
Roatan isn't all that much of a place I would want to spend a lot of time.....Take a cruise and then take the Island Tour....it's beauful, but so underdeveloped....lots of little kids begging for anything you will give them....plus the unrest happening there now......if you want to do an island for a week, go to Aruba, St. Thomas, Barbados...just not Roatan....
Some of the best snorkeling off the beach was at Roatan - but as many have said - it's the poorest stop we've ever encountered - almost made me feel uncomfortable having the means to be cruising while kids ran around in bare feet on dirt roads. I know that they had taken that off of the cruise ports for a while because it wasn't safe.