Roatan port is your gateway to the largest of the Bay Islands, north of Honduras. Ships dock in the outskirts of Roatan City, also known as Coxen Hole, named for a pirate. Water sports enthusiasts gather in Roatan every year to participate in waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and other popular water activities.
The Roatan cruise port also welcomes tourists who are looking forward to diving the world’s second largest barrier reef system. Fishing used to be the city’s main livelihood but tourism took over when divers and snorkelers flocked in droves to witness the area’s rich marine life.
Souvenirs and handcrafted items are sold at a flea market right outside the port gate. Dozens of stalls in downtown Coxen Hole display local crafts including baskets, wood carvings, sarongs and shell jewelry. The downtown area is just a walking distance away from the port where ships are docked.
The Yaba Ding Ding and Waves of Art stores, both located in downtown Coxen Hole specialize in local artwork. A souvenir shop in Luna Beach Resort offers reasonably priced souvenirs; perfect for gifts. The Tecno Corona store sells jewelry and its own line of beauty products.
Things to See
Once you’re docked in Roatan, you should not miss visiting the West End Bay. You can take a taxi from the port and ask the driver to take you to the West End. Some drivers charge excessively high rates to tourists, so be sure to agree on the fare before hopping in. Acceptable round trip rates are $10-$15 per person. You can rent paddle boats for snorkeling. Dive and take a closer look at the bay’s corals, sea fans and schools of fish. The water is so crystal clear that even beginners won’t have a hard time snorkeling.
The Butterfly Farm is another “must-visit”, especially if you have children in tow. Located near the West End entrance, you can check out 15 to 20 species of butterflies, parrots, hummingbirds and toucans.
Horseback riding with experienced equestrians is available along the beach resorts from West End Bay to Roatan Ridge Ranch. Sport fishing excursions are also offered in the Bay Islands Beach Resort and Bonefish Lodge.
Children and grownups alike will also enjoy the bottle-nose dolphins at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences. The locals, together with the dolphins put on a show for the visitors at the Anthony’s Key Resort.
Families and friends can also look forward to trying Tabyana Beach’s zip line canopy tour of 13 treetop stations and 11 stretches of cable.
Restaurants and Bars
The Las Rocas restaurant in West Bay is popular for their authentic local dishes which include chicken and beef in coconut milk, and lobsters and shrimps with rice. Fish tacos and conch soup is best served at The Lighthouse, located at the southern point of West End. Locals also recommend BJ’s Backyard restaurant for island-style cuisine. Steaks and seafood specials are served at the Hole in the Wall located near the port.
The Fosters Bars and Restaurant serves tropical drinks that most tourists find refreshing. They can be found in the West End area of the city. Other popular bars for a round of drinks include the Thirsty Turtle and the waterfront bar in West Bay Inn.