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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Roatan is the largest of the Honduras Bay Islands at just 60 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide. It is located between the islands of Útila and Guanaja and boasts long stretches of beautiful white sandy beaches. Roatan is located near the largest coral reef in the Caribbean and the second largest in the world behind Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Tourism is the island’s main source of income as it is a major stopping point for cruise ships and scuba divers, but its laid back lifestyle and stunning surroundings also attract a lot of people wishing just to relax in the sun and drink Pina Coladas.

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Cruise Companies that sail to Roatan

Why visit Roatan ?

Roatan location iamge - CruiseDirection

Very hot and very humid all year round

Laid back lifestyle and stunning surroundings attract a lot of people

If you are willing to give diving a go, and I suggest you definitely do, Bayfoot City is one of the island’s main diving points. It is located on the West Side of the island about 10 minutes from the airport. It offers a number of bays and fjords accessible through various cuts in the reef that surround the island. A reef wall that drops vertically to the ocean floor, offering some of the world’s most fabulous diving, tops it off. There are a number of small but very experienced companies who will treat you like part of the family and make sure you enjoy every second of these serene surroundings The history of the island is long and extremely diverse. The mainland cultures of Paya, Maya, Lenca and Jicaque were present among native occupants. Slave raiding by the Spanish after Christopher Columbus’ fourth voyage to the island (1502-1504) brought an end to the Native American community.  

During European colonial times Roatan became home to a wide range of settlers, pirates, traders, and militarists all took part in the struggle to take over the island for themselves. Britain declared the island part of their already massive colony in 1850 but handed control back to Honduras just a decade later. Honduras and its surrounding islands soon became known as “Banana Republic”. A very profitable fruit trade started by the locals but was taken over by American interests in the 1870s. The two most notable companies were the New Orleans and Bay Islands Fruit Companies. As people came to settle on the island from all over the world they brought with them their own cultural ideas, all of which add to Roatan’s unique atmosphere today.  

The Roatan climate is basically very hot and very humid all year round, but rain is definitely not unheard of on the island. June and July will usually offer up some wet weather as well as the winter rain season which is from October through to February. If you do travel during these times it is recommended that you take some wet weather gear with you, but most of the time light cotton clothing is more than adequate to see you through the beautiful sunny days with cool coastal breezes.

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