Where, When and Why
To celebrate my 30th birthday and my mom’s 30th year of being a mother, we decided to take a mother-daughter trip! We settled on the beautiful island of Roatán, Honduras because it would offer sunshine and relaxation during the month of January, when it is typical cold on the East Coast of the USA. We spent one week, a Saturday to Saturday, in late January 2020 to take advantage of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that we both receive off from work.
About the Destination: Roatán, Honduras
Currency: Honduran Lempira ($10 = L245 as of January 2020) is the national currency, but USD are widely accepted. Bring only small bills to ensure change (usually given in Lempira) is able to be made.
Language: English and Spanish. It is a very tourist oriented island and English is widely spoken.
Information: Roatán is the largest of the three Bay Islands in the Caribbean Sea (Roatan, Utila, Guanaja). It is one of the most popular destinations in Honduras, located 30 miles off the Northern coast with its own airport. It sits on the second largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. West Bay in Roatán is considered one of North America’s top five beaches
Flights from USA: I found the most affordable flights from DCA (Washington, DC) to RTN (Airport on the island) through American Airlines. The travel time to RTN was 6.5 hours, with a quick layover in Miami. On the way home, the travel time was 8.5 to account for a longer layover in Miami to accommodate going through customs. We paid $507 per person for a round trip flight.
Airport to Hotel: Our hotel arranged round-trip transfer for us, which was quite convenient.
Hotel: We could not have enjoyed our hotel in West Bay more! We found and reserved through Booking.com: Hotel Posada Seremein – West Bay Beach Hotel after carefully checking them out through their direct website. We booked a deluxe studio with a sea view (one king bed and one twin bed) on the third floor with a balcony and hammock. Our stay included a daily delicious breakfast, a discount at the restaurant for every other meal, and daily maid service. Our room even had a kitchen with stove, microwave, coffee pot, toaster, utensils. The large room had air conditioning and wi-fi, and kayaks, lounge chairs and beach access are included with stay. It was only 20 minute drive from the airport and the hotel helped to arrange transport for us when I reached out after booking via WhatsApp. We paid $1124.44 total for a one week stay in January 2020, which aligns with their high season.
The restaurant attached to the hotel, Argentinian Grille, was incredible and we ended up eating there almost every night. The hotel/restaurant staff knew us by name (maybe because we ordered coconut margaritas all day long? Highly recommend them, especially if Brendon is working) and the location was just perfect. I would absolutely stay there again and you should totally stay there if it is in your budget too!
After checking out West Bay and West End, I would recommend staying in West Bay if you want a more relaxed, beach-orientated vacation.
Try This There
- West Bay Beach
- Little French Key
- Important note: We avoided this place after doing more research about the way animals are treated on the island. We chose to support Daniel Johnson Monkey and Sloth Hangout instead (more info on them below). I know this is a popular destination, so for the sake of helping you do your research, I wanted to share my opinion.
- Maya Key
- Palm Beach
- Tabyana Beach
- Half Moon Bay in West End
- Daniel Johnson Monkey and Sloth Hangout
- Located in French Cay
- Our favorite day from our week on Roatán was the day we spent with Janis from DJM&S Hangout. We booked for the hangout and Las Palmas, and received so much more! Janis picked us up promptly from our hotel in West Bay. She radiates warmth, is kind, patient, & full of information. As she carefully and safely navigated to the Hangout, she made a few photo stops for us; including a look out over a ship wreck and introduced us to the fruit Lychee (delicious). She waited in the parking lot of the Hangout while we visited the sloths, birds and monkeys. We choose to visit this place as opposed to others on the island because none of the animals are purchased or captured. They are all rescues who are unable to go back to life in the wild. Janis took us next to a free chocolate factory. Following that, she dropped us off at the beautiful Las Palmas resort and again waited while we enjoyed unlimited time there! THIS IS MY NUMBER 1 RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU!
- Scuba Dive (or snorkel!)
- This island is known for its incredible diving. Hello, second largest barrier reef in the world! My mom doesn’t dive or snorkel, but I do! I went diving three times with West Bay Divers. They were professional, safe, and awesome. They also happened to be located next door to my hotel, which was a huge plus. It allowed my mom to see me in my gear and take off on the boats, and cut any travel time to and from the dive shop down completely. I would highly recommend diving with this 5 Star PADI certified shop.
- You can find snorkel rental gear all along the beaches! All it takes is a quick swim off shore to be immersed in the reef.
- Arch’s Iguana and Marine Park
- Located in French Harbor
- Gumbalimba Park
- Visit the monkeys, sloths, mccaws, botanical gardens
- Go on the hanging bridge
- Carambola Gardens
- 40 acres of botanical gardens and jungle trails
- Glass Bottom Boat Tour
- Second largest reef on the planet!
- Roatan Shore Excursion:Small Group Glass Bottom Boat Tour
- Roatan Private Tour: Shopping, Sightseeing and Beach Tour
- The Buccaneer
- A resort area featuring restaurants, gift shops, and places to swim and lounge in French Harbor
- Explore the bay area between West End and West Bay
- One popular tourist area is West End. This is where you find bars, restaurants and shops lined up next to each other in front of the ocean. It is also where most of Roatán’s hotels and resorts are located. West End connects to Roatán’s most beautiful beach, West Bay.
- Rent scooters and drive around the island
- Take a private tour of the island
- Take a ferry to the island of Utila from Coxen Hole. It’s a cute island with no cars
- Day trip to Cayos Cochinos (La Ceiba)
- Most Important Items
- Credit card (I love my Capital One Venture card because I don’t pay any overseas fees and earn travel rewards! Use my link for $100 bonus upon approval.)
- Cell phone & charger
- Kindle & charger
- SPF face sunscreen/moisturizer (Buy reef safe if you plan to swim!)
- Shampoo & Conditioner (Don’t forget the condition if you plan to swim in the salt water)
- Toothbrush & paste
- Hair brush, elastics, pins, clips
- Chapstick with SPF
- Mascara & lip stick (Girls Night Out every night with mom!)
- Body Lotion
- Body Wash
- Face Masks (because self care and sun exposure)
- Undergarments x7 days
- Comfortable outfit for the plane (I like leggings, and layering a tank, long sleeve and sweater, and sneakers)
- Bathing Suits x3 (wear each twice)
- Beach Coverups x3 (wear each twice)
- Cute outfits for daytime/nighttime when we aren’t on the beach x6 (because cute pictures)
- Light sweater or long sleeve shirt x2 (because ocean breeze at nighttime)
- Pajamas x2 (one short/short sleeve set, and one long pant/long sleeve set)
- Sandals x2 or 3
- Extra: one pair of longer pants to wear out, one long sleeve to wear out, one extra pair of shorts
Let me know if you go in the comments below!