Is Roatan Safe for Solo Travelers?

Is Roatan Safe for Solo Travelers?

Solo travelers who prefer to visit off-the-beaten-track areas are often asked by concerned friends and relatives, “But is it safe?”  For the intrepid traveler, this constant refrain can become exasperating.  However, it’s important to remember it’s usually just a sign of care and loving interest.  So, after you’ve told your loved ones you’re planning an unaccompanied trip to an island off the coast of Honduras, try not to get too upset when you keep hearing the question, “Is Roatan safe for solo travelers?”

Is Roatan Safe?

Because Roatan is part of the Central American country of Honduras which experienced an internationally-condemned coup d’etat in 2009, you couldn’t be blamed for wondering if it’s safe.  Unsurprisingly, the aftermath of that political instability resulted in violent recriminations, a fast-rising crime rate and a large increase in poverty.  For a time, the bigger cities on the mainland registered some of the highest homicide rates in the world.  That said, the island of Roatan has generally been insulated from political violence and remains far safer than the larger cities on the continent.  Is Roatan safe for solo travelers?  As long as you follow basic personal safety rules that you would follow in any city, yes, Roatan is safe.

Keeping Your Wits About You

If you want to be safe in Roatan, or anywhere for that matter, all you really need to do is keep your wits about you.  Pay attention to your surroundings, don’t become overly intoxicated and follow common sense safety tips that you would follow in any urban area.  Avoid flaunting expensive jewelry or large amounts of cash and keep an eye on your possessions.  As in most urban environments, following your instincts is often enough to keep you out of most dangerous situations.


Power In Numbers

As a solo traveler it may not always be easy to buddy up, but having other people around can be both enjoyable and safer.  Wandering around alone after dark on remote beaches or in unfamiliar neighborhoods may not necessarily put you at risk, but your chances of being targeted are much lower when you’re with someone else.  If you do find yourself alone and worried about being targeted, even speaking to someone on your phone (or at least pretending to) can cause a potential attacker to give pause.

Avoiding Dangerous Situations

Taking part in illegal activities will put you at far more risk of harm than almost anything else you could do in Roatan.  Drugs and prostitution are illegal in Honduras but, like virtually everywhere, they still exist.  The rule of law is obviously not followed by those involved in these types of criminal enterprises, so it’s best to avoid them at all costs.  If you happen across physical altercations, protests or other civil disturbances, it would be in your best interest to not get involved and leave the vicinity immediately.  Certain areas of the island, such as the East End, are far quieter than the more tourist-centric parts, which often means there’s not much reason for criminals or potential thieves to congregate.  If you’re looking for some personal time, a quieter part of the island might provide you with the desired respite.