Traveling to Roatan, Honduras
Traveling to Roatan, Honduras
Traveling to a new and unknown place is definitely exciting. But it can also be nerve-wracking because, well… it’s a new and unknown place. If you’re planning your first trip to Roatan, you probably have a lot of questions. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of what to know before traveling to Roatan, Honduras.
It’s very likely that upon telling anyone that you’re traveling to Honduras, you’ll quickly be met with a response of, “But is it safe?!?” While it’s true that Honduras has seen more than its fair share of violence (there was a constitutional crisis that resulted in an army-led coup d’etat in 2009,) the fact is that Roatan, being an island off the East coast of Honduras, has been largely sheltered from the majority of political and gang-related violence. In Roatan, as long as you act as you would in any tourist-centric location or large city, you shouldn’t have any problems. Is Roatan safe? Absolutely. Avoid flashing money and valuables, keep your wits about you and steer clear of illicit activities. In other words, use common sense.
Covid Entry Requirements
As the travel world is beginning to get back into the swing of things, Covid entry requirements may change at any time, so always check for the latest requirements before departure. That said, it’s currently necessary to be vaccinated or have a negative Covid PCR or rapid antigen test completed within 72 hours of arrival. Vaccinated arrivals must show the original vaccination card that they received from their vaccination site. Digital copies and photocopies are NOT acceptable.
The national currency is the Lempira, although US dollars are widely accepted. Just ensure that all bills are in good condition as those that are ripped, defaced or soiled may not be accepted. Don’t bring 50 or 100 dollar notes if at all possible. Credit cards are accepted at large resorts, but very rarely at smaller businesses. If paying by credit card, you’ll avoid heftier foreign exchange fees if you pay in the local currency rather than your home country’s currency. Also, beware of any extra credit card exchange fees that a vendor may tack on illegally.
The national language of Honduras is Spanish, but in Roatan, English is spoken virtually everywhere. You’ll also be exposed to a local Creole that’s a mixture of Spanish, English and indigenous Garifuna.
It’s best not to drink tap water that hasn’t been boiled or otherwise purified. Bottled water is your safest bet. Any water or ice given to you by restaurants or bars will be safe to consume.
Standard North American, three-pronged, 110V outlets are used.
Tipping is expected in Roatan’s restaurants. However, inspect your bill to see if you’ve already been charged for “Servicio.” If so, no extra tip is necessary. Although if you feel the service was excellent, then feel free to add more. If “Servicio” is not included in the bill, tip 10% or more. Bartenders should also be tipped a dollar or two, especially if ordering labor-intensive drinks. Leave hotel cleaners two to five dollars a day. Tips are already included in taxi fares. When diving, expect to tip $5 per tank or 10% of all costs – whichever is more. When taking tours, a 10% tip for good service is appreciated.
Things that you should bring from home include sunscreen and bug spray. Of course, you’ll be able to buy them in Roatan, but if you’re in a tourist-centric location, you’ll pay a heavy premium for the convenience. Same with snorkel gear. You can rent or buy snorkel gear in Roatan, but you’ll probably pay significantly more than if you brought your own.