Traditionally English has been the dominant language on Roatan, spoken with a Carib accent. There has been an influx of Spanish interest from the mainland and you will now hear as much, if not more, Spanish as English on the Island. On the less developed East End of the island, it's worth striking up a few conversations just to hear the old accents and colloquial turns of phrase. With the increase in tourism on Roatan, you're likely to meet many bilingual Islanders.
There is no shortage of taxis to get you around the Island, just choose one you like the look of. Expect to pay about $15 to get into West End and $25 into Coxen Hole or the Airport. The best way to get about from West Bay Beach is by "water-taxi" to West End. They operate daily from around 7am - sunset. The trip takes about 10 minutes through the lagoon and will cost about 60 Lps. ($3) per person. If you wish to take a water-taxi outside of these times, you should arrange a special pick-up with one of the captains, especially when visiting West End in the evenings for dinner.
If you would like to rent any sort of vehicle or hire a transportation service all you have to do is talk to our concierge (Ryan). He can arrange that for you amongst other things.
There are three large supermarkets on the Island: Eldon's Supermarket on the main street in Coxen Hole; Plaza Mar and Eldon's Supermarket behind the gas station in Coxen Hole; and Eldon's Supermarket in French Harbour. West End Town is just a short boat/taxi ride away and has two or three smaller grocery stores where you can buy all of your essentials. In West End vegetable trucks park along the main road daily, full of fresh fruit and vegetables. You can get ice and rum at Coconut Tree (at the entrance to West End); open 7am-8pm daily. There is a duty-free store in West End at the mall just past Cannibal Cafe for wine and other spirits. Most of the souvenir shops carry Guatemalan goods like hammocks, clothes and carvings. Be on the lookout for Lenca pottery, highly stylized brown and cream-colored vases from the mainland of Honduras. Watch out for fakes though and feel free to try and bargain. Honduras has a wealth of hardwoods and there are many chests, tables and small pieces of furniture that show a high degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail. Colorful local painters like Virginia Castillo display their art in 'Waves of Art' in West End Town (504 2445 4093).
*** Please don't buy anything that has come from the sea, such as shells, sea horses or jewelry made from black coral, you will be sponsoring poachers in a National Marine Reserve and it's likely these curios will be confiscated, either at Honduran customs or your own. ***
What to Bring:
- Valid Passport. For citizens of Canada, US, Mexico and most E.U. countries visas are not needed for stays up to 90 days (but your passport must be valid for a full 6 months past the date of travel).
- Diving certification card, diving or snorkeling gear (or you can rent on West Bay Beach).
- Bathing suits and cover ups.
- Lightweight clothing or cotton blends: t-shirts, shorts, blouses, comfortable walking shoes, sandals or flip-flops.
- Bring at least one long-sleeve top and slacks; ladies can enjoy summer dresses for dining out.
- A very light sweater or jacket and rain-gear.
- Sunglasses, hats with brims.
- Favorite personal items, toiletries, medications etc., don't count on finding them here.
- Any favorite foods or spices you have, selections are often limited on the island.
- Sunscreen, repellent, antihistamines (though the bugs have largely been eliminated now).