Top 5 Ways to have the Most Authentic Experience on Roatan
What is it that you’re looking for in the ultimate travel experience? Do you really want to fly thousands of miles only to be surrounded by other hordes of tourists all herded like sheep from one attraction to the next?
Many travelers to Roatan are hoping to get a glimpse of what life is really like on our beautiful island and what it’s like to walk barefoot on the sand every day as if it were their own little slice of paradise. If this is your idea of what an amazing holiday should be, consider these five top ways I believe you can enjoy!
Water Taxi – A Must-Ride
Ditch the rental car or scooter and forget about a traditional taxi. Instead, take a water taxi! This is a wonderful and affordable way to do some sightseeing as well as get from point A to point B.
For just $3 per person each way between West Bay and West End, you’ll glide across the crystal clear waters enjoying incredible views of Roatan and its mountains while chatting with the local boat driver about what you’re seeing along the way.
Fishing with the Local Captains
Do you hope to land that big fish while you’re here? No need to go out on the big fancy boats where you’ll be charged $500 for the day. Heading out on the water with the local captains who were born and raised here on the island and earn a living by fishing is the way to go. They’ll take you on their wooden boat and teach you all about the local fishing. Learn about their background, the Roatan’s history – and, you’re almost 100% guaranteed to catch a tuna, wahoo, barracuda or mahi mahi too, that they will prepare for you to cook later, right on the beach!
Dine on Local Cuisine
Tasting the local cuisine is a must when traveling! If you look closely, you’ll discover small wooden shacks here and there where Islanders eat during their lunch breaks. This is where you want to go – not only is it the cheapest food, but it’s absolutely delicious and fresh! Grab two Big Baleadas for about $1.50 at any of those shacks. Most of them don’t have a name, but they don’t need one – they’re just fabulous! They are very proud to cook and to serve their customer’s. It’s actually a compliment for them and shows them respect as well.
2 great examples; you’ll find one behind the popular Bananarama Resort where the couple will serve you a full plate of Grilled Homemade marinated pork chops with plantains for only $6. She can even make you her homemade spicy sauce to take home with you. If you’re in West End, take a look at the Islander who every afternoon takes out his grill by the street in front of the Mares Store, and grills up some delicious tacos with multiple choices of toppings – 2 for $5. How can you go wrong!
There are endless choices all over the island, just keep your eyes open and your appetite ready!
Hole in the Wall – A Local Experience
That is a local’s favorite! Don’t miss taking a ride down on the East Side to Oakridge, where you can hop on a small local boat that will take you to the famous local restaurant known as the Hole in the Hall. This small wooden crooked bar & restaurant is sitting atop the water tucked away in the mangroves off of Jonesville, at the end of a small bay.
Here you can enjoy the feeling of being alone in the middle of nowhere, sipping a cold local beer with a lobster sandwich. I call it the Fisherman City where most people have only boats for transportation and houses on the water. This is something you probably would never have a chance to do at home – or few other places on the planet! Ask to meet “Avocado”!
See the Wild Side of Roatan
From the same “boat station” in Oakridge, make plans with one of the local Captains – ask for B-Nut – to take you via boat for the day on the east side to see Port Royal and Santa Elena, Moral and Barbareta Islands. Here you’ll see how wild Roatan still is with incredible mangroves and the place where Roatanians were born and raised – they are the essence of the Island. Don’t forget to bring your mask & snorkel. You can expect to learn a bit of Creole too!
Come to Roatan to experience some of these wonderful things that many travelers overlook but I believe are a must for discovering what makes our island so special!