Roatan Island: An Idyllic Caribbean Destination.
The largest of the Bay Islands, the Roatan Island is over 60 kilometers long, however only 5 kilometers wide at its widest point. Proud of its English heritage, the people of Roatan were once a community dedicated to fishing. They have now become the most important Caribbean Destination in Central America. Over the last decade, Roatan has blossomed into the fastest growing cruise ship destination in the Caribbean. They have two different Cruise Ship Terminals operating in the Island of Roatan. The Port of Roatan, belongs to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Carnival Cruise Lines owns the Mahogany Bay Cruise Ship Terminal. Most of the Bank facilities in Roatan are in the Western side of the island. The same can be said for the Marina services for yachters visiting the island.
You could say that there are two different realities in Roatan. The Western half of the island, which corresponds to the municipality of Roatan, with the seat of government in the city of Coxen Hole. Most of the resort communities and tourism infrastructure is here. This is where both cruise ship terminals are, as well as where the airport and ferry terminals operate. In addition, the most touristy areas: West Bay, West End and Sandy Bay are within this area.
The most upscale resort community development on the island, Pristine Bay is also here, boasting the only golf course on the island, which by the way, is a World Class designer course by Pete Dye himself! The best way to get to know Roatan is renting a car here. There are several different rent a car agencies in Roatan island, including AVIS. They can provide you with the perfect vehicle for a Roatan Rent a Car Adventure!
The East End, is less developed, and you still find authentic Caribbean Villages. Perfect examples are Oakridge, Calabash Bight, Punta Gorda, Camp Bay and others. Regardless of whether you stay in the West or East end of the Island, do not miss out on the opportunity of exploring the opposite end. It will provide you with a completely different experience. Pretty much like visiting two different islands far from each other! There are two municipalities, equivalent to a county, that share the Roatan Island. The Western half of the island is the municipality of Roatan and has its seat of government in Coxen Hole. The Eastern half of the island of Roatan is the municipality of Jose Santos Guardiola. Their seat of government is the city of Oak Ridge.
Getting to Roatan is easy, and you can choose between flying into Roatan’s International Airport or using the state of the art ferry service. Although Roatan only has a population of about eighty thousand people, it has some decent medical facilities for both local travelers. The shining star of medical facilities in Roatan is the CEMESA hospital in French Harbour.