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Barefoot in Roatan

The gazebo at Barefoot Caye
The gazebo at Barefoot Caye
Photo by Maggie Dobbins

The Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras are a wonderful place to come and relax.  And to dive.  The island of Roatan is the crown jewel of the Bay Islands and the most developed for tourism.  But it is still a mostly undeveloped island.  With a very laid back attitude.

Barefoot Cay is a special resort on the south side of the island.  It is on its own little island.  An island off the island. They call them cays here. A ferry takes you the 75 feet between the main island and its private oasis.

This luxurious boutique resort offers just 9 stand-alone villas on the island.  And 12 loft style accomodations over the onsite dive shop and spa facility.

There is a restaurant and bar onsite as well as a pool, although the pool is not heated.  Which is great on a nice hot day but during the winter rainy season it can be more "refreshing" than you want!

There is also a small marina on site and we have been here for the last two months.  During the winter rainy season, the south side of the island is perfect for diving as it is sheltered from the storms that come raging out of the north.  Many of the better known dive sites are here on the south side.

Roatan is undergoing a lot of new development with the resorts scattered throughout the island, although the majority are on the west end.  If you want to be right on a fabulous beach and close to the restaurants and tourist facilities than I would recommend staying at The Mayan Princess.

The West End is a charming town with a single dirt road that winds through from one end to the other.  There are a lot of inexpensive guest houses and lodges right in the west end.  And a lot of dive shops to choose from.  The diving here is spectacular with the reef barely 200 yards from town. 

And there are a lot of restaurants to choose from as well.  Everything from Thai to Argentine Grill to Rotisserie Chicken.  And at reasonable prices.  You can rent a car or the collectivo taxis are plentiful and inexpensive.  Just negotiate the price before getting in.

There are three ziplines on this small island and we did the Extreme one at Pirates of the Caribbean and screamed and laughed the entire time!  It is the longest one in Central America!

English is widely spoken on the island, but a few words of Spanish will get you a smile!

Air travel is just a few hours direct from Miami, Atlanta or Houston on either Continental or Delta.  TACA Airlines just started a new direct flight to Roatan from San Salvador which is much nicer than the previous multi-hop flights from the west coast.

There are numerous websites with detailed info on planning your trip to Roatan.  A few of my favorites are:

Roatan Tourist Information

Roatan Net

Travel Roatan


  • Debbra Brouillette - Dallas Tropical Travel Examin 5 years ago

    I know tourism was hurt here badly by the unrest on mainland Honduras, and the State Dept's warning to not travel to Honduras, which has since been lifted. Just wondering if it appears tourism has begun to make a comeback here. It used to be on my list of places to go someday... Perhaps it needs to go back on the list...

  • Pauline 5 years ago

    Zip lines are the new thing, and are really fun.

  • Maggie 5 years ago

    Hi Debra,
    Yes I would put it back on your list! Tourism is picking up but deals are still available!

  • Roatan Girl 5 years ago

    Great article! Small but important correction: Barefoot Cay and many of Roatan's well-known dive sites are on the SOUTH side, not the North. :)

  • Maggie, Islands Examiner 5 years ago

    Roatan girl--You are, of course, so right! I have the north/south all screwed up. Mea culpa. I will correct in my next dispatch on Roatan. Thank you!

  • Maggie, Islands Examiner 5 years ago

    Made the important north/south correction so the article is now correct. Barefoot Cay is on the south side as is a lot of fantastic diving!

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