Today's Everyday Fashion: Roatan Travel Guide

Screen shot 2013-08-01 at 11.12.54 PM.png
Screen shot 2013-08-01 at 11.13.18 PM.png

These shorts arrived just in time for Roatan! My friend Meg and her sister were tie-dying 4th of July weekend in Omaha and I was so jealous of Meg's rainbow shorts, that she made me a pair and surprised me for my birthday. :-) I think they did an amazing job, and pairing them with more color like a neon tank and sandals felt right. I don't love the clutch with it, but I needed to carry my stuff in something and it was the best choice of what I packed.

Also, I've had so many questions about Roatan, I decided to put together a little travel guide, below! You may be wondering why I went and the answer is easy: there is nothing I love more than snorkeling, and Roatan is home to the world's second largest coral reef. I can't explain the level of happiness my brain reaches, there is just no other feeling like it. I can stay out there for hours, and I take my own equipment with me wherever I travel. Overall I like to call Roatan paradise, but without many of the comforts of home. See below for a full guide of what to expect!

Tank: Gap, $7
Shorts: Old Navy with custom tie dye, birthday present! (similar, similar)
Shoes: Old Navy, $10
Clutch: LOFT, $18
Sunglasses: Banana Republic, old (similar)

 

 West Bay, Roatan

West Bay, Roatan

Overall: I first visited the small island in the Honduras as part of a Carnival Cruise several years ago. Since then, the island's tourism has increased significantly, but Roatan has not lost any of its authentic charm. In Roatan, expect to be surrounded by jungle, with no air conditioning, sand fleas (bring bug spray), non-potable water, and plenty of language barriers (if your Spanish is as rusty as mine!). West Bay is one of the prettiest beaches I've seen, and we did plenty of beach lounging, but if you want that kind of vacation I might recommend the Bahamas or St. Thomas (just to avoid the sand fleas alone). If, however, you want snorkeling and/or scuba diving, then Roatan is where you should go. That's what brought me there, and what will keep bringing people back for many years to come!

Lodging: There is so much island to explore, but the two main areas for tourists are West Bay and West End. If you find lodging anywhere near these two areas you are good to go, as water taxis ($3 per person per ride, bring small bills) are easy to catch and will transport you in between the two. West Bay is an amazing beach with snorkeling and a bunch of resorts, and West End has restaurants, dive companies, souvenir and convenience stores, and night life (which means laid back live music in the heat). 
 
We stayed at Villa Delfin, which is a private condo I found listed on Trip Advisor. It's located halfway between West End and West Bay, and we liked the location and overall you can't beat the value. One night at the Ritz = a whole week in Roatan, and the condos are really nice. I missed not having a concierge to help plan excursions though. The language barrier and not being able to find prices online made it challenging to plan, and the owners were grumpy and not interested in helping. I also considered Las Rocas Dive Resort in West Bay and would probably book that on my next trip. 

Food: We had a seafood feast fit for kings at Lighthouse in West End, and we ate at Argentinian Grill in West Bay twice it was so good. I also highly recommend Monkey Island Cafe in West End. Or try cooking yourself - prices at the grocery store were good, and a local butcher gave us four lobster tails for $10.  

Snorkeling:  There are so many dive shops all over the island, but we went rogue with the locals and hired random water taxis along West Bay to take us snorkeling and on a half-day fishing trip. It's more affordable that way, but please be careful if you do this and don't take valuables with you. One of our "guides" abandoned us while we were snorkeling, and returned after we were already halfway back to shore and exhausted (we didn't think he was coming back). 

We snorkeled at: 1. Blue Channel - by far my favorite, we snorkeled this three times. You will need a boat to take you, but it's not far and located near West End. It's a very shallow reef with unbelievable amounts of fish and huge coral formations. Amazing! 2. Spooky Channel - way out there located near Anothony's Key, and not for beginners. Like the name suggests, it is way spooky. There is shallow coral, with huge cracks in between of total darkness. I don't even want to know what was down there. 3. West Bay - you can access this reef from the beach, so we snorkeled it three times as well. The reef is awesome, just not nearly as good as Blue Channel.

I really enjoyed Roatan! If you have tips, please share them in the comments section, or leave suggestions for your favorite places to travel!