The world’s second largest barrier reef backs onto the island’s coastline making Roatan one of the world’s top diving destinations. There are over 175 dive sites to choose from, with a dive site for every ability. It’s also the cheapest place in the world to do diving courses. On a dive you’ll see dolphins and sharks, sea turtles and moray eels, caves, spectacular sea sponges and 1000-foot coral walls. These waters are also one of the best places in the world to see whale sharks, especially between May and September. If your lucky, maybe you will come across some rare artifacts as they are still being found, including pottery, shell ornaments, conch trumpets and clay figures.
Roatan is filled with history of pirating on the island. The island became a hideout for French, English and Dutch pirates who would intercept and conquer Spanish cargo vessels en route to Europe loaded with gold and other treasures. It’s estimated that by the mid 17th century there were approximately 5,000 pirates living on Roatan and the Bay Islands. Famous names like Henry Morgan, Blackbeard, and Van Horn once ruled these shores and waters.
Unfortunately by the late 1700s, the Spanish had either killed most of the pirates or sold them as slaves, and took control of Port Royal. Then in 1797, approximately 2000 Caribs were left on the island by the British. The settlement of Punta Gorda was established and the Garifuna people as they became known, live there to this day. British ruled the Bay Islands area from the late 1700s until 1982 at which time it was returned to the Spanish and became part of Honduras. It’s because of this diversity that Roatan has such a rich culture and history.
While visiting the island, we quickly realized this was a special place. The people are extremely welcoming and friendly, the experiences are incredible and visitors seem to slide into a time and place not easily found these days. Despite its growing popularity as a cruise ship stopover, Roatan remains a laid back, quiet place to visit. As usual your comments and likes are greatly appreciated. See the video below for an idea of just how stunning this place is, cheers!