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About our Beautiful Island of Roatan and all it has to offer!

About Roatan 

The island rests on an exposed ancient coral reef, rising to about 270 metres (890 ft) above sea level. Offshore reefs offer opportunities for diving.[1] Most habitation is in the western half of the island.


The most populous town of the island is Coxen Hole, capital of Roatán municipality, located in the southwest. West of Coxen Hole are the settlements of Gravel Bay, Flowers Bay and Pensacola on the south coast, and Sandy Bay, West End and West Bay on the north coast. To the east of Coxen Hole are the settlements of Mount Pleasant, French Harbour, Parrot Tree, Jonesville and Oakridge on the south coast, and Punta Gorda on the north coast.


The easternmost quarter of the island is separated by a channel through the mangroves that is 15 metres wide on average. This section is called Helene, or Santa Elena in Spanish. Satellite islands at the eastern end are Morat, Barbareta, and Pigeon Cay. Further west between French Harbour and Coxen Hole are several cays, including Stamp Cay and Barefoot Cay.[citation needed

Location.


Located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea (second largest worldwide after Australia's Great Barrier Reef), Roatán has become an important cruise ship, scuba diving and eco-tourism destination in Honduras. Tourism is its most important economic sector, though fishing is also an important source of income for islanders.[citation needed] Roatán is located within 40 miles of La Ceiba. The island is served by the Juan Manuel Gálvez Roatán International Airport and the Galaxy Wave Ferry service twice a day.


Location: Caribbean Sea

Largest settlement: Coxen Hole (pop. 10,500)

Highest point: 1011 

Honduran Chocolates


When it comes to the origin of chocolate, defining its exact birthplace has been a subject of debate. What region first discovered the wonderful and exquisite pleasures of the cacao plant? Which culture is responsible for spreading these marvelous delicacies throughout the world? While experts agree that the cacao plant is indeed endemic to the Americas, the precise origins and cultivation of the original chocolates has been a subject of debate. But thanks to science, the matter appears to have been finally settled.

Capuchin Monkey


They can reach 12 to 22 inches in length and weight between 3 and 9 pounds. Capuchin monkey has prehensile tail that is the same length as the body. Body of capuchin monkey is covered with fur that is white (or light tan) on the face, neck and shoulders and dark brown on the remaining parts of the body these monkeys are like kids hyper and love to play!


Our Green Iguanas


Roatán Spiny-tailed Iguanas (Ctenosaura oedirhina) are found only on the island of Roatán, the largest of the Honduran Bay Islands. 

This iguana was only recently recognized as a separate species from Ctenosaura bakeri in 1987 and was given the species name “oedirhina”because of its rounded snout. This species is threatened mainly by illegal hunting for consumption by humans and predation by domestic cats and dogs, but habitat loss and fragmentation also contribute to their endangered status. There is also a possibility that they are hybridizing with an introduced iguana species, Ctenosaura similis. 

The Roatán Spiny-tailed Iguana is omnivorous and can use all habitats occurring on the island (including urban areas). However, the hunting pressure is so intense that they are only found in high densities in small, privately-protected areas across the island. The vast majority of the estimated 4,500 iguana live in less than 1% of the island’s area. 

These important locations are protected by a grass-roots movement of local land owners and managers. Additionally, less than 1% of the iguanas live outside of these protected areas and densities are extremely low, which may be only 1–5 iguanas per 0.4 square miles, if they occur at all.


ROATAN HISTORY


Long before Christopher Columbus landed on the Bay Islands in 1502, Paya Indians called Roatan their home. While not much is known about the very first inhabitants of the island, it is believed people roamed this paradise as early as 600 AD. Today, “Yaba-dind-dings” (Paya artifacts) are still found including pottery, shell ornaments, conch trumpets and clay figures.

Roatan has a rich 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 is estimated by the mid 17th century there were approximately 5,000 pirates living on Roatan and the Bay Islands. Some of the names you may recognize: Henry Morgan, Blackbeard, John Coxen, and Van Horn once ruled these shores and waters. history_and_culture_shipwreck_pic

By the late 1700s, the Spanish had either killed most of the pirates or sold them as slaves, taking control of the community of Port Royal, Roatan’s oldest European settlement. 

Not too long after in 1797, approximately 2000 Black 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. Each year in April, a festival celebrates the anniversary of the Garifuna people’s arrival.

British ruled the Bay Islands area from the late 1700s until 1859 at which time it was returned to the Spanish and became part of Honduras.

Culture Diversity is perhaps the best way to describe the collection of culture that has created Roatan’s unique culture over time including a mix of Carib, European and African heritage. In recent years many European and North Americans have made Roatan their home and an increasing number of ladinos (a mixture of European and Indian parentage) have moved here.

English was for many years the first official language of the Bay Islands under British rule and is still the most dominant language spoke. Spanish is increasingly used as more people from the mainland move to the island. And if you venture to the village of Punta Gorda, you’ll even hear the traditional Garifuna spoken