If you find yourself having 24 hours in Roatan, Honduras my guess is that you’ve most likely come from one of the many cruise ships that dock on this beautiful island for the day. Or if you’re spontaneous /a little crazy like me, maybe you’ve planned a day trip to Roatan from Michigan. “Wait, did she just say DAY trip?” Yep, you heard that right. Disclaimer, these were the best 24 hours ever, and not nearly enough time! In fact, we’re already planning our next reunion with this magical place!
Getting to Roatan, Honduras
United Airlines has one flight per day in and out of Roatan from Houston, TX, American Airlines has 2 flights per week from Miami, FL or 1 flight per week from Dallas, TX and Delta Airlines has 1 flight per week out of Atlanta, GA. Coming from Michigan, we flew from Grand Rapids (GRR) to Houston (IAH) after work on a Friday, spent the night in Houston (just enough time for a Margarita and some TexMex!), and then Saturday morning took the daily morning flight to Roatan… and about three hours later, we landed in Paradise!
Accommodations For Your 24 Hours in Roatan
If you’re a cruiser, you’ll most likely retreat to your cruise ship for the evening. But if you are looking for accommodations, then look no further than the Bananarama Dive & Beach Resort on West Bay Beach. If you are an avid diver, chances are you’ve already heard of this PADI 5 star dive center, as they offer many dive and stay specials. When I come back to the island you better believe I’ll be trying a discover scuba dive, and will be staying more than 24 hours in Roatan too for that matter! The resort itself is super cute and offers rooms for every budget; from garden view cabanas to two story beachfront villas and condos. Other perks include an arranged airport shuttle, a complimentary welcome drink upon arrival from the Thirsty Turtle, and home cooked breakfast each morning. What more could you need?!
How to Best Spend Your 24 Hours in Roatan
If you only have 24 hours in Roatan (or less!) my first piece of advice after checking in at the Bananarama, is to change into your swim suit, grab a Monkey Lala (the most delicious drink you’ll ever taste), and wade in the water while soaking up the sun! The private beach in front of the Bananarama is heavenly with clear blue water, the white sandy beach, palm trees galore, and of course the Thirsty Turtle Tiki Bar! If after filling up your cup with their great daily happy hour specials you find yourself in need of some lunch, the onsite brick oven pizzeria Pizzarama is delic! For you cruise-goers, the Bananarama is only 20 minutes from the Port of Roatan in Coxen Hole and 40 minutes from Mahogany Bay. You could easily spend your day ashore on the beach here enjoying the sun, doing some snorkeling right off the beach, and trying other fun water activities.
By now it’s close to 5pm and the sun is beginning to set. Pull up a lounge chair and join the rest of the guests and locals alike on the beach for a front row show! As the sun sets and the sky turns orange, all the dive boats make their way in from the day on the water. The boats in the background make the picture perfect sunset even prettier, if that’s possible! Once the sun goes down, everyone gathers at the Thirsty Thirty for a beer and shares stories of their underwater adventures. Speaking of beer, my favorite was Barena, which was an easy drinker similar to Corona. Sala Vida, which translates to life saver, is the national beer and very popular with the locals.
After freshening up from the afternoon in the sun, be prepared to have the best seafood of your life at the Argentinian Grill West Bay. My mouth is watering just thinking about their fresh ceviche and perfectly breaded coconut shrimp entrée. We chose this place for dinner based on a raving recommendation from some locals we met and it was conveniently only a short walk down the beach too! We also heard great things about Beachers Bar and Grill, so if you have an additional night, be sure to check that place out too and let me know how it is for next time!
A short walk from Bananarama in the opposite direction from the restaurants mentioned above, is the Grand Roatan Resort. We wandered to their swim up/ocean side beach bar, the Iron Shore Grill, for some after dinner cocktails and enjoyed the ocean breeze. If you still have some energy left, before retiring to bed, may I suggest taking a night time dip? The water was like bathwater and floating on your back looking up at all the stars and constellations of the nighttime sky was like being transported into another world. On our short stroll back to our Bananarama cabana, we were lucky enough to see a school of Manta Rays swimming off the docks, as their bright white undersides glisten off the reflection of the water. Surreal!
If you’re following my itinerary to a T, by now you’ve been in Roatan for 10 hours. Sadly some of your 24 hours in Roatan need to be dedicated to sleeping, so lay down, and catch some Z’s and get ready for a fun filled morning before heading back to the airport.
…Rise and Shine! If you’re like me and can’t get enough of the water, jump in for a morning swim while your waiting for breakfast or enjoy the peace and quiet with a cup of coffee on the beach. This view will never get old!
We needed to be at the airport at noon for our 1:30 return flight to Houston, and decided to hire a driver to show us some more of the island before taking us to the airport. Our hotel concierge called one of their guys for us that morning when we checked out and he arrived minutes later to pick us up. Our first stop was to one of the many Sloth & Monkey sanctuary’s on the island! THIS WAS A DREAM COME TRUE. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but I do have two words “Sloth Selfies!” We got to play with Alex & Moon at Victor Boden’s Monkey Business.
Our second stop on the way to the airport was to the West End of Roatan, which is a super lively area of the island. If we had more time, we could have spent an entire day here exploring or taking one of the many excursions that were offered to us. But having only an hour or so left, we choose to hang at the Booty Bar, and enjoy a final Monkey Lala in paradise before biding Roatan adieu. This was a really unique spot as the bar/grill was situated over the water on a dock with great ocean views. They also had a pirate watch tower at the end of the dock that you could climb up and gaze out from.
Well there you have it, an amazing unforgettable memorable 24 hours in Roatan, Honduras. And after only 24 hours in Roatan, I’d be lying if I said that we weren’t ready to cancel our return flight home and stay the whole week / forever!