Information and History
of Roatan, Bay Islands Honduras
The Bay Islands, lying just off the
Caribbean coast, is an archipelago that consists of
three major islands, Roatan, Guanaja and Utila, and
numerous smaller islands. The coral reef surrounding
Roatan and Guanaja is renowned for it's excellent scuba
diving, while the many cayes around Utila are a snorkelers
History has it that the Paya indians inhabited
the islands as far back as AD 400. Europeans first arrived
on the scene in the 1500's. In 1502, Christopher Columbus
on his fourth journey to "the New World",
landed on Guanaja.
From the 1500s into the late 1700s the
islands served as a hideout and home for pirates, Spanish
Conquistadors and English Soldiers. Many foreign settlements
were started and either destroyed or abandoned.
In 1798 the Garifuna (5,000 black Caribs
being forceably removed from St. Vincent) were marooned
on Roatan. They settled the village of Punta Gorda and
even still today many of it's inhabitants still speak
an African dialect.
Immigraition still continuses today. Many
Europeans and Amerians have become residents and a large
number of Hondurans have moved to the islands in search
of better paying jobs. Fishing and shrimping, the main
industry for years, is being replaced by tourism. Resorts,
hotels, dive shops, restaurants and bars are popping
up everywhere to attract divers, snorkelers, ecotourists
and cruise ship passengers.
Roatan is 25 miles long and 1.8 miles
across at it's widest part. The tallest peak is 771
feet. The climate varies between seasons. Springtime
temperatures are in the 80's while summertime temps
are in the 90's with humidity increasing into September.
Light rain showers and occasional evening thunderstorms
keep temperatures pleasant. Water temperatures range
from 80-84 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the year,
dropping to between 74 and 76 degrees in the winter.
Roatan's accomodations range from large
dive resorts to a hammock on the beach. While there
are a variety of restaurants for every taste and budget.
Once considered a destination for divers, the island
now offers plenty to do for the land based tourist.
The unique thing about Roatan is that
outside the resorts you won't find the crowds, beachside
peddlers, casinos, high-rises, or other signs of modern
life now changing many Caribbean getaways. What you
will find are locals socializing in tiny beach bars,
rustic shops with handmade crafts, and an easy going
Listed below are some links we hope you
will find helpful.