Tourism Roatan Blog

Tourism Roatan Blog

2014 Roatan International Fishing Tournament

by Christian on Friday, 29 August 2014.

The XIV International Fishing Tournament is being held September 11th-14th, 2014. The event is based out of West End Village.

2014 marks Roatan's 5th Catch & Release Billfish Tournament.

On Thursday there will be a Captains Meeting at Coconut Tree Parking Lot 4-8 p.m.

Registration is Friday Sept. 12, 2014 from 6 a.m. The start is from Half Moon Bay in West End Village and the fishing hours are 6:00 a.m-5:00 p.m. On Saturday hours are 5:00am – 5:00pm

Sunday Sept. 14, 2014 marks the final fishing day and award ceremony. Fishing hours are 5:00 a.m-1:00 p.m.

The awards ceremony is at 7:00 p.m. in West End Village.

For more information, visit the Roatan International Fishing Tournament website.

3rd Annual Taste of West Bay

by Christian on Sunday, 06 July 2014.

The third annual Taste of West Bay will be held July 20th on West Bay Beach. This is a culinary cuisine experience on the beach from several West Bay restaurants who will be serving up sample portions of a few of their select menu items.

Restaurant booths will be located between the Mayan Princess Resort to Infinity Bay Resort.

 

Advance Food Ticket sales (at a savings!) available at: JavaVine Cafe & Wine Bar, BananaramaDive Beach Front Resort, Mayan Princess & Infinity Bay Spa & Beach Resort receptions

Food Tickets also available for purchase the day of the event from the Ticket Booths on the beach by San Simon Beach Club & at Infinity Bay Resort ($1 per ticket

After Party @ 6:00 pm at San Simon The Beach Club, San Simon ( Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort) where qualified participants have a chance to win some amazing prizes from many West Bay businesses.

A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to The Roatan Marine Park

Roatan Marine Park

by Christian on Wednesday, 28 May 2014.

The Roatan Marine Park (RMP) is a non-profit, community-based organization, established in January 2005 by a group of dive operators and local businesses who were concerned about the alarming rate of reef degradation in the Sandy Bay-West End Marine Reserve (SBWEMR). The Reserve was declared a marine protected area in 1988 by the Municipality of Roatán. It encompasses 13km of coastline and its boundaries extend from the high watermark down to 60m in depth. The RMP acquired official Honduran Non-Governmental Organisation Status in May of 2008.

Patrols & Infrastructure

RMP's initial efforts focused on reducing illegal activity within the Park, which include removal of lobster and conch and the use of spear guns and nets. This was achieved through an alliance with the Honduran National Police who accompany Park Rangers. Later, funded by grants from CORAL, USAID and PADI Project AWARE, an extensive marine infrastructure program was implemented. The RMP now maintains over 60 dive moorings, 20 yacht moorings, channel markers and fishing moorings within the Reserve. In 2008 the RMP opened up an office at Barefoot Cay to manage Roatan’s southern shore. Currently the office operates daily patrols and maintains and installs marine infrastructure outside the SBWEMR.

Education & Public Awareness

The RMP recognises that long-term resource sustainability can only be achieved through improved education and community participation. This bottom-up approach will enable our children to take responsibility for protection of the reef in the future. After all, our island is in their hands. In response the RMP have developed an education program not only to bring marine education to the classroom, but to bring the classroom to the reef.  School snorkelling trips, beach clean ups, glass-bottom boat rides and Discover Scuba Diving Experiences allow children to develop deeper understanding of the value of our coral reef and threats to its future survival. Teaching the thousands of children RMP staff visit each year about Reducing, Reusing and Recycling, RMP have certainly made some head way in educating Roatan’s youth.

177-x-1134-Aerial-of-north-Research

Research is an essential component of successful marine resource management. Besides enabling the RMP to monitor the effectiveness of its conservation efforts, scientific information feeds into their education programs, providing information that they disseminate to the general public. The more that people understand about their effect on the reef, the more they become empowered to participate in RMP activities, taking responsibility for protecting of the marine environment upon which their livelihoods depend.

Additional Activities

The Roatán Marine Park runs many other activities alongside its major programs. RMP have assisted in establishing the first ever plastic bottle recycling program and are currently working on re-implementing the program. They also carry out mangrove re-plantation schemes, assist with governmental environmental damage inspections and attend development proposal environmental impact assessments. They have also been instrumental in setting up community empowerment initiatives through supporting the creation of the Water Taxis Association and the Fisherman’s Alliance.

Funding

The RMP raises a significant portion of funding needed for these activities through the sale of merchandise and other products in their Eco-Store, snorkel rental, and the Marine Park voluntary “user fee”. RMP also rely on donations and memberships as a source of income. Finally, a large portion of funds come in the form of grants from organisations including WWF, USAID, PADI Project AWARE, CORAL, The Nature Conservancy and PMAIB.

Ongoing efforts seek to ensure the many users of this delicate marine ecosystem are educated and understand the importance of sustainable business and leisure activities. Tourism Roatan recognizes the importance of a healthy reef system for both the local Roatan community as well as visitors; today and for generations to come.

A huge thank you goes out to the park’s staff and executive team for their ongoing efforts. The people of Roatan rely on the surrounding waters for their livelihood both as a fertile fishing ground and as an economic generator through tourism activities. We understand that without the pristine, tropical reefs that surround Roatan Island, the very essence of this destination would be lost.

What can you do? The Park greatly appreciates any support they receive to help finance the multitude of projects listed above and one of the ways you can support Roatan Marine Park is through visiting the Marine Park Office in West End, renting equipment, purchasing merchandise as well as abiding by the guidelines set out for responsible reef use. Donations are also accepted through the Roatan Marine Park website.


Reef Etiquette

Roatan reefs offer some of the most spectacular diving in the Caribbean. The very uniqueness of a Roatan vacation is easy access to an amazing array of pristine underwater life. In many cases, Roatan snorkelling and diving experiences are just a few feet from shore.

It is extremely important that we all work together to keep the reef system healthy and in its pristine state. Did you know coral grows at a rate of 1 cm (.4 in) per year? It takes thousands of years for reefs to grow to the size that you see along Roatan Island. Yet coral is very delicate and sensitive to human interference. One brush of a flipper or touch by humans can cause permanent damage to coral and its protective coating.

Please do not touch the coral. Give yourself adequate space between you and edge of the reef. And remember, you’re wearing flippers!

Always snorkel along the edges of the reef, not on the reef crest. Particularly in very shallow spots, people have inadvertently touched the coral and been swept onto it by waves.

Want another good reason not to touch the coral? It stings! Many species of coral, namely Fire Coral, create a burning sensation on the human skin when touched. Cuts and scrapes from coral take a long time to heal.

The Roatan Marine Park offers additional information and leads initiatives to help preserve the reef. Consider visiting their site, learning more about what you can do and how you can support their efforts.

Safe Diving

Although the Roatan Marine Park has a mandate to educate people about the ecology and fragiity of the reef and its importance to the Islands economic and cultural well being, its purpose is not to monitor diver/swimmer safety or provide a life guard or rescue agency.  It is the sole responsibility of the diver/snorkellor/swimmer for there own safety and to observe safe practices.  Here are a few safety tips while {rsseo 91}, {rsseo 88} or swimming either in or outside the Roatan Marine Park.

  • Roatan and the Bay Islands have an excellent diving safety record however, it is important to take responsibility for your own safety whenever entering the water.
  • When enquiring about dive courses and instruction, be sure to ask how many other students will be in your group. Eight students is the maximum allowed by PADI.
  • Ask to see the equipment you will be using. Even as someone new to the sport, checking the basics will make your diving experience is that much safer. Check the O-ring for cracks and listen to the regulator – there should be no hissing sound when you turn it off. Look for certificates displayed that show the dive shop’s air has been recently analyzed and approved.
  • Make sure you feel comfortable with your instructor. There are many companies offering great courses here so pick a business and instructors that will help maximize your experience.
  • All dive boats should have a captain that stays onboard while students and instructors are in the water. Onboard supplies should include Oxygen and VHF radio.
  • Always dive within your limits and abilities.
  • Never dive alone. Dive with a buddy.
  • Be aware of motor boats above.
  • Drinking and drugs while diving do not mix. Abide by the regulations around time limits when diving and using alcohol.
  • PADI recommends 24 hours btween your last dive to when you fly, it is a good idea to leave a full 24 hours between your last dive and flying.

 

Stay safe, protect the environment ... enjoy!

Roatan Golf Tournament 2014

by Christian on Wednesday, 12 February 2014.

The Rotary Club of Roatan and the Organizing Committee of the 4rd Annual Rotary Golf Tournament Day are inviting leading companies and community leaders to support, sponsor and participate in our Fundraising Event.

The Rotary Golf Tournament 2014 will be held at The Black Pearl Golf Course, in the Pristine Bay Resort, located in French Harbour, Roatan, Bay Islands, on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

Registration Starts at 8:30 am

Shotgun Start at 10:00 am
4 Ball Scramble with THREE Flights –

Everyone can be a WINNER !!
Registration Fee: $150 per Participant

Includes:
Green Fees,
Cart (2 players/cart),
Goodie Bag w/Cap & Gifts,
Raffle Ticket,
Prize giving party with food!
Clubs - $25 if required. Max 2 people per set of Clubs (please state Men’s or Women’s and Right or Left handed)

 

To register please email Edda Borjas at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the following information:

1. Golfer’s Names (4 per team)
2. Team Name (don't worry if you haven't got 4 players - we can pair you up in a team)
3. Clubs requirement, if any
4. Contact Email address and Cell Phone – VERY IMPORTANT please

 

Contact phone: Edda Borjas 504.9939.1321

Roatan Diving Video - the Reef at West Bay Beach

by Christian on Tuesday, 04 February 2014.

Roatan reefs provide divers with colorful reefs and numerous fish species as well as sea turtles and many other marine mammals. Free diver Jacques Lalonde, on a recent trip to Roatan (December, 2013), took this video footage just off West Bay Beach. Thank you to Jacques and, as always, a huge thank you to Roatan Marine Park for their continuing efforts in keeping Roatan reefs healthy and pristine.

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For a closer look at Roatan Island, browse the Tourism Roatan site. We provide detailed, comprehensive information on Roatan Diving, Roatan accommodation, Roatan dining & restaurants, Roatan shore excursions, Roatan spas, Roatan Weddings and more - the most comprehensive travel information website for the Western Caribbean Island of Roatan

Roatan New Year’s 2014

by Christian on Sunday, 29 December 2013.

Happy Roatan New Year 2014! Here is a growing list of New Year’s activities and celebration on Roatan, Honduras to end 2013 and bring in 2014.

 

WEST BAY BEACH:

Bananarama Resort Beach Bash! Fireworks, seafood buffet $25, photo booth, beer pong, party favors, fire dancers, champagne toast, live music with Scotty C. and Jon Fritz 7pm. Free shuttle to and from West End Village, pickup 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30pm.

The Beach Club, San Simon - 4 theme buffet stations, unlimited premium open bar, midnight champagne toast, live band and DJ and our traditional firework show. Dinner starts serving 8:30pm until 11:30pm and early bird soup served at 1:00am.

Infinity Bay Resort - Asian inspired full buffet dinner in our international buffet restaurant including a wide assortment of our famous sushi, Pad Thai and carving station, fresh salad bar and our freshly baked bread and desserts.

Prefer beachfront dining? Also offering a 3-course special dinner menu at La Palapa including Caesar salad, surf & turf and NY cheese cake!

Fireworks extravaganza, party favors & champagne toast at midnight.

SANDY BAY:

Beach Grill Roatan – 3 course meal with choice of entrée – prime rib, grilled lobster tail, smoked pork tenderloin, $35 per person. Reservation recommended 504-3228-8161 Rob.

WEST END VILLAGE:

Ronny's Barefeet Bar - for a real island style fish fry. $2 beer and sangria, $2.50 fish tacos, local steel drum music. 1pm until sunset.

Sundowner’s Beach Bar – Live music performance by Brion James, Dave Barons and Addie.

FRENCH HARBOUR:

Jack's Harbor View Grill We will be having a great BBQ FEAST with views of one of the Islands best fireworks displays. $20 for adults and $12 for kids with $5 from each plate going to Roatan Children’s Fund starts at 7PM and ends when it ends...

New Year’s Day we have a GREAT Asian Buffet with guest chef Scotty S with the most delicious feast treats. Reservation recommended. $22 adults $10 kids

Tickets can be bought in advance, call 9640 7159, e mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or come on in.

To all our visitors and residents alike, Happy New Year 2014!

Roatan Fishing - How is Fishing in Roatan?

by Christian on Wednesday, 11 December 2013.

By Avi D'souza

Everyone knows Roatan for its amazing scuba diving, snorkeling and perfect beaches. So how is it for fishing? Well first off, Roatan´s main source of income for decades has been fishing (and piracy but that is another history lesson). Coxen Hole, French Harbour and Oak Ridge are home to large fleets of fishing and shrimping trawlers. Most of which is exported to the U.S. and around the globe. The waters around Honduras were so rich that the wealthiest families on the island made their fortunes in fishing not tourism. Today much of the island is sustained by tourism.

Learn more about Roatan Fishing

For quite some time, Roatan was a sport fisherman’s best kept secret. The waters are great for Tuna, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi fishing. Early September is also a great time to fish for Marlin as well which run through these waters. Roatan annually hosts the fishing tournament during this period and this year attracted million dollar fishing yachts from all over the Caribbean.

When going deep sea fishing in Roatan there are a couple important thing to remember:

1)      Have no expectations, any time out on a boat is a good time. It’s called fishing, not catching and everyone gets skunked sometime.

2)      Choose a good captain. A good captain knows the waters like the back of his hand. He eats, breathes, sleeps fishing (and often time smells the part)

3)      Choose a comfortable boat. Nothing is more frustrating than losing a catch because you couldn’t maneuver on the boat. Pick a boat which gives you the space to fish properly. Many companies will help you find other anglers to split a charter so you can have a nicer boat at a fraction of the price.

4)      Look for cues. Many times you can tell what’s below the surface by what’s above. Look for seabirds.

5)      Know your limits. If you can’t live without fishing, an 8 hour charter is the way to go. But for most people 4 hours is perfect.

Happy Fishing! Learn more about Roatan Fishing...

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For a closer look at Roatan Island, browse the Tourism Roatan site. We provide detailed, comprehensive information on Roatan Diving, Roatan accommodation, Roatan dining & restaurants, Roatan shore excursions, Roatan spas, Roatan Weddings and more - the most comprehensive travel information website for the Western Caribbean Island of Roatan

Bay Islands, Honduras - Which is the Best Bay Island?

by Christian on Tuesday, 03 December 2013.

By Avi D'souza

Which is the Best Bay Island?

This answer will vary depending on what you are looking for:

Roatan:

Roatan is definitely the most developed of the Bay Islands. Over the years significant infrastructure has been put in place so the island offers just about every amenity you could ask for. Good food, good shopping, beautiful beaches, amazing diving, security. It is very easy to fly into Roatan RTB or take the ferry direct from the mainland. Costs are higher then the other bay islands for food, electricity and most other things (not always justifiably so) but most of the time there are prices to suit every budget. The island can get a lot o cruise ship traffic in high season but they are only there for the day and it immensely benefits the local economy. Many “Old Timers” will reminisce and complain about how the island was back in their day, but it still is a very magical place in my opinion. It has a long way to go before it starts to feel soul less like Cancun or Grand Cayman.

Utila:

Utila is the second most developed of the Bay Islands. The population and size are a fraction of Roatan and just about everything is situated off the main road. Utila´s claim to fame is Whale sharks and cheap food, accommodations and diving. This makes it a very popular destination for young central American back packers who survive on under $20 a day. In my opinion it’s more of a hedonistic paradise and you can get a lot with a small budget. The downside is it is a bit trickier to get to, it is more difficult to get more specialized amenities and they don’t have many external excursions on the island.

Guanaja:

Guanaja is a fairly large island and is mostly uninhabited. It has miles of unspoilt beaches and great diving. The majority of the population lives on a tiny densely packed island of Bonaca. Some things are cheaper in Guanaja but the lack of steady transport to the island makes most things (food, accommodations) more expensive. Guanaja is know for being off the beaten path and also has a beautiful waterfall. Transport to Guanaja is easiest by private boat charter or flying from the main land of Honduras.

Cayos Cochinos:

Cayos Cochinos is geographically the smallest and least inhabited of the Bay Islands. Cayos Cochinos is composed of small cays and 2 large jungle covered islands (Cayos Minor and Cayos Grande). The islands are very sparsely populated with most of the population (under 600) living on the large islands or the village of Chachahuate. Personally, Cayos Cochinos is my favourite island. It has amazing untouched reefs, beautiful white sand beaches and just the lack of tourism makes it a gem.

Avi and the team at West Bay Tours are local experts who can help you get the most out of your Bay Islands vacation. Visit their site to learn more.

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