Since Tropic Air flies to Honduras, many vacationers opt to do Belize Roatan on the same vacation. Roatan is one if the bay islands and popular destination. It is situated between Utila (also popular among backpackers) and Guanaja. Like Ambergris Caye, Roatan also offers great diving and snorkeling. The island is bigger than ours at 5 miles wide by 48 miles long long. Ambergris Caye clocks in at a little under a mile wide (in some places up to about 3 to 4 miles at most) and roughly 25 miles long. The other thing that some people like about Roatan is unlike Ambergris Caye it is not quite as flat.
Today’s guest post on Roatan Hostel comes from Mel
Can you visit the Roatan Island if you’re traveling on a backpacker budget? Absolutely!
Roatan Backpacker’s Hostel is a fun, friendly hostel that has both dorm rooms and private rooms and apartments, with economical daily, weekly and monthly rates. The hostel has a communal kitchen, and the apartment-style accommodations have their own kitchens, so you can save yourself some cash by doing a bit of cooking, or visit one of the local eateries nearby that sell inexpensive, typical food.
If you’ve had several days on the road before arriving, the tranquil pool and patio area out back is the perfect spot to unwind, or claim a hammock at the garden pergola. The hostel always has an interesting mix of international travelers in a range of ages, with the front porch being the social hub.
There are plenty of board games out front, as well as a book exchange, and occasionally the hostel arranges a poolside BBQ or an outdoor movie night. The owner of the hostel lives on site and has a wealth of knowledge of the island and activities. Many hostel guests end up staying for weeks, and quickly feel like part of the family. The hostel is making efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, so the primary electric source is solar energy, with a solar water heater, and rain water is collected and stored, in addition to well water.
The hostel is located in a residential area of Sandy Bay, so you’ll get an authentic feel of life on the island, from the tortilla sales guy going past on his motorbike, to the fisherman occasionally coming in with his catch on the beach, which is just a 3 minute walk away. Octopus Divers is a short walk from the hostel, and offers special rates for hostel guests. The reef is about a 200 meter swim from shore, if you’d like to go snorkeling, and the hostel has sets of snorkel gear to rent for $5/day. If you’d like to check out the touristic area of West End, buses pass every 10 minutes or so, and cost less than $1. If you’re interested in becoming a dive professional, Barefoot Divers offers a dive master internship program that includes a stay at the hostel and transportation back and forth each day.
For those who would like a longer stay and the chance to help out on the island, there are several volunteer opportunities in Sandy Bay within walking distance from the hostel, including the non-profit health care clinic Clinica Epseranza, a non-profit organization that arranges English classes and kids sports programs, Care4Communities, and a library and e-learning center with Partners in Education Roatan.
Close by Roatan Beaches
Roatan has some great beaches and the first picture below is the best-known beach on the island, West Bay. It offers a nice long stretch of powder white sand with gorgeous turquoise waters and great snorkeling. This beach is about a 15 min drive from the hostel. The sunset photo below, is of Sandy Bay beach and walking distance at only 3 minutes away by foot.