Health and Safety

Sand flies are to the Bay Islands what mosquitoes are to the jungle—inescapable. These nuisances (also called sand fleas by locals) can cover exposed skin like freckles, leaving itchy bumps and scratchy rashes behind. Many resorts and developments fumigate the sand, and locals tend to develop a resistance to bites over time. Cactus juice and baby oil help trap the bugs before they bite, while a strong insect repellent can help fend them off. Your best protection, however, is to cover up with lightweight pants and long-sleeve shirts.

As with any tropical destination, wear sunblock and stay hydrated throughout the day. Violent crime on Roatán is reportedly rising, although travelers' biggest concern should be driving on unlit streets at night—fallen branches and potholes abound after a storm. Common sense will go a long way here, and most travelers have no problems when they avoid flashing valuables in public places and keep an eye on their belongings, especially at public beaches. The ATMs on the islands often fall victim to fraud, so if you absolutely must withdraw from one, stay in contact with your home bank and monitor your account.

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