St John or Roatan, islands off Honduras

Aug 14th, 2008, 06:55 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 60
St John or Roatan, islands off Honduras

Trying to duplicate 50th birthday\
celebration, week on Elbow Cay,
hoping to find another piece of heaven like we had that week for my 55th birthday.
Have been to St John and found
it to be excellent for snorkeling,
how does Roatan compare to St. John
we are group of appox. 15, mid 30s,
40s, 50s and two 13 yr olds and
two 20 yr olds, want large enough
house or condos to accomodate us all,want to snorkel every day, want
to hop from place to place for drinks, like the very laid back
atmosphere, no big high rises,
no MacDs, want maybe a day trip or two to snorkel on our own, maybe rent boats of our own.
Comparison from those of you who
have traveled to both- most appreciated
Looking at choices of Roatan, St. John, British Virgin Islands- which
one dont know yet,and maybe back to
outer island of Bahamas, trying to
narrow down my selection.
denette is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 12:54 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 757
You are comparing apples and oranges in some ways when deciding on St. John or Roatan.

By "hop from place to place for drinks" do you mean stay at a place with a lot of bars within walking distance, etc? If so, on Roatan you would want to stay in the West Bay area.

I have only driven around St. John -have to say the island is gorgeous, prim, clean, great vacation spot. I believe a lot of the island is a nature park or something like that. People say the snorkeling is great, at least in certain areas.

We were in Roatan in March. Loved, loved, loved it. Diving and snorkeling is second only to Bonaire from our experience (but there are a lot of islands we haven't made it to yet). I snorkeled from a boat 1 time but the rest of the time snorkeled from the dock at the place we stayed. There I saw barracuda, an eagle ray, sea cucumbers, several varieties of fish, etc. Did not snorkel at West Bay but it is supposed to have very good snorkeling from the beach.

Having said that - be aware that Roatan is a 3rd world country. There is a lot of poverty. However, we found the people to be very friendly. In shops away from tourist areas we always seemed to find at least one person who spoke English. Plus, there are a LOT of Americans living on and visiting Roatan.

I think you would find Roatan more of an adventure.

We rented a car and went all over the island. Went into one town waaaaay off the beaten path that made us a little nervous cuz of the poverty but we just smiled and waved and everyone did the same back to us.

The island is very safe but as anywhere in the world, use common sense. It did freak me out when I saw guards with shotguns at a shopping plaza closed for the night then at a gas station (which was open). We asked our dive/snorkel guides about it and they just sorta giggled - they said it's their culture. Plus, it really made us feel even safer. Don't you wish there were armed guards standing around large cities in the US at night?

West Bay has a row of hotels and restaurants but they aren't the huge mega-resorts.

If I was choosing between the 2, Roatan would win hands down for me. Don't know what you like, I like a sense of adventure without having to be real brave. I like to see how people besides Americans live.

Not sure what all is at West Bay. I do know there are several gorgeous complexes throughout the island but don't know it that would allow you to hop from place to place for drinks.
LvSun is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 01:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 757
Here's a trip report on the place we stayed at - wouldn't be right for you cuz you can't walk to other places but it may give you a better idea of Roatan. The Barefoot Cay Resort is gorgeous and small.

It's in the Latin American forum.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=6
LvSun is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 01:12 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 757
Link may not have worked, goto Latin America to Honduras then do a search for Roatan. My report is titled "Roatan Barefoot Cay Resort Trip Report"
LvSun is offline  

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