Roatan’s and its reefs draw tens of thousands of visitors a year to enjoy their beauty. Ironically, these visitors contribute to the destruction of the very reef that attracts them. Please help us prevent this destruction. There are simple things that everyone can do to limit your impact and ensure the health and beauty of Roatan and its reefs for future generations.
Where you’re staying
- Turn off all lights, faucets, electrical items and air conditioners when you leave the room.
- To reduce water demand, hang towels to dry so they can be re-used.
- Reuse your water bottles by refilling them from the 5-gallon water dispensers whenever possible.
At the beach
- Properly dispose of all your trash including cigarette butts.
- Avoid applying insect repellents containing DEET before entering the ocean as this chemical is very damaging to the reef.
- Do not to touch or stand on the reef. Always be aware of where your fins and hands are at all times. A second of carelessness can destroy a year of growth.
- Remove any trash you might happen to find.
- Limit your purchase and use of disposable goods
- Bring a reusable shopping bag with you from home when shopping for groceries or souvenirs instead of using plastic bags. Plastic bags kill thousands of turtles, dolphins, sea birds, and whales each year.
- Refrain from purchasing souvenirs made from marine life. These include conch shells, dried sea horses, coral and sea fans, and jewelry made from marine organisms such as sea shells, Black Coral, and turtle shells. These are often harvested illegally and in an unsustainable manner.
- Refrain from eating marine species that are considered threatened or endangered. The more common threatened species that appear on menus here include Conch, Grouper, Snapper.
- Most lobsters served on Roatan are collected illegally. If you do order lobster, be sure the restaurant gives you legal sized lobster tails that measure at least 5.5 inches/14cm in length.
- When possible, eat lionfish as it is the most sustainable seafood choice on the islands.
- A Responsible Seafood Guide is now available for Roatan. Please use it to make your seafood choices.
What to Bring
- Converters: Roatan uses 110V power so no converter is needed if you are coming from the USA.
- Eco-friendly Sunblock If you plan to spend time in the ocean, we recommend bringing eco-friendly sunscreen as most normal sunscreens contain ingredients that damage coral reefs. If you cannot find eco-friendly sunscreens, they are available for purchase in some dive shops and at the Roatan Marine Park office in West End. You can also find them online. I prefer Mexi-Tan brand.
- Reusable Shopping Bags
- Reusable Water Bottles
- Normal sized toiletries Our land fill is packed with empty travel sized bottles. Most toiletries can also be purchased on Roatan.
- Light weight clothing long sleeved shirts, pants, and hats are great protection from the sun and the bugs and are ideal for activites such as fishing and horseback riding.
- Flash lights Small, portable flashlights are recommended as public lighting is few and far between in some spots in the island. Bring extra batteries with you as they tend to be expensive on the island.
- Bug Spray We recommend bringing 2 types of bug sprays. One containing DEET such as Off and one that is DEET free. We urge people to use the DEET free spray if they plan on entering the ocean within hours of applying the bug spray. DEET has been shown to damage coral, fish, and other marine life. A bug spray with DEET is great at evening and nighttime.
- Shoes The locals wear flip flops (if they were any shoes at all). Leave the high heels and fancy sneakers at home and blend in with the locals.
- Medicines Roatan has many pharmacies and most medicines can be bought over the counter. However, we still recommend bringing your medications with you.
The official currency of Honduras is the Lempira. There are roughly 21 Lempiras to the US Dollar. On Roatan, the USD dollar is accepted virtually everywhere. This means that you might pay in dollars and get Lempira change or vice versa. There are several ATM locations around the island, including West Bay, West End, Coxen Hole, and French Harbor. They accept all major US credit cards. Though rare in the past, it is becoming more common for restaurants to accept credit cards. Bars, smaller restaurants, and locally run gift shops usually only accept cash.
If there is something that you would like that is not listed above or if you would like more information, please contact us at [email protected]