We traveled to Roatan in October of 2015. We were excited and a little nervous because it was our first trip to Central America with our two year old. But more than anything we were just excited to get out and explore the beautiful country of Honduras. We flew directly into the island of Roatan. We stayed at Las Sirenas by The Mayan Princess on West Bay Beach.
The Mayan Princess on West Bay Beach
The trip getting there wasn’t as easy as we had planned (oh you know those airlines and their delays). But we got there! Keep in mind that we are at the Southern tip of Texas – so our starting point to get to Central America is already pretty darn close. After a six hour delay we finally touched down in Roatan. And after a 30 minute drive we made it to The Mayan Princess. After a very long travel day we just wanted to get settled in. But the accommodations they had set up for us just wasn’t up to par – or at least what we had expected. It was my fault – I made the wrong booking. But the staff was very helpful and accommodating and the resort is beautiful. They kindly moved us to a different condo that worked perfectly for us! And the child you may ask? He was such a trooper. He totally kept it together (way better than I was) and was so well behaved. Luckily they had live music at the hotel palapa bar and that kept the kid entertained while we figured our accommodations-on-arrival fiasco. This travel day is probably the worst travel day in history for us (and just for the record y’all, I tend to compare airline travel days to natural disasters. You plan for the worst and hope for the best). But this travel day was really just so absurd that it was comical – like as in we didn’t have to wait 6 months down the road to laugh at the situation – we were laughing as it happened. Murphy’s Law was totally on our side this one day.
That is my child. Jamming out to the two-man band on the beach.
Waking up the next morning in our 1 bedroom condo right on the beach was subliminal. The view. The beach. The water. It was a new day and our trip had begun.
West Bay Beach – perfect beach for toddlers and kids
October is a slow month on the island of Roatan. So it was quiet and peaceful on the beach and all over the island. We discovered that the roads are very curvy and very narrow – and the drivers are a little crazy. So we decided against renting our own vehicle (and we always rent our own vehicle) and went along with using a driver during our stay (I know…”a driver”…it sounds fancy eh?). Using a driver on the island is like getting a cab – but you find a driver you really like and adopt him for the week. We found our guy and he made sure we got around anywhere we wanted to go at all hours of the day. They also have water taxis. Same principal applies – find your guy and he’ll boat you around the island.
We love to do excursions and activities on vacation. It’s the best way to explore. And when it comes to tours – small and personal is our style. Traveling with a toddler – not all activities are on the table, but you can still do a lot. And we try to do at least one thing a day before we retire to the beach to bum out the afternoon.
Some of our favorite activities in Roatan include:
- Gumbalimba Park: We got a private tour. We hiked and explored the park. We got to visit Coxen’s Cave and visit with the monkeys. Gumbalimba Park also offers a great history of the island. It’s definitely a must-do if you’re in Roatan for a few days. Plan to get there early or late though to beat the cruise ship crowd.
- Dolphin Encounter at Anthony’s Key Resort: Such a fun experience for all of us. It’s very educational and 100% hands on.
- Catamaran Tour on The Radical: We ventured out to the East End of the island to board The Radical (catamaran) for a private day cruise. They took us out snorkeling and swimming. The staff was too sweet – they even had crayons and books for our little guy to play with. It was fun to visit with the local crew, tour the island from a different angle and really just to be out on the water. The did a BBQ lunch right on the boat for us and it was phenomenal.
- Island Exploring: Some days on our trip we spent hopping on a water taxi or driving to other parts of the island to explore and shop. The island is not “nice” as in fancy. It’s not manicured and perfect. It’s naturally beautiful and undeveloped in all of it’s third world glory.
Walking down the street in Roatan
A few of our favorite restaurants in Roatan include:
- Roatan Oasis: It’s amazing. It’s a small local restaurant hidden and situated in a tree house. The food is fabulous and the company is even better. It’s very much a locals place and it was our favorite spot in town. (Kudos to these guys because they even had kids books ready to go for our kiddo – score for any parents at dinner!)
- JavaVine Cafe & Wine Bar: Our favorite lunch spot. It’s located right outside the gates of The Mayan Princess and we went there almost every day for food or coffee.
- Vintage Pearl: This restaurant is like a little diamond in the rough on West Bay Beach. The food is great. The ambiance is wonderful. The wine list is probably the one of the best on the island. And it’s located right next to Las Sirenas at Mayan Princess.
- Gio’s: They have goooood crab legs. And our waiter was nice enough to stand there and help crack each of my crab legs (the hubs was a tad bit jealous since he had to crack all his own). This place definitely has “tourist attraction” written on it but like most tourist attraction restaurants that tend to disappoint in flavor – Gio’s did not!
At the end of our trip, we were sad to leave Roatan. It really is one of our favorite places and we think about going back often. Considering the short trip (for us Texans anyway) and the incredibly reasonable prices for food and accommodations – Roatan is hard to beat. Now bear in mind – Roatan is NOT for everyone. Don’t go there and expect the Ritz Carlton. But you CAN go to Roatan and expect to meet the nicest people and explore one of the prettiest beaches (West Bay Beach) and a very undisturbed island.