Hop On Hop Off Roatan Excursion Review
Jason Daniel Shaw
ROATAN – HONDURAS
Our plan for Roatan was to just get off the boat at Mahogany Bay and see what we could find. None of the Carnival excursion offerings caught our eye so we thought that we would try our luck at the port (our first time doing this). After a bit of a walk, we came across the hop on hop off stand and decided to pay the $20-$25 for the roundtrip ticket. If you want, you can skip the details and read my final verdict here.
HOP ON HOP OFF BUS – ROATAN
If you have been a tourist in any major city, you have probably seen the hop on hop off buses that drive around, often with open roofs, showing you the popular sights of the city. This was not like that as there are only two stops. The minibus is a small air conditioned vehicle that seats approximately 20 people. It takes you from Mahogany Bay through the city of Coxen Hole and along the western shore about 45 minutes to its first stop at the small bohemian village of West End. Here you can disembark the minibus and do a bit of shopping, drinking and eating while walking around. West End is home to much of the tourism on Roatan including many of its shops and resorts. If you do exit the bus here, you will be able to catch a later bus to the second stop of West Bay Beach. If you choose not to exit, you will have more time to spend at the beach. That is what we chose to do.
WEST BAY BEACH – ROATAN
West Bay Beach is billed as the most beautiful beach on Roatan. With its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear water and lush tropical foliage I could see how it would be an amazing place to spend some time. However, when the cruise ship is in port, it is a busy, overcrowded beach. The minibus will drop you off with your guide and you will have 2-3 hours (depending on whether you stopped in West End or not) to spend enjoying the sunshine. There are lots of activities including snorkeling, jet skiing or just lounging in the sun. Nothing is included, however. There is a cost for each activity, including the chairs ($5-$10). There are also plenty of options up and down the beach for food and drink. We made our way down the beach, looking for a less crowded spot which we never found. We did, however, find a nice shady spot by a pool with an ocean view to get some lunch.
HOP ON HOP OFF ROATAN – FINAL VERDICT
If you are looking for something to do on Roatan that doesn’t take a lot of planning, the hop on hop off bus is a great option. The company is affiliated with Carnival so you can pay for your ticket with your Sail & Sign card. The guide will also give you a bit of history of the island as you make your way to and from the two stops. For the cost, the excursion is worthwhile to get you away from the cruise port. With that being said, however, if you are looking to just lounge on the beach in the Caribbean sun, you can read about another option in my blog post about the best way to spend to a day in Roatan.