It’s been a long time since I’ve done a dive-focused vacation and I’ve forgotten how much fun they are. It’s also been awhile since I’ve traveled with a large group of friends. Usually I prefer to travel with one other person, or alone. But Roatan provided the perfect setting for changing my travel routine up, and I had a fantastic time. I’m ready to go back!
Target Audience –
Roatan is a diver’s paradise, and the prices reflect that. One guy we talked to was leaving because as a non-diver, he found staying on the island too expensive. Backpackers on a budget may find this part of Honduras a bit out of their price range, but it makes a good splurge destination if you can swing it. With dolphin encounters, golf courses, boat tours and of course the beaches and diving, there’s fun for the whole family. The mainland may have one of the least safest cities in the world, but none of that extends to the islands. They cater to tourists and do everything to ensure you have a wonderful time.
And we can’t forget about weddings on the beach! If you’re looking for a destination wedding location, Roatan is perfect. Danyeal and Shawn’s wedding was simple and beautiful, and a great time for everyone. I don’t know the specifics on cost, but they always say a destination wedding is cheaper than having one at home!
Cost Analysis –
Unfortunately Roatan was much more expensive than I was hoping. Not only were prices roughly the same as what I would expect to pay in the U.S., in some cases they were even higher. Plus, diving is rarely a cheap activity.
My daily total, not including airfare, is $154.65. Yeesh, that’s a lot. But diving is an expensive hobby, for sure. To put that into perspective, if I take out the diving activities, my daily total drops to $79.44. That’s much more manageable, but still not as cheap as I was expecting Honduras to be. I think this is because Roatan is a popular diving destination catering to a much wealthier clientele. Therefore everything else is priced accordingly, too. I’ve heard the mainland is much more affordable.
- Activities – $691.46
- Boat tour – $165
- This is what I personally paid. The actual cost of hiring a boat for the day is significantly more, and best split between several people.
- 8 dives through Splash Inn – $346.46
- $50 tips to the dive masters
- 2 dives at Mary’s Place and Prince Albert Wreck – $100
- $30 tip for the dive master
- Boat tour – $165
- Airfare – $205.65
- I used Alaska Airmiles to purchase a one-way ticket to Honduras. I wasn’t sure at the time where we would be going next, so left it open until we decided on El Salvador. $18.10 + 17.5k miles
- Since I wasn’t sure exactly where to place the cost of the flight from Roatan to San Salvador, I decided to split the cost in half. The total was $375.10 so I added 187.55 to Honduras.
- Accommodation – $190.57
- I received a 20% discount on our room from Splash Inn in exchange for blogging and photography. This discount did not extend to diving. They also have an offer where if book your diving through them, you get free breakfast on days you dive. They would not extend this deal to me because of the blogging discount which I’m a bit annoyed about. The 20% off the room was in exchange for services provided. It would have been a better deal to get the free breakfasts.
- Souvenirs – $23
- As per usual, souvenirs include a magnet, Christmas ornament and postcards. I also purchased a recycled metal art dive flag.
General Information –
- I’ve been dreaming of going to Roatan for a long time, and I’m glad to have finally made it. However, if you are looking for more or less the same experience at half the cost, you might check out Utila, one island over. You still have access to diving on the reef and white sandy beaches, but after talking to people who stayed there, the prices sound much more affordable.
- Another way to save money is to eat traditional Honduran baleada’s instead of “foreign food”. Costing around $1.50, one is usually enough to fill you up. They come with various options for fillings, and are quite tasty. If you choose to eat these for several meals, you’ll save quite a bit of money.
- There are a ton of dive shops in both West End and West Bay. They are all similarly priced and dive the same locations. When choosing which company to go with, make sure you talk to the dive masters and see which ones you like the best. A good dive master can make a good diving experience great.
- Due to T-Mobile’s unlimited international text and data, I rarely have to worry about using my phone abroad. However, in Roatan, while I would often have the ability to text, I almost never had data. Emma also has T-Mobile, but wasn’t really able to use her phone at all (I have an iPhone, she has LG – not sure if this was the reason for the difference). Our hotel had wifi, so it didn’t end up being a big issue, but if you must have data on your phone, it may be worth purchasing a SIM card, regardless of your carrier.
- Roatan definitely operates on “island time” or “latino tiempo”. Don’t be alarmed if things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like them to or according to a schedule. Just relax and go with the flow. You’re on vacation, after all!
Links to all my posts on Roatan below!
How/Why – Roatan, Honduras
Caribbean Vibes in West End
Relaxing in Roatan
Diving Roatan’s Spectacular Reefs
Wreck Diving – Spooky or Intriguing?
It’s Time for Turtles
A Beautiful Wedding on the Beach
Diving Mary’s Place
Under the Sea at Night
Sailing Takes Me Away
Relaxing on a Deserted Island