The beautiful island of Roatan is 32 square miles and is dependency of the Central American country, Honduras.
It is the largest of the group of islands called the Bay Islands. Guanaja and Utila are the the other two islands in this group.
Roatan is a popular port for cruise passengers to the Western Caribbean with other typical stops being Belize and Cozumel, Mexico.
The island is loved for its green and mountainous terrain, its world class diving experience and magnificent white sand beaches.
In this article, we summarize the best beaches in Roatan that are close to the cruise port.
There are two cruise ports on the island being Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole respectively.
Furthermore, we also share some top excursions to check out while there to get a true appreciation of the charm of the island.
So let us begin.
Mahogany Bay Beach is the spot nearest to Mahogany Bay Cruise Port which is a 10 acre property owned by Carnival Corporation. Alternatively, Maya Key Beach is closest to the Coxen Hole Cruise Port which is a private 11.5 acre island that is only a three minutes boat ride from the cruise port.
1. Mahogany Bay Beach
Our first recommendation is the beautiful Mahogany Bay Beach which is part of a 10 acre private property owned by Carnival Corporation.
This beach is ideal for persons visiting the island via Carnival Cruiselines as most of their ships dock at Mahogany Bay instead of the Port of Roatan at Coxen Hole.
Mahogany Bay Beach consists of approximately 825 feet of white sand that is perfect for relaxing and playing sports.
There is a beach volleyball facility as well as opportunities for swimming and kayaking.
If you prefer more upscale amenities check out the Blue Lagoon facilities which include private lounge area, drinks and access to WIFI.
Alternatively, if you want to arrive at the Mahogany Beach in style, the flying chair service provides unique opportunity for passengers to be lifted on an overhead chair directly from the port to the beach.
At the time of publication, children under three years old get to ride the flying chair for free.
2. Maya Key Beach
As mentioned above, there are two cruise ports in Roatan and this beach is nearest to the Coxen Hole cruise port.
Maya Key is a private11.5 acres island that is only a three minutes boat ride from the cruise port.
The beach is clean and well maintained and there are beach chairs available if you want to relax on the shore.
The island has a swimming pool, art exhibit center, animal rescue center, and two coasts.
Its water is glowing blue and excellent for scuba diving or swimming. Alternatively, you can unwind with a book in the shaded regions.
If you are searching to relish your time on land, take a walk through the island’s stunning and well preserved gardens.
Want to see some local wildlife? Go to the rescue center where you will be able to witness exotic birds, monkeys, and jungle cats local to the area
This island has so much to offer that both adults and children are guaranteed to have an excellent time.
It takes about 15 minutes’ drive from Mahogany Bay Cruise Port to the boat area to access this beach.
3. Half Moon Bay Beach
Located on the gorgeous West End of the island, Half Moon Bay Beach is one of the most visited spots by locals.
This beach is closer to Coxen Hole cruise port which takes about 15 minutes via car.
Alternatively, Half Moon Bay Beach is 32 minutes via car or about 15 km away from the Mahogany Bay cruise port.
Due to its crescent shaped, the Half Moon Bay Beach is a perfect location for swimming and snorkeling.
It’s generally crowded with action during the day and you will discover multiple dive boats, snorkeling excursions, and fishing charters going and coming from one of the multiple piers.
The beach is well maintained and there are lots of restaurants, dive shops and bars in the vicinity.
Gingers and The Beach House are two of the popular restaurants near the Half Moon Beach.
4. West End Beach
Often regarded as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and Central America, West End Beach is definitely a spot to visit if you are on Roatan.
This beach is adored for its one mile stretch of white sands and its crystal clear waters.
The water is tranquil due to the proximity of the barrier reef which makes it ideal for swimming, snorkeling and for small children.
The second largest barrier reef in the entire world is located a short distance away and hence this is an excellent place for scuba diving and snorkeling.
A wide variety of fishes are present in this location as well as other marine life.
Additionally, numerous activities are available such as kayaking, jet skiing and paddle boarding.
5. Palmetto Bay Beach
This white sand beach is exceptional for swimming and snorkeling. The beach is serene and truly is a hidden gem.
Often, there is no crowd so this is a good choice if you are seeking seclusion and tranquility.
Tall palm trees line the shores which provides a shade for relaxing and sunbathing.
There are also flowers around and rolling hills which make for a picturesque landscape.
Top Things To Do In Roatan
In addition to spending time at the beach, there are numerous activities to enjoy while at the cruise port on the island.
Hereunder are some of the top excursions:-
Take An Island Tour– there is so much to do and see on the island which can include a visit to the butterfly gardens, the Gumbalimba Monkey Park, Iguana Farm, Carambola Botanical Gardens and Sloth Hangout. You can book a custom tour to your liking.
Take A Diving Tour– this tour picks you up at your port of call to West Bay Beach mentioned above which is often regarded as one of the best on the island.
Certified divers are available to guide you while you explore the wrecks and reefs.
Most notably, Roatan is home to the second largest reef in the world. Snorkel opportunities are available to non-divers.
Roatan Wildlife Excursion– this adventure is perfect for persons who love nature. The tour involves animal watching and snorkeling.
Visit the animal sanctuary where we can see monkeys, sloths and parrots. Additionally, snorkel and enjoy the sea life and see corals and a variety of fishes.
ATV & Horseback Adventure– this is an awesome opportunity to explore the island on ATV and horseback. Initial training include horse maneuvering techniques.
The trail takes you to the oak forest and through natural mangroves.
After exploring the jungle on horseback, see more of the island on ATV which includes a quick stop at a beach.
Enjoy A Day Spa Break– book a relaxing experience at Sand Bay Day.
Your spa experience includes bamboo fusion massage, avocado body mask, dry brush exfoliation and hand and scalp massage.
The spa also has a swimming pool and hot tub for you to unwind.
Things To Know Before Going to Roatan
Despite being a Spanish speaking island, English is widely spoken by many locals.
The official currency of the island is the Lempira. Nevertheless, US dollars are widely accepted by businesses on the island. It is best to walk with smaller notes such as $5, $10 and $20 bills.
Bank notes that are worn and torn are often rejected by businesses and commercial banks. You can also receive change in US dollars at many establishments.
It is prudent to carry cash for financial transactions with smaller businesses. Credit cards are generally accepted by major restaurants and resorts.
Do not forget to walk with sunscreen especially during the dry season and insect repellent. Sand flies especially love the beaches.
Light clothes are recommended as the weather is very hot and humid.
Bliss Beach which is a private beach as part of Paya Bay Resort is a clothing optional spot on the island.
Roatan is situated outside of the hurricane belt and hence the chances of a tropical storm making landfall is rare.
Final Thoughts: Beaches In Roatan, Honduras Near The Cruise Port
We trust that we have provided valuable insight as you prepare for your shore day in the wonderful island of Roatan.
Remember to consider travel insurance in the evident of any injuries and travel delays during your vacation.
Feel free to continue reading articles on the other destinations in your cruise vacation to the Caribbean using the search bar at the top of this page.
More Honduras Guides:
Best Beaches in Utila Island, Honduras (A Complete Guide)
Can You Use US Dollars In Roatan? (Travel Tips Included)