Vacationing on Roatan, a Honduran island in the Caribbean, is not as inexpensive as one would think. Yes, Honduras is considered a third world country which usually translates to a more inexpensive place to travel. However, the island is not. Everything has to be imported. Transportation costs inflate the prices a lot. Regardless of the cost, would I visit Roatan again? Absolutely Yes!
I spent the month of April 2015 on Roatan. Here’s what I spent.
At the grocery store, American brand food is readily available but at a rate of $1-3 more than US prices. Local food is definitely cheaper. Restaurant prices remind me of big city prices in the States. Basic pizza $15, small steak $20-30, breakfast $8-15. Thai food was crazy expensive. I paid $23 for cashew chicken and a soda. Watch for daily specials or hit up the small local places outside of West End or West Bay. They are much cheaper.
For a small island, it is nice that they have an international airport available. I flew United roundtrip from Portland. Several US airlines fly to Roatan.
Taxis, Buses and Water Taxis
Cost of all of these varies based on distance. Typical cost:
- Taxi – $1.50 to $2.00 or 30 to 40 Lempira
- Bus – $.80 to $1.00 or 18 to 20 Lempira
- Water Taxi – $3 or 50 Lempira
Happy hour is definitely the time to hit the restaurants for cheaper drinks. Hours: usually between 2-4pm, 3-5pm or 4-6pm. Sample prices: Margaritas $4, Rum and Coke $2, Beer $1 or they may offer two-for-one specials.
Prices are all over the place with places to stay. Roatan offers high-class to backpacker styles. The hostel I stayed at probably had the cheapest prices with the dorm room priced at $12 per night and singles at $16. An all-inclusive resort on the other side of the island away from all things tourist costs $100-500. West End hotel/motel rates started at $45 per night.
Laundry service across West End is mostly the same. I paid 100 Lempira for same-day service for a grocery bag full of clothes. The service is a little pricey but I did not want to do my laundry in the hostel sink.
At the time I went, the rate of exchange was $1US to 22 Lempira.
What I Spent
Food, activities and everything else $879
Travel insurance $52
No housing costs because I exchanged cleaning for room rate.
Total: $1685. Not a cheap place to stay.
Of the $879 I spent on the island:
- I only bought one souvenir,
- Ate breakfast at the hostel every day,
- Ate lunch at the hostel most days or skipped it completely,
- Cooked dinner 3-4 times a week, and
- Had a drink or two out maybe 3 times a week usually at happy hour.
Could I have spent less? Yes. No eating out, no drinks, no renting of car for a day but you can only be so frugal if you are to enjoy where you are staying.
After seeing this tattoo while on the island, I now want a small map tattoo. Another welcome expense.