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The Global Village on Roatan, Honduras

by Genny Ross-Barons | 14 April 2010 9 Comments

By Genny Ross-Barons

A bunch of years ago I heard the word Roatan. For some reason, I felt the need to investigate…I started Googling. When my research showed that Roatan, an island in the Caribbean ocean off the coast of Honduras, was popular with divers because Roatan is part of the Worlds Second Longest Barrier Reef, I figured I would drop it.

Lonely Planet Honduras & the Bay Islands
by Greg Benchwick

I had done my fair share of traveling to Caribbean Islands, but I’m not a diver, heck I can barely swim. But I couldn’t let go of Roatan, I needed to know more about it!

Roatan History was intriguing, and I was due for a holiday. I decided to visit the Island for the first time in April 2007, and I was not disappointed. I found the crystal clear blue Caribbean ocean surrounding beautiful white sand beaches, and lush tropical jungle climbing from the shore to the highest ridges.

There is plenty to see and do on Roatan: stroll through the Market in Coxen Hole, or visit the Roatan Tropical Butterfly Garden. For the more adventuresome, Roatan also offers zip-line adventures, horseback riding, sailboat cruises, and you can swim with the dolphins at Anthony Key Resort.

Roatan quick facts


Image from Tropical Discovery.com

Length: 60 km (37 mi)
Width: 8 km (5.0 mi)
Population: 30,000
Largest city: Coxen Hole (pop. 5,100)

Selected diving info:

When I returned to Canada after a few weeks on Roatan, I realized that Roatan wasn’t just a place to go on vacation, for me it offered the way I wanted to live – The Roatan Vortex had pulled me in….

I moved to Roatan it August 2007, and immediately knew it was the right decision. Oh sure, Roatan has its quirks; occasionally finding a scorpion taking a nap under my pillow, semi-regular power outages, and everything made of metal rusts—to name a few. But it also offers a slower pace lifestyle, warm tropical breezes and glorious sunsets, and I now know what an Orange really tastes like.

Roatan also gave me something I could have never anticipated—becoming part of a Global Village.

When I first arrived to Roatan, everywhere I went I was welcomed by those who came from other countries around the world, and now call Roatan home. I can honestly say that I spend my time on Roatan with good friends from Holland, Ireland, England, Poland, Argentina, Italy, USA, Honduras, Guatemala, and Canada. We get together for pot-luck-dinners, to celebrate special occasions (“just because” is considered an occasion). We meet at each other’s homes, at the soft white sand beach bars; Bananarama, West Bay Beach and at patio restaurants Oasis Pool Bar and Lounge.

So when you come to Roatan, whether it be for a week or a lifetime, and you are, let’s say, strolling down the sand road, in West End, be sure to stop in to a local establishment such as Sundowners for a cool drink. Start chatting with the person sitting next to you—you too will be welcomed into the Global Village of Roatan.

Getting to Roatan

Roatan Island.net (Thorough information, updated as of January 4, 2010).
Roatan Online.com (Possibly outdated, but helpful).

Written by Genny Ross-Barons

Genny lives on the Island of Roatan, with her husband Drummer Dave, and her Island dog, Mona. She hosts the Roatan Vortex radio Show, as DJ Genevieve on Roatan Radio and truly believes she was called to Roatan to help others accept being pulled in by the Roatan Vortex. See all posts by


  • Davey Lay said:

    HI Genny….love to read your stuff…thanks and keep them coming.

    Not sure when I will be back, as for Ken and Carleen, dono!!


  • Stephanie Clark said:

    Hi Genny, my husband & I are new to Roatan, but have been drawn into the vortex !
    We have bought a condo at IB, hoping down the road,that when tides turn , to sell and buy something more permanent…..for now we just get to visit a few times a year….
    the plan is to come again next week, arrival for April 26th….
    what I would like to do on this visit is to get around the island more and meet some of you that have been there for a while…
    I am also interested in expanding my business…if I can, to those who have family & friends back in the US and Canada…so not sure how I can do that…but willing to learn…
    Great piece you have written Genny…hope to meet you in person…soon !
    Stephie Clark

  • Genny Ross-Barons said:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Contact me through my website http://roatanvortex.com and lets see what we can arrange to introduce you to the Global Village. I did that a couple of weeks ago for another couple and in one week they had more Roatan friends than they could keep up with :)

    Genny Ross-Barons

  • Donna Madden said:

    Hi Genny-
    Nice article… I think we are kindred spirits- After my first visit here, I was sucked in too! Love livin on this beautiful rock! Great job on Roatan Radio too!

  • Genny Ross-Barons said:

    Thanks Donna,

    There is something special about Roatan! Friday April 16 (today’s) Roatan Vortex Show on http://roatanradio.com I’m sharing some of the things that are different on Roatan.

  • Trish said:

    i came to Roatan in 1981 in a private plane.The airstrip was shell and coral.There was a dirt trail to sandy bay that was barely navigable by the 3 trucks on the island.The generator at the Pirates den hotel was only on from 5pm-7pm nightly.I had found my home and my future the instant I stepped out of that plane.That began my 29 yr old love affair with Roatan which I have proudly called home for almost 4 yrs now.It really does have some type of force.I am a firm beleiver of that.

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