So you're coming to visit the West End area of Roatan for a week or so, fantastic! When it comes to travel expenses like food, transport, lodging and activities, many travelers want to have an idea of how much to budget. Spoiler Alert! Things here in West End might not be what you expect.
When you think of Roatan as being part of Honduras, many travelers expect things to be super affordable since we're in Central America. The reality is that Roatan is an island, and almost everything consumed here is imported. Our food, products and supplies had to undergo a much longer journey to make it to our happy island, and therefore that drives up the price of just about everything.
Let's do a quick breakdown on the most common travel expenses when visiting West End, Roatan. Keep in mind that when it comes to other islands and what things cost there, Roatan still ranks high in terms of affordability and getting the most bang for your buck.
Food & Drink Costs
Whether you are eating out at a restaurant or buying groceries, expect the price to be what you would typically pay in the United States. We have big supermarkets in Coxen Hole and French Harbor, which carry many of the common American name brands most tourists recognize. On average, these goods will cost the same, if not more than if you were buying them at your local grocery store.
For eating out at most restaurants in West End, expect to spend around $8-$13 per person (not including tip). Food can run about $15-20 a person at a few of the more upscale establishments. To read more about tipping policies and other FAQ here on the island, go here for a helpful guideline.
And sure, it's possible to find cheaper eats depending on what foods you enjoy (think fried food and lots of carbs)! Here in West End, we do have local street vendors, serving typical Honduran food, like Baleadas and platos tipicos (meat, beans and rice) for around $5.
We know, we know - the biggest question on your mind is how much a beer costs, right? Many of us like to gauge the affordability of a travel destination by their cost of beer. In Roatan, average cost for local beer is about $3, wine & imports (think U.S beers) $5, and cocktails between $5-7.
West End sits at just about 1 mile long, and within that area is a range of accommodation options for travelers. Whether you prefer a more established hotel in the heart of West End or a home or condo for rent on the outskirts if you enjoy being off the beaten path a bit, there's always somewhere you can find that will fit your needs.
Prices for hotels in West End can range from $35 to $200 a night (not including hostels), so every budget is covered. Important factors to consider when thinking about your hotel options are the time of year (high season prices vs low season prices) and if they include A/C or offer any meal options in their price. Hotels here are generally pretty small in size and they bring much of the charm and small community setting that people love about Roatan.
It's important to note that while West Bay has all-inclusives, hotels in West End do not. Most hotels don't include breakfast, either, so make sure to keep that in mind and read up on the fine print when you're searching for accommodation.
What are some nice hotel options? The Beach House Roatan is a luxury, boutique hotel located in the center of West End and sits directly on Half Moon Bay. Prices start at $175/night + 19% tax and include breakfast. For travelers wanting a more affordable, basic accommodation, we invite you take a look at Anderson Sunset Villas. They offer studio rooms and two-bedroom apartments between $45-75/night. Contact us for availability.
Depending on the size of your group, a vacation rental condo or a house might be what you're looking for. With prices ranging from $600-1,200/week for 1, 2 or 3 bedroom options, condos can cut down on your accommodation expenses (one 2 bedroom condo can be cheaper than getting 2 hotels rooms) and give you the freedom of cooking your own meals. Caribbean Colors offer a variety of properties in West End and the surrounding areas, and their properties offer modern amenities, great locations and stellar service.
If you're staying in the West End area, the great news is that you can walk to practically everything! Lodging, dive centers, restaurants and bars all sit within a small area. However, when it comes to airport transportation, traveling to Coxen Hole or the eastern areas of the island, you will need wheels. Taxis are a great, safe option to consider. They will be more expensive if you want a private taxi, but if you're fine sharing the ride with others, you can request a "collectivo". Taxis here don't have meters, so generally you will agree upon a price before getting in and heading out. The price will fluctuate depending on location and number of people. Remember to bring small bills, since taxies here rarely carry change!
Roatan offers a range of activities, but of course we are most famous for our diving! The costs for diving on Roatan is some of the most affordable in the world, especially when you consider how healthy and vibrant our reef is and how many dive sites we have to offer.
Other activities like ziplining, snorkeling, spas, fishing, golf, or boat excursions are available as well. The cost varies per operator, but we encourage people to consider responsible eco-tourism. For more information about supporting eco-conscious businesses, visit Go Blue Bay Islands, who together with National Geographic can guide you to vendors and operators who demonstrate their commitment to the environment. They rock!
Hopefully we've managed to give you a nice overview of what things cost here in West End and piqued your interest about staying on our beautiful island! For more information about currency on Roatan, check out our other post, 5 Things to Know About Currency on Roatan. As we mentioned, while Roatan may not be be the cheapest destination available, it's still a great value when you take into account the total cost of a trip here, combined with the amazing value of being a part of a small island community with a nice blend of modern and rustic vibes.