Here is the best time
Many different factors come into choosing when to visit a country on holiday; what the weather is going to be like, how expensive travel and accommodation will be, and whether you’re trying to catch a certain event that only happens at one point in the year. Roatán used to be a destination that was quiet all year round, but it has recently grown in popularity as somewhere to come on holiday, particularly with cruise ship tours.
It’s brilliant that this small, Caribbean island is finally getting the recognition that it deserves, but the new influx of tourists at certain points of the year means that there are times now that Roatán is busier than usual, and that holidays during some months may be a lot more expensive than others. Factor in the seasonal changes in the island’s weather as well, and trying to decide when the best time to visit Roatán is can seem impossible.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to lead you through everything happening on Roatán month by month; from the weather to local events and how busy the island is likely to be, so you’ll know the perfect time to visit.
Weather in Roatán
Like many Caribbean islands, Roatán has a wet season and a dry season. But what makes Roatán different from other popular tropical destinations is that its wet season is a lot less severe than in countries like Antigua or Cuba, and there is virtually no risk of a hurricane at this time as well.
The rainy season in Roatán runs from October to January, with November and December being the two wettest months. Even then, any prolonged periods of rain are only likely to last a couple of days, and most showers will have passed after a few hours.
Roatán is relatively dry the rest of the year and has consistently high temperatures no matter what month it is. Average high temperatures often reach up to 30°C during the day and don’t tend to dip below 20°C in the evenings. This warm weather is what makes Roatán so popular in the winter, despite it being the wet season on the island.
If you’re really after some sun then visiting Roatán between June and August is your best bet for tropical heat, whereas those who don’t cope as well with high temperatures should consider visiting at the start or end of the year. Humidity is relatively high all year round, so whenever you visit you should pack light clothes that can be layered up and are better suited for Caribbean weather.
Peak tourist season
The peak season for tourism on Roatán runs from the middle of December and the end of April/May, although the island sees a steady stream of tourists visiting throughout the year. Christmas and Easter are probably the busiest points of the year as this is when many people come to Roatán for their holiday, so if you’re not a fan of crowds then these times are definitely to be avoided.
The west of Roatán is the busiest part of the island, whereas the east side is a lot more rural and therefore much quieter all year round. If you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing holiday then you may want to consider accommodation in the east end of Roatán, whereas those who are looking for opportunities to socialise and a vibrant nightlife scene will prefer the West End Village and surrounding area.
There are many holiday resorts across Roatán, ranging from luxury private islands to larger, more central locations. These are particularly busy during the peak season for tourism on the island but do have great deals in the off-season, if you don’t mind visiting Roatán when it is wet.
Roatán Humane Society’s Annual Fur Ball
The Roatán Humane Society’s Annual Fur Ball takes place every January and is a glamorous charity event that raises money for the organization. Roatán Humane Society is a non-profit group that seeks to act as a voice for the animals on the island, provide humane solutions for animal overpopulation, and provide vet care for animals belonging to disadvantaged communities.
Music Festival for the Angels
The Music Festival for the Angels in Roatán is an annual event in March that supports two of the island’s local charities; SOL Foundation which works to improve quality of life in developing areas of the island through community programs, and Clinica Esperanza which offers free or low-cost healthcare to the residents of Roatán. The festival features live music in Sandy Bay from a variety of musicians, different food and drink vendors and family activities, and is one of the most popular events of the year.
The Garifuna community are the oldest inhabitants of Roatán, based in Punta Gorda on the island and tracing their ancestors right back to the survivors of a shipwrecked slave vessel that broke apart on a nearby coral reef at the start of the 18th century. The community’s annual festival in April celebrates Garifuna culture with traditional costumes, song and dance performances, and a reenactment of the Garifuna people’s arrival on Roatán.
Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition
Roatán’s Caribbean Cup has become one of the world’s most important freediving competitions since its launch in 2013, and is a thrilling sporting event that takes place in May. Freedivers come to the island from a huge range of countries to compete, entering one of four different categories as they try and reach the greatest depth whilst holding their breath.
Golden Buoy Dive Shop Olympics
Every year at either the end of May or the beginning of June, the dive shops in West End and West Bay on Roatán organise fundraising events for the islands SOL Foundation charity. The event ends with a ‘Dive Shop Olympics’ where competing businesses take part in various amusing competitions to earn points, which are added to the points they have scored for their fundraising efforts. The dive shop with the most points wins a buoy painted gold, hence the name of the event.
Roatán International Fishing Tournament
The Roatán International Fishing Tournament is an annual September event that increases in size and popularity every year, with anglers from all over the world coming to the island to compete. There are several different competition categories, with the top prize going to the fish caught with the highest mass.
Sundae by the Sea
Another annual event in Roatán that usually takes place in September is the fundraising event Sundae by the Sea, which is a fundraiser held to raise money for Clinica Esperanza. The clinic is a non-profit medical clinic that provides low-cost healthcare to the island’s residents, and the event is usually held at one of the holiday resorts on Roatán, including live music, food and family activities.
Honduras Independence Day
September 15th is the Independence Day of Honduras, the country which Roatán is a part of. Independence Day is celebrated on the island with a huge parade that includes many of Roatán’s school children in uniform or cultural dress. Celebrations usually last into the evening, and you can expect parties all over the island as well as a very festive atmosphere in the days leading up to the 15th.
Francisco Morazan Day
October 3rd is a celebrated date in Honduras because it is the birthday of Francisco Morazan, who was a very important political figure involved with uniting the countries of Central America. This public holiday is also known as Honduran Soldier’s Day, as is celebrated in Roatán as well as on the mainland.
January is part of Roatán’s peak tourist season, and the island and its holiday resorts will be very busy. The fact that it’s the last month of the rainy season doesn’t deter travellers and cruise ship passengers from flocking to Roatán and enjoying its beaches and scuba diving opportunities in between the rain showers.
Get more information for Roatán in January here.
February is the first month of the dry season in Roatán, and whilst there may still be some instances of rain the temperature begins to rise, and the weather will be shaping up to be hot and sunny every day. It’s still a very busy time for tourism on the island, but is an ideal month to visit if you’re after heat that is more bearable than in the summer.
Get more information for Roatán in February here.
March is a perfect time to visit Roatán if you’re planning on spending some serious time at the beach, as the weather is mainly warm and dry and any passing rain showers will be short-lived. It’s a brilliant time to explore the ocean surrounding Roatán, whether that’s taking part in scuba diving excursions or just popping on a snorkel, and you’ll see a huge variety of marine life at this time of year.
Get more information for Roatán in March here.
April is one of Roatán’s busiest months, as it aligns with many people’s spring and Easter breaks. Holidaymakers visit the island throughout the month and places such as West End Village and West Bay will be full of tourists making the most of the gloriously warm weather and spending time on Roatán’s brilliant beaches. Prices on the island in April will be very high, so it is worth booking well in advance to get the best deal for a spring holiday.
Get more information for Roatán in April here.
Tourist season tails off in May, so this month is perfect if you want to make the most of some of the best weather on Roatán without the large price tag of earlier months. The Caribbean Cup Freediving competition brings quite a lot of interest to the island for a week, but other than that you will find Roatán busy but not overcrowded.
Get more information for Roatán in May here.
Temperatures soar in June on Roatán, and the pleasant sea temperatures make diving one of the month’s most popular activities. Roatán gets a fair amount of travellers in June who have come to the island for an early summer holiday, but popular areas won’t be too busy and prices for flights and accommodation are fair.
Get more information for Roatán in June here.
Roatán in July is hot and humid; ideal for lazy days spent relaxing on the beach and long evenings watching the sunset as you sip cocktails. You’ll find more people arriving on the island as schools break up for the summer holidays, but nowhere will be overly crowded and the island’s east end in particular will be nice and quiet.
Get more information for Roatán in July here.
August is one of the hottest months on Roatán, and if you’re not used to tropical heat and humidity then you may want to give the island a miss this month. There’s plenty of fun holiday activities to enjoy and sights to see if you do visit, and of course, the warm weather makes for ideal conditions to relax on the beach or go swimming and snorkelling in the sea.
Get more information for Roatán in August here.
September is one of the busiest months on Roatán for exciting events that include a fishing tournament, an annual fundraising get-together and a national holiday. It’s also the start of the low season for tourism on the island, so despite everything that’s going on you can expect to see more of the locals when you’re out and about and enjoy some parts of the island undisturbed by other travellers.
Get more information for Roatán in September here.
October is one of Roatán’s quietest months, with very few holiday-makers visiting the island as the wet season begins. You won’t get too many days of rainy weather however, and can enjoy many of the western parts of the island without their usual crowds. The prices of flights and accommodation are very cheap in October, so it’s a perfect time to come to Roatán if you’re on a budget.
Get more information for Roatán in October here.
November is one of the wettest months on Roatán, and also one of the quietest. It’s still a brilliant time to come and visit the island however, as many of the popular holiday resorts will be offering discount prices for their all-inclusive packages and you can still enjoy high temperatures and hours of hot sunshine in between rain showers.
Get more information for Roatán in November here.
Mid-way through December is when the high season for tourism begins again in Roatán, as cruise ships start arriving with their passengers and people start to take their winter breaks in a tropical part of the world. If you really fancy something different for Christmas then Roatán is a fantastic option, as the weather is really warm and the holiday is celebrated on the island with various events leading up to December the 25th.
Get more information for Roatán in December here.
What makes Roatán such a popular holiday destination is that there is literally not a bad time to go and visit the island, and even when the weather is wet there are many different things to see and do. It’s a beautiful part of the world that is only just starting to be discovered by travellers, so make the most of its hidden-gem status before it’s too late and come and find out for yourself what makes Roatán so special.