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FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

Minneapolis...
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FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

One of the most frequently asked questions about Roatan by potential visitors is "How safe will I be?" Certainly reports about the high violent crime rate in Honduras trigger reasonable concerns for folks who have not experienced Roatan.

My hope is that people will take this opportunity to give their most helpful opinions and advice about safety of tourists on Roatan and that this topic will eventually be saved to the FAQs column on the right hand side of the page for Roatan.

Though a review of the forums over the past several years would result in a list of some well-publicized crime events, I'm hoping that without sweeping any real concerns under the rug, we also won't dwell too much on isolated anecdotes.

Let's try to have a respectful discussion of the range of opinions!

Thanks in advance for your help!

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21. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

I have traveled to Roatan several times over the last decade or so. I've also done a fair bit of travel throughout other regions of CA and Mexico, as well as the UK, Europe, and throughout the U.S. I pretty much follow the same protocol anywhere I go.

- Don't be overly flashy...avoid wearing expensive looking watches and other jewelry.

- Don't flash cash or carry large sums of it.

- Don't go around with fancy photography equipment

- Always be aware of your surroundings; don't get distracted, remain vigilant

- Don't consume excessive quantities of alcohol

- Don't stay out late "partying"

- Steer clear of those offering you or others marijuana or other drugs

- Steer clear of areas that guide books and other travel resources have discouraged

- certain areas should be avoided after dark...usually you get a pretty good feel for where those areas are. Avoid walking around alone after dark regardless. If you are out at night, stay in well lit, high traffic areas.

- Skip the chicken busses and other, cheaper modes of public transportation. Just pony up and get a cab or use a reputable ferry/shuttle/bus service.

- On that same note, I always check with the hotel to see if they have a particular driver they like to use. I also inquire as to any particular bars/restaurants/etc that should be avoided.

- Avoid banking/ATM transactions after dark

many many more...just use a good dose of common sense. Crime can happen anywhere and at anytime. Always be aware of your surroundings.

Newport Beach...
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22. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

…state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5816.html

Utila, Honduras
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23. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

ok divetravelsma... i think we've got your point, you don't think honduras is safe

Minneapolis...
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24. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

Thanks for the link, Divetravelsmart. I know from your posting on three different threads that you have some concerns about safety in Roatan and will not be visiting any time soon.

I read the same report differently. I have traveled on the mainland and I do understand the concerns about the drug traffic-driven violence. But the report also says:

"Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Honduras each year for study, tourism, business, and volunteer work. "

and

"U.S. citizens do not appear to be targeted based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations generally have lower levels of crime and violence than other areas of the country. Moreover, tourists traveling with group tours only rarely report criminal incidents. In June 2012, the government agreed to increase police presence in areas frequented by tourists, such as the Copan Mayan ruins and Roatan. The government also established special tourist police forces in Copan and Roatan and is evaluating this option in other locations. "

and

"The location and timing of criminal activity is unpredictable. We recommend that all travelers exercise caution when traveling anywhere in Honduras. However, certain areas of the country demonstrate higher levels of criminal activity than others. "

So... I find the State Department to be prudent in warning people to be aware and sensible when visiting... and I can't wait to go back!

25. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

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Removed on: 26 November 2012, 23:44
Minneapolis...
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26. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

Once more, with respect, I read the article you linked and I read the message quite differently. This certainly looks and sounds like a group of people, ranging from the President down to local folks like Troy Bodden on Utila who are quite AWAKE.

I am aware that there's often a broad gap between what is talked about and what actually gets done, but it seems to me it has got to be good news when President Lobo actually participates in such a meeting.

It is easy for Americans to be critical of the police and courts of a developing country like Honduras and to bemoan their unenlightened approach to problems of crime and violence - all the while ignoring the fact that it is the demand for drugs in America that is driving the violent drug trade in Central America. We've handed them a heck of a problem and it's not like they have the kind of resources we have to deal with it.

So let's applaud this specific recognition of the importance of tourism to Honduras and the new plans to improve safety for tourists.

And at the same time... is it not sad that the financial benefit of wealthy tourists means that an impoverished country will focus even more of its efforts on keeping tourists safe while so many of their citizens remain vulnerable to the senseless violence?

27. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

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Removed on: 12 December 2012, 12:37
Sudbury, Canada
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28. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

Funny.... I knew TA would remove that post...

Food for thought Tripp.

Newport Beach...
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29. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

AWWW...wake up...It is all based on opinion but I too have traveled to the mainland many times...there would be no "travel advisory" out if Crime didn't continue to be a HUGE issue on the Mainland; spreading to the islands of Utila and Roatan.

Please don't advise a "newbie" in the wrong direction; there is still Hope...hope that the elected officials; (whom, even mentioned moving to Miami, Fl) will wake up and start caring for the people...not their wallets...example...900 of news you cannot deny American citizens are seeing....Keep a blind eye...you will lose all monies from tourist!!

…nbcnews.com/_news/…

Burlington, Canada
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30. Re: FAQ - How safe is Roatan for tourists?

I have been to Roatan twice staying in West Bay both times. We felt very safe in West Bay (two girls traveling together)...there are lots of tourists there. The farther away you get from tourist zone the more likely you are to be a victim of crime...which is par for the course generally anywhere. If you stay in the tourist zone you should have a problem free holiday. Even though Roatan is getting more developed and has some expensive condos being developed I personally consider Roatan still a lvery much a developing country. Roatan is an island so it is not part of Mainland Honduras....keep in mind that people that keep quoting travel warnings for Honduras...these warnings apply to the mainland.which is not Roatan....BUT....even islanders in Roatan will tell you that crime is on the increase in Roatan...and it probably does bottom down to drug gangs on the island...as a mild mannered tourist you aren't going to be involved with any of this stuff...someone once said on one of these forums...the later it is at night and the more alcohol involved the more likely you are to run into trouble..but isn't that anywhere???,,,when a tourist in developing countries/big cities best to exercise prudence and stay safe. Usually in Roatan you are tired pretty early from all the snorkeling during the day. I would not be worried about coming to Roatan. for your safety's sake but I wouldn't walk in isolated areas or on the beach where there are no other people. In West Bay/West End there are tons of tourists around. The tourist police in my opinion are more just presence than anything...they most likely won't speak English and when I told one about something that had happened it was clear that he didn't speak a word of English...so I wouldn't depend on them too much. Go and have fun and exercise regular tourist caution.