Roatan’s Eastern Treasures
Come discover Roatan’s East End as we explore the islands hidden eastern treasures. Learn about the history of the local communities, and discover some of Roatan’s most unique tourist attractions.
The island of Roatan is approximately 32 miles long and a little over 2 miles wide, on a map it looks a bit like an alligator and it’s divided into two separate municipalities, Santos Guardiola in the east of Roatan municipal in the west, which is where most visitors spend their time enjoying the islands resorts, restaurants, dive operations, adventure parks and nightlife. However to really discover the treasures that are stashed away on this beautiful little island you have to step off the beaten path a bit, take the road less traveled and pay a visit to the east end of Roatan, and since the island only has one main road it’s not that hard to find. Come, see for yourself Roatan Eastern Treasures.
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Roatan East End is an island living the way it used to be, the region is sparsely populated and features lush forests, cattle ranches, fishing villages and some of Island most interesting and off the beaten path resorts and restaurants.
The journey begins just outside the town of French Harbour, when you pass through a quite ramshackle village, which represent the gateway to the East End. A well maintained mountaintop road meanders some 15 miles across the central spine of the island and offers stunning views of both the northern and southern coasts of Roatan. Along the way you’ll spot signs pointing away to picturesque hamlet’s like the expat community of Pollitilly Bight and Jonesville, a small fishing village which was established way back in the 1800s.
Oak Ridge is the largest settlement you’ll find out here and once you arrive you are in the heart of the East End, this is as authentic as it gets. Here many of the locals live in traditional houses that are built on stilts over the water, folks still prefer to get around by boat and one of the most popular tourist attractions is a ride in a wooden dory through the tunnels and canals of the island’s environmentally protected mangrove forest. Oak Ridge’s amazing natural harbor, is home to what remains of the East End shrimp and lobster fishing fleet. While you are there be sure to stop by BJ’s for a cold drink and a chat with one of the islands most interesting residents BJ Ebanks who’s lived in Oak Ridge her entire life.
Once you are back on the highway you’ll quickly come to a fork in the road, turn to the left and you’ll arrive in Punta Gorda the oldest permanent settlement on Roatan. The community was founded in 1797 when the British deported some 3,000 slaves from San Vincent , stranded them here on the deserted beach. Today you’ll find a picturest sleepy seaside village whose residents still cherish the old ways, and are happy to spend a few minutes sharing their stories with visitors.
When you return to the main highway the fork in the road to the right is where the pavement ends and the real East End adventure begins. Ahead is a fairly well maintained gravel road that winds for about 7 miles through a pristine rainforest and jungle canopy. If you have a strong high profile four wheel drive vehicle take the turnoff to Calabash Bight and have a look at one of the most perfect natural harbors in the Caribbean. This is the Roatan most folks never get to see and it’s easy to play Robinson Crusoe out here. Unlike the West End Roatan the beaches on the East End of the island are mostly deserted and one of them is almost two miles long.
The resorts are simple rustic and few and far between, electricity didn’t arrive until 2009 and when Island residents want to escape the hustle and bustle of the West End many come to Camp Bay for a bite to eat and to remind themselves what a magnificent place Roatan really is.
From Camp Bay the gravel road continues for about another mile up and over some fairly rugged terrain, stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with a view that’s one of the most stunning and little seen on Roatan, the sparsely populated and impassable islands of Helene, Morat and Barbareta.
One of the best way to see the East End of Roatan is by boat Oakridge is the place to find one and the ride to old Port Royal will take you past some of the most remote settlements on the island.
Road access is limited and so is the electricity, if you want to really get away from it all, this is the place to do it, here you’ll find the Port Royal park and wildlife refuge, where not much has changed since pirates like Henry Morgan dropped anchor in the Bay. The ruins of the British fortress at old Port Royal remain one of the best kept secrets on the island, it was on this site back in the 1930s that the English adventurer Mitchell Hedges, reportedly discovered four chests filled to the brim with gold doubloons.
Maybe you’ll get lucky too.
Roatan’s Eastern Treasures is sponsored by Max Communications
Roatan oldest and fastest growing cable company. Max Communications was the first to bring fiber optic cable to Roatan, and they continue to introduce innovative communication services, which include digital television, internet, telephone and data transmission. By utilizing the highest quality standards and latest technology their team of skilled employees is committed to customer service and keeping Roatan competitive in today’s globalized world. Call or stop by the Max Communications office at the Mega Plaza in French Harbour, they also have offices in Coxen Hole and West End. Let them show you how they bring the rest of the world to your front door. Max Communications serving Roatan since 1989.
Today Roatan’s East End remains a gem that everyone can find. Undeveloped and unspoiled a glimpse into our past that still flourishes. Make the journey and you’ll discover not a pirates plunder but an island wonderland that remains an undiscovered jewel in the crown of the Caribbean. Step away from the noise, take the road less traveled and come see for yourself – Roatan’s Eastern Treasures.
To learn more about Roatan’s Eastern Treasures watch the video by clicking here