Roatan (and the other bay islands of Honduras) have quite a bit in common with Belize. They were heavily influenced by their British colonists and most people speak English or Kriol. They are surrounded by a gorgeous barrier reef and famous for snorkeling and diving. There is a small Garifuna popluation on the East End of Roatan (and all along the northern coast of Honduras). In fact, the first Garifuna settlers in Central America arrived in Punta Gorda, Roatan.
Now we have something else that links both countries… literally. Yesterday afternoon, Belize’s Tropic Air sent up its first direct flight from Belize to Roatan. And what makes it even more cool? I was on it!
I’ve actually been getting lots of questions over the last few years about how to make this journey…so close yet so far away. People wanting to “island hop” or dive afficiendados looking to visit both Belize and Roatan. Well…now you can do it. Easily. REALLY easily. For all the detailed information, check out Tropic AIr’s official press release at the end of this post. But let me do what I most like to do…show you some pictures.
After days and days of rain in Belize, our flight to Belize City was a little bit hazy but clear. We picked up a passenger in Caye Caulker and flew quite low over the private golfing and resort caye of Caye Chapel (see more about golfing there below).
We arrived at Belize International and checked in for our flight to Honduras. And then went to meet our plane…
Ten passengers all together. A mix. A few people (like me) who live in Belize and were excited about this first flight. And some tourists that were going diving in Roatan after some time visiting Belize.
We took off over Belize City…
three HUGE cruise ships were doing their cruise ship thing right off shore. (Stirring up silt and taking up tons of space?)
But the sun was setting and we were almost to Roatan…
One hour later? I’m going through the 5 minutes immigration-customs-baggage claim process and I’m officially allowed to spend 90 days in the country of Honduras…
We hopped in a taxi to the West End and a very very nice centrally located hotel called The Beach House.
But lots more on the West End tomorrow…
If you like a good view, check out what I saw from the other two International Flights that I’ve taken with Tropic AIr. Most stunning may have been to San Pedro Sula Honduras over the southern Belize cayes…
and also gorgeous, the flight to Cancun.
ALL THE OFFICIAL INFORMATION:
Tropic Air has commenced non-stop service between Roatan (RTB) and Belize City’s Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE). Flights are initially 3 times weekly with a plan to increase as demand warrants.
Passengers from Roatan are able to connect to and from the many multi-daily non-stop international flights that Belize City has to offer (Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Charlotte, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta among others). The Roatan flights also connect to Tropic Air’s other international services to Cancun (Mexico), Flores (Guatemala) and San Pedro Sula in addition to its 11 domestic destinations within Belize.
In addition to trade and commerce, this service also opens up many new opportunities for the tourism market, with hotels in both destinations already partnering up to offer double dip vacations, further diversifiying the tourism offering of both Belize and Roatan.
Package and mail cargo service will also be available shortly.
Tropic’s schedule between Belize City International and Roatan:
DEPARTS TIME ARRIVES TIME Days
Belize City Int’l (BZE) 4:15PM Roatan (RTB) 5:15PM Wed, Fri, Sun
Roatan (RTB) 7:00AM Belize City Int’l (BZE) 8:00AM Thur, Sat, Mon
ALL TIMES LOCAL
With the addition of Roatan, Tropic Air will serve 15 destinations in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
And for anyone who has been to the West End or Roatan, let me know if you have suggestions about great things to do. I am all ears.