Roatan Crime – What’s The Deal?
To kick off this discussion I want to preface that no place is 100%. Crime can occur at any time and in any location. And looking more granular, each city can have it’s good areas and bad areas. If fact, don’t forget that over 80 people a day are killed or injured by gunshots alone in the United States. To put things in perspective, foreigners are often scared to visit cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York for this very reason!
So with that said, yes, Roatan crime exists. However, I’ll let you be the judge on whether it is anymore dangerous than traveling through your home city for the week. Remember no matter where you go, please take precautions and protect yourself.
Mainland Honduras vs. The Island of Roatan
When you tell people you are traveling to Honduras, it may raise an eyebrow or two. This is because the mainland of Honduras has often been labeled the murder capital of the world. This is due to the high drug production and trade in the country. Most of this activity exists only on the mainland, and rarely finds itself on any of the Bay Islands. Because of this, crime on the mainland Honduras is more prevalent and more dangerous than Roatan crime. Roatan’s most common crimes are thefts and burglaries instead of shootings and stabbings on mainland Honduras.
Which Parts of Roatan Are Safer Than Others?
As far as Roatan crime, there are some areas that crime occurs more often than others. In general, areas that are well populated with tourists and are well lit at night see fewer crimes. This safer areas include the West Bay, West End, Sandy Bay parts of Roatan. Roatan will usually staff more police in these areas, and security is especially focused on the beaches of West Bay. At the end of the day, the island relies upon tourism, and it’s the best interest of the government to keep Roatan crime to a minimum.
Other areas may not be as safe. Coxen Hole for example is nearly entirely populated by locals. This means that as a tourist, you stand out. It’s possible that you could be targeted for a potential mugging due to your appearance of being wealthy. I wouldn’t recommend going here at night. Fortunately, Coxen Hole isn’t a popular tourist destination and there would be no reason be there other than maybe seeing the outskirts as you drive to your hotel from the airport or as you leave your cruise ship for the day.
Additionally, some of the remote areas of the island may have a slightly higher chance of a car break in or burglary, simply because there are few eyes to catch a potential criminal. One area to note is the desolate stretch between West Bay and West End. It’s recommended to take a taxi or water taxi to and from the two beaches if you are traveling alone.
Helpful Tips To Avoid Roatan Crime
- Don’t walk alone late at night, especially in desolate areas.
- Be cognizant of your alcohol consumption, and take a taxi home instead of walking if you have had a few too many to drink.
- Be aware of your surroundings, day or night. If a stretch of buildings or people look suspicious, opt for a differet route.
- Keep valuables locked stored and at your hotel. If the hotel has a safe – use it. If not, stash your valuables somewhere out of sight.
- Don’t leave unattended belongings at the beach. The best way is to buy a Water Pak and bring your cash, cards, and phone into the water with you. I wrote a post on Roatan currency that includes how to protect your valuables on the beach at Roatan.
- Don’t advertise your wealth. I recommend keeping your expensive technology, jewelry, watches and clothing at home.
- Don’t carry all of your cash, credit cards and important documents with you. If something happens, it’s great to have a backup.