In the old days, you could not get to Roatan without having come through La Ceiba, however in recent years Roatan has begun to get direct international flights, and this means that you can get to Roatan directly from the USA in a non stop flight out of Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Miami or New York. Scheduled flights are not daily, so normally; you must plan on staying in Roatan for a week. If this is your plan, and you are not a serious Scuba Diver or Snorkeler, then you will soon start looking for activities to do during some of your days.
Hopefully, as you are reading this post, you are still in the planning stage of your vacation, because a great tour option in Roatan is to travel to La Ceiba for one night and spend it in the Cangrejal River Valley. This will give you the option to combine the dense, tropical rain forests of mainland Honduras with the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The Cangrejal River Valley offers the opportunity of diverse activities that you will not find available in Roatan. Examples are World Class white water rafting, hiking in the rain forest and simply relaxing in the refreshing waters of a mountain river with crystal clear water.
Getting from Roatan to La Ceiba is very easy! There are several flights each day between both airports. Aerolineas Sosa and Lanhsa both offer service. They do not use big airplanes, however this is a plus because you get a more scenic trip. The flight is a short 15 minute jump over the Caribbean.
If you do not like flying in small aircraft, then the ferry is an excellent option. The Galaxy wave, and its sister ship, the Tropical Wave are state of the art waterjet catamarans that cruise the sea at 25 knots an hour, fast enough to make the trip in a short 1 ½ hours. The ship has comfortable seating, air conditioning and even a small cafeteria on board where you can purchase a soft drink, water or even a sandwich! With two daily departures from Roatan, I recommend you take the early departure, that leaves at 7:00 a.m. Although it might seem early, it will give the full day to explore and enjoy the Cangrejal River to its fullest. Since you will be in La Ceiba by 8:30, this gives you plenty of time to get your transportation, a short 35 minutes to the Cangrejal, check in at the hotel of your choice (if you are spending the night) or simply get ready for your rafting tour. I fully recommend both Omega Tours (www.omegatours.info) and La Moskitia Ecoaventuras (www.lamoskitia.hn). Both offer half day tours that will suit your needs and budget. The experience will be something that you will cherish as fond memories of your trip to Roatan, so you should make sure you do not miss out on the experience!
For your overnight stay, there are several places. Without doubt, the one we recommend is La Villa de Soledad B&B, a lovely boutique bed and breakfast ecolodge facility right on the edge of Nombre de Dios National Park. For more information on the Cangrejal River area visit www.lavilladesoledad.com.