When we’ve traveled to port cities on our own we’ve often come away with the impression that where the port is doesn’t really give you the flavor of a place. To us, Coxen Hole in Roatan Honduras fits that description. The contrast between the cruisers deboarding their fancy ship and the poverty of the port city is striking.
Like many poorer areas reliant on tourism we were accosted with a wave of offers to buy trinkets, take private tours and for taxi rides to “anywhere we wanted to go”. We were entertained by “William” who wanted to show us his town including each church and statues of and monuments to governors and mayors. He was relentless and we offered him a little cash (of course his true aim) despite declining the island-wide tour he was touting.
Unfortunately, most of the excursions from the ship were scrapped due to rain (about which we did not learn until we were bouncing down potholed roads, crammed in our mini bus en route to a chocolate factory in West End) so no lizards, iguanas and parrots in the rain forest for us.
Nonetheless, we did discover West End where if we were coming for the snorkeling or scuba diving would be the place to stay. It’s street is lined with coffee shops, bars, a few hotels and B&Bs and you could launch to the Caribbean from just about any pier. Oh, and the chocolate at the factory was good. If we hadn’t wanted to risk missing the ship pull out of port or getting ripped off by a return cab we probably would have stayed for whatever “Por Que No?” was serving, I mean Why not?