Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to all your questions about visiting Roatan, staying at Barefoot Cay and diving with Barefoot Divers!

General
Packing
Getting Here & Around
Location & Language
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Accommodations & Pool
Dining & Cooking
Phone & Internet
Weather
Currency, Cash & Credit Cards

General

Q. Are you an environmentally friendly resort?
A. We strive to take the environment into consideration. All our water is collected rainwater run through a purification system. Our kitchen separates waste so that organic matter can be composted.We use organic, environmentally friendly pest control products. We support the Roatan Marine Park and participate in regular Bay Island Coastal cleanups.

Q. Does Honduras have a litter problem?
A. In this part of the world, anti-litter laws have not yet become part of the culture, so some litter makes its way into the sea and then washes ashore on the cay. We keep the cay as clean as possible and make every effort to remove litter. We rake the beach and sand twice daily, and groundskeepers walk the beach and grounds often to pick up seaweed and litter that washes ashore.

Q. What about sand flies?
A. Sand flies can be found anywhere on Roatan and the entire Caribbean. Here on the cay, we take every measure to reduce the sand fly population. We rake the beach (which kills the sand fly eggs) and also have an automatic system that mists the grounds with the chrysanthemum-based product recommended by the government of Honduras (this product is organic and harmless to people, birds, dogs, etc.). There is also a natural product available for purchase in our Resort Shop called Cactus Juice that we suggest that you apply to protect your skin; it comes in a cream that contains sunscreen.

Q. Is there anything needed in Roatan that I can bring down?
A. So thoughtful of you to ask! There are several non-profit organizations on Roatan that rely on donations of items such as school supplies, English and Spanish children’s books, medical supplies, and infant formula. Please contact us to see what’s on the current wish list. We’d be happy to take your supplies to the appropriate organization for you once you’ve arrived.

Q. Can I drink the water?
A. All tap water at Barefoot Cay and Barefoot Divers is filtered, sterilized, and safe for drinking. It is best at other places in Honduras to request bottled water.

Q. What kind of power/voltage is used on Roatan?
A. Roatan uses the same electric voltage as the United States.: AC (60Hz), 120/240 volts. The local electric provider, RECO, has outages from time to time, but they typically do not last long. Barefoot Cay has a back-up generator that serves all buildings at the resort during power outages.

Packing

Q. Do you have hairdryers?
A. Yes, hair dryers are provided in all resort accommodations.

Q. Do I need to bring shampoo?
A. All accommodations include complementary L’Occitane shampoo and conditioner, as well as soap and body lotion.

Q. What kind of clothes do I need?
A. Casual dress is all that is needed.  Typical attire includes bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and sunglasses, of course! Bring more than one bathing suit, and bring a lightweight long-sleeved shirt and pants as protection from the intense sun. For footwear, we recommend rugged, open shoes you can wear in the water: rubber thongs, TEVA sandals, or CROCS. You can purchase items such as t-shirts, hats, and CROCS in the resort shop that is next to the dive shop. Pack something a little dressier if you want to plan a special dinner.

Q. Do I need to bring malaria medicine?
A. Please consult your doctor on this subject. Most Roatan doctors do not recommend the malaria preventive to residents because it can affect the liver. On the other hand, for travelers, taking the preventive for three or four weeks (one pill is taken each week) probably won’t be damaging and might give you peace of mind.

IMPORTANT: Make sure your passport will be valid for 6 months after your travel to Honduras, or you will not be permitted to board your flight. All travelers coming from a yellow fever country must show proof of current yellow fever vaccination or will be turned away from your flight to Roatan. Check the list of yellow fever countries here.

Getting Here & Around

Q. How do we get to Roatan?
A. Several airlines fly directly to the international airport in Roatan. Barefoot Cay is about 10 minutes from the airport.

•  From the U.S., catch a nonstop direct flight from Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, or Miami on United, American, Delta, and TACA airlines.

•  From Canada, there are charters from Toronto and Montreal depending on the time of year, or you can fly to a U.S. city that offers direct flights.

•  Guests from Europe often fly to Miami or Houston and take a direct connecting flight to Roatan via United, American, Delta, or TACA.

•  Guests from Central and South America usually fly on TACA.

Note that some flights go through San Pedro Sula, on the mainland of Honduras. We recommend that you fly directly to Roatan if possible. We don’t make travel reservations, but are happy to advise you. If you have any questions at all, call or e-mail us at Info@BarefootCay.com.

Q. How do I get to Barefoot Cay from the airport?
A. If you have a confirmed reservation at Barefoot Cay, airport transfers are included. The resort will be waiting to pick you up in one of our air-conditioned vehicles if you provide us with your flight information prior to arrival.

Q. From North America, will we need to go through the mainland of Honduras?
A. Not unless you prefer to. With the direct flights to Roatan, it’s not necessary to come through Honduras via San Pedro Sula.

Q. How far is Barefoot Cay from the airport?
A. We are just under 7 kilometers (4.25 miles) east of the airport, which is about a 10 minute drive.

Q. Where would we get a rental car?
A. There are several car rental agencies at the airport, a few of whom offer a drop off service.  You can usually arrange a car rental through our guest services after arrival, however during dates surrounding major holidays (Christmas/New Year’s, Easter and US Thanksgiving), it’s recommended that you reserve a vehicle ahead of time.

Q. Is it safe where we would leave our rental car?
A. Yes, we provide an ample and well-lighted parking area by the Barefoot Divers Dive Center.

Q. Is there taxi service?
A. Taxis are readily available and quite inexpensive. Or we can arrange for a car with a driver, either for transportation or for sightseeing.

Location & Language

Q. Where is Barefoot Cay located on Roatan?
A. We’re located on the south shore of Roatan, in the western third of the island, between Brick Bay and French Harbour. For a map of Roatan, please follow this link: http://www.bayislandsvoice.com/roatan-guide-map.htm

Q. What kind of a place is Roatan?
A. Roatan is a tropical island that’s just enough off the beaten  track to offer an abundance of natural beauty and irresistible diving, but developed enough to offer modern lodging  and dining. There is a unique beauty and cultural texture to the island that appeals to the traveler who seeks an experience that is beautiful, unique, and real. Modern amenities are subtle, and their shape is influenced by the  island`s  culture and environment.

As with “island life” elsewhere, the pace here is unhurried. The weather is tropical but temperate all year round. Known for its white sand beaches and famous for its scuba diving, Roatan offers something more: the opportunity to experience a unique culture and a fusion of old and new ways of living. The island is still developing, so guests who explore Roatan experience a blend of areas with modern amenities and areas with more simple habitations. The people of Roatan have a strong and affectionate society, and guests enjoy the warm and friendly personality that infuses daily life, experience, and architecture here.

Q. Is it true that English is mainly spoken there?
A. Yes. Many people on Roatan speak English, even though the official language of Honduras is Spanish. Roatan was controlled by the British until 1859, when it was ceded to Honduras. Perhaps due to the British influence, English remains a prominent language here, and you’ll find that it’s easy to get along if you know English only, but some basic Spanish is helpful.

Q. How convenient is Barefoot Cay to bars and nightlife?
A. Most of the nightlife on Roatan is in the West End and West Bay areas, about 30 and 45 minutes away, respectively. For visitors who want continual nightlife within walking distance, those areas might be a better location for you. But we find that many guests love going out to explore various parts of Roatan, and then coming back to their refuge back here at the resort.

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Q. How is the diving on Roatan’s south shore?
A. It’s fantastic. It’s predominantly warm, shallow and then drops off deep with vertical walls. Because of the trade winds and the currents, the south side of Roatan benefits from the extra nutrients that are washed toward our shores, so we get vibrant reefs. At Barefoot Divers, you are a stone’s throw from Roatan’s most famous dive site, Mary’s Place. Two wreck dives are nearby. And of course, the world’s second largest barrier reef is all around. If your interests take you beyond the south shore, just let Barefoot Divers know. We can help you make diving plans and travel arrangements for the sites you have in mind. See Diving in Roatan and 10 Favorite Dive Sites.

Q. How warm is the water?
A. Roatan’s median temperature is 82°F (26.7°C), and its waters are equally warm. The average water temperature varies from approximately 79°F (25.5°C) in winter to 85°F (29°C) in summer. See

Q. If we want to dive on the north shore or West End, will we be able to?
A. Of course – Roatan island is yours to explore, and we are happy to assist you wherever you would like to go. Our instructors and boat captains are thoroughly knowledgeable about dive sites around the entire island. The Barefoot Divers dive shop has wall-size dive maps, information, and prices about day trips, and the experienced staff can help you select just the right site. If you have questions or would like help planning, e-mail us.

Q. Do you offer special dive packages?
A. Pricing is available either a la carte or as a package, so you can choose whatever works best for you. An all-inclusive package includes all meals and diving, and diving packages are only available for Barefoot Cay resort guests. A la carte diving prices are on a sliding scale based on the number of dives a guest does during their visit; that way, guests pay only for dives they take. See our packages and pricing.

Q. What are your diving rates?
A. Rates for diving vary by the location selected, equipment rented, and the number of dives. See our pricing and packages.

Q. Do you offer PADI courses and certifications?
A. Yes! We are a full-service and PADI 5 Star Dive Resort, with diving instructors (a higher level of training than divemaster) on staff. We offer many courses and PADI certifications, and as a PADI 5 Star Dive Center we can also offer you a PADI e-Learning option to complete your academics at home prior to your holiday. See descriptions of learn-to-dive courses for beginners and PADI continuing education courses for intermediate and advanced divers.

Q. Where can we rent diving equipment?
A. Everything you need is here onsite at Barefoot Divers Dive Center. You can rent wetsuits (3mm shorty or full length), regulators, weight-integrated BCDs, masks/fins/snorkels, diving computers, and more. Our prices include tanks, belts, and weights. Nitrox enriched air is available.

Q. I haven’t been diving in more than six months. Is there anything I need to do to refresh my skills?
A. Absolutely – refreshers are a great way to tune up your scuba diving skills, which can get rusty quickly when you’re not diving regularly. To ensure that all divers on the fun diving boat as well as the dive lead have a safe and comfortable diving experience, any divers who have been out of the water for six months or more are required to take a refresher course before joining our fun diving boats. If you’re eager to get right into the water upon arrival on Roatan, you can take a refresher course at home from your local dive shop. If you live in a chilly climate, don’t worry – this course is usually completed in a swimming pool or dive tank! If you’re not able to take a refresher before arrival, just let our reservations staff know and they’ll arrange with the dive shop to have a refresher course here for you before you start fun diving. There are different levels based on how long you’ve been out of the water – you can find more information on our Barefoot Divers website.

Q. What is valet diving?
A. It is a focus on very personalized service and utmost safety and fun for our guests. Diving is done in small groups (usually eight divers or fewer). Your itinerary is one that you develop with our PADI-trained dive leads, based upon your interests and abilities, and refined by the instructors’ knowledge of local diving conditions.

When you arrive for your dive, your tank is filled and your BCD and regulator are already set up and on the boat. All you need to bring on board is your personal gear (mask/fins/wetsuit), check your gear and you’re ready to dive! The boat pulls right up to the dive center and has amenities for your comfort, with towels, fresh water, fruit after the dive, safety equipment, a sun shade, and a camera rinse tank. Many surface intervals take place back at the comfort of the resort because so many dive sites are just a short boat ride away.

After your dive, step out of your gear, take your mask/fins/wetsuit to rinse and leave in your personal locker and leave the rest to us – we will carry your BCD/regulator and tank, and properly rinse and store all of your equipment in your personal locker in the dive center. You can shower, have lunch, or lounge in our social area and talk with other folks about your dive. In short, we take care of everything for you, and we’ll go out of our way to make each dive a fun, safe, and spectacular experience.

Q. Does Barefoot Divers have Nitrox (enriched air)?
A. Yes. We have new and excellently maintained compressors to provide divers with the highest quality of both regular and enriched air available. We also have a quick-fill system, so you never have to wait for tanks. Nitrox tanks are available at an additional charge, please see our Pricing page for details.

Q. I don’t scuba dive, but I’d like to learn. What are my options?
A. You have several great options available that let you experience the sport with the best available instructors in a gorgeous environment, and get the most out of your vacation. See the Learn to Dive page.

Q. I don’t dive, but I want to snorkel – where can I do this?
A. There’s excellent snorkeling inside the reef wall right off of our palapa. Put on your gear and step in to one of the world’s best snorkeling spots! As Barefoot Cay is known for its privacy and seclusion,  our beach, pool, and palapa are located on our private cay and are only accessible to resort guests. Non-resort guests are welcome to sign up as snorkelers on our dive boats during the dive trips.   Many Roatan dive sitesare fantastic for both diving and snorkeling, so we can take people who want to dive and snorkel all out on the same boat if that works for your group.

Snorkeling gear is provided free to our resort guests, or at a cost of $10/day plus tax for non-resort guests. Also available are guided snorkeling tours outside the reef on the dive boats – ask the Barefoot Divers staff for more information and the price list.

Q. How many snorkeling sites are out there?
A. Unlimited. Snorkeling is everywhere, with many excellent sites right nearby. Here are some of the more popular sites for snorkeling: our own house reef off of our palapa; Gold Chain Reef; in the shallows at Mary’s Place (right here in Barefoot Cay’s front yard!); Anke’s Place; Too Tall Too Small; and Doc’s Place. The Barefoot Divers Dive Center has information and pictures to help you decide what appeals most, and expert staff to advise you about where the best weather and water will be on a given day.

Accommodations & Pool

Q. How many units do you have?
A. Barefoot Cay is a small, boutique resort, with just 9 luxury accommodations. We have two ***beachfront bungalows and two ***two-bedroom beachfront villas on our cay, as well as three ***oceanview studio lofts and two ***two-bedroom oceanview loft suites directly across from the cay. Based on two per bedroom, Barefoot Cay has a total capacity of 26 guests.

Q. How large a dive group can you host?
A. We have space for 26 guests, based on two guests per bedroom, though a few more can be accommodated with rollaway beds. Special pricing for groups may be available, please contact us.

Q. What are the beds like?
A. All beds in our accommodations are the ultra-comfortable Heavenly Beds by Westin. People rave about the comfort of our beds.

Q. Do you offer a choice of down or hypoallergenic pillows?
A. Yes, every bedroom has both down pillows and comfortable non-allergenic Dacron pillows.

Q. If I stay in a loft, is it easy to get to the cay?
A. Very easy! There’s only an 85 foot channel that separates the cay from lofts on the south shore, and we have small passenger barges with staff who will take you across at any time of the day or night.

Q. Are children allowed at the resort?
A. Absolutely. We’ve had some very happy families stay with us. We want to be open with prospective guests and ask that if you are considering a vacation on Barefoot Cay with your child or children, you rent one of our two-bedroom villas or two bedroom loft suites. Our two-bedroom accommodations are more family-friendly and spacious. The villas are located on the farthest end of the beach, and the loft suites are at either end of the upper level of the Barefoot Divers building, so that children can play apart from other guest areas, where the occupants seek the peace and serenity that the resort offers. Pack ‘n’ plays and high chairs are available for families traveling with young children. Children can try the PADI Bubblemaker experience at age 8 and can learn how to dive beginning at age 10. Ask us about all the wonderful activities for children around the island.

Q. How many lounges and chairs are by the pool area?
A. We have 12 adjustable Honduran wood loungers with thick pads and headrests. Fitted terrycloth lounge covers are available poolside to drape over your lounge. In addition, the pool gazebo has a separate covered area with eight Adirondack chairs where folks like to gather.

Q. Does the pool area get crowded?
A. Not usually. With each guest’s vacation rhythm and dive schedule so unique, and access to the cay exclusive to resort guests only, the pool is usually a serene place to swim and soak up the sun.

Q. Can we have drinks and snacks served to us by the pool?
A. Absolutely – anything on the menu is available wherever you want. We have many delicious beverages, meals, and appetizers. Just let the staff know what you would like and which accommodation to list as receiving meal service.

Dining & Cooking

Q. Are meals included in the lodging rate?
A. It depends on whether you book an all-inclusive package, or accommodations only (what we call “a la carte” pricing). In a la carte prices, meals, beverages, and diving are separate, to give guests full flexibility of dining and diving when and where they choose. However, lodging, meals, and diving are included in all-inclusive packages.

Q. How does your meal service work?
A. Delicious meals are available, for an additional charge, from the cay’s own kitchen. Cuisine and beverages are available exclusively to Barefoot Cay guests, not the general public.

Barefoot Cay has a complete commercial kitchen and a fully stocked bar. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served, plus between-meal preparations. Delicious cuisine, snacks, and beverages are always available for you to enjoy. Depending on where your days take you, you can choose which meals you would like to have here on the cay. You might want to partake of all of them; none at all; cook in your own place a night or two; or decide day by day.

All items are cooked fresh to order. We serve a variety of preparations that include local specialties, such as shrimp, lobster, and fish, as well as chicken and other meats. We have a different entrée each night of the week, however, upon request by a guest, our cooks will prepare other meal selections that can be ordered when dinner reservations are made in the afternoon.

Soft drinks, beer, cocktails, and mixed or blended drinks are available in the pool cabana all day or can be served poolside or in your bungalow or villa. Each loft, bungalow, and villa has a thermal coffee maker with bean grinder, and coffee is always available in the pool cabana.

Q. What do a la carte meals cost?
A. If you are a resort guest, meals and beverages are available at an additional charge as listed below. Simply come to the pool cabana and let the staff know what you would like; it will be noted on your room name and tallied upon checkout. Non-resort diving guests can order breakfast or lunch to eat on the large veranda in front of the dive shop – just let dive shop staff know you’d like to order from the Barefoot Cay kitchen and they’ll assist you.

•  Breakfast: light breakfast – $7; regular breakfast – $10
•  Lunch: $12
•  Appetizers: $7-12
•  Dinner: $25

The above prices do not include tax or gratuity.

Q. The accommodations have kitchens; does that mean we have to cook all our own meals?
A. Not unless you prefer to. Cook in your room any time you like, but we do offer full service for meals (which can be a la carte or part of an all-inclusive package) and beverages, and of course Roatan offers many dining spots.

Q. If we want to cook, what kind of cookware is in the kitchen?
A. The kitchens are well-stocked with good quality Cuisinart stainless steel cookware, a Cuisinart coffee maker with grinder, and a Cuisinart blender, plus a full complement of cooking items, such as measuring cups and spoons, graters, knives, cutting boards, and more. The kitchens have full-size refrigerators, stoves, and microwave ovens.

Q. Is there a supermarket, and how far away is it?
A. Sun Supermarket (formerly Eldon’s ) is nearby in French Harbour and has an ample selection of groceries, beverages, deli items, and produce. It’s about a $5 taxi ride to get there. In addition, there are various pulperias in all the small communities on Roatan where fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as limited groceries, can be purchased.

Q. How late are large supermarkets open?
A. Typically until 7:00 p.m. nightly, and until 1 p.m. on Sunday. Smaller stores usually close earlier.

Q. Can we purchase fresh seafood on the island?
A. Yes, there are various places where you can buy fresh seafood. Or if you take a fishing charter, you might bring back your own dinner! Our staff knows where to get the best seafood at any given time – just ask us.

Q. Are there restaurants nearby should we choose to go out for meals?
A. French Harbour (just a few minutes down the road) has two good dining spots, and there’s a third favorite just a ways beyond. And if you’d like to travel a bit farther, of course there are various restaurants as well as interesting local spots all around Roatan. The office and dive center staff know all the great local spots and are happy to make recommendations for you.

Q. Can we drink the water?
A. All tap water at Barefoot Cay and Barefoot Divers is filtered, sterilized, and safe for drinking. It is best at other places in Honduras to request bottled water.

Phone & Internet

Q. Can I get a signal for my cell phone from home?  
A. As long as your phone is unblocked with roaming capabilities, you should be able to get a signal. Because roaming charges are usually fairly high, you may want to use our complimentary cell phone with pay-as-you-go minutes, which are just 26 cents a minute to the United States.

Q. How can I call home?
A. Cell phones are provided in every accommodation for use during your stay. The phone has 15 complimentary minutes that you can use in several ways: for local calls, for calls to the United States and Canada, for room service, housekeeping, or to book services in the dive center and spa. You are welcome to provide the cell phone number to friends and family who may wish to contact you during your stay.

Q. Does the cay have internet service?
A. Yes, there’s wireless internet service all over the cay, including the marina. You’ll also find a hardwired connection at the desk in each loft, plus a computer available for guest use in the cay office. If you do not have a web-accessible e-mail address, your family can e-mail you at Info@BarefootCay.com and we will print it out and deliver it to you.

Weather

Roatan offers a favorable tropical climate all year round, where the temperature is generally in the mid-80’s. On the south shore of Roatan, our location benefits from the prevailing easterly trade winds.

Roatan’s waters are equally warm. The average water temperature varies from approximately 79°F (26°C) in winter to 85°F (29.4°C) in summer.

All during the year, the weather patterns change frequently on Roatan. Mid-October to  mid-January are the rainiest and coolest times on Roatan, but rainfall is often periodic, and a typical day or week in the rainy season can include days that have full or partial sunshine, along with some occasional or continual rain. The tropical rain on Roatan often begins and ends abruptly. The island’s indigenous exotic trees and plants are kept healthy by ample annual rainfall.

The summer months are warmer and there typically is less wind, however here there is usually at least a light breeze. It’s easy to cool off on even the warmest days with a short swim in the pool or the Caribbean Sea.

Currency, Cash & Credit Cards

Q. What is the currency in Roatan?
A. The currency of Honduras is the Lempira. However, on Roatan, U.S. dollars are widely accepted as long as the denomination is $20 or less. The exchange rate to U.S. dollars is approximately 20.5 Lempiras to one U.S. dollar. If you use U.S. dollars, make sure the bills are new or in excellent shape, as worn and torn U.S. bills are not accepted by any banks on Roatan, and therefore people and businesses do not accept them either.

Q. Are credit cards or travelers checks accepted?
A. Credit cards are accepted by most larger businesses around the island, but a significant service fee may be charged and often times the system is down. Have enough cash for a backup. Smaller businesses and some restaurants accept cash only. Travelers checks are not accepted very many places and are not recommended.

Q. Are there ATM machines?
A. Roatan has several ATMs that dispense both Honduras lempiras and U.S. dollars. We recommend you bring some cash with you, as the ATMs are sometimes out of order and some have been subject to fraud.

Q: What’s the tipping policy?
A. Tipping at the resort is left until the end of your stay, so you don’t have to worry about keeping small bills on you.  You can either tip to individual staff members, or leave a general tip that will be fairly dispersed among all staff.  A suggested minimum gratuity of 10% for the cay staff and 20% for the dive staff is added to your final billing at check out.  These amounts can be adjusted up or down at your discretion, based on the level of service that you received.

For services outside the resort, standard tipping practice is 10-15% on food and beverages, as well as on transportation.