Most tourists who are familiar with the island of Roatan will speak about places such as Coxen Hole, West Bay and West End. This is entirely understandable as Coxen Hole is the largest city on the island, West Bay is home to the island’s largest resorts and West End is a popular funky village replete with bars, restaurants and dive shops. But far fewer tourists make it to the East End of Roatan. And that’s a shame, because the East End has its benefits as well. If you’re looking for a quieter, more relaxed and possibly more authentic alternative to the busy western side of the island, you might consider taking a short drive east. The area has a long history of pirates, 17th century battleships and ancient artifacts. Looking for sun, fun and treasure? Visit Port Royal, Roatan.
Port Royal was favored by buccaneers because of it’s well sheltered and easily defended harbor. From the surrounding cliffs it’s easy to see any ships coming for miles. Port Royal is currently favored by tourists for that same stunning view. But what’s left today is only a shadow of what once was. Present day Old Port Royal is home to the ruins of a former British fortress and townsite. In the early 1900s, this was the area where treasure belonging to 18th century English pirate, Edward “Ned” Low was found.
The hunt for Ned Low’s treasure didn’t end there. In the 1960s, treasure hunter Howard Jennings, came to Roatan’s East End equipped with metal detectors, naval survey maps from the British Museum and the author of The French Connection and The Green Berets, Robin Moore. According to Moore’s novel, The Treasure Hunter, published in 1974, the pair came away with gold nugget, silver bars and valuable necklaces.
Will you be so lucky? Well, even if you don’t find precious metals you will find miles of unspoiled, white sand beaches, quaint fishing villages and a much more traditional way of life than found on the west side of the island. And to be honest, that can be a priceless treasure in and of itself.