Punta Gorda, which translates to “Fat Point,” dates back to 1797 as the oldest permanent settlement on Island of Roatan. The settlement was not planned and grew more by chance: it became a settlement for British slaves after they were released in the general area of the Caribbean. Punta Gorda is populated by Garifuna people, an ethnicity that is believed to number just 600,000 worldwide.
Located on the north side of the island, the quaint location is a relatively long distance from the go-to tourist spots. While this means that Punta Gorda has fewer amenities, it does offer sparsely populated white sand beaches and personal service at the (limited) local restaurants. If you’re looking for a snack, conch is a common meal at Punta Gorda, and thus you can also find a vast amount of conch shell souvenirs along the shoreline.
Due to the limited amenities and small population in the area, Punta Gorda is not likely to be an all-day destination. But the crystal-clear waters, wide-open beachfront, and friendly locals make this destination worth a trip by rental car or scooter.
The island of Roatan is most commonly accessed by a flight from mainland Honduras or from Houston, Texas. There is only one airport on the island, so any visitor that is not arriving by boat will start from this centrally located point. Because the island is small (less than 50 miles from end to end), taking a taxi from the airport to your residence is likely the most efficient and cost-effective option. Popular destinations such as West Bay and West End will have options for vehicle rentals at a reasonable price.