Semana Santa in the Bay Islands is the biggest week of the year. The week leading up to Easter Sunday is traditionally a week off of school in the region, plus many businesses close entirely or limit their opening hours to celebrate. In the Bay Islands, you won't find any tourism-related businesses closed during this week because they are all at full tilt!
Semana Santa in the Bay Islands
Easter Week, Holy Week, Semana Santa - they're all the same thing. Throughout Central and South America, plus much of the Caribbean, Semana Santa is a week filled with festivities and family fun. In the Bay Islands, we receive a huge influx of tourists from mainland Central America to enjoy a week on the beach. Each of the Bay Islands sees an uptick in tourism during this week, but Roatan typically sees the largest increase.
Roatan receives cruise ships regularly at its two ports, plus a number of international flights direct to the island throughout the week. Add in the many additional tourists for Semana Santa who arrive via domestic flights or the ferry, and you'll notice a big change for the island. West Bay Beach and West End in particular see much larger crowds during Semana Santa.
Advice for Visiting During Semana Santa
Keep in mind that if you are visiting the islands during this time, you should book any and all activities in advance to ensure you don't miss out on something because it's already full. Hotels and resorts will be booked well in advance, and vacation rentals are immensely popular during Semana Santa - so book early to get your first choice!
If you are staying on West Bay Beach or in West End, it might be a bit louder than normal as celebrations and festivities will go later into the night. If you're a light sleeper, you might want to consider staying farther away from these main hubs of activity. Otherwise, join in on the fun!
There will be lots of special events and celebrations scheduled throughout the week for each island. Check with your hotel or vacation rental manager for details so you don't miss out on fantastic live music, fun parties, and lots of great energy as the islands come alive with happy celebrations.
You will see vendors selling all kinds of food, drinks, and souvenirs throughout Semana Santa. Go ahead and try something new, chat with the people next to you on the beach and in the bar, and revel in the festive feeling of Semana Santa in the Bay Islands.