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Safe to rent a car in Roatan and Mexico?


plasticmaster
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Our last cruise was 3 years ago and we rented a car in St. Martin. We explored the whole island and felt very safe doing so. We got to experience so much more than an excursion would allow and for much cheaper (2 adults and 2 kids).  Our next cruise is this spring and stops in Roatan, Costa Maya, and Cozumel.  Is renting a car at these places a possibility and is it safe to explore like this on our own?  Thanks.

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We've rented a few times in the Yucatan of Mexico, but I speak Spanish fluently.  I wanted to see some archaeological sites that were off the beaten path.  One time husband went cave scuba diving.  However, most popular places now are offered on some type of shore excursion/tour, and we prefer to go on a trip like that which is all arranged and includes lunch at a scenic spot.  Might cost a bit more, but safety, organization and comfort are great.

Costa Maya is mainly just a beach area--there is much more to see towards Cancun and westward.  I would never rent in any other parts of Mexico due to crazy drivers and crime. Some of the cars we rented were junky, some of the roads are bad, and one needs to know something about where all the roads go.  Also it would be important to ensure you have some kind of strong insurance coverage, as Mexico and Honduras may have different laws if accidents occur. Cozumel and Roatan are not really that big, so why would I rent a car?  It would be more fun to rent one of those off-road vehicles on a tour and explore.

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I wouldn't rent a car in any of those places.  I laugh in Roatan when I see the driver only slow down at the one stop sign on the main road.  My husband asked, "Is the stop sign optional here"?  The driver said, "If I came to a full stop, I'd probably get rear ended".  We had to drive around an accident with a car and a couple tourists on rented scooters in Roatan this past July.  Our driver told us that it happens all the time with tourists, not familiar with driving there.  

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40 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I would definitely NEVER rent a car at Roatan.  Many roads are in very poor condition.

I always recommend a ship tour or guided tour in Roatan.  It's one of my favorite ports but the island is very poor, and I could easily see someone ending up somewhere they should be.

I use Rony's tours and book a driver to take us to whatever we want to do.  It's usually around $100 for the day + the cost of activities. I always feel very safe.

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