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Our Favorite Things to Do & See in Oakridge

16 min read

Set on the eastern shore of Roatán, Oakridge is a charming and picturesque fishing village that offers a unique and authentic Caribbean experience. This hidden gem is often overlooked by visitors to Roatán, who tend to gravitate towards the more developed western side of the island. However, those who venture to Oakridge are rewarded with a glimpse into the island's rich cultural heritage, stunning natural beauty, and warm, welcoming community.

Wondering why we think Oakridge is a great place to add to your Roantan itinerary? Learn all about this special place and discover all the best things to do in Oakridge here! 

Oakridge: What Makes It So Special

Its strong connection to the sea and its thriving fishing industry sets Oakridge apart. The village is built on stilts over the water, with colorful wooden houses connected by a network of boardwalks and bridges. This unique architecture is a testament to the village's deep roots in fishing and its adaptability to the changing tides and weather conditions of the Caribbean.

As you explore the village, you'll see local fishermen bringing in their daily catch, from succulent lobsters and plump shrimp to a variety of colorful reef fish. Fresh seafood is a staple of Oakridge's culinary scene, with local restaurants serving up mouthwatering dishes that showcase the flavors and ingredients of the Caribbean.

Oakridge is also surrounded by some of Roatán's most stunning natural beauty, with mangrove forests, crystal-clear waters, and pristine coral reefs just waiting to be explored. Visitors can take a guided kayak or boat tour through the mangroves, where they can spot various wildlife, including exotic birds, iguanas, and even manatees. The nearby coral reefs are a snorkeler's and diver's paradise, with abundant colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life.

Where Is Oakridge?

Oakridge is a small fishing village located on the eastern shore of Roatán, the largest of Honduras' Bay Islands. The village is situated in a sheltered lagoon, surrounded by lush mangrove forests and overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

The History of Oakridge

Oakridge's history is deeply intertwined with the broader history of Roatán and the Bay Islands, which have been shaped by a complex interplay of indigenous, colonial, and Afro-Caribbean influences over the centuries.

The earliest known inhabitants of Roatán were the Paya, a group of indigenous people who settled on the island and lived off the land and sea. While little is known about the Paya's specific presence in Oakridge, the village's location in a sheltered lagoon with access to abundant fishing grounds and freshwater sources would have made it an attractive site for settlement.

The first recorded European presence in the Bay Islands dates back to 1502, when Christopher Columbus landed on Guanaja, one of the smaller islands in the archipelago. In the centuries that followed, the islands became a hub for pirates, smugglers, and other seafarers, who used the sheltered bays and dense forests as a base for their operations.

In the early 19th century, the British established a colony on Roatán, bringing with them a group of liberated slaves from the Cayman Islands. These settlers, known as the Garifuna, brought with them a rich cultural heritage that blended African, indigenous, and European influences. The Garifuna settled in various parts of Roatán, including Oakridge, where they established fishing villages and cultivated crops such as cassava, yams, and plantains.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, Oakridge remained a relatively isolated and self-sufficient community, with fishing and subsistence agriculture forming the backbone of the local economy. The village's unique stilt architecture, with houses built on posts over the water, evolved as a response to the changing tides and the need for easy access to fishing boats.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Roatán began to develop as a tourist destination, with the construction of airports, roads, and resorts opening up the island to international visitors. While much of this development was concentrated on the western side of the island, Oakridge and the eastern villages remained relatively untouched, preserving their traditional way of life and cultural heritage.

In recent years, Oakridge has begun to attract more visitors seeking an authentic and off-the-beaten-path Caribbean experience. The village has embraced sustainable tourism practices, with local operators offering eco-friendly activities such as kayaking, birdwatching, and cultural tours that showcase the region's natural and historical assets.

Visiting Oakridge Today

Wondering how to make the most of your visit to Oakridge? We’re beginning you our insider travel tips and showing you all the best things to do near Oakridge. 

When to Visit Oakridge

Oakridge, like the rest of Roatán, enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine throughout the year. However, there are some seasonal variations to consider when planning your visit to this charming fishing village.

High Season (December to April):

  • This is the busiest and most popular time to visit Oakridge, with pleasant temperatures, low humidity, and minimal rainfall.
  • Average daytime temperatures range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-29°C), with slightly cooler temperatures at night.
  • This period coincides with the winter months in North America and Europe, making it a popular time for travelers seeking to escape the cold weather.
  • The high season is ideal for exploring Oakridge's outdoor attractions, such as kayaking through the mangroves, snorkeling on the nearby reefs, or simply relaxing on the village's breezy porches and boardwalks.

Shoulder Season (May to June, November):

  • These months offer a nice balance of good weather, lower prices, and smaller crowds compared to the high season.
  • May and June see slightly higher temperatures and humidity levels than the winter months, with daytime highs around the mid-80s Fahrenheit (29-30°C).
  • November is a great time to visit, with comfortable temperatures and lower humidity before the start of the busy winter season.
  • The shoulder season is an excellent time for immersing yourself in Oakridge's local culture, whether by attending the Garifuna Settlement Day festival or simply chatting with friendly locals over a freshly caught seafood meal.

Low Season (July to October):

  • This period coincides with the peak of the Caribbean hurricane season, with September and October being the most active months.
  • Temperatures during this time are typically in the mid-80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (29-33°C), with high humidity levels.
  • Rainfall is more frequent during these months, with occasional heavy showers and the possibility of tropical storms or hurricanes.
  • Despite the increased risk of rain, some travelers choose to visit during the low season to take advantage of lower prices, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to witness the village's lush vegetation at its most vibrant.
  • The low season can also be a good time for fishing enthusiasts, as the changeable weather conditions can sometimes lead to better catches.

What You'll See When You Arrive in Oakridge

As you approach Oakridge, either by land or sea, you'll be struck by the village's unique and picturesque setting. The colorful wooden houses, built on stilts over the water, seem to float above the turquoise lagoon, creating a scene that is both charming and practical.

Upon arriving in the village, you'll likely find yourself on one of the main boardwalks that serve as the primary thoroughfares. These wooden walkways, lined with small shops, restaurants, and homes, are the heart of Oakridge's community life. As you stroll along the boardwalk, you'll be greeted by friendly locals, many of whom will be happy to chat and share their stories and recommendations.

One of the first things you'll notice is the village's strong connection to the sea. Fishing boats, ranging from small dugout canoes to larger motorized vessels, are moored along the edges of the boardwalk, ready to head out for the day's catch. You'll see fishermen mending nets, cleaning fish, and hauling in their hauls, while pelicans and other seabirds circle overhead, hoping for a tasty morsel.

As you explore further, you'll discover some of Oakridge's key attractions and landmarks. The Oakridge Bight, a sheltered lagoon that serves as a natural harbor, is a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, and simply admiring the stunning views. You might spot a local guide leading a group of visitors on a kayaking tour through the nearby mangroves, pointing out the diverse array of birds and wildlife that call this ecosystem home.

Another must-see spot in Oakridge is the community center, which serves as a gathering place for events, meetings, and celebrations. If you're lucky, you might catch a live performance by local musicians or dancers, showcasing the village's rich Garifuna heritage. 

As you wander through the village, you'll be charmed by the small details that make Oakridge so special. The brightly painted houses, often decorated with murals and intricate woodcarvings, reflect the creativity and pride of the local residents. Small gardens, filled with tropical flowers, fruits, and vegetables, add splashes of color and life to the already vibrant scene.

Staying Safe & Fitting in While in Oakridge

When visiting Oakridge, as with any new destination, it's essential to prioritize your safety and be respectful of local customs and cultural norms. By following these guidelines, you'll ensure a smooth and enjoyable stay while building positive relationships with the community.

Safety Tips:

  • Oakridge is generally a safe and welcoming place, with a low crime rate and a strong sense of community. However, it's always wise to exercise common sense and take basic precautions to ensure your well-being.
  • Keep valuable items, such as passports, credit cards, and expensive electronics, secure in your accommodations or on your person when not in use.
  • Be cautious when swimming or participating in water activities, especially if you're not a strong swimmer or are unfamiliar with the local conditions. Always heed the advice of local guides or lifeguards, and wear appropriate safety gear when necessary.
  • When exploring the village's boardwalks and bridges, watch your step and be mindful of any uneven or slippery surfaces, especially during or after rainy weather.
  • If you have any specific health concerns or allergies, make sure to inform your accommodations or tour operators in advance, and carry any necessary medications or treatments with you.
  • In case of emergencies, know how to contact local authorities or medical services, and have the contact information for your accommodations or a trusted local contact readily available.

Fitting In:

  • Oakridge is known for its warm and welcoming community, and by being respectful, open-minded, and willing to engage with locals, you'll find it easy to fit in and make the most of your visit.
  • Dress modestly and appropriately for the setting, especially when visiting local homes, community centers, or places of cultural significance. Lightweight, breathable clothing is recommended for the tropical climate.
  • Learn a few basic phrases in the local language, whether English, Spanish, or Garifuna. Even simple greetings like "buenos días" (good morning) or "gracias" (thank you) can go a long way in showing your respect and interest in the local culture.
  • Be friendly and polite to locals, and don't hesitate to strike up conversations or ask questions about their way of life. Many Oakridge residents are proud of their community and happy to share their knowledge and stories with respectful visitors.
  • Support local businesses and artisans by purchasing souvenirs, crafts, or meals directly from community members. This not only helps to support the local economy but also gives you a more authentic and meaningful experience of the village's culture.
  • Respect the environment and local wildlife by properly disposing of waste, avoiding littering, and being mindful of your impact on the natural surroundings. If participating in eco-tours or nature activities, follow the guidance of local operators to minimize disruption to the ecosystem.
  • If invited into a local home or offered food or drink, accept graciously and show appreciation for the hospitality. Sharing meals and socializing are important aspects of Oakridge's community life and a great way to build connections and learn about local customs.

Other Tips:

  • When dining at local restaurants or purchasing food from street vendors, don't be afraid to try new dishes or flavors. Oakridge's cuisine is a delicious blend of Caribbean, Garifuna, and Latin American influences, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and locally grown produce.
  • If you're interested in learning more about Oakridge's history, culture, or environment, consider booking a guided tour or activity with a local operator. These experiences not only provide valuable insights and context but also support the local economy and help to preserve traditional knowledge and skills.
  • Be mindful of your water and electricity usage, as resources can be limited in the village. Conserve when possible and follow any guidelines provided by your accommodations or hosts.
  • If you're planning to visit during a special event or festival, such as the Garifuna Settlement Day celebration, be sure to book your accommodations and transportation well in advance, as the village can get busy during these times.

Oakridge's Weather & Climate

Oakridge, like the rest of Roatán, experiences a tropical climate with warm temperatures and relatively high humidity throughout the year. The village's weather is heavily influenced by its coastal location and the surrounding Caribbean Sea, which moderates temperatures and provides a consistent sea breeze.


Oakridge enjoys consistently warm temperatures year-round, with average daytime highs ranging from the low to mid-80s Fahrenheit (28-30°C). Nighttime temperatures are slightly cooler, typically dropping into the mid-70s Fahrenheit (23-25°C). The village's proximity to the equator means that there is little seasonal variation in temperature, with the warmest months being July to September and the coolest being December to February.


Oakridge receives an average of 72 inches (1,830 mm) of rainfall per year, with the wettest months being October to January. These months constitute the village's rainy season, with brief, heavy showers often occurring in the afternoon or evening. The driest months are typically February to April, with occasional light showers. Despite the higher rainfall during the wet season, Oakridge still enjoys plenty of sunshine, with showers usually followed by clear skies.


Due to its tropical location, Oakridge experiences relatively high humidity levels throughout the year, averaging around 80%. The humidity is most noticeable during the rainy season and can make temperatures feel slightly warmer than they are. However, the consistent sea breeze helps to alleviate some of the discomfort associated with high humidity, providing a refreshing respite.


Oakridge, like other communities in the Caribbean, is located within the Atlantic Hurricane Belt. The official hurricane season runs from June to November, with the peak activity occurring between August and October. While the village has experienced the effects of hurricanes and tropical storms in the past, it is somewhat protected by its location within a sheltered lagoon and the surrounding mangrove forests, which can help to buffer strong winds and storm surges. If you are planning to visit Oakridge during hurricane season, it's essential to stay informed about weather conditions and follow the guidance of local authorities and your accommodations.

Sea Temperature:

The warm, clear waters surrounding Oakridge are a delight for swimmers, snorkelers, and divers year-round. Average sea temperatures range from the low 80s Fahrenheit (27-28°C) in the winter months to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (29-30°C) during the summer, making water activities comfortable and enjoyable throughout the year.

Getting To & Around Oakridge

Oakridge's location on the eastern shore of Roatán makes it easily accessible from other parts of the island, whether you're arriving by land or sea. Here's a guide on how to get to and around this charming fishing village:

Getting to Oakridge:

  • By Car: If you're driving from the western side of Roatán, take the island's main road (the paved highway) eastward towards French Harbor. Continue past French Harbor for about 15 minutes until you reach the turnoff for Oakridge. The road to Oakridge is mostly unpaved and can be bumpy, so drive carefully and allow about 30 minutes for this stretch. There are signs along the way to guide you.
  • By Boat: If you're coming from one of the island's main ports, such as French Harbor or West End, you can hire a water taxi or arrange a private boat transfer to Oakridge. The journey takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on the starting point and sea conditions. This can be a scenic and enjoyable way to arrive, with the chance to spot marine life and take in the stunning coastal views.

Getting Around Oakridge:

  • On Foot: Oakridge is a small, compact village that is easily navigable on foot. Most of the main attractions, restaurants, and accommodations are located along the network of boardwalks and bridges that crisscross the lagoon. Walking is a great way to soak up the local atmosphere, spot interesting details, and interact with friendly residents.
  • By Boat: Many of Oakridge's attractions and activities, such as snorkeling, diving, and fishing, are best accessed by boat. Local tour operators and fishing lodges often provide boat transportation as part of their packages, or you can hire a water taxi or private boat for more flexibility. Exploring the surrounding mangroves and coastline by kayak or small motorboat is also a popular way to get around.
  • By Bicycle: While not as common as walking or boating, biking can be a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Oakridge and its surroundings. Some accommodations may offer bike rentals or be able to arrange them for you. Just be prepared for some sandy or uneven paths and take care when crossing bridges or boardwalks.

Tips for Getting To & Around:

  • If you're driving to Oakridge, be sure to have a reliable vehicle with good suspension and preferably four-wheel drive, as the road can be rough in spots. Take your time and watch out for potholes, speed bumps, and the occasional crossing animal.
  • When taking a water taxi or private boat, agree on the fare and any additional stops or services beforehand to avoid misunderstandings. It's also a good idea to confirm the pickup time and location for your return trip.
  • If you're planning to walk around the village, wear comfortable, non-slip shoes and be prepared for some uneven or narrow surfaces. Take care when crossing bridges or boardwalks, especially if they are wet or slippery.
  • To make the most of your time in Oakridge, consider booking tours or activities that include transportation, such as snorkeling trips, mangrove tours, or visits to nearby attractions like the Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum.
  • If you have any mobility issues or concerns, let your accommodations or tour operators know in advance so they can help you plan the most suitable transportation options for your needs.

Our Favorite Tours & Excursions Near Oakridge

Mangrove Tour

Embark on a serene journey through the enchanting mangrove forests of Roatan on this guided boat tour. Glide through the tranquil, narrow waterways and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance, surrounded by the lush greenery of the mangroves. This tour offers a unique perspective on the local ecosystem, highlighting the importance of mangroves in coastal protection and habitat conservation. Keep an eye out for diverse wildlife, including birds, fish, and maybe even some marine creatures that thrive in this rich, biodiverse environment. Perfect for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a calming escape, the Mangrove Tour is a wonderful way to explore the natural beauty and ecological significance of Roatan.

Oakridge FAQs

Do I need a passport to visit Oakridge?

Yes, you will need a valid passport to enter Honduras and visit Oakridge. In addition to a passport, you may also be required to present proof of return or onward travel and fill out an immigration form upon arrival. It's always a good idea to check with the Honduran embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date entry requirements before your trip.

What is the best way to get to Oakridge from Roatán's international airport?

The most convenient way to get to Oakridge from Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (RTB) is by taking a taxi or arranging a private transfer. The drive takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions. Alternatively, you can rent a car at the airport and drive yourself, but be prepared for some bumpy and unpaved roads once you get closer to Oakridge. If you prefer to travel by water, you can take a taxi to one of the main ports, such as French Harbor, and then catch a water taxi or arrange a private boat transfer to Oakridge.

Is it safe to drink the tap water in Oakridge?

While the tap water in Oakridge is generally considered safe to drink, some visitors may prefer to stick to bottled water to avoid any potential stomach discomfort, especially if they are not used to the local water. Most restaurants, hotels, and resorts use purified water for drinking and cooking, but it's always a good idea to double-check if you have any concerns.

What is the local currency in Oakridge, and are credit cards widely accepted?

The local currency in Oakridge, and throughout Honduras, is the Lempira (HNL). While some larger hotels, resorts, and tour operators may accept credit cards, many smaller businesses and local vendors in Oakridge prefer cash. It's a good idea to have some Lempiras on hand for everyday purchases, tips, and smaller transactions. You can exchange money at banks, exchange offices, or some hotels on Roatán, or withdraw local currency from ATMs in larger towns like Coxen Hole or French Harbor.

Are there any health precautions I should take before visiting Oakridge?

It's always a good idea to check with your doctor or a travel health clinic before your trip to ensure you are up to date on any necessary vaccinations or medications. Some common recommendations for travel to Honduras include vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, and rabies, as well as malaria prevention measures in some areas. Be sure to pack any prescription medications you need, along with a copy of your prescription, and consider bringing a basic first-aid kit with items like pain relievers, anti-diarrheal medication, and insect repellent.

What kind of activities and attractions are available in Oakridge?

Oakridge offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors, with a focus on nature, culture, and water-based adventures. Some popular options include:

  • Snorkeling and diving in the nearby coral reefs
  • Kayaking or boat tours through the mangroves and lagoons
  • Fishing trips for snapper, barracuda, and other local species
  • Visiting the Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum to learn about the island's flora and fauna
  • Attending cultural events and festivals, such as the Garifuna Settlement Day celebration in November
  • Sampling fresh seafood and traditional Garifuna dishes at local restaurants
  • Relaxing on the village's breezy porches and boardwalks and soaking up the laid-back atmosphere

What should I pack for my visit to Oakridge?

When packing for your trip to Oakridge, consider the tropical climate and the types of activities you have planned. Some essential items to bring include:

  • Lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for warm weather
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals with good traction for boardwalks and uneven surfaces
  • Sun protection, including reef-safe sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • A refillable water bottle to stay hydrated
  • A waterproof camera or phone case for capturing memories on the water
  • Any necessary medications and a basic first-aid kit
  • Cash in small denominations for purchases and tips
  • A sense of adventure and openness to trying new things!

Written by: Julia

Julia is the Content Marketing Manager at Tourbase. With a passion for wandering the world, she is especially drawn to the paths less traveled. On two wheels or two feet, she loves biking and exploring locales both near and distant.

All of our content at Tourbase is written by experienced travel writers who have visited all of the locations we recommend. And our review board of local tourism experts ensure that all the information we provide is accurate, current and helpful

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