Ah, Roatan. You probably think of sandy beaches, Caribbean waters blue as blue could be, scuba diving and snorkelling on the gorgeous Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. And you’d be right. Then there’s wildlife: iguanas the size of dogs, birds of every imaginable colour, dolphins, sharks, macaws and adorable capuchin monkeys. All the ingredients for a fabulous family holiday. In fact, I might just write about kids and animals on Roatan. But that’s for another day.
Today is all about Coxen’s Hole (or Coxen Hole), the island’s largest town. It’s an intriguing name, isn’t it? Who was Coxen? And why would he have a hole? You’d think – or at least hope – pirates are involved somehow. And treasures. Might a pirate named Coxen once have dug a hole to bury his loot?
It’s quite possible. He may not be as famous/infamous as Edward Teach (Blackbeard) and William (Captain) Kidd, not to mention Sir Francis Drake (one country’s hero is another country’s
terrorist pirate), but privateer John Coxen was just as scary in the eyes of the Spanish. He plundered and raided and abducted around the Caribbean in the late 17th century – and is rumoured to have lived on Roatan for 10 years.
Searching for more information on this baleful buccaneer, I found that I’m not the only one intrigued by the town’s name. Here is someone who has gone to great lengths to find out more about the history of Coxen Hole, and that at a time when the Internet had but a fraction of the information available today.
Coxen Hole today
Roatan Island hopped between colonial hands for centuries, English and Spanish hands mostly. And although Roatan currently is part of Spanish-speaking Honduras, the islanders have English, or rather an English version of Creole, as their first language. And this is their capital Coxen Hole in February 2013: a quirky, colourful, rambling kind of town.
Thank you, Muza-chan.
Charming place for sure.
I had visited and i love it. People are warm and welcome. Beautiful clear, crystal, blue waters with white sand beaches. The food is delicious.
Beautiful photos once again. Makes me wanna go there!
Your blog posts always make me happy 😉
I love travelling but I don’t have an awful lot of time right now so it’s limited to weekend trips and… reading a blog like yours!
Enjoy the world!
Thanks for those kind words. Much appreciated 🙂
Never visited, but would love to! Where is it exactly?
In the Caribbean, off the coast of Honduras.
Sophie, this is such an interesting post! Beautiful photos – and references to a dark history of pirates, looting, and violence! I am as impressed by your knowledge of pirates as I am by your photography!
Thanks, Mary. Much appreciated 🙂
I have never been to Roatan and I know you said it was near Hondurus but I still looked it up on the map. I’m a map “freak” 🙂 The colors of your photos are amazing as always Sophie. But, I am very concerned at the iguanas the size of dogs! Especially since you included pics of the dogs ha ha. Enjoyed the post 🙂
I have never visited, but this post makes think that it really isn’t a bad idea to pursue in the future.
A great blog! I’ve been in Caribbean once 3 years ago and I know that even the islands are not far from each other, each of them is special and different. I’m planning to go back next year and even though I’m limited by the amount of days I can stay, I’ll make the most of every day because who knows if I will be able to go back ever again. Thank you for sharing.
My mom & my daughter are taking our dream vacation this June to Roatan for 2 weeks on the beach! I love Roatan & the ppl, special place
Sounds lovely. Have fun 🙂
I am thinking of moving to Roaton . Can you please let me know where I can search long term beach rental. I’m looking for 700 to 900 range fully furnished. What is the immigration policy. Belize is charging 100 usd per month now.
I’m afraid I don’t know anything about beach rentals or immigration policy in Roatan. We were there just for a vacation 8 years ago. Good luck with your move 🙂
[…] the drive in to Coxen Hole. Keep in mind that this city is the Bay Islands’ Capital. I love THIS blog Sophie’s World did on Coxen Hole. She’s got some great photos on her site, […]
Going back for second time, 2 month stay, can’t wait. Dang monkeys stole my hat. Will volunteer at free clinic. It’s paradise.
Sounds exciting! Have fun!