You probably only first heard about Roatán Island recently, which is because the small tourism boom going on there is less than a decade old. The island has long been known for excellent scuba diving and snorkeling, but since cruise ships started coming the whole place is changing quickly. At least for now, it’s mostly dirt paths and beach shacks, though maybe not forever.
Overall, Roatán Island is still a good budget destination compared to most Caribbean islands. There are no 5-star resorts (yet) so most shops, restaurants, and activity companies keep their prices fairly competitive. It’s all similar to Ambergris Caye in Belize, which is less than 200 kilometers away.
There are some really wonderful sandy beaches here (unlike in most of Belize), but still it’s the scuba diving and other water activities that are the main draw. Prices of dives and training are still quite low for the Caribbean, in spite of the excellent reef nearby.
Food and drinks come in all price ranges on the island, with most of the more expensive places clustered in the West End and West Bay area. Still, you can find cheap eats and ice cold bottles of beer if you look around, and rum is very cheap as well.