Roatan, located between the islands of Utila and Guanaja, is the largest of Honduras' Bay Islands. The island was formerly known as Ruatan and Rattan. It is approximately 60 kilometres long, and less than 8 kilometres wide at its widest point. In 1998, the island suffered some damage from Hurricane Mitch, temporarily paralyzing most commercial activity. Many of the native islanders attribute this storm as having broken the previously undisturbed Aguila shipwreck into three pieces.
While tourism has strongly contributed towards the economic development of the island, it has also altered Roatan's ecosystem. In 2006, the number of tourists likely reached 250,000. With a population of only 30,000, considerable effort is now being directed towards new environmentally friendly septic systems as well as energy and water conservation programs.