Wednesday, December 19, 2012


We’ve spent the last couple of days on Roatan, the largest and most visited of Honduras’ Bay Islands. We’re staying in West End which is where most of the lower budget travelers stay. Scuba diving is extremely popular here and cheap compared to other vacation diving destinations. Lucky for us (since we don’t dive), the snorkeling is also fantastic. It’s a bit of a weird place though. West End is just full of dive shops – all inclusive places where divers on vacation can stay, eat, and dive. There is a small, less than tidy beach right in town with some pretty good snorkeling not far from shore.  Other than that, there isn’t really much to do in the town except for eat and drink.

West Bay is the resort center of this island. It’s only a couple of kilometers away from West End and has a much nicer beach. We went down there yesterday to find out that it is a total zoo. The beach was so packed with people, chairs, and vendors that you could hardly find a place to lay down your towel. There is fantastic snorkeling right off the ends of the beach though. The beach was so crazy that I think it’s safe to say I’ll never visit West Bay again. Amazingly, just around the corner from West Bay we found a restaurant/dive shop that was almost empty and had chairs in the shade. It was so relaxing to get away from all of the chaos on the beach.

Wanting to get away from all the crowds again, today we hired a boat to take us along the coast to some good snorkeling spots. We first stopped at a ship wreck that had amazing corals all around. The water was so much clearer away from the main tourist area at West Bay and West End. At another spot we even saw a couple of lobsters and a sting ray. The boat driver dropped us off for lunch at a resort located on its own beach – also very relaxing as there were only a couple other groups of people/families there. If we were going to be here another day I’d probably rent a car to get out to some more beaches like that. But, tomorrow we’re heading back to the mainland.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds familiar. I went snorkeling at the end of West Bay too a couple of years ago. My husband and I left our backpacks on the beach thinking that they would be safe because other tourists were hanging around, how wrong that assumption turned out to be! We swam around some rocks and could not see the beach anymore. When we began to swim back to the beach we saw a young guy that was searching our stuff. He run away as soon as he saw us. Fortunately we had our money, credit cards and the camera with us. Despite the fact that the most valuable things were not in the backpacks he did not give up and ended up stealing some batteries and a memory card full of pictures that we took the previous days.

    You are right West End is a zoo especially when the crowds from cruise ships are around, not to mention the gigantic inflatable coca-cola bottle...

    I am wondering if you stayed at a youth hostel and dive operation run by an English woman and her Honduran husband called Native Sons located at the end of West End. We had a great time there.