Roatan is the biggest Island in the Hondurean Caribbean. Roatan is part of the Bay Islands, along with Utila and Guanaja. Roatan is reknown for its crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. Roatan is a huge destination for divers from all over the world. Scuba diving shops are everywhere in the Island, hundreds of great spots all over the Island.
Roatan has two main towns, West End and West Bay, both located on the western side of the Island. West end is the inexpensive spot, younger crowds and people wanting to party come to this part of the island. West Bay has an amazing beach in front with a huge coral where you can walk and snorkel on your own. West Bay is full of all-inclusive resorts, perfect for families with young children. The rest of the Island remains virtually untouched.
Roatan has an International Airport with direct flights from the USA. Roatan has also a big dock where many cruises come to visit the amazing beaches.
What to do in Roatan
Many things to do in the Island, of course the most popular are water-related. Snorkeling and Scuba-diving are the most popular acitivities. West Bay and West End are visited for this. Lessons to get your PADI Open Water License are under $250. The Discover Scuba Diving is aproximately $90 and prices for one tank dives are around $40, with equipment included. I can recommend Coconut Tree Divers in West End and Eco-divers in Half-Moon Bay. Both different prices and locations, but both very professional and friendly.
There is a boat in West End where locals and visitors can swing from a rope that hangs from it. The legend says the owner decided to donate it to the locals as he saw how they enjoyed swinging from it. To get to it go to Half Moon Bay and you will see it from shore, its in front of Sun Downers, you can walk very close to it if you go swimming from Eco Divers, the activity is free and all you got to do is rock the boat when others swing and then they will do it for you.
The best spot for snorkeling in my opinion is either in front of West Bay beach or Blue Channel. You can rent snorkeling equipment for aprox $10 for the whole day. There are places by the beach or you can also ask at the Roatan Marine Park. You can also negotiate with local boat drivers for a tour to Blue Channel, its really worth it. they will charge maybe $50-$80 for a trip there.
Where to Eat, Drink and Party in Roatan
Local food in the Hondurean caribbean is delicious! Try the Conch Soup which is one of Honduras Typical Dishes. Try the Baleadas which is the Hondurean sandwich, its made with wheat tortillas, beans, cream, cheese, eggs, chorizo, avocado, plantain and almost anything you want to add. My favorite baleadas in Roatan are in West End, in a store called Calelus, very good prices you may also want to try the local Pollo Chuco, its a mix of fried breaded chicken and plantains, with coleslaw. Its also a very typical hondurean food. A very good place is the Creole Rostisserie, located almost at the end of the live street of West End, their chicken is incomparably juicy. I also really like Cannibal Cafe, located in front of Franks, their hondurean style mexican food is really good.
In Roatan, West End is the place to be if you want to party. There is a chronological order in the Party Life of West End. Everything starts at the sunset at Sundowners, they have a happy hour until 7pm and also close early...at around 10pm. The music and the bonfire create a perfect harmony. Then people move to Franks, to enjoy a little of Electronic Music, Franks is located next to the Water so its very pleasant to come at night. On thursday nights a mandatory stop is at the Blue Marlin Karaoke. Everybody in the Island knows thursdays are karaoke nights. At around 11pm people move to Booty Bar, which is my favorite bar of Roatan. They have a dance floor and also a bar next to the water where you can come and breath in between songs.