If you like spending time with nature, head straight to Roatan. Just about every outdoor adventure can be found here. The largest of Honduras' Bay Islands is a scuba diving mecca. In some places around the island, you can literally dive right off the pier. Adding to the island’s diving cred, the Mesoamerican Reef – the second largest in the world – is just offshore. When you’ve worked up an appetite from all that fun, The West End, West Bay and French Harbour areas of Roatan feature several unique dining and resort options. The culture of Honduras is a rich one. So when you’re staying on Roatan, you’ll find lots to appreciate when you’re not in the waves.
Other Destinations in Honduras-Roatan
Start Planning Your Honduras/Roatan Vacation
Mapping Out Honduras
Honduras is a beautiful and complex country with lots of sights to see. Starting in the east, Roatan of the Bay Islands, is a huge tourism draw, with many resorts and hotels concentrated at the scenic French Harbour, West End and West Bay area. The surrounding islands offer great opportunities for day trips, such as whale watching and scuba diving.
There are also numerous museums showcasing the country’s cultural history. Off the Pacific coast, Ampala, located on Tiger Island in the Gulf of Fonseca, is accessible from the Coyolito pier. There are 14 beaches, but the 2 most popular are Playa Grande and Playa Negro. Whatever your preference, there’s something in Honduras to draw in you.
West Bay Beach
Roatan’s beaches are as almost as well-known as its excellent diving. The West Bay Beach proves Roatan's gorgeous coastline deserves every bit of that recognition. Powder white sand and brilliant blue water make this beautiful stretch of beach a paradise.
Lounge in the sun or under one of the palm trees lining the beach and sip from a cocktail. Or visit one of the nearby restaurants for some local cuisine. When you feel the urge to wade into the clear water, you'll find plenty of options. You'll find surfing off the coast, or you can rent some snorkel gear and just set out swimming. You won’t have to go far to spot colorful fish in the clear water.
Beauty, underwater diversity and an array of activities: this is the kind of beach that’s made Roatan famous.
Drink Up as the Sun Goes Down
For an evening out in the West End of Roatan, check out these bars. We'll help you choose the venue with the right vibe.
Sundowners is a hangout for locals and tourists alike with an excellent vantage for, you guessed it, sunsets. Many people coming off the beach stop by to grab a cold beer or a mixed drink. The venue also serves standard fare such as burger and fries. Sundowners draws a global crowd, so strike up a conversation and stay for a drink or two.
Bar Pirata is anther favorite of the locals and expatriates living in the area. With refreshing beers and strong cocktails, this is a great place to just hang out and talk to locals for an evening. But if you want something a little more active, venture to Twisted Toucan. With a daily happy hour and a late closing time, this popular hangout draws a loud, fun-loving crowd.
Eco-Touring Without Getting Your Hands Dirty
Located on the West End of Roatan, Gumbalimba Park is 20 acres of opportunity to see exotic plants and animals and explore a diverse and fascinating ecosystem.
To experience the wonderful mix of plant life on Roatan, head to Gumbalimba Park. The park offers a trail through a dense section of jungle. From this trail, you’ll see tons of tropical plants and colorful birds from an easy-to-follow path. If you’re not much of a trailblazer and would really rather just enjoy the exotic monkeys, macaws and flora, this is the place for you.
The park also offers a series of activities. Zip line among the tree tops to get a parrot's-eye-view of the lush greenery. Spend some time on the park's stretch of beach. Hop into a clear kayak to see into the water below you. Or you can just dive right in and snorkel or snuba among the fish and reefs.
Scuba Diver's Dream
Roatan’s diving will rock your flippers off. The Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef in the world, runs right off the shore of this island. Best of all, some of the many, many dive sites around Roatan are just off the dock or within a few minutes of the shore.
A diver in Roatan will experience all the hallmark diving experiences. Of course, the Mesoamerican Reef is home to a vibrant array of marine life, from colorful coral reef to brilliant fish and sea creatures. Divers can also explore underwater canyons and walls that will make your stomach flip, as you peer over a cliff into deep, dark water. You'll even explore the wreckage of ships and a DC-3 aircraft. This Bay Island is a diving paradise.
There's so much to see under the waves lapping against the island's beautiful beaches. So get off your beach chair, suit up and dive in. It's definitely worth it.
A Whale of a Shark
Grab your diving gear and take a boat out into the waters around the Bay Island of Utila in search of a whale shark, the largest marine creature in the world!
The massive creature, which is actually a filter-feeding shark, earned its name due to its size, shark-like appearance and the fact that it’s filter-feeder like a whale. Fully grown, they clock in at around 30-35 feet in length, reaching lengths of 40 feet. Despite their tremendous size, the whale sharks are safe, so you can admire these creatures as they glide right by you. Few experiences give you perspective like a massive sea dweller getting close enough to touch.
Honduras/Roatan Quick Facts
Lempira, USD usually accepted in tourist-centric areas
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Honduras/Roatan.
Drink bottled water.
Mountain Standard Time (UTC/GMT -6 hours)
December – April and June – August