Roatan is in the largest and most popular of the three Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras and surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world: The Mesoamerican Reef that stems all the way down to Belize making it a diver’s paradise. Roatan is more touristy and developed than its neighbors Utila and Guanaja, yet this long narrow island of 50 km long has a little something special for everyone.

I opted to spend my first day and night in the lovely West Bay, located at the southern tip of the island and awash in picture perfect white sandy beaches and amazing snorkeling just steps away from the beach. It was a wonderful welcoming to such an amazing place!


This short path lead directly to the beach. It was less than five minutes from my hotel.

I found the West Bay B&B from TripAdvisor and was blessed with its location, affordability and home away from home feeling. Like a sparkling gem hidden away in the rough, it was wonderful.

After checking in and meeting dynamic Diane, the owner, I rented a snorkel and mask for $3 and walked down to the beach for a late afternoon snorkel. The weather was splendid. Highs in the low 80s, tropical and sunny. I let the humidity soak into my Minnesota skin and warm my soul. It felt incredible.


The gravel road leading to the beach from West Bay B&B and the main road that circles Roatan. You can see remnants of water from the previous rain (it rains a lot in rainy season but clears up fast). The humidity was in the air as well.

I walked the short block stopping frequently to snap pictures of the gorgeous tropical flowers lining the street. I wondered what to expect. Would it be as good as I imagined? I’ll let you be the judge….


West Bay Beach, Roatan.

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The water was crystal clear and calm. Perfect for an afternoon snorkel! Finding the reef was a piece of cake. All I had to do was swim out to the darker blue colors of the water and there it was, a magical underwater kingdom of beautiful coral and brightly colored fish! I let my body relax and float, kicking softly as the gentle current moved my body along the reef. It was spectacular. I felt so free!


Here is a picture of one of the many water taxis located around the island. For a couple of bucks, you can take one over to West End, a touristy strip doted with restaurants, bars and t-shirt shops only a ten minute ride away.



The beach also has its share of dive shops, parasailing rides and banana boats for adventure junkies and tons of outdoor bars and restaurants to waste the day away and watch the sunset over an icy cold beer.

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I ended my swim with a half-melted ice-cream sandwich and of course had to ask this man for a pose in front of his cart. I loved the jingly bells on the front.

By now, it was already well past five and I hadn’t eaten a thing all day except for a bagel and half melted ice-cream sandwich. I couldn’t believe that I was in cold, half frozen Minnesota just hours before and now I was in paradise. It was time for a quick shower and back to the beach as fast as I could to watch the sunset over a Honduran Cerveza (one of the most important Spanish words to know!). 

And the sunset was…..

Stay tuned…


  1. Yes, you’re right, Nicole. It is so much like San Pedro, but the beach in West Bay is so much nicer, and the sea looks really calm in comparison. There was really nowhere to paddle around, or to sit on the sand, where we were. Beautiful pics.

    1. I think you may have found your next trip!!! 🙂 Roatan is touristy though. But there are parts of the island that aren’t at all like where I stayed on the last day. It is a beautiful place though and I bet your hubbie would love the diving there!

  2. yikes! you’re right; there are a LOT of people on the beach! i often forget how lucky i am that the beaches where i live are so untouched by enterprise. it’s beautiful there, and i am so glad that you’re giving us a sample — your b&b was a great choice! z

    1. I love the untouched places the best! But this was good for my first day. There are parts of Roatan however that are really isolated and I stayed at one such place on the way out and loved it! The people of the island are so happy with the tourists and development though as it provides much needed jobs and a better quality of life. So its a mixed bag that’s for sure! I’ll make it to Ecuador soon!!!! I can’t believe Kathy is moving there too with her partner! 🙂

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