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!
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.
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….
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!
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…..