Arriving into Roatán on a private charter plane was not our original plan, but it turned out to be a highlight of the trip. Seeing the island from above gave a first impression that would be hard to beat. A luscious green landscape surrounded by white sand beaches and turquoise water, and with only one main road running across the island it almost looks uninhabited.
As we jumped in a taxi at the airport our driver happily told us all about the history of the island. Roatán is the biggest of the Bay Islands of Honduras, surrounded by the world’s second largest coral reef. Stories of Spanish explorers, pirates and hidden treasure gave us an insight into the local culture and made us even more eager to explore above and below the surface.
We soon arrived at West End, arguably the liveliest part of Roatán. As promised, we were met with views of a picture perfect beach and a backdrop of small stores and restaurants – the perfect island vibe.
Half Moon Bay did not disappoint. It’s a small crescent shaped beach with powder white sand and crystal clear water – what more could you want? Oh, maybe to stay directly on beach? The Beach House Roatán is by far the most perfectly located hotel I’ve ever seen. Step off the porch and onto the sand, just 3 steps from the warm Caribbean Sea.
The rooms are perfect too, elegantly designed with a classic beach house feel and a view that cannot be beaten. Wind down in the hotel’s dock bar watching the sunset with a cocktail in hand. We’d been told the sunsets were great here, but we were definitely not prepared for what was to come. Magical colours flooded the sky, the reflection rippling gently as the ocean rolled onto shore and the boats bobbed up and down in the water.
The magic doesn’t end there. The main street is made up of small restaurants and gift shops making it the perfect place to wander at night. The restaurant right across the street won us over with wings night. Be sure to get there early as they get really busy (and after tasting the wings I can see why!)
The next morning’s breakfast did not disappoint either. The Beach House have a small restaurant upstairs with epic views of the bay, and delicious food for anytime of the day. The breakfast baleadas are to die for.
We’d heard that the scuba diving was good out here so decided to see what the hype was about. Feeling on top of the world, we decided to go with Roatán Divers who offer a boutique diving experience. I wasn’t sure what this would entail, since most typical dive shops have quite a casual do-it-yourself style, but I was not disappointed.
Roatán Divers have everything under control, so you can sit and relax with a coffee whilst your kit is set up and loaded onto the boat. The equipment was all top of the range and in great condition, as was the dive boat we went out on. I was a bit apprehensive as I’m used to setting up my own kit, but the instructors are very thorough and super friendly which put me at ease.
The dive site was great, and so were the conditions. The reef is so vibrant and alive, teeming in aquatic life. We were lucky enough to have a visit from an eagle ray. She elegantly swam around us, curious as to what we were doing. We stopped and watched in awe. They move so graciously through the water, it’s really calming to watch. In a post-dive haze of serenity and giddiness, we headed back to shore to chat about the dive over a hot drink – the perfect end to a perfect dive.
Roatán wasn’t initially on our radar, but I am so glad we heard about it whilst in Utila. There’s so much to see and do, both above and below the water. We only had a few days in West End, but we definitely made the most of it with the Beach House Roatán and Roatán Divers.