Things to do
Diving and Water Activities
The entire coastline of Roatan is surrounded by healthy, vibrant coral reefs; actually the southern tip of the world’s second largest Barrier Reef, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Roatan also lies alongside the deep southern edge of the Cayman Trench. The result: great visibility year-round, and nutrient-rich waters bringing in a host of animals. It is said that 90% of all Caribbean reef species can be found off Roatan’s shores. Take the 2 minute swim out from the village to have all of this at your finger tips. One of our visitors wrote back: “My kids were in heaven, it was like having the Discovery Channel right in front of them.” Visit the Roatan Marine Park website to find out more.
Just off the beach in West Bay in front of West Bay Village and the "L" shaped dock, there is a marked snorkeling channel so you can get out to the reef safely and easily. This end of the beach is where the reef comes closest to the shore. You can find snorkel gear for hire all along the beach, but it’s best to bring your own, for comfort and fit. Our guests regularly see rays, sea-turtles, eels, lobster, crab, barracuda and more. Some have even been lucky enough to swim out to see pods of dolphin swimming by.
Underwater is where Roatan really comes alive. There is every kind of diving you could ask for (except drysuit!). Explore the wrecks, deep walls, caves, canyons, night dives and vibrant shallow coral gardens. Within a short walk of West Bay Village, there are a number of well-established dive operators where you can get certified, advanced training, or be taken out for fun to any number of world class dive sites. With water temperatures kept mild year-round, we dive every day.
For West Bay Beach we especially recommend you visit Bananarama Dive Center . Centrally located in West Bay Beach they offer a unique diving experience in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Their team of PADI Instructors is one of the most experienced on Roatan and their passion and knowledge of our island’s reef is unrivaled. Small groups, personalized service, safety and flexibility characterize Bananarama Dive Center. They offer 3 daily boat dives on their comfortable, shaded dive boats, including South side dive sites, Night Dives, trips to Mary’s Place, Shark Dives and much more! They also teach all PADI courses and a wide variety of Specialty Courses, including NITROX. For more information, visit their website or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ocean Connections located at Paradise Beach Villas on Ocean Drive, offers excellent diving in a professional friendly atmosphere. In West End we recommend West End Divers established in 1991, as a PADI 5 Star Resort they offer all levels of PADI certification up to Dive Master.
Roatan is home to the world’s deepest tourist submarine. Built and piloted by Karl Stanley, “Idabel” takes up to two passengers to over 2000ft below the waves. In this cold, pitch-dark inner space you’ll meet some of the strangest creatures ever seen by the human eye. Maybe your eye is the first! Visit Stanley Submersibles web site for more info.
For many, swimming with dolphins has been a childhood dream. Now you can live that dream here on Roatan. Anthony’s Key Resort (call: 504 2445-3003) in Sandy Bay offers encounters snorkels, swims and dives. Kids of all ages can get up-close and personal with these playful mammals. Experienced trainers will take you into the lagoon and introduce you to the dolphins. Once you get to know them for while, feed them and play with them, you’ll go out for a swim! Drop by our office for help with reservations.
There are a number of yachts and catamarans you can charter for the afternoon, for a day, or for a longer cruise to the neighboring islands. Even Belize is only a day’s sail away. Stock up the coolers, get the rods out, lay back and let the wind take you. Chartered sunset cruises or dive trips are also possible.
Roatan is famous for fishing opportunities, deep sea or flats. We recommened striking up a conversation with one of the many local fisherman that hang out on the docks. You will get a good price and a very rewarding day of fishing on a tropcial Caribbean Island. The Millers in West End, if you are looking for a larger boat, have been fishing on Roatan for years. From 2 hours to full days, this family knows its stuff on the water. Barracuda and Tuna can be found in these waters all year long while Dorado and Wahoo come around in the winter months.
Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
For those of you seeking more active fun and adventure let the Caribbean Winds take you on a ride. Kite Honduras at Marble Hill Farms are a small Kiteboard instruction center. A little closer the Windsurf School in Sandy Bay has instruction for many level levels plus board and sail rentals.
There is plenty to see and do above the water and away from Roatan’s popular beaches. Take the time to seek out the Island’s hidden corners, or some of it’s hidden luxuries. Spend the afternoon finding a deserted stretch of beach, the best seafood on the island, or a lazy tropical spa.
Rent a jeep or a truck and head out to the less developed East End of Roatan. You’ll come across isolated beaches, small fishing villages dotting the coast and always some interesting characters.
From Oak Ridge, a water taxi can take you through a series of tunnels, carved through the mangrove forests many centuries ago. You’ll pass by some of the oldest settlements in the Americas, built on stilts over the water.
Nature lovers and birdwatchers will enjoy a stroll around Carambola Gardens, located just above Anthony’s Key Resort. Learn about the many different tropical plants and flowers. Climb up to the lookout above the Gardens and you’ll see the whole jungle and reef laid out before you. There is an Iguana Farm near French Harbour, a sanctuary for these endangered Island creatures. Don’t miss feeding time! There is a Butterfly Garden near West End
There are now a number of eco-adventures featuring zip-lines through the jungle canopy. With safe, professional guides you can fly through trees filled with wildlife, orchids and exhilerating views. We recommend South Shore Canopy, just outside West Bay.
Best done in the cooler hours of the early morning or sunset, you can ride along the beaches, through the forests and along the ridges of West Bay. We recommend El Rancho Barrio Dorcas West End and Keifito’s Plantation West Bay.
Prices are reasonable and the horses are well cared-for. You can catch a water-taxi from West Bay Village to the Keifito’s stables or West End.
Spas and Massages
There are some excellent massages available. For the full spa treatment, complete with poolside drinks and service, pedicures, manicures and specialty treatments we recommend a fantastic retreat in Sandy Bay called Baan Suerte (504 2445-3059). The innovative “Mayan Hot Stone Massage” is a must. Go on, treat yourself.
There are a number of motor boat charters available for trips around the island a great way to see and appreciate the beauty that is Roatan, from the decks of a boat. Explore parts of the island rarely visited.
Spend a day or more at Roatan's first golf course The Black Pearl located at Pristine Bay resort. Created by award winner Pete Dye, this 18 hole course offers spectacular views and amenities.