My wife and I just returned from a week stay on the island of Roatan, Honduras. It was a very relaxing week of sun and snorkeling as we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this month.
Roatan is a relatively undeveloped island, compared to most of the Caribbean. Although the cruise ships started visiting the island within the last decade, SCUBA divers have known of its awesome barrier reef for years. The reef is located between 50′ and 500′ offshore, making it an easy swim across shallow waters inside the reef to great snorkeling amid bright and vibrant coral. Of the six Caribbean islands that I have visited, Roatan probably has the healthiest coral formations.
We rented an apartment at the Blue Bahia Resort in Sandy Bay, along a much less developed section of the beach and well away from the cruise ship ports and tourist resorts of West Bay or West End. The awesome staff at Blue Bahia made us feel welcome from the minute we pulled into the drive. The resort featured a dive shop, and we had the opportunity to try a discover SCUBA dive. My wife really loved it and ended up going again. I decided that remaining on the surface of the water was more my calling.
We rented a car during our stay and explored different parts of the island during the day, then returned to our quiet beach for brilliant sunsets in the evening. Roatan is part of a still emerging Honduran economy, and many areas of the island still have very basic infrastructure. Tourism and the service industries around it are the lifeblood of the island’s economy. It was unnerving at times to see the range of economic circumstances that many of the island’s residents face, but overall, it seemed that island residents are very happy, placing a strong emphasis on family. We had a wonderful visit to Roatan and hope to return again someday.