Despite the myriad of praise heaped on Roatan by dedicated divers and lovers of island life the world over, the Honduran island still remains a mystery to many. But just like the pirates that used to ply the waters around the island, you’ll find nothing but treasure here if you decide to give it a try. Here are five reasons why.
It all starts and ends with diving, as the island has become simply synonymous with world-class underwater exploration. At a prime location near the southernmost tip of the famous Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, Roatan has some of the finest, and most diverse, underwater sights in the entire Western Hemisphere. Expect to see a colorful spectrum of sea life (including sharks, eels, sea turtles, and vibrant schools of fish) here and plenty of sub-sea level caves and coral walls to swim among it in. Yes, Roatan is truly a diving paradise, and for those looking to get officially certified, it is also known as one of the cheapest places on the planet for it.
The jungle-clad interior of Roatan is also rife with natural wonders, and the funnest (and most adrenaline-pumping) way to enjoy it is to soar through the trees on a zipline. Multiple companies offer ‘tours of the trees’, with some having to up to 20 platforms and heights of nearly 1000 ft. Tip: these platforms are often the playground of parrots and other brilliantly-colored bird life, making your pause in between ‘zips’ nearly as fun as your time speeding down the lines.
The Bohemian and Laid-Back West End Village
After a day spent diving, snorkeling, or ziplining, there’s really only one thing to do, and that’s to toast the fact that you are lucky enough to be on Roatan Island in the first place. The West End Village has developed into a haven for the Bohemian folks that call the the island home and the tourists who call themselves temporary locals. Lively bars and restaurants line ‘the strip’ serving up refreshing tropical cocktails and delicious delicacies from happy hour until late.
Roatan Butterfly Garden
While the colorful underwater life gets lots of attention in Roatan, the equally-as-colorful spectrum fluttering on dry land is almost as impressive. Located near the the West End, the Roatan Butterfly Garden is home to nearly 30 varieties of these flying beauties, offering a chance to get up close, personal, and learn an immense amount about them. Varieties such as the Sunset Langwings and Orange Dog are just two of the radiant examples of the butterflies (and moths) on display here.
Deep Sea Fishing
If you’re the type who would rather catch their dinner than order it from a menu, Roatan is the ideal place to take a deep sea fishing excursion. Multiple outfits organize trips out to sea, and with their knowledge of where the best spots are for reeling one in, you’re bound to come home with a catch or two. Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, and Wahoo are just a few of the fish you can expect to feel pulling at the end of your line.
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