West Bay, Roatan
West Bay is commonly confused with West End. They are not the same. West End is a densely populated town on the West End of Roatan. It has a cobblestone road lined with restaurants and shops. West End has been developed for a lot longer than West Bay. The drive between the two towns is longer than a ride on a Water Taxi. So most people prefer the more scenic route on Water Taxi. Not only is the commute on Water Taxi more scenic, but its also much faster as the road between West End & West Bay is windy and long. West End is known for its shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and because it makes for a good pedestrian experience. But West Bay is known for its sunsets, its beautiful beach, and sandy beach activities. West Bay slows down rather quickly after the sun sets as many tourists travel via Water Taxi to West End for a night out. The the weather is nice few places are better than West Bay.
West Bay Beach, Honduras
West Bay Beach is clean and typically uncrowded. It is also consistently picked as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and Central America. Many top travel magazines have it listed as a must see destination. The beach is a mile of white sand, palm trees, and clear waters. The water is calm, its perfect for swimming or snorkeling. The coral reef comes within a few yards off the shore. It has a vibrant marine life and an array of fish, you can see them by snorkeling off the beach. The geography and orientation of the beach (relative to currents, wind patterns, and the tied) keep the waters calm. Some have described the water in West Bay "like-glass." Few places are safer to swim than is West Bay. The water around the bay are tranquil, and the barrier reef wall shelters them. There are few predators in the water and none that would put humans on the menu. The second largest barrier reef in the world is located on the northern coast of Roatan, and it forms the Bay Islands of Honduras. Surrounded by beautiful, coral reef and pristine beaches, Roatan is a year-round destination for Scuba Divers, Fishermen, and tourists from all walks of life.
Scuba Diving, West Bay
Scuba Diving off of West Bay has significant upside. For starters, the wind usually blows from the south on Roatan, and West Bay is on the northern shore which is protected from the wind. That makes the diving conditions on West Bay ideal almost all year round. Then, it just so happens that one (if not the) most popular dive site (Mary's Place) is located just a few strokes away from the shore. The reef formation off the shore of West Bay is filled with canyons and crevices, and swim-throughs. The wall is spectacular and only yards away from the shore. Night diving is also excellent as the bioluminescence is easier to see in the shallow, clear, and still waters of West Bay. The most popular dive site (Mary's Place) on Roatan is just 30 feet from the beach on West Bay. It's also important to note that it makes for a great night dive.
Things to do in West Bay, Roatan
WEST BAY ACTIVITIES
With West Bay being one of Roatan's most popular neighborhoods there are a lot of choices for things to do. You can scuba dive, snorkel, parasail, paddle-board, rent a jet ski, Sub-Wing, kayak, deep sea fishing, rent a sail boat, horseback riding, and more. All of the resorts can set up your excursions once you arrive. If you've chosen to stay in a vacation rental, contact your property manager for concierge services. Located only 100 yards off the main road, The West Bay Mall is just past Bananarama. It offers shopping options for unique local gifts.
A big attraction in West Bay is the Coral Reef Explorer also known as the Glass Bottom Boat. The boat is designed for the reef systems in the Bay Islands. From the ship, passengers get to see the entire coral reef without the exposure of being in the sea. It's perfect for those who are not ready to be scuba certified. Those who prefer to stay dry will enjoy one of Roatan's great attractions and in many ways will get more out of their experience as the boat captain does a superb job of articulating reef factoids.
Each May, West Bay hosts a free-diving competition for what is known as the Caribbean Cup. Free-diving is breath-hold diving or skin diving that relies on divers' ability to hold their breath until they come back for air. They do not use a breathing assistance that you can use in scuba gear. The competition continues to attract the most elite free-divers in the world. The pristine visibility and calm water allow for the perfect condition for free-diving. You can reach West Bay from all transportation hubs (international airport, ferry, and both cruise ship docks) via taxi or rental car. You do not need a rental car if you are staying in West Bay Beach as you can stay alongside the beach and walk to get to everything.
Traveling to West End is best via water taxi. You can find a water taxi on Infinity Bay Dock or Fosters Dock in West Bay Beach. The water taxi takes you to West End Water Taxi Association in West End. It takes longer to get to West End from West Bay via ground transportation. Also, the water taxies operate 24-hours a day. West Bay Beach is unique as its located on the Western side of the island. It has a north to south orientation. It makes for fantastic sunset views from directly from the beach.
SNORKELING WEST BAY
Barrier Reef's tend to form lagoons. A lagoon is a body of water no more than 30 feet deep. It extends from shoreline to the reef wall. Lagoons make for excellent snorkeling because they have unique habitat and species. It's an eerie feeling to swim over the reef wall from a shallow water habitat to the open water habitat which can quickly drop to 2,000 feet in depth. Another unique characteristic of the southern end of West Bay is it what is known as the Iron Shore. The Iron Shore is where the coral formation protrudes from the water. Snorkeling along the Iron Shore provides a great sense of exploration and adventure. Snorkeling is exceptional all around the island, but arguably the best snorkeling is at the southern tip of West Bay. The unique coral formation and depth in this part of Roatan make the snorkeling better than other areas.
HOTELS IN WEST BAY
The hotels along the beach range from ultra modern and grandiose to smaller villas and bungalows. Attracting travelers from various budgets. And all can enjoy the natural beauty of West Bay.
FLIGHTS TO ROATAN
Flights come to Roatan from the mainland and from many international destinations like Miami, Dallas, & Houston. West Bay is a top destination for travelers visiting Roatan is West Bay. The largest of the Bay Islands is Roatan. Most tourists come by way of nonstop international flights and Western Caribbean cruises. There are multiple U.S. cities with international flights that are less than 3 hours long. Visitors come from all over the world. The larger airlines usually fly through Miami, Dallas, & Houston.