By Debbieo – (Atlanta, GA)
I need some help with planning my Roatan snorkeling trip. We will be there from April 6 through part of May; plenty of time to explore. Oh how I wish there was a guide to put in my truck to show me exactly where to go in and what I would see. The reef is within swimming distance of the shore.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Comments Moved From Previous System
snorkelfun – Jan 21, 2013 – Snorkeling in Roatan
We went in February 2010. We stayed on north side of the island. It was a little windy to shore snorkel but the reef follows the whole island. A tour guide will know good spots and there are lots of buoys to tie a boat to. We went on a tour to Pigeon Cay. It was fun for a diversion. But on the way back we stopped at Jade Beach where there was awesome shore snorkeling with old coral and lots of fish. The west end of the island has lagoon type beaches.
debbieo – Jan 21, 2013 – Snorkeling Jade Beach on Roatan
Thanks so much for your response! We are staying at Sandy Bay. We will have a car so will try the other less traveled parts of the island. We will be looking for Jade Beach on the map. Sounds like a great place to snorkel. Any other suggestions will be appreciated but I also am just content to snorkel.
debbieo – Jun 9, 2013 – Roatan Trip Report
WOW WOW WOW. That’s what you really need to know. Roatan snorkeling is well worth the investment in your ticket. The reef surrounds the island. In some places it is close to the shore, others a little distance out. In between the reef and the shore is usually fairly shallow with places to stand.
We stayed in the Sandy Bay area. It is a safe and friendly area. Our house was in the Marine Park, about a 1/2 mile swim to the reef. Like I said many places to stop on the way.
On the way out we swam over Starfish Alley. Everyday there were 20 or more large orange starfish laying on the white sandy bottom in the blue clear water. Got that picture?
Swim a little further to the reef and my own school of Sergeant Majors were waiting to welcome me. The coral was healthy and teeming with fish. We saw turtles, rays and eels almost everyday. The six large Rainbow Parrotfish were always an amazing sight to see.
We stayed on the northwest side of the island. Very easy access in numerous places. Not one of them a bad snorkel. But not a one of them beat Sandy Bay. Usually it was very calm inside the reef like a lake.
A few days when the wind kicked up we went to the west end to snorkel the amazing Aquarium. It is everything you may have read. We walked in through the Tranquil Seas Resort or you can enter through a park right next door. This is what I would call a baby snorkel with adult entertainment. The access is as easy as it gets, the water is perfectly clear, you can see every fish on your little card – well minus the sharks. The coral is a little worn. Oh, I wish I had been there 50 years ago. But if you swim to the outer reef it is still lovely. There you can see the edge of the wall very clearly. That is often where I would see the turtles coming up after being disturbed by the divers below. In fact, I don’t think they saw anything I didn’t.
We only went to the east side twice. Once on a much touted catamaran trip. Save your money.
After many conversations about Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize, Bonaire, and Roatan, dear hubby and I could not pick which to visit again. They were all so good and all so different.
Roatan is a true third world country. Be prepared for that. Be smart as you travel around the island. I like the use of a car even though it is more than easy to get around by cab or bus.
We cooked fresh veggies and fresh fish, but did eat in the local places. Yum, and mostly fairly clean and inexpensive.
West Bay is very touristy and the boats bring in tourists. Just stay away those days or swim out to the second reef. Day snorkelers usually do not venture there.
Kinky West End is not a place to go and snorkel. Just plain used up.
Spooky Bay is a wonderful mysterious place to visit, not only for the light in the cut but the healthy coral all around the channel. Bubbles come up from below the coral like champagne. I am not sure why. But delightful to swim in.
WOW WOW WOW. Let me know if you have any questions.
Tim – Jun 29, 2013 – Snorkel West Bay Beach
We have been to many places all over the Caribbean (e.g. Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, St John, etc.) and our best ever snorkeling was off West Bay Beach Roatan. The reef in this area is close to shore and is divided into three sections. Some of the animals we saw include eagle rays, sting rays, black, gray and queen angels, various butterflies, eels, various groupers and huge parrots. One person in our group even saw a seahorse. Do not miss the great snorkeling at West Bay Beach.
Anonymous – Jun 30, 2013 – Avoid West Bay, Roatan Snorkeling
This past February we went on a snorkeling trip to West Bay, Roatan. We would NOT recommend West Bay area as it is too resort-y, though we rented a fab house a short walk up the hill. Yes, the reef is just offshore but the hordes of people walking on it have killed most of what is there. It is too crowded with day trippers from massive cruise ships and there is bland overpriced food in restaurants, even basic local fish. We were very disappointed.
Locals were nice but there is a fair bit of hustling. We wish we had ignored the guidebooks and info on-line and organized some boat trips to snorkel AWAY from West Bay (and paid a lot as it’s NOT developing world prices off the mainland). We walked and water-taxied to West End twice but the weather did not allow for snorkeling on those days. The best food was in West End at a real Honduran style place Anthony’s Chicken and More (five outdoor tables, very clean, spicy jerk chicken, big plate for very low price – closed Sat).
We have snorkeled many places: Hawaii aka The Big Island – (many great easily accessed spots right off the beaches but can be very wavy), St. Lucia (not bad, some good night snorkeling), islands off Baja, Mexico (great guided kayaking trip, camping on beaches and OK snorkeling), Fiji (ultimate experience with the biggest and most incredible coral I’ve seen and plan to go back which I rarely do as there’s so much of the world to see), Belize (boat out to Laughing Bird Key, a protected area, and stay in or just outside Placencia which was very tranquil).
Anonymous – Jan 6, 2015 – Thank You
I am so thankful that you shared your snorkel experience. I will be in Roatan in just a couple of weeks and can’t wait to see the underwater beauty.
debbieo – Jan 6, 2015 – Roatan Questions
We will be in Roatan again in April for the night of the blood moon. We spent a month in 2013 and six weeks in 2014. I might have an answer or at least opinions if I can answer any questions for you. We have always had a car and have traveled out and about on the island. It’s been fun meeting fellow travelers especially snorkel buddies. 🙂
Maarky – Apr 6, 2015 – Debbieo, So How Is the “Blood Moon” Trip?
We have not been to Roatan in about 10 years but we are planning a return this summer. We stayed at Half Moon Resort last time. We need your opinion on where to snorkel. ALL of the reefs were pretty much virgin last time. I hear they are worn in places now. I would value your advice.
Thanks for your time.
David – Apr 15, 2015 – Just Returned From Roatan
I just returned from a seven day snorkeling trip to Roatan.
If you are looking for a variety of marine life, I would have to say staying in or near West End and starting your snorkeling days in Half Moon Bay would be your best bet. It was extremely easy to swim out of the bay to the left or right and snorkel the reef line. It can vary in depth from breaking the surface of the water to 20 feet which is pretty doable in terms of freediving if you like to get close-up photographs and even deeper.
I saw in and around Half Moon Bay: Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles, Reef Octopus, Green Moray Eel, Spotted Moray Eel, Striped Reef Shrimp, Arrow Crab, Scrawled, Orange Spotted, and White Spotted Filefish, Smooth and Spotted Trunkfish, Parrotfish (all kinds… Stoplight, Yellowtail, Redband, Queen), Grey, Queen and French Angelfish, Caribbean Reef Squid, Porcupinefish, Scorpionfish, Black Durgon, Peacock Flounder and many others… The water clarity was great (dry season is Feb-May I think) so April was a PERFECT time to go. It was always quiet in Half Moon Bay and there was maybe only ever three or four other people snorkeling.
If you are into reef structures, snorkeling the point (very END) of West Bay and going out to Sandy Bay may be worth it. If you do West Bay, follow the rock wall to the dramatic reef drop-off. Everything within the typical swimming area is extremely murky/brown/gross. West Bay was the only area I saw Midnight and Blue Parrotfish.
Feel free to peruse my Roatan pictures on flickr.
Debbieo – Apr 17, 2015 – Roatan. Snorkel Delight 🙂
Hello from Roatan. This place has worked its magic and we are definitely on island time. Looking at the reef from my porch waiting for the sun to be just right for my first snorkel of the day.
I enjoyed the review of Half Moon Bay and agree the fish life there is great. Something new to see everyday.
I would divide the island into several sections.
West Bay has lots of restaurants, lots of hotels, lots of people and for many, lots of fun. The reef at West Bay gets lots of usage.
If it is windy where I stay, we often go to West Bay to spend the day. We swim to the outer reef, and swim above the divers but see very well to the corals. Fish life can be abundant here because of the updraft of nutrients. We have seen everything that was mentioned in the comment about Half Moon. The closer you get to shore the coral is in very bad shape. But I am always amazed at how much fish activity is still there. We enjoy West Bay for a day trip. You can purchase a band from the Mayan Princess or other places and use chairs, pools, etc.
West End has lovely Half Moon Bay. We have snorkeled the rocks on the side searching for the elusive frogfish listening for his croak to no avail. This is a busy little area with lots of restaurants and dive shops. Sunset on the bay is spectacular. It has a number of sports bars the crowd is more in the 20-40 year old range. We visit there a few times on each trip. Mostly to get supper from the guy on the beach across from the small grocer or to see the sunset. It is my least favorite place to snorkel.
Sandy Bay is where I stay. It is quiet with few restaurants but more houses and apartment rentals. Most days we snorkel twice a day on the reef in front of our house. Every day we see enough to keep us fully occupied for approximately four hours or more. We have starfish alley some days. Where they go all at once and then come back the next day is a mystery of life. Usually it is very very calm. I can swim through the channel to the outside of the reef or stay inside. There are many beautiful corals here and every type of fish life. Right now there is a batfish staying under our dock. We often see Rainbow Parrotfish and all their lesser kin. We have the pleasure of Green Turtles and Hawksbill. This year we have Striped and Bridled Burrfish. There are Spotted Eagle Rays and a five foot Southern Stingray. Grouper chasing octopus will not be forgotten. OK there’s my paradise. 🙂 Sandy Bay covers a large area. The map below shows where I stay.
The rest of the island gets its fair share of the wind so snorkelers usually don’t stay there. There are resorts. Lots of divers stay in that area. It is a remote and lovely area. We usually take a drive for the views.
We are here till the end of April. If you would like us to check on a specific location for you let me know. It would be a pleasure to help.
Elenai – Jan 14, 2017 – Outer or Second Reef Snorkeling Access?
I am going to Roatan in April. Never been there before. We are going for the snorkeling. We are staying in West Bay at Posada, a little B&B. I just wasn’t sure where exactly to stay so I chose this area.
Now I am wondering about the snorkeling. I am reading a lot about reef damage here and hoards of tourists from cruise ships, etc. We are experienced snorkelers and will swim out to see more unspoiled reef and fish.
Can anyone give me some guidance on the outer or second reef I keep hearing about? Also we want to do a few boat trips out to reefs from West Bay. Any suggestions on a local dive shop that could take us out for a reasonable price?
Debbie O – Feb 5, 2017 – Why Snorkel Roatan
I learn something new every time I visit Roatan. I will share with you some things I know and some of my thoughts.
If you look, there is great snorkeling in Roatan. Yes, there can be many tourists off the cruise ships. Lots of them do end up at West Bay to snorkel. Remember this, the cruise ships usually leave by 3:00 PM, meaning they will vacate everything by around 2:00 pm, leaving you a quiet afternoon snorkel. The evening, just before sunset is a great time to snorkel anyway. Lots of fish activity as they get ready to go to bed. Most “day trippers” are not experienced snorkelers. You will probably be snorkeling where they will not, on the second or outer reef in West Bay.
The first reef in West Bay has been damaged by tourists but the second reef is lovely and easy to reach. That being said, we have seen some of our best finds hidden in the first reef. When walking in the water next to the first reef, I saw my first three foot parrotfish plus a Slipper Lobster, Scorpionfish and a Batfish. We always spend time on the first reef. Go slow in this area because it is easy to swim past all these hidden treasures if you are in too big of a hurry. Also, at the outer edge of the first reef, there is a wall that is 15-25 feet deep. This is a great snorkel to work this outer wall.
The second reef is easy to reach. Once you reach the end of the first reef, there is a large white sand patch. Simply swim over the sandy area and you will reach the second or outer reef. If you are facing out into the ocean, the expanse to your left is less and you can reach the outer reef quicker. It is broader to the right but this is where you might also see rays as you swim across. The outer reef is deeper but the visibility is generally better. Occasionally a boat will bring a group of tourists out to this reef and drop them. The reef is long enough to just swim away and keep enjoying.
I am not as familiar with West End. It is a beautiful bay. We have snorkeled the rocky shore line on the south shore of West End looking for a frogfish. I hope you explore the bay and share a good detailed report for us.
If you are in Roatan the week before Easter, it will be extremely busy. Remember there are water taxis in both West End and West Bay. They will take you back and forth and some will take you to other snorkel sites: Blue Channel, Spooky Channel or over to Sandy Bay if you want to experience another site.
Ruthless Roatan Charters is my recommendation for a trip to Caye Cochinos. Great food, super crew and a nice safe boat with fishing included on the way there and back. They limit the number of people on each trip so it is not crowded. It is not a party boat either. They leave from West End.
I hope you are utilizing TripAdvisor. Look up the posts for davidhauk. He is a diver that might have information about dive boats that will take you out. I don’t know of any. He also has excellent advice about West End.
I think you will find Roatan is a very small island for you to navigate.
There is a great slide presentation about Roatan fish life at Tranquil Seas on Tuesday nights by Mickey Charteris. Go for supper and then enjoy the presentation. Mickey came to Roatan over twenty years ago. His hobby became a lifestyle and he ultimately published a book on Caribbean Reef Life of the Bay Islands.
Roatan Oasis restaurant in West End is my favorite. If you are craving something sweet or a great sandwich, visit Fresh Bakery and Café. Get a Carmelita if there are any left. It is on the right before you get to West End. You will not be disappointed in either.
I will be in Roatan beginning on April 29th for two weeks. Flying home on May 8th. I would enjoy meeting up with you.
Bob and Sue – May 12, 2017 – Cruisers: We Have One Day and One Day Only
Hi Debbie, you mention West Bay, we are thinking this would be great. We are planning to go to Bananarama and then swim to the left, about a half mile to near the point. Does that sound like the single best plan if one only has one day to do so from a cruise ship? We will almost certainly do whatever you recommend… on May 31, off the Liberty. We are in port at 8am so we’re hoping for some calm early snorkeling.
Thank you for taking the time to patiently answer people!
debbieo – May 17, 2017 – Roatan Snorkel West Bay Reef – Our Opinion
Tim and I have just returned from Roatan. We had not been in two years. We only spent two weeks there this time. I say, only, because it is a beautiful area with sweet people and normally, we stay a month or longer. We have snorkeled there extensively.
West Bay has always been an area that was one of the top of the list destinations during our trips. On this trip, we snorkeled West Bay on three different occasions. All at different times throughout the day. One day the water was exceptionally clear and we could easily observe the outermost reef at its deepest drop-off. We visited both reefs all three times.
After the first trip to West Bay, my husband and I talked extensively with each other about our observations, on the inner and outer reef. In our opinion, we both agreed that West Bay had not fared well since the last time we were in Roatan.
We visited the second time to convince ourselves that what we saw on our first snorkel could not be true, only to agree with our first observation.
The third time we took friends that were new to Roatan and wanted to visit famed West Bay.
At West Bay, we saw large patches of white on the majority of the corals. Most of the Elkhorn Corals were brown. Almost all the purple fans and sponges had disappeared. There was still a good amount of yellow and gold corals. I am sorry, I don’t know the names of the different corals and sponges.
There was still some fish life, but the count had dropped. Most of the fish were small. Numerous Sergeant Majors swarmed us, an indication they were being fed. Some parrotfish of different types were about. We observed a large school of tang. One day we did see a turtle and another day we watched a moray eel hunting. A large grouper was in his hole everyday. A lovely cowfish showed his changing colors to us.
All in all we felt the West Bay Reef was sadly in poor health and declining. This could possibly be from the numerous visitors, including me, or the temperature of the water being too warm for coral survival or pollution. I am not sure why.
As a reminder, I read very often, reports from snorkelers who exclaim over the beauty of the reef in West Bay. What I have written above is strictly our opinion.
Debbieo – May 17, 2017 – Snorkel West Bay Entrance
Bob and Sue, here are my thoughts. Hopefully they will be helpful.
On your visit to West Bay, I would enter the water in front of the Grand Roatan Resort. It is a short walk from Bananarama, going toward the cliffs. There are white buoys marking the entrance. After swimming the inner reef cross the sand till you reach the outer reef. Be sure you go all the way to the wall or the drop-off. It is a sheer drop and very evident. I would then swim in the direction of Bananrama. Usually the current is minimal. In any case it is easy to do a drift back to the entrance. Another option is to exit at the Infinity Bay Resort which you will pass on the way to the Grand Roatan.
I know you can get day passes to the Mayan Princess Resort, which we have visited often, which has a lovely pool area and chairs on the beach. It is a short walk from Bananrama. I believe that Infinity Bay Resort also does day passes. All three are near each other. Side note, I think Bananrama has the best Monkey LaLas on the beach.
There will be water taxis that will offer to take you to West End, which I have not explored, Spooky Channel (which is light reflecting off the bottom, lovely) or Sandy Bay which it depends then, on where you are dropped plus it is further away. Blue Channel I have avoided because of boat traffic. Blue Bahia, near Anthony’s Key has great snorkeling but entrance and exiting is rather difficult to explain.
I would not miss West Bay if I only had a one day option.
The beach at West Bay is stunning. White sand and turquoise water and a great beach for people watching.
I will definitely visit again.
If you need more clarification, please ask. I do not mind helping. Because of TropicalSnorkeling’s eBooks, this site and others sharing their thoughts, I have had some great under the sea experiences. Wishing the best for you.
Bob and Sue – May 20, 2017 – West Bay
DebbieO, we’ll do exactly as you described and report back here about our experiences. Thank you so much for your help!
Bob and Sue – Jun 5, 2017 – Wooo that was great!
DebbieO, your recommendations were perfect!!!
We had a remarkable time out on the “wall” and spent the better part of the day there snorkeling.
We accessed the beach at Bananarama and walked down to the cliffs in front of Grand Roatan. A young man there named Nathan was so welcoming and kind we stayed and enjoyed their palapas and some inexpensive refreshments. We have seen clearer water but never as much intact reef with thousands of fish as this.
We were treated well, felt safe, and entirely enjoyed the snorkeling. We did meet a young man who swam out and took our pictures for $15.00, Ron Love, sadly the disk we bought from him had no pictures of us on it – a minor disappointment, given what a stellar day it was.
We’ll be back, and hopefully for a week rather than just a cruise day. It’s a lovely Island with friendly people and a reef second to none, once one swims out to the far edge.
Thanks again DebbieO!
DebW – Jun 25, 2017 – February Special Trip
I am planning a Roatan snorkeling experience for someone whose dream it is to see colorful marine life. It may well be her only opportunity, but she has some mobility issues and won’t be a strong swimmer. Does anyone have suggestions on where to go for a cruise day trip? Shore, boat, resort, someone who could help tow her – I don’t care, I just want her to be able to enjoy the view. Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you.
Bob and Sue – Jun 25, 2017 – West Bay
DebW, we just did this, can’t recommend DebbieO’s suggestions (above in this thread) highly enough.
Catch a cab from the cruise ship and go to West Bay. Here is an important point for the unfamiliar: West End and West Bay are two different spots and nonsensically, West Bay is actually at the western most point on the island.
Ask to be dropped off at Bananarama (a restaurant /bar), as there is a free access alley to the beach there. Walk to the beach (40 yards tops), turn left and walk to the base of the cliff at the end of the beach, perhaps 150 yards. Drop your gear there – it will be safe, as you are now in front of the Grand Roatan Resort.
Here is the next key – swim out along the line of white buoys out about 40 yards to where the reef drops off into deep blue water, resist the urge to turn left prematurely – it is more of a maze of shallow coral heads. Swim either direction, but to the left would be our choice.
We learned that some people never made it out quite far enough – they didn’t know what to do – and it ruined their snorkeling experience – especially when they learned what fantastic snorkeling they had missed by a matter of mere yards.
This is the leeward side of the island, so there is not much current. We’re in our fifties – it was easy swimming for us anyways, and I’m not a particularly strong swimmer.
That we could recommend a fantastic place to snorkel in Roatan… but we sure can – merely paying this forward.
Oh almost forgot – you mentioned some extra guidance. There are guys there on the beach that offer a guided snorkel tour, have a life ring, it would be easy to get towed around. Young man named Ron Love is among them, very personable and able.
Anonymous – Jul 5, 2017 – Best Snorkeling in Roatan
I strongly suggest staying at Anthony’s Key Resort. They have a separate snorkel boat, so you are not in deeper water with the divers. Two guides take you out twice a day. Each trip is to a different spot. Staff at AKR is very helpful. The resort is relaxed, food and water are good. Not a lot to do besides eat, sleep and snorkel. We like the “cabins”. A great place for a fun snorkeling vacation.
St. T. Snoz – Aug 27, 2017 – West Bay Snorkeling
Folks you should really check out David’s pictures found in Flickr. David, if you are reading this, I’m curious to know what camera equipment you were using. Amazing shots!!!
Robin – May 6, 2018 – Snorkel spots other than West Bay
I loved reading DebbieO’s suggestions. We are going in July for two weeks and will probably rent a car for at least one week to explore. I’d like to know if you or anyone has other suggestions for good snorkel spots other than West Bay. Also, DebbieO, what is the name of the place you stayed? Thanks so much!
Debbieo – May 11, 2018 – Sandy Bay Digs Roatan
Hi Robin, I saw your question about where I stayed in Sandy Bay and will gladly share that information with you. It is VRBO # 336773.
You will have a great time visting Roatan.
Nicole and Galen – Jul 31, 2018 – Updated Info
Perry asked for more updated information about snorkeling in Roatan and got some good stuff and shared about his own experience on this page.
Nicole and Galen – Sept 2, 2018 – Roatan Trip Report
Check out Sue’s Roatan Trip Report.
Deb – Sep 21, 2018 – Sandy Bay or West Bay? Anthony Key or Infinity Bay?
I already booked my airfare for Roatan and I am going there to snorkel. I booked a week stay at Anthony’s Key in Sandy Bay but have seen so many pictures and videos of the shore snorkeling off Infinity Bay’s beach in West Bay. I do not know much about any of the other resorts in West Bay but I am torn and need some advice on the pros and cons and the ultimate decision of where to stay. I really enjoy the snorkeling from the beach but at either resort we would take boat rides out to snorkel as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Anonymous – Oct 18, 2018 – Lodging Option
We have stayed at the West Bay Lodge twice (most recently in June 2018) and absolutely love this place. We stay at WBL because of the outstanding snorkeling at West Bay Beach, a five minute walk from the lodge.
Anonymous – Dec 3, 2018 – Perfect Experience in Roatan!
We were there in July 2018 and found the perfect place – for us! Turtle Beach Resort is in between West End and West Bay. It is very remote – pretty isolated is the word and that is how we like it.
Because it was the slow season (who knew?) we practically had the place to ourselves the entire time! The owners are wonderful!
It’s a quick water taxi ride to either end for shopping or dining. Although because it’s so remote, and we had a kitchen, you need to do your shopping on the other side of the island. The driver who picked us up stopped at the big grocery so we could stock up on food as there really isn’t any good grocery stores on that side of the island.
Here’s the BEST part- a dive shop is steps away from the resort. We didn’t realize this beforehand and were thrilled to meet Denise at Clearwater Adventures. We told the owners of Turtle Beach what we wanted to do and Denise showed up at our door that evening! She just started her business there and is so accommodating! My husband just started diving again so she took us out and dropped him off and then took me to shallow areas. She really paid attention to what I liked. I felt like we had our own personal guide every day.
Some days we were the only ones on board. We mixed it up. Sometimes just snorkeling down at West Bay and sometimes both dive and snorkel on the boat. As a snorkeler I was a “ride along” for $10! She will do what she can for you and she’s a lot of fun.
We also snorkeled right out front of Turtle Beach where there is rock and coral reef very shallow. I’ve learned to look closely and slowly in the shallows and I love it! You can sometimes see octopus hiding in crevices, etc. that you can’t see in deeper water.
I can go on and on but will leave it here. If anyone wants to know more I am happy to tell you more.
P.S. There’s a beautiful upscale resort just a walk down the beach that was so perfect for sunset cocktails on the beach.
DebnJohn – Jul 10, 2022 – West Bay Snorkel 2022 Comparison From 10 Years Prior
We are avid snorkelers and have traveled to Roatan by cruise ship only. We have stopped three times in Roatan. Our first beach snorkel was from the shores of West Bay back in February 2012.
We headed into the water by the Infinity Resort, swimming out and about, then left towards the big rock that is not too far offshore, then would backtrack away from the big rock and drift along the drop-off into the deep blue, before eventually making our way back to shore. This was around an hour long snorkel and was the BEST we’d ever done.
The corals were abundant and full of life, good amounts of sea life and the deep blue drop-off was amazing! The beach was nice. There was a good stretch to walk with many resorts and some shops, with an average amount of people.
Our second trip was spoiled by a storm along the whole west side of island so we did not get to snorkel.
Our third trip was in February 2022. We were so excited but had also read how the reef in this area is under disease and dying. We headed to the same place as back in 2012 doing the same snorkel route.
Unfortunately so much of the corals were dead and there was not much sea life. We had to be careful while we were snorkeling out further by the rock and drop-off because of so many tour boats in the area. The little bit of life left in the corals was out around the big rock.
We were very disappointed to see how in just 10 years a reef can go from spectacular to dull. The beach was also packed with wall to wall people. There were lots of water toys along the beach stretch. It was extremely over-populated, our favorite place was no longer a “secret.”
We are now in the dilemma of deciding where to go on our next visit. There has to be something still good out along the west side, but we don’t know where. It would be nice to know of anyone else’s snorkel experience more recently in 2022.
Debbieo – Jul 12, 2022 – Roatan Reefs
DebnJohn, there are some very interesting coral formations at the Luna Resort. Very large mounding corals. You can snorkel off their dock.
I hear very good things about Coco View Resort. It is a dive resort but I understand their house reef is good. Several years ago I tried for a day pass but it was a no go.
Both those places do not have the high volume of tourists that come to West Bay Infinity Bay or Sandy Bay.
It was so sad to be see those areas degrade. I loved Roatan but sadly, we don’t go there anymore.