Roatan - A Gem for Snorkeling
by Susan (Sue) Harris
(Tauranga New Zealand)
As a solo older person I found my two weeks in Roatan for snorkeling and freediving quite good. For my first week I stayed at Cocoview Resort which is itself on an island near French Harbour. I chose not to go on dive boats which went twice a day as I wanted to really get to know the house reef.
The house reef is about a 10 minute swim from the door. The water depths were very good, from 1 meter up to 40 metres. I was able to see lots and get some good pictures. I saw lots of fish and other critters on route in the seagrass beds.
I snorkeled twice a day for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours a time. The water quality was great. There were lovely corals, heaps of purple sea fans, and sponges. I saw lobsters swimming, scrawled filefish, school of squid, eagle ray, various schools of grunts and blue tangs, whiptail eel, trumpetfish, garfish and beautiful queen, french, and grey angelfish, and more.
As I try and take photos Tim who owns the photography store adjacent to the lodge assisted me with my own gear. He has camera systems to rent if you don't have your own.
The lodge, the accommodation, the ease for snorkeling and freediving at Cocoview Resort was awesome.
For the second week I stayed at Tranquilseas Eco Resort in Sandy Bay. I had two boat trips with the dive shop located at the resort and saw a huge rainbow parrotfish. I didn't even know these existed; awesome and very large. And I saw some large groupers, moray, one turtle and school of squid.
The water near the lodge is not very clean due to boat traffic but I got in early and saw some good stuff under the dock - sea stars, shrimp and said hello to the resident barracuda.
Taxis are quite an economical way to get around which I did to West End and had a brief look at West Bay and the young people whooping it up.
I found it would be best to take US dollars as the ATM gives out Lempira. And some basic Spanish goes a long way with local folks.