For Diving Away from the Crowds
The water surrounding the truly off-the-radar, 2-by-40-mile island of Roatán is so clear that as the plane circles over the Caribbean Sea before landing, it is possible to spot, and even to identify, dozens upon dozens of tropical fish in every color imaginable. Even many veteran Caribbean travelers couldn’t find Roatán, the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands, on a map. Yet it abuts the second-largest barrier reef in the world, letting snorkelers see hundreds of different fish in rainbow colors, and offering divers the adventure of a lifetime, including tackling a couple of challenging wreck dives.
An added incentive: It’s much less expensive to take diving lessons on Roatán than almost anywhere else in the Caribbean. Non-divers go just to enjoy sand and sea, and to catch the glorious (some say the world’s best) sunset from West End Beach. The recent addition of a cruise terminal, as well as condo developments targeted toward American retirees, may be changing the scene a bit. Best advice: Go now, while this long and skinny island remains cheap and serene.