All divers know that getting into the waters isn’t cheap. What if we told you about a place with so many dive shops that prices are incredibly competitive, you can easily (and safely, of course) get scuba-certified, and it’s on the rich and colorful waters of the second-largest reef system—the Caribbean’s Mesoamerican Barrier Reef? West End Village is what we’re after!
Cruise lines know how spectacular Roatan is and make stops there while on their Caribbean voyages. Don’t fret, though: Those day-trippers never make it out to West End. Instead, you’ll find many who have turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. Locals and ex-pats from all parts of the globe have set up shop along the beach to create an easy-going yet wordly scene with fresh-caught seafood restaurants, all-natural smoothie joints, hookah lounges, and dive shops aplenty. Careful, though! This laid-back attitude can be contagious.
Where Is it? West End Village is on the westernmost tip of Roatan, Honduras. At only 37 miles long, Roatan is the largest among Honduras’ Bay Islands, and the hippest. Fly directly into the island’s airport (check prices), or into the mainland’s Tegucigalpa (check prices) airport and either ferry out to the island or take a small plane out there.
Where to Stay? Ranked number one of 10 West End B&B and Inns on TripAdvisor, The Lily Pond House Hotel has reviewers clamoring over the excellent service.
What Else Should I Know? Though in Central America, most of Roatan’s year-long residents speak fluent English, and many also speak Spanish and even their native Garifuna.
Who’s it For? Snorkelers, divers, and anyone looking to experience easy-island living with a multi-cultural twist.
by Patricia Magaña
More about Roatan
More about Honduras