Cool Snorkelling At Roatan

Posted On December 1, 2009 


Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras (besides Utila, Guanaja) in Central America. The island is nearly 60 kilometres long and is less than 8 kilometres wide. It is located 35 miles off the northern coast of Honduras. Coxen Hole is the most populous town in the island. Roatan is a well-known vacation paradise in the Caribbean and has beautiful white sand beaches, diverse reef, amazing forest-covered hills and unique culture. In all, it has an absolute Caribbean roatan bay islands hondurascharm. Tourism is the prime attraction of the Roatan. Sea cruising, scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, sailing, zip-lining, sailing—- name it and Roatan brings you terrific opportunities of adventure. For those who are looking for just relaxation, Roatan would not disappoint them either. However, Roatan’s growing tourism popularity is putting its natural beauty under severe pressure. Accordingly, Bay Islands Conservation Association had established in 1989 the Sandy Bay-West End Marine Reserve to protect the reef and the growing fish population. Besides, the Turtle Harbour Wildlife Refuge and Marine Reserve were set up in Utila in 1992 to conserve the island’s wetlands. Roatan experiences an ideal temperature throughout the year, thanks to its location in the Caribbeans. Rain falls generally between November and January. The resort does not witness much hurricane but tradewinds which bring cool breeze and occasional storm. January to June (peak time being march and April)is the high time to visit Roatan.
Honduras: A small republic (area: 1,12,000 square kilometres) in Central America, Honduras was earlier known as Spanish Honduras (distinct from the British Honduras, now Belize). The country has Guatemala in the west, El Salvador in the south-west, Nicaragua in the south-east, Pacific Ocean in the south and Caribbean Sea in the east and north. National capital is Tegucigalpa.


Snorkelling is a recreational water sport in which one swims through water while equipped with diving mask, a snorkel and swimfins. Snorkelling gives one the opportunity to observe underwater life. Snorkelling is popular at tropical resorts where water is warm and places of scuba diving and shallow reef locations with diverse underwater flora and fauna.

Snorkelling at Roatan

Roatan’s reef system (largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea which is second only to the Australia’s Great Barrier Reef snorkeling roatanin terms of area) features a wide and shallow terrace of lettuce coral at the edge of which there are vertical drop-offs with little water depth. Besides the coral (including the gorgonian corals), sponges and purple sea fans give the snorkeler lush and colourful panoramas to explore. Snorkelling in these reefs give one to get view of a broad diversity of fish like grunts, lizardfish, scrawled filefish, jawfish, red-lipped blennies, blue and indigo hamlets besides the harmless nurse sharks. If lucky, one can also spot eagle rays, a type of cartilaginous fish and arrowhead crabs. One can also spot grouper, conch, snapper, seahorses, bonefish, permit fish, Flamingo Tongue snail, squid, tarpon, wrasse blennies, sail fin blennies, octopus, eagle rays and the gentle whale shark.

The slender gentle ridge at Roatan that stretches 40 miles from east to west provides a safe opportunity of snorkelling here. Snorkelling in the Roatan is equivalent to flying above forested mountain ranges interspersed with deep canyons.

Ship wreck snorkeling

Roatan also offers opportunity of ship wreck snorkeling. This will give one glimpses of sea life like lobsters and sea turtles.

Snorkelling sites

Roatan has more than132 dive and snorkeling sites of which 25 sites are readily accessible to the tourists.  Some of the sites are: Spooky Channel, Peter’s Place, Hole in the Wall, Bear Den, Half Moon Bay, Canyon Reef, Dive Master’s Choice,West End Beach, Herbie’s Place, Enchanted Forest, Insidious Reef, Valley of the Kings, Forty Foot Point and the like.

Snorkelling technique
  • First try to slip into your fins. (walking with fins on is not advisable)
  • Apply a defogging substance on the inner surface of the mask just before putting it on. Saliva is the best option though mask defoggers are available in the market. Just smear the saliva around the mask, dip it into the water and quickly rinse and then strap on the mask.
  • When using the snorkel tube, try to keep the breathing tube upright You’ll need to adjust the snorkel strap to find the exact positioning.
  • When gliding along the surface, be sure that you’re comfortable with your equipment and your surroundings before heading below.
  • The easiest way is to point their head down and legs up out of the water. Gravity will take you downwards effortlessly. At some point, you’ll need to kick to propel yourself forward.
  • While resurfacing, put your head up and kick to push yourself upward. Keep a watch on your way up to avoid hitting any obstacle.
  • When you reach the surface, the breathing tube should be pointing down so that the water drains out.
  • If you feel a little pressure on your ears after the dive, take a fewMesoamerica Barrier Reef minutes to relieve the pressure. In case you have a cold or sinus problem, do not dive too below.
  • Enjoy and be comfortable with your snorkeling venture. That’s the key.
Exploring Mesoamerica Barrier Reef

Snorkelling in the Mesoamerica Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere gives a unique experience to observe a rich marine life diversity.

Attractions/activities besides snorkelling
  • Watching endemic birds
  • Close encounters with dolphins
  • Annual walking meet at Palmetto Bay in September which is organised as an annual fundraiser titled ‘Wild and Free’ for the preservation of the Island Yellow-Napped Parrot.
  • Relaxing snorkelling tour at Upachaya
  • Horse riding
  • Photgraphy
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tours
  • visiting Iguana Farm, Carambola Botanical Reserve, Hydroponics Farm
  • Jet skiing
  • Ocean kayaking
  • Visiting white sand beaches like West Bay, Palmetto Bay, and Camp Bay.
  • Drinking and eating and enjoying live music at West End
  • Cruises to the Cayos Cochinos – an archipelago with excellent birding opportunities.
  • Seaplane adventure
  • Bodden Tours
Reaching Roatan

Roatan is served by the Roatan International Airport or Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport. Various cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line also link the resort island. It can also royal playa resort roatanbe reached from the Honduran cities of San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. Boat service is available from La Ceiba.

Roatan resorts

Some of the best resorts at Roatan where one can indulge in various activities include:

SNUBA Roatan, Luna Beach Resort, Oak bay Resort, Inn of Last Resort, Royal Playa Beach Resort, Bananarama Dive Resort, Cocolobo, West bay Lodge, barefoot Cay, Reef House Resort, Island Pearl and many others.

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