West End Village, the aptly named city on the island of Roatan, is the center of the Bay Island'a tourism scene, home to resorts, long stretches of white-sand beaches, and eateries serving the best of the islands. The largely English-speaking village also is the center of the diving scene. Honduras boasts the biggest barrier reef in the entire Caribbean, and West End is the portal to this amazing world beneath the surface. Whether you arrive by cruise ship, airplane, ferry from the mainland, or even a fishing boat, you should spend some time exploring the island’s biggest city, one with a laid-back feel and an abundance of charm.
At the southern edge of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and the edge of the Cayman Trench, Roatan is perfectly suited for diving into a world filled with moray eels, a rainbow’s worth of fish, and some deep caverns beckoning you to explore. Diving in Roatan often costs less than other islands of the Caribbean, so it’s at the top Roatan’s favorite things to do. Some divers arrive in the West End on a shore excursion with just a few hours to experience the island, and others plan to spend several days on the largest of the Bay Islands. Either way, many of Roatan vacationers include time diving.
It’s not difficult to find a dive shop in West End—some are part of resorts, while others are independently operated. The experts at the dive shops can get you ready for a diving vacation, whether you just need some gear or the full package with guides, training, and transportation. Even if diving is not your scene, the West End’s dive shops can equip you what everything you need for other sports. Snorkeling also provides the same chance to sneak below the surface with a minimum of equipment and skill. The calm, protected waters of the West End also are ideally suited for kayaking and swimming—sometimes even with dolphins.
Restaurants & Bars
Restaurants & Bars
People in Roatan have always eaten well thanks to the abundance of fresh seafood and fresh produce. Restaurants throughout the West End specialize in island flavors, serving the catch of the day along with fried plantains and spirited cocktails. But that’s just the beginning of what appears on the menus of Roatan’s restaurants and bars—often overlooking the beach. Many of the ex-pats and others have brought with them the tastes of other cuisines to the Roatan dining scene. It’s not uncommon to find Thai dishes, Italian specialties, and Argentinian beef on menus throughout the West End. Small delis and sandwich shops offer food on the go, perfect for taking to the picnic or on a diving excursion.
Hotels & Lodging
As a hub for tourism, West End Village is home to the island’s largest concentration of resorts and other lodging providers. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, you’ll be surprised at how little a night’s stay can run. Youth hostels offer overnights at a price less than you’ll pay for a few cocktails. Stepping up, you’ll also find a share of hotels that offer comfortable accommodations as well as full-service resorts packed with luxurious surroundings and easy access to the beach. Apartments and rental houses also provide a comfortable place to spend the night on the island of Roatan, with plenty of privacy.