You’ll want your fins and mask when you head on your honeymoon to Roatan, Honduras. The largest of the three Bay Islands, 50 km off the coast of Honduras, this is the second best spot in the world for scuba diving and snorkelling, right after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In Roatan, the reef surrounding the island has calm waters, beautiful tropical fish, colourful corals, and sponges. What makes Roatan scuba diving so enticing is the variety of different diving spots available within a relatively small area. With 38 dive sites within a 15-minute boat ride off the West End, it is easy to see why Honduras is one of the best diving destinations in the world by far.
Divers of all levels start by exploring natural dive spots like the Sponges, the Labyrinth, Pat’s Place, and Dolphin Den, where it is possible to encounter a diversity of coral (including elk horn), sponges, caves spanning the entire reef, canyons, schooling fish, sea turtles, eagle rays, and nurse sharks. When it comes to wrecks, many divers will marvel at the Prince Albert Wreck, and Odyssey Wreck. Experienced divers love the challenge of Spooky Channel, an eerie 10-storey-deep underwater crevasse that meets an underwater grotto at 60 feet.
If you don’t get your adventure fix with diving alone, the fishing is great just off the reef in Roatan, with a diversity of marine life including marlin, barracuda, tuna, wahoo, and mahi mahi, which have all been caught in these waters. Speaking of marine life, if you are more interested in sea mammals, sign up for the educational dolphin program to swim or enjoy an open-water experience with the dolphins at the Institute of Marine Sciences.
Yes, there is night diving, but you can also join the human wildlife in the clubs and bars of the West End. People describe the West End as a “Jimmy Buffet” type village. Residents speak English with a Caribbean lilt. Settle into a café and meet fellow Canadians who now proudly call Roatan their winter home. Buy a beer for a sailor, and hear all about his marine adventures. It is a fun night out, and you can leave your cocktail dress at home.
When you finally get waterlogged, there’s plenty of things to do and see on land in Roatan. Start exploring the island, which has a gentle mountain range starting at the sea and continuing from the southwest to northeast. It is definitely a gorgeous backdrop for photos, and an exciting area to explore. While you’re on your discovery path, see how many monkeys, parrots and iguanas you can photograph. Make a visit to the Butterfly Garden, or take a canopy tour through Gumbalimba Park.
If you long for the old days, when there were less than a handful of resorts with 5,000 rooms or more, you’ll love it in Roatan, where the largest of the resorts offered has 126 rooms, and other Roatan hotels have less than 50. This means your room will be cozy and very close to a perfect beach. The fact that Honduras scuba diving vacation packages are so much more affordable than other global diving destinations makes scuba holidays in Roatan attractive, especially for North American travellers.
Shopping? Of course! You’ll want to haul home a piece of the unique art, and you’ll be tempted by the black, taupe and brown pieces of pottery. Wouldn’t those carved doors, coffee tables, and trunks look great in your home? It could be a tight squeeze in your suitcase, especially with your airline’s baggage allowance – better get them shipped!
So, take the plunge in more ways than one! Regardless of whether you are planning a trip to Honduras’ beautiful Roatan island for a scuba diving honeymoon adventure, as the destination for an exotic wedding ceremony, or just a getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life, this Latin gem is a must-see if you want to indulge your sense of adventure, and immerse yourself in a rustic paradise.