Roatan Holds It’s Own In the Midst Of the Caribbean

What does Roatan have which makes it stand out in the Caribbean? Teeming marine life, and crystal-clear waters which can make seasoned divers gape in awe. Roatan is truly a cultural melting pot. How else could you describe a place which has a population of varied ancestries, a mix of African, Spanish, Indian, and British descent? Wait, it gets even more exotic – Roatan is one of those destinations where lobster is common fare instead of a luxury delicacy, where traffic lights are unheard of, and yet you can flag a taxi cab right from the water. It’s pleasantly vexing to say the least, but it’s part of this lovely island’s charm.

Roatan is the biggest of the Bay Islands, and is located thirty miles from Honduras down south. It’s forty-mile stretch of coasts, coupled with a landmass width of just two-and-a-half miles (maximum) ensures that there are plenty of sandy beaches to welcome you once you disembark. And what splendid shorelines they are – white sand coasts, crystal clear waters, pristine bays, and breathtaking coral reefs – you’ll find it hard to stay on shore for long. Roatan is the second biggest barrier reef ecosystem in the world, and to say that the waters are teeming with marine life is an understatement. Dive in the midst of schools of fish, and share the same general space with sharks, mantas, and turtles. The water temperature is balmy (80-84 degrees), and the visibility extends for up to 120 feet, so its like watching on pay-per-view from the comfort of your couch.

Don’t miss out on prime hotspots like Half Moon or West Bay beaches, where you can kayak along the shoreline at your own leisure and leave it onshore to snorkel the exquisite coral reefs a few paces offshore. The diving instruction offered by Sueno del Mar is also a great way to be initiated into the hobby (its ranked highest by Scuba Diving Magazine), affording even preteen kids to do dives in the company of adults. Roatan also boasts of more sights inland, particularly at the Butterfly Farm (access the road before the West End entry point); get up close and personal with hundreds of exquisite and exotic butterflies, representing up to twenty species all in all. This 3,000 sq. ft. compound is also a habitat for hummingbirds, parakeets, and toucans, so don’t leave your binoculars and digital cameras behind.

Kids would love horseback rides with seasoned equestrians, especially with leisurely routes which move along the shores and on into the West Bay knolls, or bisecting the island’s south end at Calabash Bight and Paya Inlet. Aspiring anglers can bait mackerel and tuna through half or whole-day angling excursions, offered at most resorts. Deep sea fishing boats are licensed, but you have to observe local regulations when landing fish; you don’t need the license for bone fishing if you release your catch right after. Roatan offers unspoiled natural beauty and an exquisite marine life, and even society’s who’s who have been lured by its charm (Leonardo DiCaprio have been reported to buy property, and Julio Iglesias is set to develop a golf course in the island). Itching to know what the fuss is all about? Visit Roatan now and find out.

Oakridge - the Venice of the Caribbean

Oakridge - the Venice of the Caribbean

Oakridge received its rather unusual nickname of Venice of the Caribbean because of its rather unique houses. The land around the sheltered bay that makes a perfect natural harbor is mountainous and in most places there is little space between the water’s edge and the slopes. The indigenous residents solved this problem by building their houses on stilts over the shallow waters and mangrove swamps. This worked well for them, but it also works well for tourists today. You can continue to see the beauty that they created in one of the most isolated tourist destinations on earth.
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