Picture the idyllic Caribbean setting and the first thing that comes to mind is a long stretch of beautiful white sand in sharp contrast with the turquoise waters and blue skies as far as the eye can see. Add the sun dipping right into the ocean creating an amazing glowing light spectacle and you have the stuff that dreams are made of!
That is exactly what you will encounter in this tropical haven known as West Bay Beach. Here you will find the high-end resorts, the boutique hotels, the beachfront bars and restaurants, and the landscaped gardens and pools, all in front of the majestic Mesoamerican Reef - all justifiably good reasons why West Bay Beach claims the title of being not just Roatan’s most visited and most famous tourist attraction but also Honduras’ number one international tourism destination.
West Bay Beach can be accessed in close to 10 minutes either by road or via water taxi from neighboring West End village. This patch of sand of nearly 1 km / 0.62 miles in length is home to nearly a dozen hotels, several dive shops, bars, and a variety of restaurants offering fine dining, seafood, steakhouse, as well and finger foods ideal for the beach.
Forgot something back home, don’t sweat it, there are a couple of small strip malls with convenience stores, souvenir shops, restaurants, ATMs, and pharmacies located near the entrance to West Bay right before you access the beach.
Nonetheless, it is the ocean and what dwells in it what makes West Bay Beach all that more special! The dive sites with their abundant biodiversity and magnificent topography are simply spectacular and only a short swim away. Dive shops are available where you can get your dive certificate which will allow you to get up close and personal with the amazing tropical fish that inhabit these calm crystal clear waters, which are not just great for diving but are also very snorkel-friendly. Let it be known that it’s not all that uncommon to come across a beautiful green sea turtle while you swim in the shallows in West Bay.
The actual beach ends to the west, where you will find some pretty peculiar rock formations popularly known by the Bay Islanders as an “ironshore”. These are in fact limestone remnants of a coral reef that date back millions of years ago and extend all the way around the western tip of Roatan. Very close to the edge of this coastal landmark you will find some serious ocean depths where the water turns deep blue becoming the ideal venue for the Free Diving Competition, an international world-class apnea sporting event that takes place every year in West Bay.
Because of all of these notable features, West Bay beach attracts big crowds as well as vendors so expect high traffic especially during the high season and particularly around mid-morning to mid-afternoon during cruise ship days. We recommend that you plan your beach day around those peak times so you can enjoy this beach to the fullest and in its glorious splendor as it was meant to be. When the masses arrive just remember to head east and explore the rest of the island. Before you know it, you will find yourself in the solitude of Camp Bay beach.