The eternal Roatan traveler dilemma :
“Where do I stay : West Bay or West End ?”
When I started planning my trip to Roatan, that was, at least, the first question that came to my mind. Googling like crazy and mumbling around TripAdvisor, I finally, I decided to sleep at West Bay and to go for the day to West End.
Here’s my take on West Bay,
West Bay, the village
West Bay is the “biggest” village on the island. You will get the impression of walking in a little colourfoul village, caribbean/antilles style. You will find little souvenir shops, bars and a lot of restaurants : italian, peruvian, creole… You will also find A LOT of diving shops and schools and there even a church and a mini-supermarket.
Where West End is more about all-inclusive resorts on the beach front + restaurants on the beach, West Bay more of a little village feeling to it. That is the reason why we chose to sleep there.
HIT THE BEACH : HALF MOON BAY
All the beaches in Roatan are public and you can access for free. In West Bay you can hit the “Half Moon” beach. it is a small but still beautiful white-sand beach. It is mostly used by locals since it is really “downtown” and by the church. However do not expect beach services like showers or cabins or bathrooms. Just come with your beach towel !
This is a good place to go out scuba-diving if you don’t want/can/know to dive. I’d also recommend to bring your own equipment, otherwise you can rent one at the several diving shops around the beach.
DRINKING & EATING IN WEST BAY
Since we went in low season (read here more about Roatan’s seasons), most restaurants were closed and many others were under-construction. All in all, do not expect haute gastronomie, chic/boutique restaurants – rather consider your average tourist-trap caribbean restaurants scene. If you are going on high season, maybe you can check Trip Advisor’s best restaurants on Roatan, hoping that they will be, in fact open, by the time you get to the island.
So, here is what we did (and did not) :
– ‘El Bosque’ : They all told us to go to ‘El Bosque’, frankly, I would NOT recommend this place. It is an “all you can eat” kind of place, loved by locals. Expect quantity, not quality…
– ‘Argentinian Grill’ : Not bad if you want to take a break from seafood, prices are correct for what you get.
– Sundowners : It’s more a bar than a restaurant. Noisy and always packed up, with expats and tourists. Music and cocktails. The place to be in West Bay, since everything else closes early…
– The Lighthouse : Good Creole and Caribbean food. Portions are gigantic (check that photo) and you’ll have a nice view by the water.