I took the ferry from Utila to Roatan, which runs Friday-Sunday. After the 90 minute ride, I was happy to set my feet on land and let my stomach settle! I took a taxi from the port to the West End village, where my hotel/diveshop was located. This is the best area for diving, which is world-class and quite reasonable. I stayed at Hotel Chillies, which is affiliated with Native Sons Diving. This is a very laid back spot with great divemasters. You just walk across the street and climb into the boat for your dives!
The reefs off Roatan are absolutely stunning. They are very healthy, massive, and contain all kinds of marine life. Check out the night dive where you can see bioluminescence – the plankton glows when you make movement. If it’s really dark without any moonlight, you can see the strings of pearl, which are silk-like beads that glow all around you! It’s such a cool experience to swim through these! From the West End most of the dives are within a 10 minute boat ride, which makes diving more convenient and less expensive. I paid $30US/dive.
If you’re into chilling at the beach, you can check out the West End beach (right across the street), or hop the water taxi to West Bay beach. Both have beautiful, clear, and warm water that are perfect for swimming or snorkeling.
Overall I’d say that the diving is better in Roatan than Utila. The reefs are gorgeous and there’s more life. It is a little more expensive than Utila, roughly about 20% more. I’d definitely recommend travellers making a trip over to Roatan. Note that the ferries between Utila and Roatan run only Friday-Sunday. Otherwise you’d have to go back to La Ceiba and catch another ferry from there.
My time in Honduras is coming to an end. I will catch the ferry to the mainland, and take a 15 hour van/shuttle to Leon, Nicaragua. The journey continues!