West Bay Beach

West Bay Beach
Honduras, Roatan


Site Review by
 Pat Borowiak
Date: 07/24/2012


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Pat Borowiak Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    5.00
City:   Wheaton Reef:    5.00
State:   IL Animal:    5.00
Country:   USA Plant:    5.00
Diving:   15 years Facilities:    3.00
 Dives:   35 Solitude   4.00
    Roads:    3.00


*Average:    4.67
I just stayed at the Henry Morgan Resort on West Bay, intending to snorkel right off the beach. I am an avid snorkeler and picked this location because I read that the snorkeling was superb. I was very satisfied with the water and the resort.
RESORT LOCATION ON BEACH The resort is smack in the middle of West Bay beach. After taking a few rides around the island and checking out other beach areas, I think West Bay had the calmest water. The water was extremely still and almost no beach action (volleyball/wave runners etc) went on during the day. It's very peaceful. I had a boat take me around Roatan and by comparison, the Fantasy Island area had much rougher water.
SNORKELING ON WEST BAY The resort caters to divers, however I did not dive. I merely snorkeled. There is a dive center on the premises of Henry Morgan and you can pay $5 and go out with the divers (check for the shallow area dive sites) and snorkel while the divers dive. It gives you a chance to see the different reefs around the island. Snorkeling right off the beach is superb. I would walk down (.25 mile according to my pedometer) to the end of the beach. You walk past the Maya Princess, then Bananarama and just keep going. There is a rocky wall (extending about 30-40 feet in the air) at the end of the beach and there is no resort located here. There are some pilings left from a pier that's been long gone for some time just before you get there. The "pier" is about 25 feet before you get to the wall. When you get to that wall, the water is so clear that you can literally stand in two feet of the water and see the fish. Most folks just stick their shirt/sunglasses etc in a rut in the wall and then wade into the crystal clear water to start snorkeling. The coral begins about 10 feet from shore in 2-3 feet of water. You swim around the coral and weave in and out to get further out away from shore. There is a large variety of fish and some are huge. For example, I saw a parrot fish that was almost 3 feet long! HUGE! (They are usually about 10 inches long at this depth!) There are schools of fish too. It's like being in an aquarium. All this and the water is only about 4-6 feet deep. There is one big rock jutting out into the water at the end of this rocky wall. I spent two days weaving in and out and was unable to get to that rock by following the wall. There are areas where the coral is so close to the surface that you can't swim "over it" without scraping yourself or something. It's like a maze of coral over there. So it's fine snorkeling but don't think you're gonna get out to that rock! Not THAT way! Here's how you do it. Those pilings left from a pier are about 25 feet before you get to the wall. If you swim straight out from that "pier" for 100 yards or so, you will start to get into deeper (10-12 ft) water and then hit a spectacular drop-off. You can kind of see it from shore. There's a shot of white in the water where the coral ends. The water depth will go to about 25 feet and there will be about 5-7 feet of space between your stomach and the coral. (So you won't get scraped and you can swim on top of it instead of weaving in and out like the stuff close to shore.) You can swim along this wall of healthy vibrant hard and soft coral now toward the rock. It's great.
WARNINGS There was a storm one evening, which resulted in the water being a bit choppy. The chop wasn't that bad, really, but because the coral is so close to the surface, one tiny wave can push you into the coral. That is NOT the day to try swimming out to that rock. Just stick closer to shore and admire all the fish (I saw a ray that day!) in the more shallow coral. One woman vacationer was thrown into the coral and banged up her face and leg very badly. The coral caused an infection in her leg too. So, use caution if there is any chop in the water.

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    5.00
Beginner:    3.00
Intermediate:    3.00
Advanced:    3.00
Night diving:    3.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Summer
Year:    2007
Visibility:    5.00
Current:    5.00
Surf:    3.00

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