Roatan is well known for being a fantastic scuba diving destination, offering easy diving close to shore with incredible visibility and warm conditions year-round. What you may not realize is that much of the diving is actually quite shallow, meaning those same amazing dive sites also make for great snorkeling sites.
Snorkeling in Roatan is some of the best in the entire Caribbean – come see for yourself! Take a look at Roatan’s best snorkeling spots…although there are so many to enjoy.
Best Snorkeling in West Bay
The iron shore along the edge of West Bay Beach provides an intriguing environment for all types of marine life. If you head out from the beach, keep an eye out for iguanas along the iron shore itself before you look underwater for lots of schools of fish and maybe even a turtle or two. Alternatively, you could snorkel with a catamaran tour in the area, farther from the beach while still staying safe from boat traffic. There are some underwater signs in place to warn you away from shallow coral – be sure to follow those directions for your own safety and to protect the coral.
Best Snorkeling in Sandy Bay
Sandy Bay is an extensively long area along Roatan’s northern shore, so there are endless locations from which you can swim out to snorkel. The best spots to snorkel are often straight out from your hotel or vacation rentals, so ask the property manager or concierge for details specific to the reef out your front door. Always keep in mind the boat traffic in the area – surface safety markers are typically advised if you’re headed out on your own.
Best Snorkeling in West End
West End boasts beautiful Half Moon Bay, an ideal location to enjoy a sunset cocktail, to watch kids swinging off the sailboat into the sea, and also home to some of the best snorkeling in Roatan. Along both sides of the bay are swim zones that you can follow to check out the sites along the iron shore. Along the left-hand side of the bay, you’ll find lots of little critters in the turtle grass. On the right-hand side, keep an eye out for regularly spotted little guys like seahorses, as well as the occasional octopus, especially under and around the docks. Beware boat traffic and never swim between the channel markers.
Best Snorkeling on the East End
Roatan’s East End is much more rural without the big tourist crowds you’ll find regularly on the western side of the island. While there are beautiful reefs to explore all around Roatan, if you’re looking for a specific snorkeling spot to check out during a visit to Roatan’s East End, you have to check out Old Port Royal. The Cow and Calf are two small cays just off shore where the snorkeling is absolutely stunning. You won’t have to look very hard to spot lots of marine life and gorgeous coral here. Even better – take a catamaran cruise out to snorkel so you can enjoy a full day experience of fun in the sun!
As always, please respect the reef and do your best to help us conserve our natural environment. Do not ever touch the coral or any marine life, do not leave any trash at the beach and be careful not to let anything blow away from the boat into the water.
Help us to preserve this beautiful environment for future generations to also enjoy. You can also support the incredible work of the Roatan Marine Park in their conservation and education efforts.