Like Belize and Costa Rica, which are also in Central America, Roatan in Honduras is one of those less-touristed tropical destinations where beaches are still pristine and uncrowded and two on a budget can always find a place to lay their heads.
One of the three Islas de Bahía (Bay Islands), thirty miles from the Honduras coast, Roatan is slowly becoming discovered by leisure travelers. The East End of Roatan is known for its untouched beaches and bays, and most facilities -- including an Internet cafe -- are located on the West End.
Water, Water Everywhere
Clear waters in Honduras make for great swimming in Roatan. Other outdoor sports include sea kayaking, fishing, waterskiing, kneeboarding, wakeboarding, and waverunning. At day's end, you can arrange to take a romantic sunset cruise through calm Bay Islands waters.
Is Roatan paradise? Only if you don't mind pesky insects and high humidity.
The best place to keep cool in Honduras is underwater. Roatan's reefs make it a desirable destination for snorkelers and scuba divers. There are a number of dive centers on Roatan. Sueño Del Mar Dive Center, voted the best on Roatan by readers of Scuba Diving magazine, offers professional PADI Scuba diving lessons and certifications from Open Water through Dive Master.
Palmetto Bay Plantation in Roatan
The Honduras resort that's home base for "Temptation Island 3," Palmetto Bay Plantation is on Roatan's north shore, four miles from the small town of French Harbour. Amenities include a seaside pool, massage services, and a restaurant that's one of the top on the island.
Guests can wander for miles from Palmetto Bay Plantation's white-sand beach without seeing another Roatan resort. Nature trails on the property wind through tropical flora and fauna, overseen by colorful, chattering parrots. (If you go, do pack bug repellent.)
The hotel can arrange diving packages, sailing trips, tours of Roatan island, and swim-with-dolphins experiences. Its boat captain knows best places for fishing or snorkeling at the nearby reef. Kayaks are available for guests' use.
There are flights into Roatan from Miami and Houston. The next closest airports to Roatan are Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula in Honduras. You can make connections there from other Central American airports and then catch a ferry or other sea-going vessel into Roatan.