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How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

Saginaw, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 posts
11 reviews
How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

My wife and I were looking at learning to snorkel and that made us look at Roatan. Now that we have started planning our trip we see that in a lot of lists of best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean that Roatan is not on the list but other places are priced more? Is it really a good spot to snorkel? Would we enjoy it more somewhere else? We do like the price of Roatan compared to other places so that is something we need to watch if you think another spot is better... price! Thanks

20 replies to this topic
ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
436 posts
21 reviews
1. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

Arguably the best shore snorkelling found anywhere.

Alberta
Level Contributor
1,170 posts
16 reviews
2. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

And it's free.

I wander the world
Level Contributor
4,823 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

If you tell us the other places on the lists you have seen perhaps some of the members can compare and contrast for you.

hudson valley
Level Contributor
3,244 posts
4. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

"And it's free."

Seeing the subject, I figured the OP was another person who though that snorkeling is something that requires paying to go on an excursion. Perhaps they did think that, but the price question appears to be about the cost of visiting Roatan.

As with most places, there's a broad range. You can stay at one of the large resorts for a cost at the high end of the scale, or you can find far more modest places and pay much less. You can go out to eat and find inexpensive food, or you can pay more. And of course you can stay in for many of your meals, to make things even less expensive. Not any different than most places you could go, except that there are bargains on Roatan that are difficult or impossible to match on other islands.

It's entirely possible that you'd enjoy some other place more, but unless you fly half-way around the world to someplace near the coral triangle you probably won't enjoy it more based on the snorkeling. You'll find very good snorkeling (diving, too, in case you want to give it a try), with generally easy accessibility from shore. Other aspects of Roatan may not be as much to your liking as other destinations might be. Other good snorkeling destinations like Grand Cayman or St John are more conducive to going out and exploring the whole island. St John is part of the US and similar to home in some ways, and GC does a pretty good imitation of the US. Both are more expensive destinations, and thanks to Hurricanes Irma and Maria St John won't be a good choice for at least a few more months, and may take quite along time to offer an experience like it did pre-hurricane.

So for good snorkeling and an inexpensive vacation, by all means give serious thought to Roatan. Depending on what else you're looking for, perhaps some other place will suit you better.

Saginaw, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 posts
11 reviews
5. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

Thanks for the info... We have been to the Dominican Republic 3 times but want a different vacation and not AI. So to change it up Roatan looks great for just relaxing and trying new things like snorkeling or maybe Diving. I've looked at St.John but with the damage from the hurricane and price Roatan looked better. What about the Keys or Bahama's? Which would you say is better for snorkeling?

Calypso, North...
Level Contributor
902 posts
1 review
6. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

The Keys? No.

The Bahamas? That's the name of a large group of islands. Some of the islands offer excellent snorkeling, but most of the better known Bahamian Islands are underwater moonscapes. Very bleak. Look instead to the Easter out islands. Fairly expensive, tho.

Your line of questioning is way too broad, you could use some pre-research to narrow things down a bit.

For your first snorkel trip, Roatan would not disappoint ;)

Edited: 15 December 2017, 15:39
Saginaw, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 posts
11 reviews
7. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

I was simply asking a question, looking at Roatan for a vacation, never snorkeled before. Wanted to make sure since it is budget friendly that the snorkeling was good since it didn't come up in a couple of lists for the Caribbean on best of. So for all of you Thank You for the information, I didn't mean for that question to be broad.

Dallas
Level Contributor
190 posts
41 reviews
8. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

I take best of lists with a grain of salt, as everyone has a different expectation as to what a good snorkeling experience is. Are large animals preferred or the small critters hiding among the coral? Is it the larger fish, lobsters, octopus, squid or the different types of soft or hard corals? You will not be disappointed with the snorkeling in the waters around Roatan. You can hire a guide if you wish, or just step into the water and swim away, free of course! As a first timer, please, if you have to stand, stand on sand and nothing else. Don't take any souvenirs from the water. For a fee, a trip to Cayos Cochinos is highly encouraged. Beautiful!

Though I have not been everywhere, here is my top 5; grains of sand included...

5. Aruba - clear water, some smaller fish, reef was damaged from tourists, etc.

4. Akumal - clear water, minimal reef, clusters of coral heads, somewhat healthier than Aruba. Lots of turtles.

3. Curacao - clear water, reef in the places I visited was healthy with fans, coral heads, brain coral, many different types of fish.

2. Belize - Hol Chan - clear water, reef was mostly healthy, many large animals, I.e. rays, turtles, sharks, eels. Some trash in the water. Best spots reached by boat.

1. Roatan - clear water, reef in best condition compared to others, variety of soft and hard corals, small fish, larger fish, some turtles if in the right place at the right time - squid, octopus. Accessibility is great.

1 + On the other of the globe, Cook Islands, oh my, amazing. Giant clams, sharks, turtles, massive coral heads, clearest water I have seen.

ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
436 posts
21 reviews
9. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

Bob - you really can't go wrong choosing Roatan if snorkelling is what you want to do. Most, if not all, of the Roatan regulars are either avid divers and/or snorkelers, and they return (myself included) because the reef is healthy, teaming with life and oh so close to shore. Not on a top 10 Caribbean list? Keep in mind that Roatan is often listed on travel sites (even this web site) as part of Central America, not the Caribbean.

hudson valley
Level Contributor
3,244 posts
10. Re: How good is Roatan snorkeling, price??

"best of lists"

I won't quite say it's a pet peeve, but for the life of me I really can't understand why Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman consistently turns up near the top of lists of best beaches. I often equate it to McDonald's selling the worlds most popular hamburger. By almost any criteria there are many beaches that are better than SMB, but GC is a very popular destination and the vast majority of people who go to GC stay along SMB. That results in a lot of people casting votes in the various opinion polls that are often the genesis of those best of lists.

Even if everybody who visits Roatan in 2017 voted it as the #1 spot for <insert best of poll> it will be pushed well down in the rankings by the greater number of visitors to many other destinations. Still, if you do a Google search for best Caribbean snorkeling destinations you'll find Roatan (or the Bay Islands in general) on many lists.

"Roatan is often listed on travel sites (even this web site) as part of Central America"

Roatan *is* part Central American, since it's part of Honduras. In the case of TA's forum listings Roatan's place at least seems to be based on legitimate geography, even if most visitors think of it as a Caribean island or destination. Head west a bit, and you might think that there wasn't a single tropical island in the Pacific that's north of the equator since TA lists all warm Pacific islands under the broad heading of South Pacific forums. FWIW, when I describe my trip to Yap and Palau I often refer to them as the South Pacific, since most people have no idea where they are but "South Pacific" always conjures the right sort of vision.

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