Decisions, decisions, decisions...
The hard part about going someplace new is that you initially know very little about it. That's also the cool part. Exploring new places is a lot of fun.
But before the fun starts, you have to make at least a couple of decisions on relatively little, first-hand knowledge. The biggest of these, of course, is where to stay. You've picked your location in the "where does my plane land" sense. Now you've got to pick your location in the "Where do I tell the taxi driver to go" sense.
Well, if your answer to the first question was Roatan - that perfect little, semi-discovered gem in the southwestern Caribbean - the second answer is easy:
It's West End Village!
That's especially true if this is your first visit to Roatan. West End Village, or simply West End, is the best place for a Roatan vacation. There are lots of reasons why...
- It's actually a village - people work and live in the West End
- It's right on the water - that means easy access to diving, fishing, sailing, water sports and... water taxis (which can take you to places like West Bay Beach)
- It has a beach - West End encompasses Half Moon Bay and beautiful Half Moon Bay Beach
- It's loaded with shops, restaurants and night life - you'll never need to leave (and you won't want to)
- It's eclectic - from budget hotels hosting backpackers to luxury vacation rental villas housing groups of couples on vacation
- It's fast-food and strip mall free! - you actually feel like you're exploring someplace new, not like they planted a palm tree at your local McDonalds
- It's laid-back but lively - the perfect home base from which to explore Roatán, either on foot or horseback, by car, boat or zipline
One thing West End isn't, ironically, is the West "end" of the island. It apparently derives its name from the fact that it was, until recently, the West end of the paved road. As a result of not being at the western tip of Roatan, West End is literally 20 minutes from the airport. You don't need (or want the added expense of) a rental car. If exploring the interior of the island or East End is on your itinerary, it is substantially more affordable to hire a car for the day than rent one for the week and let it sit for five days. What's more, most businesses (think Zipline Canopy Tours, dive boats, fishing charters) will come and pick you up for free as part of their service.
So, if you've decided to vacation on Roatan - whether it's your first time or your tenth - and you're trying to figure out where to stay, go West (End)! There's no reason to simply stay on Roatan when you can truly live there for a week (or more).
There is literally no better place to stay on Roatan, but don't take our word for it - hear from the people who call West End home...