When you're traveling to a relatively unknown island, the hard part is knowing very little about the destination, at least initially. However, that's also the exciting part! After all, traveling to new places can offer a surprising blend of adventure and relaxation. But before you can book your trip, it would benefit you to plan accordingly and determine what you would like to get out of your island getaway. The destination, of course, depends on what you consider to be your dream vacation; if it's adventure and pure authenticity, the answer is easy:
It's West End Village!
This is especially true if this is your first trip to Roatan. A trip to West End Village—aka the West End—is the destination for lively outings and adventure. But don't take our word for it, The Huffington Post recently celebrated the undiscovered pleasures of Roatan, stating: "Roatan is one of the few established islands in the Caribbean that still retains its authentic island charm. You get the comforts of the west as well as the quiet seclusion of the island."
Laid back but lively
West End Village is popular for its wide variety of dive shops, stores, restaurants and nightlife options. Because of its blend of attractions, you will never have to leave the village to find entertainment—and quite frankly, you won't want to. Not to mention, because it's free of American chains, you will actually feel like you're exploring a vacation off the beaten path. And, with easy access to diving, fishing, sailing and more, you can truly experience all the adventure that the Half Moon Bay beach has to offer.
One thing West End isn't, ironically, is a location at the West "end" of the island. It 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 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, such as zipline canopy tours, dive boats and fishing charters, will come and pick you up for free as part of their service.
Time to venture off the beaten path
So, if you've decided to vacation on Roatan—whether it's your first time or your 10th—and you're trying to figure out where to stay, venture to the West End. There's no reason to simply stay on Roatan when you can truly live there for a week, or more.