Roatán is the largest and most developed of the Bay Islands. Long and thin (50km long but only 2km to 4km wide), the island is a real diving and snorkeling mecca – virtually its entire coastline is fringed by an astonishingly diverse coral reef teeming with tropical fish.
But there's much more to Roatán than its reef. Exquisite white sand beaches like West Bay, a mountainous interior of pine-forested hills and the remote wild east of the island (once a key pirate hangout) beg to be explored.
Unsurprisingly this natural beauty hasn't been ignored by property developers and tour operators, and a slew of fancy resort hotels, a new shopping mall and cruise ship terminal have opened in recent years.
The vast majority of backpackers base themselves in West End.