On the Caribbean island of Roatan there is a is a heated battle raging on. The battle of West Bay vs West End. Now even though these two beautiful destinations are only located a quick water taxi away from each other they couldn’t be more different!
The super glamorous West Bay has top hotels and plush resorts lining it’s pristine white sandy beach. While West End plays into the more free spirited, down to earth island style vibe. Honestly I can relate to this, I feel like this is the battle of my life. My wanna be super glamorous side competing with my down to earth rugged travel self.
So let’s get down to it traveling to Roatan, Honduras and trying to figure out what best suits your style… I know the tough decisions in life! West Bay vs West End let’s break it down!
What is West Bay?
This is the go to spot for anyone trying to get their perfect island vacation. The beach is phenomenal and for those who know me that’s saying a lot. The water is crystal clear and probably some of the best snorkeling you’ll do outside the Great Barrier Reef. This is the place to be if your interested in a resort vibe. Chilling by the pool or having waiters wading out to bring you cocktails as you swim in the ocean! West bay is all about luxury and relaxation. So if your the kind of person that like to have a resort vacation this is the spot for you!
Beach Not sure there’s anything I could write to fully do this beach justice. We saw some amazing beaches in Southeast Asia, but West Bay, Roatan may top the list! The soft white sand and motionless clear blue water will make it tough to leave!
Relax Weekdays with no cruise ships in town will be pure bliss. We must have hit it at that perfect time, but Monday morning we were sharing this long beautiful beach with only a handful of people! Plan your dates wisely!
Up Scale If you don’t have a problem spending the money who doesn’t like to be pampered! West Bay offers all the amenities you could wish for in a vacation.
Beach Hustlers Some might think of this as a problem, but I love it! Who doesn’t like to sit on a beach chair and have homemade empanadas and fresh coconuts brought to them?!? Beach snacks are always the freshest!
Vibe The whole strip is resorts catered to tourists. They do a good job of keeping an island feel, but realistically you’re not going to get a local vibe unless you travel outside the West Bay bubble.
Tours and activities By far the most expensive out of West Bay. There are dozen of options like sailing trips, jet skiing, etc… but it will cost you!
Cruise Ship If you’re in West Bay when a cruise ship is in town get ready for your worst nightmare. Tour companies take people to this pristine beach for their day in paradise! Unfortunately, for you that means that your little slice of heaven quickly turns into an over populated mess!
What is West End?
West End gives off a home town island style feel. It’s hard not to find yourself day dreaming of giving up your life and moving here. What makes that fantasy even more realistic is that there are a overwhelming amount of people who have done exactly that. Moved to the islands and opened dive shops, or are just working in the local restaurants and living the life. Some of the cheapest and most spectacular diving in the world comes from this little town!
Town There is a proper downtown with all the fun and social life you could want! Instead of being restricted to hotel restaurants like in West Bay here you’ll have options to fit any taste and budget!
Amazing Food Yes you can go to the regular restaurants but there are a few great options for that down and dirty street food that we all crave. If your walking down the Main Street at night you’ll see some fantastic grills pop up so you can get your fill!
Boat Swing Right in the harbor is a sail boat that has been converted into a local play ground! It doesn’t matter if you swim, kayak or float over just make it a stop!! Soon you can be flying high just like the local island boys!
Cheap Tours With prices at about a quarter of what you’ll find in West Bay it will be tough to get out of the water! We went snorkeling three times with the company Island Dive Center and with a price tag of $15 it was a steel! Sea turtles, string rays, and millions of fish, by far the best snorkeling I have done!
Beach Yes the beach is AMAZING but it just can’t live up to the standard of West Bay. Boats are coming in and out and the slightly murky water and relatively small swimming area will leave you wishing you were in West Bay.
Harbor West End is one of the main harbors for the island so dozens of boats are always rushing in and out. The boating lanes are well marked, but be careful when swimming and kayaking!
So what’s better West Bay vs West End?
The truth is Roatan is amazing and if your biggest struggle is if you should stay at West Bay vs West End then your doing something right. At the end of the day it’s all up to personal preferences. We spent an amazing two days in West Bay before trading in our resort for a more realistic apartment style hotel in West End. If you don’t have time to stay in both towns the water taxi will only cost you $3! Come on it’s the islands don’t stress!