Balinese-Style Villas Steps from Pristine Honduran Beach
The Mesoamerican Reef is the Atlantic Ocean’s largest reef, stretching 700 miles from the northern tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to the Bay Islands of Honduras. The reef is a top destination for scuba divers, as 500 species of tropical fish make their home here—including the mammoth whale shark. The 120-acre Palmetto Bay Plantation is situated on a beach on the island of Roatán, right next to this reef, and divers frequently stop here to relax between trips below the surface.
The ocean is visible from nearly all of the resort's Balinese-style villas, including the Orchid villa and Hibiscus villa. Feel free to lounge on a hammock or whip up a snack in the full kitchen. For recreation, the resort sets up various activities and tours, such as sailing and canopy tours. You can also get an up-close view of the fish by using a complimentary kayak or standing on the hotel’s wooden dock that extends into the bay.
Palmetto Bay's open-air restaurant and bar sits right on the beach. During the week, guests drink imported California wines, paired with shrimp and fish caught fresh from the sea. On Friday nights, the restaurant serves a Honduran buffet as live performers show off Garifuna music and dance.
Roatán, Honduras: Diver's Paradise with Dense Jungle Interior
Though Roatán—the largest of Honduras's Bay Islands—used to be plagued by pirates looting the gold of Spanish galleons, most of the popular shipwrecks were purposefully sunk for divers. But that doesn't make the many dive sites surrounding the island any less appealing. Walls of coral and more than 800 species of fish have turned them into natural wonders. Starfish, sea turtles, and eels are common sights during scuba-diving and snorkeling trips. The crystal-clear waters contain a wealth of Mayan, Paya, and Garifuna artifacts as well.
Farther inland, dense jungles and grassy hills stretch across the surface of the island. From the secluded bays of Roatán's East End, you can get a change of scenery by taking winding dirt roads to smaller villages. The towns of Coxen Hole and French Harbour in particular provide a taste of local culture in the form of street vendors, an iguana farm, and shrimp fishers working the docks.