Swim half the length of a football field off the Sunnyside Pier at Sandy Bay on the island’s West End, and you’ll come to the barrier reef and one of the island’s most popular dive sites, Spooky Channel. The reef here is generally 5 to 20 feet deep, so snorkelers can share the sights, including an endless parade of tropical fish along an underwater trail, with the scuba set (who will spend more time following the maze-like passages through the reef into deeper water).
Roatan’s sister island to the east, Guanaja, also draws raves from divers, but you may decide that the hiking (on mountain trails with great views of the Caribbean) and kayaking to secluded beaches are even better reasons to make the short, 20-mile journey.
Wahoo (arguably the best tasting fish in the sea) are the offshore attraction during winter, however Roatan’s claim to angling fame rests with bonefishing. The small (1 to 6 pounds) and wary “bonies” are a favorite with flyfishermen on the island’s shallow saltwater flats.