Spot

Starfish Alley


Do you feel like an enjoyable and original snorkeling experience? Set off to see the superb Caribbean cushion stars covering the seabed in their dozens at Starfish Alley, in less than 3 feet of water. A number of spots in Roatan have the same name and many tour organizers offer excursions to visit them. This particular one is between West End and West Bay and has the advantage of being easily accessible from the beach.
How to get there?

Starfish Alley is between West End and West Bay, the heart of Roatan’s tourist area. You can get there by car from anywhere on the island by following the signs to West Bay. Once you’re on West Bay Road and about 0.5 mile before the Infinity Bay Resort, turn right on Kai Linda Way. Carry on to the end of the road and park near the “Bite on the Beach” restaurant. Once on the beach, walk for less than 5 minutes towards the east (to the right as you are facing the sea). If you are staying in West End, it’s easier to take a taxi boat (they leave from the landing stage facing the Splash Inn Dive Resort, which is well signposted). The price is $3/60L per person one-way, with boats setting off when there are at least three people on board. Ask them to drop you off at the site (it is very well known). From the eastern tip of West Bay beach, visitors in good physical shape can swim to the spot (follow the coastline for about 15 minutes).

Water entrance

The snorkeling spot stretches along a line of white buoys, at right angles to the beach, around 150 yards east of the “Bite on the Beach” restaurant. At the end of the line of buoys, two marker buoys show the boat lane, so don’t stay in this area and be careful when crossing it.

Aerial view


Exploration

There are many cushion stars all over the area between the beach and the end of the line of buoys (↕2-4ft/0,5-1m). They like the dense sea grass covering the seabed only a few yards from the beach. By crisscrossing the area and keeping a good eye out (they are sometimes hard to see, and are hidden in the grass), you will soon spot them. Although their colors range from red to beige, via yellow, orange and even green, they all belong to the same species. Cushion stars are completely inoffensive and you can pick them up for the traditional souvenir photo, before carefully putting them back in the water.

Snorkeling Report Starfish Alley Roatan
Cushion starfish at Starfish Alley

You won’t come across many other forms of marine life in the area. If you go beyond the buoys and the sea lane, you will come to a reef area, dominated by sea fans, and with few fish. But you should encounter some butterflyfish, surgeonfish or bluehead wrasses.

Don’t walk on the sea grass because there are sea urchins lurking here and there. Be particularly careful about boats sailing nearby when you are inside or near the marked-out areas.



Restaurants & accommodation

The “Bite on the Beach” restaurant bar is near the spot. You can also find all the facilities (accommodation, supermarkets, etc.) you need at West Bay, a few minutes away by car or boat.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    Beginner
  • Maximum depth
    8ft (2.5m)
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Urchins, boats
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Low
  • Access costs
    Free
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes, moderately expensive
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Starfish Alley

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Cushion sea star
Oreaster reticulatus Abundant
Spotfin butterflyfish
Chaetodon ocellatus
Foureye butterflyfish
Chaetodon capistratus
Stoplight parrotfish
Sparisoma viride
Purple sea fan
Gorgonia ventalina
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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