Spot

West End


The small village of West End is (logically) located on the western side of Roatan Island. Atmosphere is relaxed and lively here. Small budget travelers like this place, which makes a contrast with the nearby West Bay and its luxury resorts. Fringing the island’s west coast, West End reef is located about 200 meters from the beaches. Coral is not as spectacular here as it is in West Bay, but it is still preserved and you will be able to spot dozens of fish and invertebrate species. If you’re staying in West end, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this spot.
How to get there?

West end is located on Roatan Island’s western tip, about 30 minutes by car from the airport (taxi: 25$) and 10 minutes by boat from West bay. Once in the village, walk towards Half Moon Bay beach: it is the ideal place to enter the water.

Water entrance

We advise to enter the water on Half Moon Bay beach’s southern end (on your left when facing the sea). This place is sheltered from waves and currents and you will easily fin-swim to the reef from here.

Aerial view

Exploration

The exploration area covers the coral reef facing Half Moon Bay. It extends about a hundred meters southwards over the rocky point (see map above).

Starting from the beach, you will first come across a shallow sea meadow area sprinkled with coral clumps (0.5-1m). Cushion starfish like this place, although they are less numerous here than on Starfish Alley spot. Groups of Caribbean reef squids also appreciate this calm area sheltered from currents.

snorkeling west end roatan
Scrawled filefish in West End

Getting closer to the reef (1-3m), the seabed is now covered with colorful coral and sea whips. Underwater life is also denser: hundreds of blue surgeonfish, groups of sergeant majors and blue-headed wrasses dashing over the rocks can all be seen here. Hundreds of species can potentially be seen in West End. Keep your eyes peeled for hogfish, scrawled filefish, three Caribbean butterflyfish species and even small groupers.

Beyond the reef, the seabed deepens dramatically (10m) and there is not much left for snorkelers.

If you wish, you can follow the reef’s edge towards the South, swim over the rocky point and get off the water by West End village’s beach (beware the boats).

Restaurants and accommodation

There are many hotels, restaurants, bars and shops in West End, fitting all budgets. Most of them are settled along the small coastal road. The nearby West Bay also boasts numerous seaside hotels.

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
    Intermediary level
  • Maximum depth
    12 ft on the reef, 25 ft on the reef drop-off
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Boats
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Free
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes, inexpensive
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling West End

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Atlantic blue tang
Acanthurus coeruleus
Doctorfish tang
Acanthurus chirurgus
Foureye butterflyfish
Chaetodon capistratus
Banded butterflyfish
Chaetodon striatus
Hogfish
Lachnolaimus maximus
Bluehead wrasse
Thalassoma bifasciatum
Bermuda chub
Kyphosus sectatrix
Yellow goatfish
Mulloidichthys martinicus
Scrawled filefish
Aluterus scriptus
Dusky squirrelfish
Sargocentron vexillarium
Orangespotted filefish
Cantherhines pullus
Sergeant major
Abudefduf saxatilis
Jewel damselfish
Microspathodon chrysurus
Stoplight parrotfish
Sparisoma viride
Bluestriped grunt
Haemulon sciurus
French grunt
Haemulon flavolineatum
Caesar grunt
Haemulon carbonarium
Tiger grouper
Mycteroperca tigris
Lobster
Calamar de récif des Caraïbes
Sepioteuthis sepioidea
Cushion sea star
Oreaster reticulatus
Flamingo tongue snail
Cyphoma gibbosum
Sabella
Sabella sp.
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You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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