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Roatan: Beautiful beaches, coral & tropical fish galore

Friends and Cruiseable team members have long extolled the tropical beauty of Roatan Island off the coast of Honduras.

But it was only during my recent cruise there on Norwegian Jade that I fully appreciated the wonders of its renowned coral reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef. 

While I wanted to just wing it and show up at West End Beach, the Jade's shore excursions desk told me that the beach didn't allow walk-ons. So we signed up for a day of snorkeling, beach time plus an afternoon barbecue. 

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, just a few dozen feet from the beach, is utterly stunning, and the experience equaled the best snorkeling I've ever done, years ago in Fiji. I still don't have a decent underwater camera — what model do you use? — so this Visual List is a mix of my shots with some nice photos from aqua-photographers.

The beachfront along West End Beach offers a host of your usual water activities — paddleboarding, kayaking, jetskiing, parasailing — but most visitors spent their hours sunbathing with an occasional dip below the surface. For those who skipped the snorkeling part ... what were you thinking?!

JD Lasica
I'm co-founder, Editor and chief cat herder at Cruiseable. Follow your cruise bliss to any land where it may lead. Let's connect! I'm @jdlasica on Twitter.