Saturday, December 25, 2021

[ROATÁN] West End and West Bay


The only West End I was really interested to visit before was the theater district in London. After my UK Visa application got denied, Broadway filled that gap. Who knew that I would end up visiting another West End but instead of theaters and musicals, it’s all about Caribbean beaches! Not bad, eh? Capping my Honduras itinerary, the Bay Islands have been the evident highlight of this gallivanting around the country. Despite being scammed by taxi drivers from hell, it was all worth it in my opinion.


Oh, we’re talking about taxi drivers from hell. Uber is available in Honduras, but only in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. I guess that’s the reason why I felt fine in those cities, because there was basically nobody who had a chance to try and scam me. There is no Uber in Roatán. You will end up being at the mercy of taxi drivers. Arriving at the port across Mahogany Bay via Galaxy Wave, it was raining and already dark as we docked at around 6 PM. There was no other choice but to take a fucking taxi.


My Airbnb host already told me that HNL100 (~PHP210) should be the maximum charge given how it was a mere 10-minute ride. The taxi driver charged me HNL360 (~PHP756). He tried to make small talk, but I intentionally snubbed the MoFo. You don’t get to scam me and be friendly at the same time. Choose your effing struggle. I hope taxi drivers get extinct in this lifetime. In a world with one too many travel apps to facilitate moving around with ease, I don’t know why these lowlifes persist on existing.


Anyway, enough ranting. The Bay Islands are, without a doubt, the jewel of Caribbean Honduras. Composed of several islands, the biggest one where you are most likely to land is Roatán which has an airport with connections to Houston, Toronto, and neighboring Belize City. To the west is small Útila which is popular for diving, while there are other smaller islands that are harder to get to. On Roatán, Coxen Hole serves as the main gateway, but the nice beaches are on the western edge of the island, at West Bay.


West Bay and West End. Confusing? Not so much. West End is way north and serves as the downtown district with all the restaurants, bars, and convenience stores to get your supplies. You can walk all the way to West Bay and maybe swim in some portions where the shores are thin, but the easiest way to come and go between the two is via water taxi, which costs USD3 per person each way. They have to wait for four passengers to fill the small boat before departing. Otherwise, you can charter the entire boat for USD10. The trip is a mere 10 minute boat ride away on each direction.


My original Airbnb was in West End, but the host canceled last minute when I asked her if her WiFi is okay. This led me to booking an Airbnb five-minute walking distance from the airport in Coxen Hole. I don’t really recommend Coxen Hole as your homebase on Roatán. There’s nothing to do there. You’ll be better off shelling out the USD25 airport or port transfer to either West End or West Bay. All the tourists are there. All the infrastructure are there. All the nice beaches are there.


You have no business in Coxen Hole other than landing and flying out from there. But it’s not that far away from West End. Just hail a collective taxi and pay HNL50 (~PHP105). In 20 minutes, you’re already there. There are several docks for water taxis at West End but they charge the same fees. West Bay is a bit more crowded and the MO there is just hail any boat going back to West End and hop aboard. If you don’t want to get wet, there is also a dock on the far east of the beach where you can hop onboard.

[ROATÁN] West End and West Bay

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