Just returned from Roatan. What a disappointment! We had heard so much and we were looking forward to this trip for a couple of years. This only concerns the south side of the island as we did not make it to the north side.
There was not much in the way of fish life. At least with regard to mature fish.
The coral looked healthy enough....if you could see beneath the brown algae covering everything. This appears to be caused by the extensive development on the southside. Unfortunately, that development has not been done with an eye to protecting their main tourist commodity....the reefs.
Saw lots of trash in the water and at depth.
In our case Fantasy Island was not our idea of a fantasy. In all fairness, I've been told that the old owner has the property back and we did see extensive improvements being made. The pool was unusable, the food was hospital quality except for the fruit and the same day in and day out. And you better get there early because if they ran out of something it was generally not replaced. Nightly entertainment was two nights out of seven. One of the bar staff even played a rap piece that slammed white tourists. The available drink menu for "all-inclusive" was very limited and did not include even basic margaritas or pina coladas. The dive staff were all good and the locker room was the best I've seen. Tip of the hat to Pedro our boat captain, Darren and staff! Just because it was off-season is no excuse for not having all items touted on their website being available and usable.
The biggest bright spot was taking the shark dive presented at Cara a Cara reef by Waihuka Adventure Diving (firstname.lastname@example.org
). I recommend it highly. This reef was far from shore and was in the best shape of all the reefs we dove. The whole experience was the epitome of professional diving from the pre-trip brief through the return and video presentation. The more people that buy the DVD, the cheaper the price for all. Best DVD deal I've ever bought.
At the airport we chatted with some other folks from the US and as we told them about our disappointment, they seemed to be personally insulted when we said we were not coming back. Even though the all-inclusive dive deal was great, when one factors in the 16% hotel tax and the airfare, our overall cost was far greater than any other trip we have made to Mexico or Jamaica. We felt that after we had paid for a supposedly "all-inclusive trip" which was to include "airfare, 7 nights accommodations, all meals, drinks, airport transfers and TAXES", that that was all we would have to pay. Nobody told us about the DEPARTURE TAX of $35US per person if paid in cash. That was the final insult for us. Adios Honduras, you won't pick these gringos pockets again!