#Travel: Have you heard of Roatán in the Bay Islands of Honduras?

Travelers seeking the perfect weekend destination in Central America will love Roatán in the Bay Islands of Honduras. The picture-perfect island offers spectacular turquoise waters, plenty of beach and watersports, adventure, nightlife, fine dining, and the comfort of top-notch luxury accommodations.

In Roatán, travelers can hit the beach and then go snorkeling, returning to change at a luxury hotel or private villa, adding some spa time before heading out for dinner and dancing. Sustainable development and an emphasis on design in harmony with nature ensure that the beautiful landscape remains the centerpiece of every visit.

The First Evening Out in Roatan

Guests can check in at one of the island’s great hotels, such as the Grand Roatan Resort in West Bay. With an island tour in a private car with a driver, it’s simple to get acquainted with the area before heading back to the Grand Roatán Resort’s beachfront Ironshore Bar & Grill – an ideal spot for sunset cocktails and cuisine that features local influences. Other great hotel options include Beach House Roatan, Anthony’s Key Resort, Barefoot Cay Resort, Spa & Marina, CoCo View Resort or Camp Bay Lodge, located toward the east end of the island.

The First Full Day in Roatan

An early breakfast at the hotel will power the rest of the day – filled with exciting water adventure. Many hotels offer five-star PADI dive shops that can set up diving and snorkel trips to get an underwater view of the second largest barrier reef in the world. The warm waters are teeming with tropical fish and colorful coral. Local tour operators also offer tours for all levels but for those not interested in organized tours, kayaks, paddle boards, full snorkel sets and other equipment are available for rent at the majority of hotels. Afterward, vacationers can enjoy a fresh lunch at Sundowner’s in Roatan’s West End, or enjoy the great views of Sandy Bay at Beach Grill.

After lunch, it’s time to commune with nature and there are plenty of options. At Arch’s Iguana Farm and Marine Park, you can spot white-faced monkeys, colorful macaws and native tropical fish – all part of the fauna fun, amidst native flora. Another fabulous option is to take a whale shark expedition to neighboring Bay Island Utila. One company that leads this tour is West Bay. It and other companies can also take you on trips to the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere.

The Last Evening Out

Guests can use any extra time before dinner for souvenir shopping. A few options include Rusty Fish or the Shawn Jackson Gallery for gifts that are authentically Roatanean. There’s more shopping all over the West End, where dinner and drinks at Roatan Oasis are accompanied by great live music entertainment. Everything from locally caught fish to international comfort food is on the menu. The surrounding bars and nightclubs also offer an opportunity to unwind and let loose.

Saying Goodbye to Roatan on Horseback

All good things must come to an end, but what more spectacular way to say goodbye than with a horseback riding and scuba diving experience at Little French Key, a private Island resort in Roatan? Located in French Harbor on the south shore of Roatan, it’s like a paradise within a paradise, with the best of the Bay Islands squeezed into a small space, adjacent to the Mesoamerican Reef. Animal lovers will also appreciate the Animal Rescue Center and the exotic rescued animals attended to with utmost care.

Then it’s on to the airport and home, or to your business meetings, fully relaxed, recharged and ready to take on the world. Travelers can tweak this itinerary with their own choice of hotels and dining, tailoring it to their needs and budget.

Roatán in the Bay Islands makes for an ideal, easily accessible 36-hour jaunt for the weekend or in conjunction with a business trip. The island connects with direct flights to the U.S. along with other key Central American cities.

SUSAN WONG :Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.