Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands, which sit 30 miles North off the coast of Honduras. The Bay Islands are comprised of Guanaja, Utila, Roatan, and many other smaller isles or cayes. Roatan is approximately 33 mles from east to west and an average of 2 miles across from north to south. There are many hillsides the largest of which tops out at over 800 feet. The vegetation ranges from mangrove swamps to tropical jungle to oceanside dunes. While the afternoons can be hot there is welcome relief from the cooling prevailing breeze. The entire chain of the Bay Islands provide outstanding diving since they are the tops of a mountain range (the Bonacca Ridge) alongside the famous Cayman Trench, which drops off to depths of over 25,000 feet. Roatan is a mix of peoples including descendants of early British colonials, Europeans, American, Canadians, Spanish Honduran, or various peoples of Carribean origin. The vast majority of the population of about 30,000 lives along the coast or along one of Roatan's many bays and harbours. Paved roads reach many of the villages, especially on the west end of the island. Once you pass Punta Gorda on the north and Oakridge on the south the roads switch from paved to dirt and then from dirt to nothing. Roatan's history includes a period where it was home to some of the Caribbean's most notorious pirates and many believe there is still treasure to be found.