After several visitors and living here for a few months, I think I’m officially qualified to give recommendations on where to eat, what to do, and how to be in West End Roatan. No, I’m not getting paid to talk about these places and, no, this list is not exhaustive. There are travel websites and books completely devoted to giving you a wide range of info. I’m just telling you about my friends.
Food! I love eating. Talk to me about food and we will be instant best friends.
[Edit: The Buena Vida is closed as of October 2014!] The Buena Vida for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas, sushi, dessert…just spend a full day here and don’t get up. Joe and Wendy are doing everything right and you won’t regret going there every single day. Monday nights are Music Trivia. Tuesday nights are 2-for-1 tapas. Wednesday? All you can eat fish tacos. The current record is 22. I dare you…
Cafe Escondido for breakfast, lunch, and the fantabulous Sangria Sunday. It’s the only day they’re open late and it is so worth it. Oh, and I might have a slight obsession with their Choco-Banana smoothie. Verity does not mess around with her cinnamon buns either. Brett and Stormy are just the sweetest. Go. Just trust me.
Cindy’s for a baleada. Specifically the shredded chicken. Although I’ve been told the Supreme baleada is phenomenal, I just crave the chicken and that’s the only thing that can get me through the day. Honestly salivating thinking about it right now.
Bonus: If you want a pricier meal that reminds you of home, go to Vintage Pearl in West Bay. It’s still island casual (read: shoes are left at the front door), but the menu is 5-star.
Activities! Most people who live here haven’t actually done any of these things, but I’ve had visitors. LOTS of visitors. So I can tell you first-hand just what’s up on this island of mine.
Anthony’s Key Resort for the dolphin encounter/snorkel. They run a really impressive operation and the dolphins are clearly very happy. They want to play and they want you to pet them. Nonstop. It’s just really amazing. I don’t like spending tons on activities, but this is totally worth it because you know the money is being spent well on caring for these beautiful creatures and hiring local staff. All good in my book.
Zipline at Gumbalimba Park. Bonus – it’s not just a zipline, you can also visit their park to learn more about Roatan’s history and play with monkeys (!!!!). I love monkeys. I want to foster a monkey for a short time. If anyone knows how I can do that let me know. Please and thank you.
Steve’s Paddle Shack in West End right next to Sundowners. Steve is awesome, paddleboarding is so much fun and a great way to get some sun without just laying on the beach and rotating like you’re on a spit.
Obviously I’m biased because I work there, but you should dive at Ocean Connections! Also, we have more fun things happening later this year, so stay tuned for that info. In the meantime, we are really chill, we have an incredible deck/dock space to hang out on, and we only do small groups at an absurdly low cost. Also, you get to see my smiling face! No? Not helpful? Mmmk well you can hang out with my dog, she smiles a lot, too, but you might like her better than me.
Shop at Evelyn’s in West End. They have tons of good quality Central American stuff and they are the absolute kindest people I have ever met. Ever. So sweet. They’re right across from Eagle Ray’s, past Cafe Escondido and Splash Inn on the left.
Drinks! Because you’re on an island so you are required to have drinks on the water while watching the sun set. It is mandatory.
Go to Sundowners for sunset. Duh. They have good happy hour deals and the best view of sunset from West End. Grab yourself a Monkey LaLa and relax.
Blue Marlin is for late night shenanigans. Karaoke on Thursdays, DJs on Fridays and Saturdays. They’re right on the water so you can actually get a nice breeze and not pass out from sweaty dancing. You will most certainly still be sweaty. It’s ok, you’re not alone.
The Buena Vida for Rum Punch because it is the best around. Period.
Cafe Escondido for Sangria Sunday because it’s sangria. And it’s Sunday. And you’re not getting up early to go to work the next day. Red and white sangria pitchers = happiness.
So if you’re coming to visit me, you now know exactly where we’re going and what we’re doing. If you’ve already been here and I missed something, let me know!