Roatan Geography, Topography and Weather
Roatan forms part the Bay Islands of Honduras,
a small nation located in the middle of the Central American isthmus
bordering Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador; and flanked by both
the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
The Bay Islands are an archipelago of three large
islands -Roatan, Utila and Guanaja-, three small islands -Morat,
Barbareta, and St. Elena-, and over 60 cays located a mere 10 to
40 miles from the Honduran mainland in the in the azure waters of
the Caribbean Sea.
Roatan is the largest island at 32 miles long and
from one to three miles wide. A small mountain ridge runs along
the spine of the island offering expansive ocean vistas with the
highest point at about 900 feet above sea level. The island has
varying topography from white sandy beaches, iron shoreline, mangroves,
tropical hilltops, lush valleys to reef surrounded waters.
Roatan is surrounded by a reef system, which forms
part of the second largest reef system in the world and is home
to most of the marine life found in the Caribbean. The reef surrounding
the island creates calm lagoons between the coastline and the reef
crest that allow snorkeling from nearly every shore. And sometimes,
from very close to shore! A large part of the Roatan reef has been
protected by the Honduran government and is known as the West End
and Sandy Bay Marine Reserve. This Marine Reserve is home to 38
world-class dive sites and some of the most species rich waters
in the Caribbean.
This diversity of the landscape on Roatan makes it
one of the most visually impressive locations in the Caribbean.
In the 18th century Captain James Wright referred to Roatan as the
"Garden of the West Indies". Today, Roatan still retains
its true tropical beauty.
The yearly average temperature in Roatan is 80 degrees
Fahrenheit. The island receives constant trade winds keeping the
climate cool and a reasonable rainfall, with the heaviest rains
from December to February. This rainfall keeps the island lush and
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