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Beneath the Waters of Honduras: Roatan’s Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

Embarking on a cruise from the vibrant city of Fort Lauderdale, a bustling departure point for numerous cruises, it served as our gateway to the Caribbean. Our first destination was the tropical island of Roatán, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras.

Arriving at our first port of call, Roatan, Honduras, we initially had reservations about safety. However, being part of a cruise full of seniors, eased our concerns. When we arrived, we saw that the port was confined in a tourist only area, providing safety for visitors. As we departed the gated cruise port, it was eye-opening to see the real Honduras beyond the tourist-only area. The streets were dusty, with some shoddily built structures; a stark contrast to the manicured lawns we’re used to back home. The bus ride to the snorkeling site was bumpy, jostling us in our seats as we drove over uneven roads lined with vegetation. We then took a catamaran to the snorkeling destination. Upon arriving, the water looked especially choppy. I was nervous to go in the open sea, if not for the lifejacket I had to wear.

Immediately, I felt uncomfortable in the water with the choppy waves. None of the swimming training I had done seemed to translate in the open water (even with flippers on). Pretty much for the whole time we snorkeled, I struggled. Despite that, I was still able to marvel at the beauty of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the second-largest barrier reef globally.

Though the fish sightings were limited, it was still cool to experience being surrounded by the vibrant coral formations.

See more of Roatan here

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