French Cay Snorkeling
The 7th most popular snorkel dive spot in Roatan.
Sunday 14 August 2016 06:47 GMT
On the south shore east of French Harbor, the snorkeling off Big French Cay and Little French Cay is popular with cruise ship tourists. While most snorkelers stick to the east side of Little French Cay, there is also good snorkeling off the south shore of Little French Cay and the west side of Big French Cay but just watch out for the surf action. Near shore, there are sand flats and turtle grasses, but further out you will find scatter coral heads and larger reef formations in the deeper waters.
After a long day of snorkeling, make sure to checkout Frenchys 44 Restaurant located on Little French Key.
There is a shuttle boat to Little French Key from the Roatan coastline. The marina is located about 1km east of French Harbor on the road leading to the iguana farm. The shuttle may be only open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, so make sure to call ahead (504) 9679-2782 or (504) 3304-5776.
The snorkeling off Roatan is known to be truly world class. Roatan is located northeast of Tegucigalpa about 35 miles off the Honduran coast. Isla de Roatan is about 32 miles long and ranges from 1 mile to 4 miles wide. The reefs around Roatan are known to have about 25% live coral, which is actually relatively healthy compared to other reefs found in the Caribbean. The average water temperature around Roatan varies little from summer (82F) to winter (78F). The best visibility can be found during the driest months of February through May, which can be up to 100 feet. During November and December, the visibility is typically 30 feet or under due to the heavy rain runoff. By the way, there are dozens of so-called dive shops around the island, however, most of them are just fronts for guided scuba dives. The dive shops rarely have any gear for sale, and the rental snorkel gear is old and very basic. Make sure to bring everything you may need, even mask drops.
To reach the snorkeling in Roatan by air, fly into Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP) in San Pedro Sula. Then, you will need to transfer to an inter-island flight to the Bay Islands. Alternately, if you are coming from the US, you may be able to find a direct flight to Roatan into Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport (RTB) from Miami or Houston. A passport valid for at least 6 months past the departure date is required for entry, and there is a $40USD departure tax. Note: when preparing to fly off the island, make sure to give yourself plenty of time a the airport with a minimum of two hours - there are five long steps to the departure process and the planes do not typically wait even if you are confirmed checked-in. Also, the land-line phones on the island are very unreliable, so make sure to come with a complete list of the mobile phone numbers you may need such as dive shops, hotel, restaurants and rental car agency.
Overall, French Cay is the 7th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 16 snorkeling dives in Roatan. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby French Cay including CoCo View Wall, Parrot Tree and Fantasy Island.