Off the southwest tip of Roatan at Lighthouse Point, the snorkeling at Herbie’s Place is known for its dense fire coral near shore. The snorkeling starts at the shoreline and continues out about 60 to the edge of the wall where the water can be up to 100 feet deep. There tends to be more surf here as it is not protected as the north shore dive sites. Also, there can be an east to west current. The visibility is typically not that great and ranges from 5 feet to 25 feet. During a Herbies Place snorkeling dive, you may encounter sergeant majors, blue tang, trumpetfish, and maybe the occasional sea turtle. The marine life can be found round the fire coral, elk horn coral, brain coral, sea fans and other various sponges.
While most snorkelers access the dive site from shore, it can also be accessed by boat. There is a mooring buoy in 35 feet of water over a scuba dive site known as Texas.
This is a shallower snorkeling site with coral heads spread over the sand flats. During a Herbies Fantasy snorkeling dive, you may encounter stingrays, trigger fish, parrotfish, grouper, flounder, trumpetfish, barracuda and conch shells amongst the brain coral, star coral and fire coral formations. The Herbie’s Fantasy snorkeling dive site is located on the inner reef off Key Point in waters ranging from 10 to 40 feet deep.
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.
After a long day of snorkeling at Herbie’s Place, you might want to grab a drink to cool off at Kismet Beach Bar at Le Meridan Resort.
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.
The Herbies Place snorkeling dive site is located southwest of the airport and southwest West Bay town.
To reach the snorkeling at Herbie’s Place from the airport near Coxen Hole, turn left out of the airport towards Coxen Hole. At the first intersection with Petro Sun Gas Station, turn left to Coxen Hole. Continue straight to next intersection with Sarita Ice Cream Shop on corner, veer right to Gravel Bay / Flowers Bay. Continue straight through Gravel Bay to next intersection, turn right toward West Bay / West End. Continue straight to next intersection, turn left towards West Bay. The center of the West Bay area is near the West Bay Mall. Continue past West Bay Mall and past Infinity Bay Resort. Continue up the hill and veer to the right at the top and descent down to Le Meriden Resort where there is beach-access to the Herbie’s Place dive shop.
Overall, Herbies Place is the 4th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 16 snorkeling dives in Roatan.