Roatan Diving: Dive Sites, Dive Shops, & What You’ll See
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Roatan is a dream destination for beach lovers, snorkelers, and divers though it isn’t yet on everyone’s radar.
A Roatan diving experience leaves a lasting, unforgettable impression.
This tiny island off the north coast of Honduras has award-winning dive hubs.
Numerous local diving resources are there to outfit the novice diver.
Expert divers can explore the pristine Caribbean underwater world and enjoy.
If you’re like me, you may never want to leave.
What is Roatan?
Roatan is a 48-mile-long slice of heaven anchored to the north coast of Honduras.
It is the largest Honduran island between its sister islands, Utila and Guanaja.
There are many reasons Roatan diving is so memorable.
The main being that the island rises above sea level on the back of a reef.
Diving opportunities in the reef are endless.
Here you can also visit mangroves and caverns.
Roatan is becoming a tourist destination.
Where is Roatan?
Roatan sits 40 miles off the north shore of Honduras and glancing toward Belize in the west.
Does Roatan Have Good Diving?
Roatan is a mecca for divers.
The island formed from an ancient coral reef, creating the foundation for unique diving opportunities.
Roatan belongs to the 600-mile-long mesoamerican reef, the second longest barrier reef in the world.
If that isn’t enough to entice divers, swim with seahorses, come nose to nose with scorpionfish, trunkfish, and a fragile ecosystem that hopes to survive through conservation.
One of the key reasons Roatan diving is world-renowned is that there are endless diving experiences and interactions.
What is Diving in Roatan Like?
One of the main reasons Roatan diving excites divers is its natural construction and setting.
Divers of any experience can choose from among 150 adventurous dive sites.
How deep are the dives in Roatan?
You can dive shallow and go deep to 110 feet.
Mild currents and warm water propel the water.
Aside from marine life and shipwrecks, you won’t run out of shallow reefs and canyons.
Visibility is at 50 feet, giving you ample time to move out of passing whale shark’s turf.
What is the best time of year to dive in Roatan?
The best time to dive is in April and May, though there is prime diving year-round.
The peak season is December to May.
Roatan Dive Sites
As an FYI, Americans stay in Honduras for up to 90 days without special visas.
Here are some of the best underwater sites as seen in this video.
1. El Aguila
There’s a reason divers flock to El Aguila. It’s one of three visited shipwrecks.
The water is balmy at 78-84 F. Divers can explore the three sections of the 230-foot-long cargo ship.
Although several hurricanes damaged the wreck, the swim-throughs are still breathtaking.
Corals have blanketed the ship.
Duck as you encounter resident groupers, blue parrotfish, dog snappers, lobsters, and crabs.
The soft corals fanning in the current are stunning.
The best approach is Turquoise Bay in the West End.
2. West End Reef (Wall)
The West End Reef or Wall is popular for many reasons.
The current creates a natural feeding environment that draws fish and divers who observe them.
The protected Roatan Marine Park is a haven for marine life.
Sea turtles, moray eels, barracuda, and monster-sized crabs call this terrain home.
Popular as a drift dive, the reef bottoms out at 90 feet.
The drop is staggered in increments, with prime cruising dives.
The best place to enter the water is at Half Moon Bay beach.
3. Cara Cara
This diving hub isn’t for inexperienced divers.
It’s situated two nautical miles off the south side of the island.
Divers soon get a Spanish translation of Cara Cara as you come face to face with reef sharks, hammerheads, and jackfish, all home in a biodiverse habitat.
Before you dive, acclimatize.
Marine conditions can be turbulent, so hook up with a local diver who can guide you safely to the destination.
When booking a boat, ensure you’re not hiring a sketchy outfit. Even experienced divers need quality equipment.
4. Odyssey Wreck
The Odyssey wreck has become a destination for divers with wreck certification.
Resting at 110 feet below the surface, the 300-foot-long freighter provides a scenic viewpoint of the reef wall and the entire ship.
Make sure you bring a flashlight.
Expect to meet groups of tuna, groupers, and sharks on your excursion. It takes more than one dive to explore the ship.
Find great access for advanced divers from the quaint beach village Mud Hole.
5. Spooky Channel
During the last Ice Age, Spooky Channel was a waterfall.
Now, it’s an underwater canyon on the lagoon that links to the outer reef.
Sandy’s Bay (murky lagoon) is a great place to start until you reach a maximum depth of 95 feet.
Enter the chamber, thriving with starfish, lobsters, and occasional schools of houndfish.
As you ascend, Roatan marine life becomes a hive of activity.
Look for angelfish, groupers, and parrotfish as you swim toward the 200-foot vertical wall reef.
Best Dive Shops in Roatan
Roatan caters to the hundreds of divers who make the pilgrimage to experience some of the best niche dive spots on the planet.
1. Island Diving Center
This Roata Island Diving Center dive center has it all.
Location, resort amenities, certifications, beginner to expert diver experiences.
Located on the stunning beach at Brisas del Mar, the Island Dive Center is building a stellar reputation among divers.
Guests divers have access to over 40 dive locations easily accessible with 2 to 15-minute boat rides.
Single regular dives start as low as $50 and drop as you book more dives.
2. Clear Water Adventures
Clear Water Adventures is your go-to scuba diving and tour guide.
Each guest experiences Roatan diving on a personal level.
Highly qualified staff make scuba diving excursions thrilling yet safe.
Wholly outfitted, Clear Water offers divers of all levels an adventure.
Affordable dives and training.
Located in West Bay, Clear Water is committed to protecting the fragile environment.
3. Las Rocas and Dive Center
Las Rocas is a stunning resort on the snowy white sand of West Bay.
They cater to divers and take guests to Roatan’s most spectacular diving hot spots.
They’re also fully PADI-certified teachers.
Las Rocas’ specialty dives are done in small groups.
Each boat includes a PADI instructor and captain.
They offer night dives or shark dives.
Divers choose which dive tour suits their skill and comfort level.
4. Blue Island Divers
Blue Island Divers is your one-stop dive experience.
Stay in one of their quaint studios or experience rustic oceanfront rooms and fall asleep to the lull of the ocean.
Blue Island Staff knows the best dive spots on the reef.
They’ll not only take you diving; they’ll introduce you to the coral heads rising from the mysterious Land of Giants and sites like the Odyssey from a new dimension.
5. West End Divers
West End Divers operates three boats to accommodate smaller groups (6 or less).
Just a short distance from their dive shop is over 40 Roatan Marine Park dive spots.
West End offers affordable rental options and secure equipment storage.
Deeper dives are scheduled for 9:00 am and last 50 to 60 minutes, making each moment count.
Divers will experience dive sites with mild currents and prime visibility.
A new option is choosing one of their PADI certification packages.
Best All-Inclusive Dive Options
All-inclusive options are a great way to experience a dive get-away vacation.
1. Blue Roatan
Blue Roatan is a secluded luxury guest and dive resort with stunning views and spectacular accommodations.
While Roatan diving vacations are the #1 priority, Blue Roatan offers more.
Check out their diving and snorkeling service, numerous amenities, and adventure tours.
2. Paradise Beach Hotel
Paradise Beach Hotel is a new dive destination all-inclusive resort that satisfies your palate and makes every aspect of a dive holiday memorable.
Paradise is perfect for families and divers looking for an all-inclusive that can customize their dive experience.
The rooms and dive packages include three meals and dive packages according to your wishlist.
3. Seagrape Plantation and Dive Resort
Seagrape is a 22-room hotel and dive resort.
A quality dive center that services all levels of divers.
Enjoy free WiFi and private room facilities.
Check out their package offers. It’s perfect for divers on a budget.
4. Puerta Azul
Puerta Azul is an excellent boutique hotel if diving is on your menu but not the be-all-end-all of your vacation plans.
Puerta Azul caters to clients by making their island experience memorable.
While the hotel concierge will help you make diving arrangements, diving is not their specialty.
5. Splash Inn Dive
Splash Inn is a dive destination beach hotel that can accommodate beginners and pros.
Once you land, all it takes is a stroll down the dock to order a PADI dive instructor dive excursion.
The full amenity hotel offers exclusive dive packages.
Guests who stay at other Roatan hotels can still book diving tours with the Splash Inn dive team.
6. Bananarama Dive
Bananarama Dive is all about service and diving, and the resort offers fantastic amenities.
The PADI center has divers come for return visits and provides an extensive training and certification menu.
Best Liveaboard Diving
For die-hard divers, liveaboard diving is the way to go.
It’s all about diving and being on the water.
1. Roatan Aggressor
Roatan Aggressor is a stunning sea vessel that conducts up to five daily dives in the Bay Islands.
Divers get up close to shear walls, shallow reefs, and wrecks.
Seven-night excursions include meals, entertainment, and every contingency.
2. SV Zeppelin
The SV Zeppelin offers a private sail and dive experience in the Bay Islands.
This renovated sailing ship can accommodate four guests and conduct three dives per day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Roatan diving is a memorable experience.
Here’s what you should know.
What is the water temperature in the Roatan oceans?
The average water temperature in summer is 84-86F, and in winter it is 77-79F.
What ocean is Roatan in?
Roatan is off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Ocean.
Roatan, Honduras, is a premium dive destination for several reasons.
The diving is second to none.
The world’s second-largest and protected reef is a natural wonder.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef or Roatan Barrier Reef is the jewel of the Caribbean for many reasons.
It stretches from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras to Belize.
The protected reef is home to over 60 hard corals and habitat for over 500 fish species, marine turtles, and whale sharks.
If you dive, this is one adventure to mark on your bucket list.
The dive shops and hotels listed here are a snapshot of what Roatan diving offers.
The list doesn’t include the glorious beaches and sunshine.
Regardless of where you stay, Roatan will leave you breathless.
If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below!
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