Roatan is one of the islands of the Bay Islands, Honduras. It is a hidden paradise of diving in the Caribbean. During your stay diving in Roatan , you can dive on walls, plateaus, canyons, caves or wrecks. The island offers more than one hundred scuba diving sites accessible to all levels. The fauna is very abundant: rays-eagles, moray eels, schools of snappers, tarpon, barracudas, jacks, tunas, trumpet fish and turtles evolve among corals, gorgonians and barrel sponges.
The best scuba diving sites
The islands of Roatan and Utila both have an excellent reputation for diving that is memorable, time after time.
There are more than 150 dive sites around Roatan, not to mention the secret sites of local divers. Also, there is the fake Cayman Islands which is nearby, and has exceptional drop-off dives.
As for Utila, it is located near the second largest coral reef in the world, which gives rise to very interesting dives. In addition, Utila Island is on the migration path of whale sharks, some of them are permanent residents!
These are some of the best dive sites in the Bay Islands, Honduras
1. St. Mary’s Place
On Roatán Island the scuba diving site is almost always described as spectacular. The reef begins at a depth of only about 20 feet, then its relief is hatched with crevices, forming impressive canyons. Indeed, some canyons go down to a depth of 90 feet and are sometimes steep and close together. The walls of these are covered with corals, sponges, and even black coral, in the deepest areas.
2. El Aguila Wreck- Roatán
This 210-foot cargo boat, whose Spanish name means “the eagle”, is one of Roatán’s favourites. Cast as an artificial reef in 1997, it now lies at 100 feet, broken into three parts, on a sandy bottom.
3. Dolphin Den – Roatán
This is an underwater labyrinth of canyons and tunnels starting only 15 feet below the surface of the water, and ending at 40 feet. The network of tunnels and canyons transports divers from one end of the reef to the other. Natural light filters through the crevasses and allows divers to see well. The name of the diving site comes from the fact that several dolphin skeletons lie at the bottom of the caves and tunnels.
4. Black Hills – Utila
Located at the southeast tip of the island, Black Hills is a seamount whose peak is 35 feet underwater, and drops to 165 feet. You will see thousands of colorful tropical fish, but also barracudas, jacks and snappers.
5. Halliburton – Utila
The Halliburton site consists of a 100 foot wreck that was sunk in 1998 to create an artificial reef. The wreck lies upright at a depth of 100 feet while its deck rises to 60 feet. The marine life on the wreck is rich and diverse, ranging from shrimp to large schools of fish.
6. Black Coral Wall
The deepest drop-off in the southern portion of the Bay Islands is well named, with black coral that can be seen from 26 feet deep. Indeed, this is a rather rare phenomenon, since black corals are usually found in very deep water, between 164 and 1600 feet. In addition, the top of the reef is inhabited by juvenile fish, which are protected. You will see several facets of the same ecosystem by diving on this site.
7. Hole in the wall
A site with a really special configuration, one of my favorites . You start by descending into this huge crevasse from 33 feet and arrive at the “hole in the wall” (as its name indicates in English) at about 115-130 feet. Perfect for deco or tech divers who can continue to descend to 180-200 feet. Then you go up another crevasse next door and through several caves. During the ascent look for cleaner shrimps, arrow-line crabs, nudibranchs, scorpion fish … After these two crevasses, you arrive in a cave were you can take beautiful pictures!
8. West end wall
A beautiful wall at the tip of Roatán , just after West Bay. A beautiful drift where you drift along the wall for about 30 minutes at about 80-100 feet, hoping to see the rays eagles and enjoying the barracudas, groupers, lobsters, moray eels … It ends in about 30 minutes in a superb coral garden at 20-30 feet, full of fish, small schools of jacks, safari fish … very exciting!
Why the name Texas? Because everything is bigger! Texas is at the end of Roatán, on the other side of the tip. The conditions are different there, the current is frequent there, and with current comes bigger fish! It’s a drift dive where you float along the wall. You have huge gorgonians all along, big barracudas and groupers, often rays eagles … Awesome! Be careful, you can only go to Texas when conditions are good.
10. THE WRECKS OF ROATÁN
El Aguila, the eagle in Spanish, is a large cargo ship coming back from Haiti with a load of concrete. He ran aground near the Isle of Utila. He stayed there for several years, partially submerged before being towed to Roatán. Driven by a storm, he again stranded on the reef and it was then that Anthony’s Key Resort decided to sink it to turn it into an artificial reef. Completely cleaned, it sank in 1997, then broke into 3 pieces during a hurricane. It is now colonized by groupers, snappers and moray eels. This site is reserved for experienced divers.
Odyssey Wreck. This is the largest wreck of Roatán! This cargo ship was donated to Anthony’s Key Resort after a fire. After being emptied and cleaned, the boat was towed to her last home and sunk to become an artificial reef. The wreck is in good condition and it is possible to explore the cargo area.
Prince Albert Wreck. This was the first sunken boat for diving, a tanker from Nicaragua, on the run with refugees. The ship stayed for a long time in the port where it was stripped, then bought by owners of Coco View. After a long cleaning, he was towed to be sunk, but he ran aground on the reef. After long efforts, he was finally able to join the planned site. Now completely colonized by corals, this wreck is inhabited by rays-eagles, moray eels, crabs and seahorses.