Roatan Diving

Dolphins at Roatan

Roatan has a reputation as being one of the world's top dive locations. The island is perfectly equipped to accommodate all of a diver's desires. The backpacker-diver can rent gear and dive from any of the very reasonably priced operators out of the village of West End. Most of the operators charge about $25-$35 a dive but lower the price after several dives.

Dive Boats

Dive boats range from small, open ponga-types that hold no more than six divers to larger powerboats. The smaller boats stick close to the west end while the larger boats access the more remote sites. Nitrox is widely available as are dive computers. SCUBA courses are offered at nearly every shop, most are PADI, and range from beginner courses all the way up to dive master and instructor. Qualified doctors specializing in dive medicine and a world-class recompression chamber are located at Anthony's Key Resort..

The Ocean

Water visibility is consistently a hundred feet year round although it can dip to about 80 feet at times in the rainy season. Water temperature average in the low eighties but can dip into the high seventies in January and February.

Why Roatan ?

The island, nearly forty miles long and about three miles wide, is actually the top of an underwater mountain range called the Bonacca Ridge. The ridge includes the other Bay Islands, Utila and Guanaja, and the many smaller keys and islands nearby. Roatan is surrounded on all sides by a living coral reef containing nearly every species of coral growing in the Caribbean Sea, including several species of rare black coral, and sponges of all colors and shapes. Some barrel sponges located off the east end of the island are the approximate size of large refrigerators.

The Reef

The reef, home to such beauties as seahorses, queen angel fish, stoplight parrot fish, blue tangs, and fairy basslets, slopes gently from shore providing excellent snorkeling and diving from nearly any point on the island. The reef stretches out to sea then drops off. Roatan is famous for its wall dives. Many crevices, chimneys, and caves punctuate the reef creating an impressive and varied topography. The reef's walls vary from inclines leading to sandy bottom at 30-200 feet, to sheer cliffs plummeting dramatically into the abyss. Roatan is on the edge of the Cayman Trench that provides clear water from the depths as well as a variety of pelagic animals such as whale sharks, turtles, dolphin, and rays. The trench plunges thousands of feet right off the west end of the island

Anthony's Key

Dolphin swims, dives and course are available with the Institute for Marine Sciences located at Anthony's Key in Sandy Bay, directly across from the beach house. The dolphin beach encounter swim rate is $62/person, the dive is $137/person and the course is $202/person. The dolphin course is on Tuesday and Thursday of each week (conditions permitting). There are no dolphin activities on Wednesdays. There is a hyperbaric chamber located at the Cornerstone Medical Clinic.