Is Roatan Good for Diving?

While famous tourist destinations such as Venice, New York City and Paris may get most of the publicity, some incredible hidden gems lie just off the beaten path.  Many would argue that the small Central American country of Honduras is a lesser-known traveling destination, and that’s probably true.  However, among the world’s scuba diving community, the Honduras Bay Island of Roatan is world-renowned.  So, how is scuba diving in Roatan and why does it rate so highly among the scuba diving elite?  This post will give you several reasons to experience this hidden gem firsthand.

 

 

Proximity To The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

Probably the biggest reason that Roatan is such a prize amongst the diving community is its proximity to the second largest barrier reef system in the world.  The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is only overshadowed by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.  But in some places off the coast of Roatan, the reef is literally a short swim away.  This is in stark contrast to the hour or more boat ride that it takes to get to the Great Barrier Reef from the coastline of Australia.  And while there’s no reason why you can’t charter a Roatan boat to explore some of the farther reaches of the Mesoamerican reef system, the option of getting there using your own paddling power is extremely attractive to many.

roatan diving
Photo Credit: www.deep-photos.com
scuba diving in roatan
www.deep-photos.com

Ideal Underwater Conditions

The sea conditions around the coastline of Roatan contributes to the great scuba diving the area is known for.  For the majority of the year, the water is calm and exhibits mild currents.  Underwater visibility is typically about 100 feet (30 meters.)  And if conditions in one location are rough, the island is small enough that it’s a short and simple matter to access other areas that will present a more favorable diving experience.

The Roatan Marine Park

The Roatan Marine Park is one of the world’s greatest success stories when it comes to diving site conservation, coral reef health and the resuscitation of conditions for a burgeoning marine life environment.  The grassroots, non-profit, non-governmental organization was established in 2005 and is responsible for numerous programs which aim to educate tourists and locals while promoting ideas that lead to a healthy and robust reef system.  The efforts of the Roatan Marine Park have created better diving conditions for both current and future generations.

The Luxury Of Choice

Even though Roatan is a relatively small island, it features an enormous number of dive sites.  There are over 50 dive sites in the West End alone.  You’ll find adventures for every diving skill level, including plenty of deep wrecks, caves and caverns, tunnels, channels, walls and endless quantities of coral and marine life.  

The Affordability Factor

Another reason that scuba divers prefer to spend their time in Roatan is the affordability of the sport in the region.  Roatan is known for some of the most economical scuba diving anywhere in the world.  The affordability factor also extends to the day-to-day living expenses in Honduras.  Diving, food, accommodations and other necessities are far cheaper in Roatan than you’d ever find in North America or Europe.

How Is Scuba Diving In Roatan?

While we could continue extolling the virtues of Roatan diving, whatever ends up on your screen is no match for reality.  The only true way to understand how scuba diving in Roatan really is, is to experience it for yourself.

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