Located 22 miles from the north coast of Honduras, the island of Roatán is little known to many divers, yet it alone deserves a diving trip . This small island is located in the area of the Bay Islands which includes 3 large islands: Roatán, Guanaja and Utila, 3 small islands and 65 islets. Roatán is located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef after Australia. It was discovered by Christopher Columbus then colonized by different ethnicities and nationalities including French pirates.
Source: Roatan Scuba Diving
Roatán is a paradise for divers, known for its crystal clear waters and colorful reefs. The vegetation is lush and the beaches are beautifully white.
When is the best time to Scuba dive in Roatan
The temperature on the Bay Islands of Honduras varies very little during the year. The biggest change is the amount of rain fall. This is more common between October and December, which corresponds to the rainy season. However, you will notice that although the amount of rain is high, it does not rain for more than a few hours a day.
The marine life also is stable throughout the year. The whale sharks are more numerous during the migration period, but some remain throughout the year.
Another note is during the fall, the no-see-ums come out. No-See-Ums are tiny, biting insects that can be a problem to everyone. No-See-Ums are just as much of a pest as mosquitoes, so bring bug spray with you if you visit during the fall.
Scuba diving Roatan conditions
The visibility is usually between 80-150 feet, and will tend to decrease during the rainy season.
The temperature of the water averages 78°F in winter and 84°F in summer months.
Source: Scuba Diving in Roatán, Honduras – July 2019 (4K)
The majority of scuba diving around the Bay Islands, called Islas de la Bahia in Spanish, is concentrated on the islands of Roatán and Utila . These islands have incredible fringing reefs and easy access to the coral reef. The many shallow reefs, easy access diving and ship wrecks make divers happy. In addition, the marine life of the region will satisfy any diving photographer, but also the diver who wants to swim among the big fish.
Snorkeling in the Bay Islands, Honduras
The Honduras Bay Islands are surrounded by fringing reefs and beautiful beaches, which means perfect and almost limitless conditions for snorkeling.
Source: Treasures of Roatan – Snorkeling and Freediving on the Reef
Indeed, there are several shallow reefs that are perfect for beginners in snorkeling . The most experienced snorkelers will find a variety of sites where they can explore the approaches to falling walls.
Wildlife underwater: Fish and Coral
The Honduras Bay Islands have the largest marine biodiversity in the entire Caribbean Sea. All the species you find in the Caribbean will be here too. In addition, the proximity of deeper waters, such as the false Cayman, provides nutrient-rich water, and draws large pelagics.
Source: Roatan Marine Park – Update 2017
If you plan to go on a trip to Bay Islands, Honduras, I recommend investing in a good travel insurance that also covers scuba diving. You never know what can happen and good insurance can get you out of difficult situations. I recommend this travel insurance because they offer worldwide coverage and cover many risky sports like scuba diving.
So, if you are looking for a relaxing vacation and a great diving experience, with a well-preserved environment, the Honduras Bay Islands are for you. Enjoy a Caribbean destination that is natural and where local culture is still present.
Reviews about diving Bay Islands, Honduras
The only downside to this great dive destination, which is the Bay Islands in Honduras, is the lack of optional dive cruises.
The south coast of Roatán is also very popular for diving especially for beginners because the corals are closer to the shores and is therefore easier to reach from the beaches of hotels, equipped only with a mask and a snorkel . One of the best known scuba diving sites is Mary’s Place. The structure of the reef has a crevice where a multitude of corals, sponges, hypocamps and fish live. Tourists also travel to West Bay , at the western end of Roatán, one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, renowned for its clear sand, crystal-clear water, and multicolored seabed. Most hotels have a dive center and you can get scuba diving certified through a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) scuba diving course at a reasonable good price if you want to learn how to scuba dive.
In addition, the two islands are very little developed, so without big resorts and hotel chains. The majority of the roads are still dirt roads. However, Roatán and Utila have everything you need for a great scuba diving vacation.
Source: Scuba Diving In Roatan & Utila Bay Islands Honduras General Information