The topography of Roatan's underwater world is like none I have ever seen. At times, I felt as though I was floating through space on some otherworldly planet. he wildlife is huge here, I saw some of the biggest versions of fish I have ever seen on a dive by Pablo's Place off of West Bay. They nicknamed this dive "Texas" because "everything is big in Texas.
Another notable dive was Spooky Channel in front of Anthony's Key Resort. This dive was all swim throughs, not a whole lot of life, but such cool formations!!!
Expect to see many turtles, groupers, rays and teeny tiny jellyfish just below the surface.
We dove with Bananarama and loved diving with Marco and Sophia. No group bigger than 6 and the longest boat ride we had was 10 minutes.
For $100, you can arrange a SCUBA dive shark encounter. This gets you a boat out to the site and 30 minute dive with about 15 5-6 foot black tip reef sharks. At the end you get to swim along side of the and watch a feeding as they get a bucke of fish at the end. A must do!!
Follow the beach road to the south end of West End. It turns away from the beach for a couple of hundred metres but then turns back to the beach and ends at the are Feet bar. Follow the beach for about 40 minutes to West Bay. Its a pleasant walk and has a few good snorkelling spots on the way.
We loved Gumbalimba Park. It was beautiful! It's an animal preserve and botanical garden. It also offers a beach. We took a tour of the park. You get to interact with parrots and monkeys (very cool), they give you a quick history of the island, point out local flora and fauna and it ended at the beach where you can get a bite or have a drink and do a little shopping. If inclided the park also offers snorkeling, SNUBA, kayaking and I think they even had a zipline. It really does have everything you could want in one place. It was great.
The main reason I chose Roatan to obtain my PADI Open Water Certification was that it's probably the cheapest place in the world to do it. My course cost $250 for a four-day class with four open water dives and at least as many confined water dives, plus a marine park bracelet (the cost of the bracelet goes towards conserving the coral reef). I had my own book that I'd taken from a hostel book exchange, but it would have been an extra $30 if I'd needed to buy the manual as well.
I chose Coconut Tree Divers on the recommendation of numerous online message boards. My class began with me and a group of four friends from England, and on our second day we were joined by two other friends: one who had done her coursework in Canada and just needed to complete her open water dives, the other who needed to complete the entire course and had caught up to us by doing oodles of classwork in one day. That brought our group up to seven, which seems a bit big but was actually manageable. Our instructor was named Marco and he was great. I was horrible but he took some of his own time to help me with the skills that I thought I would never master. For our open water dives we went to three sites: Lighthouse (twice), The Bight and Grape Escape. For me, the highlight was seeing a turtle, as I'd snorkelled both Hawaii and the Red Sea without ever seeing one (I was beginning to suspect they existed solely in the realm of unicorns).
Coconut Tree has two-tank dives every morning for people with Advanced Open Water certification, then runs two one-tank dives every afternoon for plain old Open Water divers like me. At the time I visited, one-tank dives cost $30 individually, or $25 as part of a package (of five or ten, I forget). Coconut Tree has a big, lovely boat that has a shady, covered area- a big plus when you're as burnt as I was!
As a hesitant, nervous diver I would not hesitate to recommend Coconut Tree to anyone thinking about obtaining their certification. You'll be in good hands.
Great diving in Roatan. Thre are really well developed coral formations out there. Their coloration is not as bright as you'd expect, as there is a lot of runoff of the red clay soil from all the development going on. But the formations are really worth seeing. They also have some really fantastic swim-throughs as well. We did a number of them on this trip and it was really a nice change. Not quite as tight as a cenote dive, but still a nice challenge.
We took a tour of the island coasts. There were shipwrecks everywhere which I didn't expect. It was creepy but very interesting and beautiful. We also went out on boats to see the mangrove trees. Overall a very intersting place.
The reef of the coast of Roatan is the 2nd longest in the world. It has the best skin diving in this hemisphere. The people are great and the tourism is just starting up so it is not as commercial as other places.
Gumbalimba Park offers several adventures - snuba, canopy zip-lining, scuba diving, even clear kayaking. We opted for the "Pirates, Birds, and Monkeys of the Caribbean" park tour.
Not always as easy as it sounds, but with the right location, a good hammock and a great view it becomes easier and easier each day.
This is a wondeful sand bottom beach...very laid back and not two touristy! The reef is about 25 yeards out . An excellent location for snorkeling or shore diving.
The caribbean is beautifull in this spot of this islands, enjoy the clear water and the coral reef around the entire island.
If you enjoy snorkeling or diving you will have lots of opportunity to do so in Roatan. The water is warm, clear and full of fish and other critters.
If you are driving around the island you will find lots of little places where you can pull over and take a great picture of the Caribbean. Don't miss the oppertunity!
Generally I would say this tends to get the adrenallin going a little more than sitting in the bath tub with your rubber duckie. Although only a little more.