Roatán is home to the 2nd largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, also popularly known as the Great Mayan Reef or Great Maya Reef. It's a marine region that stretches ~700 miles along the coast of 4 countries - Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.
Some popular marine life divers come to Roatán for are Hawksbill Turtles, Eagle Rays, and Green Moray Eels. Other common reef fish include: Blue Tang, Trumpetfish, French Angelfish, Stoplight Parrotfish, and Horse Eyed Jacks. Occasionally you will see Pilot Whales, Whale Sharks, Nurse Sharks & Rough-toothed Dolphins.
We have partnered with Tropical Island Divers located around the Punta Blanca point at Marble Hill Farms Resort. They will pick you up in their smaller boat right from our tanning dock. Tropical Island Divers is a full service PADI dive shop.
Their staff is certified to perform visual inspections of tanks, and perform both preventive maintenance and repairs of regulator’s and BCD’s. They have 64 – 80 cubic ft aluminum tanks and have the ability to fill all tanks on site on a daily basis. Currently, they have two active dive boats. The main boat, ON TIME, is an island built hull of 34 feet. It has a sun canopy and room to comfortably support three dives a day with up to ten divers. Both boats are outfitted to Padi Safety Standards.
They have almost exclusive access to seldom visited dive sites, many within a 15 minute boat ride. Their mission "is to provide our customers with a hassle free, relaxed diving adventure in the safest manner possible". They limit the diver numbers in order to maintain a personal level of service. Their staff is well trained and has intimate knowledge of the dive sites in the area. Safety and service are key to Tropical Island Divers, all dives are lead by PADI certified instructors or Dive Masters.
Diving with Tropical Island Divers opens the doors to the East End of Roatan in a way no other dive shop can. They have the stretch of reef from Politilly Bight to Camp Bay almost exclusively to themselves, it is unlikely you will see another dive boat during your dives.
Unlike other areas of the island, which have mostly wall dives, the reef on the east end of Roatan has terraced shelving – leading to a huge variety of coral formations with many swim-through canyons, caves and caverns. This means the diving is varied & exciting with a range of sites and many new areas to be explored. They also offer day trips to Morat Wall, Jade Beach & Pigeon Cay where you can find wondrous diving in other rural parts of the island.
BELOW ARE A FEW FAVORITE DIVE SITES:
One of the most spectacular dives, Dolphin’s Den is a cave swarming with life. The route from the mooring to the cave is over a shallow sandy bottom where many anemones, shrimps, crabs, fire-worms, pipe fish and upside-down jellyfish are to be found. King Crabs and large green Moray Eels reside inside the cave, as well as many schools of fish. The highlight is a dolphin skeleton which is a natural feature, many dolphin skeletons have appeared over the years but gradually wash out and scatter, now one skeleton remains. The cave has many compartments, some open to the surface and some enclosed: there is usually light streaming in from openings to the surface but a torch is essential for this dive. Depth: The maximum depth is 55ft and the majority of the dive is spent at 20-40ft. Difficulty: Intermediate
This dive site has excellent conditions and visibility. There are striking canyons running through the reef and large coral boulders to swim around. This site always has many spotted drums, often a toadfish and maybe nurse sharks and turtles can be seen. Depth: The reef has a plateau at 15ft then drops down a wall to a sandy bottom at 60ft (max depth)
One of the most popular dives, this dive is a cavern leading through the reef. Unlike a cave, this cavernous space is large and open to the surface, with a reef at the top allowing light to stream in. The dive starts on the inside of the reef and follows through the cavern to a second mooring on the outside. There are many clusters of lobsters to be seen and often a huge barracuda, as well as big midnight parrot fish, schools of snappers and sometimes moray eels. Depth: The maximum depth is 80ft although the majority of the cavern is shallower (40-60ft) and can be dove at any depth depending on experience and comfort levels. Experience Level: Intermediate
Being very close to the East end of the island, this site is different every time, with a host of different creatures visiting it. Sometimes spotted eagle rays and turtles are seen here, as well as large barracuda, trunk fish and puffer fish. There is a long, dramatic canyon at 40ft which leads back to the mooring line. Depth: The maximum depth is usually 60ft, though depths of 100ft can be reached.
One of our few wall dives, Punta Blanca has a large sand patch at 35ft making it ideal for the first dive of the vacation to ease back into diving, whatever your experience level. The wall often has schools of Jacks and lone Barracuda patrolling it. There are spotted drum and spotted moray eels to be found, as well as rays and flounders in the sandy area. Depth: Usually 60ft, but the wall descends to a sandy area at 100ft
This dive site is situated close to Paya Bay and has a combination of coral formations and sandy bottoms. This means anything can be seen here from rays and nurse sharks, to spotted drum and toadfish. Depth: Usually 60ft.
This popular excursion takes you to the most dramatic wall dive on Roatan, Morat Wall. The hour long boat journey lets you view Roatan from the water and takes you thought the mangrove cut, giving you a chance to see rarely seen wildlife, such as saltwater alligators and cranes. Morat Wall is situated away from the shore and the low population levels on the surrounding land mean this site is in almost pristine condition. There are huge numbers of fish, free-swimming green morays and some rare species to be found here. The mooring leads to a sand patch at 35-40ft then the wall drops off as far as the eye can see. It is then possible to surface interval at a nearby dock or to go to Jade Beach on Barberetta. This beach is beautiful and tranquil, making a great spot for lunch and relaxation between dives. The beach is made up of Jade Rock and some truly exquisite pieces of Jade can be found. The second dive can then be a drift dive off Barberetta, or a return to Morat Wall, before heading for home. Depth: Usually 60ft but any depth can be reached.
1 dive - $50 | 2 dives - $90
6 – 10 Dives = $42 per dive
11 + Dives = $35 per dive
1.) Morat Wall & Rocky Point plus $300 fuel fee (split between people on boat) + dive or snorkel rate
2.) Morat Wall & Pigeon Cayes plus $360 fuel fee (split between people on boat) + dive or snorkel rate
1.) Dive Equipment: $25 per day or $80 per week for full set (BCD, regulator, mask, snorkel, and fins)
2.) Dive Computer: $15 per day
3.) Snorkeling Equipment: $18 snorkel trip (mask, snorkel, and fins)
Every diver has to have valid Marine Park bracelet OR token - $10 USD per bracelet or token, valid for whole year
Dive Course Rates:
1.) Discover Scuba Experience Course: $120 (non-certified diver resort course, ½ day
2.) Scuba Diver Course: $285 (2 days minimum)
3.) Advanced Open Water Diver Course: $365 (3 days minimum)
Waihuka Shark Dive
The encounters are scheduled at 9am, 11:30 am and 2pm where Sergio or a certified PADI Divemaster will lead the dive.
Briefings take place in the dive center preparing you for a safe, enjoyable experience. There is also footage of previous dives being shown allowing you to further prepare yourself and add to the anticipation. The dive site is located on a unique part of the reef surrounding Roatan, an arm that juts perpendicularly from the southern shore surrounded by walls that drop off to depths beyond the reach of divers. The dive site is named 'Cara a Cara' which in Spanish means 'face to face'. And you will be 'face to face' with the species of 'Carcharhinus perezi' - the caribbean reef shark.
Cara a Cara is also quite different from sites found on similar shark encounters around the Caribbean. Firstly the sharks have not been 'chummed' away from their natural environment, ask any local fisherman on the island of Roatán where the sharks are and they can tell you...sharks have been stealing fish from them here for years! The sharks are all female, displaying a daytime schooling behavior known only to a few species of sharks.
Typically about 6 to 9 feet long and several hundred pounds each, these are handsome, powerful fish – healthy hunters of the reef in natures system of checks and balances. The dive is held among a beautiful reef of hard and soft corals between 60 – 70 feet (18 – 21 meters). Visibility is usually more than 80 feet as the site is located a ten-minute boat ride from Roatan's shore and thus not diminished by rain or other factors. Divers descend along the mooring line (there is often current) to a small wall where divers arrange themselves kneeling or standing, back to the wall and facing the Divemaster and anywhere from 10 - 20 sharks. A snack of fish (1-2 pounds) is kept in a bucket to keep the sharks interested, divers watching the sharks circling the area. Often the divemaster allows the divers who want to swim into the crowd of sharks and having a direct interaction with them - of course no touching!
After 15 or more minutes divers go back into the standing or kneeling position at the wall. When everyone is ready, the bucket is presented to the sharks for a few moments of action as they jostle for position and a snack. At no time are the sharks handled or fed individually. Although this species of shark is not known to pose a serious threat to divers we like to keep a healthy respect and a reasonable distance from the bait.
Following this the sharks will usually swim off so there is an opportunity to move around the site and look for shark teeth on the bottom, check out our favorite Green Moray Eel and simply enjoy the splendor of the many other fish. There are usually large Groupers and Snappers that have all become quite tame, offering additional photo/video opportunities.