If you search the world’s top diving destinations, Roatan regularly makes any top ten list. This is because Roatan Scuba diving is some of the best in the world. The small Honduran island is home to some fantastic reefs, populated by a vast array of marine life.
Roatan is protected from hurricanes and has a stunning climate, making it virtually ideal for scuba diving year-round. The water temperature is balmy year-round. The coldest months are October to March, when the water is far from arctic, 79F/26F, while during the summer months, you can dive in a rash vest and board shorts with water temperatures averaging around 84F/29C. The stunning water temperatures and outstanding visibility around the island make things even better. Visibility regularly exceeds 100ft/30m making for some spectacular diving conditions.
The waters off Roatan are a protected marine park, with nearly 10,400 miles / 16,737km of reef. The highlights of Diving in Roatan are numerous, with a huge population of healthy reef fish and sharks. You can regularly encounter Whale sharks during the right season as they pass by the Bay Islands.
One of the most famous Roatan Scuba Diving sites, Mary’s Place is s geographically stunning dive open to intermediate and advanced divers. Located off the south coast, the dive site is a huge crack in the seafloor that drops to a depth of 100ft/30m. divers can drop into the crack and explore this stunning part of nature. The crack in the seafloor starts at a depth of 60ft/18m, and a typical dive takes place around 65ft/19.5m. since dropping slightly into the crack and swimming above it gives you the best view.
After exploring the crack, you can explore the shallower reef section of the site, which averages in depth from 40ft/12m to 50ft/15m. There are healthy corals and reef fish in the shallows, including spotted drums, and you can also encounter turtles at the site. One thing to remember is that Mary’s Place is one of the most popular dive sites on Roatan so it can get busy sometimes!
Hole In The Wall
Another legendary Roatan scuba diving site, “Hole In the Wall,” is a stunning collection of swim through and even a small cave system. Due to its depth, the site is best suited to experienced divers; although beginners and intermediate divers can also visit, they will not be able to explore the full complement of the site. If you want to explore the chute fully, divers need to drop down to a depth of 130ft/40m before they exit the reef wall into the blue water. However, most dives are spent exploring the much shallower system of chutes.
Diving the site, the actual Hole in the wall sand chute that gives its name to the site starts at a relatively shallow depth of 40ft/12m and comes out at 100ft/30m. there are multiple swim-throughs for divers to explore and even small cave systems that can be explored relatively easily with a guide.
Diving the “Hole in the Wall, “there is a ton of marine life and coral for you to experience. You can regularly encounter grouper, glassy sweeper, filefish, scorpionfish, king crab, and other smaller critters, including nudibranchs and sea slugs.
Cara A Cara
If Sharks are on your diving menu on your Roatan scuba diving trip, Cara a Care (face-to-face in Spanish) is your go-to dive site. Diving here, you can regularly encounter around 15 to 20 large Caribbean reef sharks. The sharks are predominantly female and pretty large, with some measuring up to 10ft/3m.
While the reef is healthy with lots to see, the stars of the show are the sharks that make for a breathtaking dive. However, keep an eye out on the bottom since you may spot a tooth or two as a souvenir if you are lucky. The site is only open to advanced divers since most of the dive is conducted at a depth of 70ft/21m, and the currents in the location can be strong.
One thing to note is that most dives at the site are shark feeds, where the guide/wrangler will have bucket fish placed at eh bottom to attract the dive. This result is some incredible close encounters with big specimens, and if you are an underwater photographer presents an excellent opportunity for catching some amazing shark action shots. Unsurprisingly once the bucket of fish is consumed, the numbers of sharks start to thin out.
Roatan Scuba Diving Wreck Heaven: El Aguila
One of the few and best wreck diving sites off Roatan, the El Aguila wreck is worth the effort of a visit on any Roatan scuba diving trip. Sadly, the wreck is only open to experienced divers since she lies upright in deep water at 110ft/33m. El Aguila is a two-deck cargo freighter that measures 230ft/75m long and was sunk in 1997. One year later, Hurricane Mitch split the wreck into three distinct pieces. Ironically this opened the wreck up even more and made it a more enjoyable and exciting dive site.
Over the years, El Aguila has become home to abundant marine life, including some bigger creatures. Diving the wreck, you can regularly see large groupers and snappers hanging around. The wreck is also home to a few large moray eels and the usual critters. After you have dived the wreck, the shallows feature a beautiful reef ideal for exploring, including the tiny cave in the wall, before completing your safety stop and exiting the water.
The wreck and dive site is large, and you must make multiple visits if you want to explore the wreck with a fine-tooth comb. Due to the dive’s depth and a limited bottom time, the wreck is an ideal Nitrox dive to allow you those extra few minutes of bottom time if your air consumption allows.
Brought To You By
Our Top Dive Sites of the World guide is brought to you by Suunto. We recommend that you use a Suunto Dive Computer when scuba diving or freediving at one of these dive sites. Suunto is the world’s leading dive computer designer and manufacturer providing diving instruments for recreational, technical, and freediving. You can find out more at Suunto.com.