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5 Reasons to Get PADI Advanced Open Water Certified

5 Reasons to Get PADI Advanced Open Water Certified

Are you weighing the cost vs. benefit of getting your PADI Advanced Open Water certification? If so, you’re not alone. When you become open water certified, you’re technically able to do any recreational dive. So you might be thinking ‘why get my advanced?’

But we promise, you learn and experience something new with the PADI Advanced Open Water certification – whether you’re a new open water diver or have been exploring depths for decades. And the more training you have, the safer a diver you’ll be, which is never a bad thing. Plus, the course is only two days, requires minimal self study time and is just plain fun to do. 

Not convinced yet? Here’s a few good reasons that we think will convince you to get your PADI Advanced Open Water. And hopefully you’ll do it in Roatan!

1. Elevate your expertise

Whether you’re still new to diving or already have hundreds of dives logged, the PADI Advanced Open Water course presents the perfect opportunity to build upon the fundamental skills you have acquired. It enables you to expand your knowledge of dive theory and skills proficiency, so that you’re well-equipped for the challenges and wonders that lie beneath the surface.

The PADI Advanced Open Water certification is fun and flexible, and it takes a more hands-on approach to learning. You learn by diving: No written exams required! Instead, you have informative briefings before and after each dive, and you practice achieving dive objectives and safety protocols.

You can gain a deeper understanding of how to control your buoyancy with your breath in the Peak Performance Buoyancy adventure dive. Or you can learn the proper way to signal and communicate with your dive buddy during night dives. When you immerse yourself in these real diving scenarios, you gain hands-on experience and practical knowledge that deepens your expertise. 

2. Gain access to advanced dive sites 

If you dive with a reputable dive shop, they will only take you to your training limits. This is especially true when it comes to advanced deep dives, night dives or wreck penetration. Without your advanced certification, reputable dive shops in Roatán won’t take you to see our majestic wrecks at 100 feet or on a night dive to see the String of Pearls. 

As an open water diver, you can dive to 60ft/18. When you get PADI Advanced Open Water certified, you are trained to dive to 100ft/30m. Roatán deep dives include wrecks such as El Aguila and the Odyssey shipwreck, as well as an amazing swimthrough experience at Hole in the Wall. These dives are also a great opportunity to develop your deep diving skills. And the Deep Adventure dive in the PADI advanced open water course counts toward the PADI Deep Diver Specialty.

There are also a few dive sites in Roatan that are worth diving on Nitrox.  The Enriched Air specialty certification is offered at a discount when bundle it with the PADI Advanced Open Water course at Sun Divers. Check out the benefits of diving Nitrox.

The Open Water course teaches the fundamental skills and safety procedures of diving, but the PADI Advanced Open Water course focuses on expanding those skills and introduces divers to new dive environments and scenarios. Divers complete 5 adventure dives. Each dive focuses on a specific type of diving or skill. The best part: You can get Advanced Open Water certified in Roatán in only 2 days. While navigation and deep diving are mandatory adventure dives, you have the flexibility to explore 3 additional specialties such as:

  • Night Diver
  • Fish Identification
  • Drift Diving
  • Peak Performance Buoyancy
  • Wreck Diving
  • Underwater Naturalist
  • Digital Underwater Photography
A diver is looking at his slate on his Fish Identification Specialty dive during his Advanced Open Water Certification course in Roatan, Honduras.

During the Fish Identification Adventure Dive you can learn how to properly identify various groups of fish in Caribbean waters and around the world.


3. Dive with more confidence

With each adventure dive, you gain remarkable growth in your confidence as a diver. By applying your skills in different dive scenarios, you develop the ability to adapt to a variety of conditions and environments. This newfound confidence will enable you to explore with a sense of ease and safety. You’ll know that you have the knowledge and training to handle different situations. 

4. Make your dives more interesting

The skills you perform during the PADI Advanced Open Water course add an interesting new twist to diving. This makes it an entertaining course to take, especially if you feel like you’ve seen and done it all in diving or love a good mental challenge. You will try your hand at number games and math at depths to safely learn how nitrogen narcosis can affect decision making and motor skills. You’ll learn how to easily use a compass under water – and on land for that matter! And you can go through an underwater obstacle course to practice staying neutrally buoyant or learn underwater photography basics.

5. It’s required for other courses 

The PADI Advanced Open Water is the first continuing education course you need this certification if you have any interest in other PADI courses. It’s a requisite for Rescue Diver and Divemaster. And you must be advanced certified or at least have your PADI Adventure cert in order to achieve most of the PADI specialty certifications. Luckily, the adventure dives also count toward one of the open water dive requirements for all the specialties – so you get some bang for your buck there!

Why Get Your PADI Advanced Open Water in Roatan? 

With Roatán’s year-round diving opportunities, you can get certified at any time of the year. Immerse yourself in a wide variety of exhilarating dives, from deep sea swim throughs to intriguing shipwrecks. When you embark on your PADI Advanced Open Water certification journey with Sun Divers you’ll get to learn with a experienced and knowledgeable instructors from diverse backgrounds. You’oll enjoy the advantage of small course groups, ensuring personalized attention and a safe learning environment. 

So, is it worth it to get your Advanced Open Water certification?

Whether you’re a recent Open Water certification holder or an experienced diver, the transition to become a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver offers an exciting opportunity to expand your expertise. It’s also a chance to connect more with the worldwide diving community. When you get PADI Advanced Open Water certified, you learn by diving. You will dive more confidently and be able to dive as deep as 100ft (30m). Embrace the thrill of real-world dive experiences, deepen your skills, and unlock your full dive potential.

Are you ready to embark on this extraordinary journey? Contact us to schedule your Advanced Open Water course in Roatan.


4 Types of Divers Who Should Be Diving Nitrox

4 Types of Divers Who Should Be Diving Nitrox

Many recreational divers know of enriched air (nitrox), but aren’t familiar with it enough to know if they could benefit from diving nitrox.

The benefit of diving nitrox is that you absorb less nitrogen. So it’s safe to say that you should dive enriched air whenever you can. Why? Because with less nitrogen absorption you can enjoy a longer allowable bottom time and also improve your safety margin as it relates to decompression sickness (DCS), when diving on an air profile.

But there are certain types of divers who benefit more significantly from diving nitrox. We’ve identified the 5 Types of Divers who should dive enriched air. Read on to see if you’re one of them!

But first: Are you nitrox curious, but feel like you need a primer on what nitrox is before determining if you should be diving with enriched air? Check out details on nitrox and the PADI Enriched Air Diver course here.

4 Type of Divers Who Should Be Diving Nitrox


1. The ‘Dive All Day, Every Day Diver’

If your primary purpose for vacationing is diving, and your name is on every daily dive possible, then you might consider diving with enriched air – even if your group is following an air profile. Many divers who use it daily for typical-duration dives swear that they have more energy than if they were diving on air. While nitrox has not been proven to reduce fatigue, logically it makes sense since your body is absorbing less nitrogen and not having to off-gas as much.

2. The Liveaboard Junkie

Similarly, if you’re someone who loves liveaboards or is considering one – you definitely want your nitrox certification. Most liveaboards will offer nitrox for free or deeply discount. And that’s smart, because unlike dive centers who typically offer 3-4 dives a day, liveaboards can offer up to 5 dives per day – that’s a lot of residual nitrogen that can build up from dive to dive. A smart way to manage your safety margin on a liveaboard is to dive nitrox on the nitrox profile for the first 3 dives, and then dive nitrox on an air profile for the remaining 2 dives of the day.

3. The ‘Go Deep or Go Home’ Diver

If you get a thrill from deeper depths then nitrox will keep you from pushing your limits (no deco limits that is!). While you can’t necessarily dive deeper on nitrox. This means that you have more time to stay at those depths, assuming you have enough gas, and you’re less likely to “bump up” to your no deco limits when diving at a deeper range. Of course, you still have to be mindful of your the maximum operating depth on nitrox, as it will be shallower than the recreational depth limit we have when using air (40meters / 130 feet.)

4. The Super Safe Diver

If you’re the type of diver who never forgets a buddy check and gets peace of mind from conservative dive profiles, we applaud you and also recommend that you dive with enriched air. Diving nitrox can give you additional peace of mind on your dive, because it’s less likely for you to “push” your no deco limits. And when diving nitrox on an air profile, you can reduce your risk of DCS.

Age, Weight and Nitrox

Two other important factors to consider when choosing whether or not to dive nitrox are age and weight. While no one wants to admit they’re getting older or that they’ve put on a few extra pounds, neither of those factors have to stop you from diving. But the reality is that they can increase your risk of decompression sickness. Nitrogen is more easily absorbed in our fat tissues. And as we age our circulatory systems slow which also slows down the process of off-gassing nitrogen. So if these are factors for you, diving nitrox is a smart decision.

Know that we’ve shared the 4 types of divers we believe should be diving nitrox, and additional health factors that make it a good move, it’s your turn to decide if nitrox is right for you. Not certified to dive with enriched air? It’s a relatively quick and easy course, that is also very cost effective to do while diving in Roatan. Learn more about the PADI Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver course at Sun Divers! 


Can You Dive With Whale Sharks in Roatán?

Can You Dive With Whale Sharks in Roatán?

Roatán is definitely a hidden gem of the Western Caribbean. And a true divers paradise. With its vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine life, and captivating underwater landscapes, it’s no wonder that divers love visiting this tropical island time after time. Whale sharks can be found on the bucket list of many divers. So you’re probably wondering: can you dive with whale sharks in Roatán? Many articles on the internet will tell you, yes. But in our experience, the answer isn’t quite so simple. So we are on the quest to uncover the truth about if you can dive with whale sharks in Roatán with the help of Gabriela Ochoa. She is a local marine biologist, who has recently founded the marine conservation nonprofit Ilili.

Does Roatán have whale sharks?

A frequently asked question by diving enthusiasts is, “Can I dive with whale sharks in Roatán?” While there have been rare sightings of these magnificent creatures near the island, encounters with whale sharks are exceptionally rare. Gabriela explains the chances of spotting a whale shark in Roatán are “once in a blue moon.” The Sea Lucas project, which has developed an interactive map for shark sighting in Roatán and the Bay Islands, reports only 2 reported whale shark sightings in Roatán since 2009. While numbers might be slightly higher due to lack of reporting, this is the most accurate source of data on Whale Sharks in Roatán. Utila, Roatán’s sister island, is considered a better spot for whale shark encounters – but even they have only had 7 reported sightings since 2009. The most common way for us to spot a whale shark is usually from the boat offshore. This means that encounters are very unpredictable and far out in the ocean. For this reason, most encounters end up being snorkel ones.

Map of Roatan with two red dots designating the number of whale shark sightings since 2009.

This interactive map from Sea Lucas shows the two reported sightings of Whale Sharks since 2009.

What is the best time of the year to see whale sharks?

Whale sharks are migratory creatures, traveling vast distances in the search of food and suitable breeding grounds. The presence in any given area is directly influenced by factors such as ocean currents, food availability and migration routes. Contrary to common belief, whale sharks are not vegetarian and feed on zooplankton as well. They have been observed to follow spawning aggregations of fish. Some bigger fish populations such as snappers are usually spawning during a certain season. Because of this, whale sharks are more frequently sighted between December to March around Roatán. Unfortunately, the depletion of fish populations in recent years has resulted in less frequent whale shark encounters in many places – including Roatán.

Diving responsibly with whale sharks in Roatán

While the desire to dive with whale sharks is understandable, it is vital to prioritize their natural patterns and habitats. As migratory species, these magnificent creatures require protection and conservation efforts to ensure their survival and to avoid any disturbance that may disrupt their delicate ecosystem. Unfortunately, many sites around the world that specifically promote whale shark diving might end up overwhelming and leaving these shy giants feeling stressed. At Sun Divers, we believe in practicing responsible and sustainable diving. If there ever is a whale shark sighting in Roatán, you can be sure we will approach it with utmost care and respect.

Unveiling Roatán’s marine treasures

It is not commmon to see whale sharks while diving in Roatán, but the island still offers an array of other captivating marine life encounters. As you explore Roatán reef sites, be prepared to experience a breathtaking variety of wildlife. In Roatán, divers are lucky to frequently encounter turtles, rays, and even some large marine mammals such as dolphins and pilot whales. There is rarely a ‘Turtle Tuesday’ in Roatán where a turtle isn’t showing its face. Of course, there is always an element of surprise and we can never guarantee the sight of specific wildlife while diving.

Two eagle rays are soaring through the waters in Roatan, Honduras.

Two eagle rays are soaring through the waters in Roatán, Honduras.

Contribute to marine conservation while diving in Roatán

Eagle rays are among the stars of Roatán’s underwater world. These magnificent creatures, with their expansive wings and mesmerizing patterns, leave divers spellbound. Spotting an eagle ray gracefully gliding through crystal-clear waters is an experience that will be engrained in your memory forever. Monitoring and mapping of marine animals such as eagle rays and sharks is an important aspect of conservation. For this reason, it is helpful if you take pictures and report your sightings. “There is a lot of power in citizen science. Just contributing a picture can go a long way and has a great positive impact,” Gabriela said. Check out our guide on how to help with conservation.

Looking for a cool way to contribute to conservation while diving? Consider our RMP Coral Ambassador program!

In short – Are there whale sharks in Roatán?

While the chances of diving with whale sharks in Roatán may be rare, this marine paradise offers an abundance of incredible wildlife experiences. Keep an open mind and embrace the underwater wonders that await you. From elegant eagle rays to the vivid diversity of coral reefs, every dive is an opportunity to connect with the ocean’s beauty and contribute to its conservation. By practicing responsible diving, supporting local conservation programs, and spreading awareness about the fragility of marine ecosystems, we can together help protect Roatán’s natural heritage for years to come.

ROA Girls Dive! Scholarship Update

ROA Girls Dive! Scholarship Update

School’s out! And there’s lots of ROA girls blowing bubbles here at Sun Divers thanks to the generous contributions of our dive tribe ??

To date, the scholarship program has supported 4 Discover Scuba Diving experiences, 9 PADI certifications and an exciting day out on the water for some fun diving. We’ve watched these girls develop a love for scuba diving and Roatan’s amazing marine wildlife. And that passion has become infectious! Interest in the program has grown immensely as word has spread about just how cool it is to get to blow bubbles in your own backyard.

Watching these girls embrace new adventures, learn new skills, and even overcome fears & challenges has been nothing but amazing. We’re in awe at how brave and embracing they’ve been in the process. And seeing their pride and smiles shine has been the ultimate reward. Want to share in the joy? Check out our ROA Girls Dive! webpage for a video recap of our latest scholarship activities – and get ready for lots of smiles and high fives!

What’s Next for ROA Girls Dive!

Our next focus is to take all the girls who have been certified and advance them to the next level. That means upgrading Scuba Divers who are certified to dive to 40 feet, to Open Water Divers. And taking our Advanced Open Water Divers to the next level with Emergency First Responder and Rescue Diver certifications.

And, if we’re able to raise more funds, we’ll start a whole new wave of introductory experience and certifications.

How You Can Help

Whether you’re a continuing supporter or just learning about ROA Girls Dive! there are lots of opportunities to help us reach more local girls.

  • Join PADI Women’s Dive Day in Roatan: This July 15, we’ll hold our third annual Dip & Sip event. Enjoy some epic Roatan  diving, as well as a sunset social at our neighbors Sundowners. Get to meet other women who are passionate about the ocean and diving, while supporting Roatan’s girls. 100% of ticket costs benefit Roatan Peer Health Exchange and the ROA Girls Dive! Scholarship program. Register today!
  • Sponsor a Girl to Dive! We’re continuing to raise funds to connect more girls to the ocean and you can help. Donate by visiting the ROA Girls Dive! Gofundme page. Course costs are subsidized by Sun Divers and PADI 76-85% depending upon the course, so it costs $200 – $264 per certification scholarship. And we’re always happy to share updates about the ROA girl that you helped sponsor, just ask!

About ROA Girls Dive!

The ROA Girls Dive! Scholarship program was founded in 2022 to help connect local girls & women to scuba diving. The program is a partnership between Sun Divers, Roatan Peer Health Exchange and PADI – and was developed to increase Roatan’s girls’ access to scuba diving both as a sport and as a profession.

This scholarship program certifies young women in Roatan in all recreational scuba diving courses from Open Water to Divemaster. The program’s goals are threefold: to enrich lives, develop our future’s environmental stewards and create awareness of the professional pathways that these young women can take in the scuba diving industry.

Learn more about the ROA Girls Dive! Scholarship Program

When is the Best Time to Dive in Roatán?

When is the Best Time to Dive in Roatán?

You probably think of Roatán as a great destination to escape the cold during snowy winters. And it is indeed a great place to enjoy the tropical weather of the Caribbean in the dead of winter. But, if you’re coming here for the best diving experience possible, we’ll let you in on a little secret: The summer is the best time to dive in Roatán. Our resident weather expert, Mike Andrews, has been updating weather reports on a daily basis for islanders and tourists alike through his Roatán Weather Facebook page and website. In this post, we’ll share what diving is like year-round on our island. But we’ll also give insights from Mike for those wishing to experience the most perfect conditions. Let’s dive deeper into why summer is the best time to dive in Roatán.

Dive in calm summer waters and explore the best sites

Many great dive sites, including most of our favorite spots, are on the west end of Roatán along the northern shore. And just minutes away from our dive shop by boat. The key to good diving conditions in Roatán is calm and clear waters. On the Northside, conditions can remain calm even when the predominant eastern winds blow. This allows for great visibility and easy navigation. We all love it when we don’t have to fight choppy surface waters and can spot that Eagle Ray from 100 feet away. 

Weather expert Mike is a dive enthusiast himself and says, “The greatest conditions for diving are during the summer when the island is mostly free from cold fronts and from wind patterns that can disrupt the waters.” Low winds and calm seas during the summer also give us more opportunities to explore remote dive sites on Roatán’s east end. And also make day trips to the outer islands like Cayos Cochinos possible. While these special day trips can occur year-round, the probability of them happening are higher in the summertime. An extra bonus is that this amazing time of year is considered “low season” on the island. Meaning fewer people and usually lower rates on accommodations and flights. That’s just a few reasons why summer is the best time to dive in Roatán.

Year-round diving in Roatán

The winter months from December to February are the busiest time on the island. During the winter, Roatán can experience periods of strong northern winds up to 35mph/56kmh that push against the Northside of the island. This can potentially lead to murkier and choppier waters on the Northside of the island where we typically dive. We’re not ones to miss an opportunity to dive, so when weather affects conditions on the Northside, we opt to dive on the Southside. See how ‘Southside Days’ allow us to dive all year in Roatán. 

The bottom line is that even if summer is the best time to dive in Roatán, you can find great diving year-round in Roatán. Conditions and weather will be more variable during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean that the diving isn’t spectacular. Here are more details on what Roatán weather and diving look like throughout the year.

A graph shows the yearly temperatures in Roatan, Honduras, and how they provide perfect conditions to dive year-round and not only in the summer.

Temperature graph of the average temperature (°F) from May to May in Roatán, Honduras. Daily updates on Roatán weather can be found on Roatanweather.org.

Seasonal Guide to Roatán Weather & Diving Conditions 

The summer months offer the best diving conditions in Roatán. But each season has its own unique features that divers might enjoy. Here are some highlights:

A little winter breeze | Roatán diving October – February

The temperature in Roatán averages 86°F/29°C year round. Winter averages are lower at  78°F/26°C with the lowest recorded temps at 66°F/ 19°C. During the winter months of October through February, the island can also feel cooler due to breezier weather.  

This by no means requires you to bring your scarf or skiing socks. Days are balmy and skies are usually blue. But, you might not warm up as quickly in between dives. And the waters are slightly cooler at an average of 80°F/ 26°C. So we recommend that you add some additional exposure protection. If you’re one to get cold easily, be sure to wear a full 3mm suit and possibly add a hooded vest. If you usually dive as au naturel as possible – consider just a vest, long sleeve shark skin, or 3mm shorty. 

During the winter, the winds can also bring rain fronts. When this happens, we choose dive sites that allow us to avoid areas where there might be runoff. But don’t let the misnomer “rainy season” deter you. We’re on a tropical island so rain is inevitable, but it usually comes and goes quickly and it’s very rare that we can’t find a good spot to dive, rain or shine.

A graph showing the wind in Sandy Bay on the west side of Roatàn, Honduras, with multiple cold fronts spiking during the winter and giving insight on why summer is the best time to dive on the island.

Wind graph shows the average wind speed (mph) from May to May in Roatán, Honduras with cold fronts during the winter highlighted. Daily updates on Roatán weather can be found on Roatanweather.org.

The cool & calm spring | Roatán diving March – June

Weather in Roatán continues to be variable in the spring which is the driest season of the year. But generally winds, albeit high, stick to their predominant easterly direction. This keeps dive conditions calm and above-water temperatures comfortable. Waters start to warm up a couple of degrees and most people start to shed their full wetsuits opting for shorties or rash guards. 

While the east winds during this time create ideal diving conditions on the Northside, the Southside of the island can experience waves up to 6 feet high due to the trade winds picking up. This time is perfect for diving on the Northside, but it can be more difficult to dive the Southside due to choppiness.

A hot summer with a Silver Lining | Roatán diving July – September

The island warms up from July to September with low winds and temperatures averaging 84°F/29°C. The water also warms to an incredibly comfortable 84°F/29°C. Low winds mean ultra-calm waters and crystal clear conditions. This is when Roatán’s diving really shines. And when we can adventure more beyond our normal dive sites. 

A natural spectacle also takes place during this time of the year. Divers that visit the island can witness the arrival of Silversides, tiny fish that migrate to the island during this time. This incredible play of nature will keep you absolutely mesmerized and wanting to find every silverside-filled swim-through possible. This makes summer the best time to come dive in Roatán!

Check out our blog post about the Spell of the Silversides here.

When is hurricane season in Roatán?

October is the peak of hurricane season in most of the Caribbean, but Roatán is rarely hit directly by major storms. Hurricanes in Roatán are incredibly rare. We’re lucky to be protected by the landmass of Central America. This soothes most storms before they reach the island. But if a hurricane ever makes its way through Central America, the outer bands of the storms can touch the island bringing high winds and rain. 

Planning your next dive adventure

True diving enthusiasts will welcome the great diving conditions in the summer. But don’t be swayed by assumptions about winter weather, the “rainy season” or hot summers. It’s true that summer is the best time to dive in Roatán, as Mike our weather expert suggests. But having the flexibility to dive both the North and Southside of the island, usually means we can have great dives, regardless of which way the wind blows. 

So pack your dive gear, book your trip, and get ready to explore the scuba diving wonders of Roatán. And let us help you plan the perfect dive trip any time of year



The Sounds of Sun Divers: Beach Vacation Playlists

The Sounds of Sun Divers: Beach Vacation Playlists

While we only like to hear bubbles under water, we love listening to good tunes anytime we’re not under the waves. Whether it’s feeling Irie to some reggae on a surface interval or getting pumped for a new day of diving with some indie pop, music is a major part of the good vibes you’ll feel here at Sun Divers.  So much so, we have our own beach vacation spotify playlists.

And just like we curate epic dive adventures, we also curate our playlists to make sure our vibes are just right for your vacation. Here are a few of our favorite beach vacation spotify playlists for your listening enjoyment: 

Beach Vacation Spotify Playlists

Beach Skankin’

Nothing quite puts you on island time like a good reggae playlist. We’ve got your classic reggae all stars like Bob Marley & Jimmy Cliff, mixed in with some modern-day Rastafarians like Chronixx.   

Cali Vibes

Surf, sand and Sublime made for a California vibe in the 90s that never really went out of style – even if you weren’t alive or oldenough yet to experience it. This playlist will make you wanna throw responsibility to the wind, dive in and chill with the homies by a beachside bonfire. If you agree that “Life’s too short, so love the one you got” and the words “summertime and the living’s easy” speak to your soul, then this one’s for you.  

SD Indie Pop

If you’re vacay is about having fun, but also finding yourself as you explore new places, we got the playlist for you. Indie pop is always filled with the fun-loving electro beats of summer, but the deep lyrics will wash over you like the waves of Half Moon Bay. Surfaces, DoubleCamp and Empire of the Sun are just a few of our favorites that make this playlist.   

Funk the Beats

No soundtrack to salt life would be complete without a few tunes to bob your head to. This playlist features hooks from hip hop lyricists like the Roots, Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic 5, along with some infusion of jazz, neo soul and funk from the likes of Tyler the Creator and Childish Gambino.  


Here’s what else we’re listening to:  

Bungalow Beach Vibes – featuring Neko Case, Father John Misty, Big Thief  

SD Soul  – featuring Raphael Saadiq, Mayor Hawthorne, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder 

SD Internacional Sounds  – featuring Gorillaz, M.I.A., Saint Levant and Manu Chao 

Surfer Grooves – featuring Khruangbin, King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard, Babe Rainbow and Peter Lake 

Psychedelic Pop  – featuring Tame Impala, MGMT, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Local Natives 

Afrobeach – featuring Wizkid, Burna Boy, Asake and Fireboy DML 


Have a favorite song, you love to listen to when you’re getting ready to dive or just boat & float? Tell us what you’d love to hear us play in our shop and we’ll add it to our beach vacation playlists.  



DIY: How to Paint Scuba Diving Fins

DIY: How to Paint Scuba Diving Fins

Add some flair to your scuba diving equipment with these easy instructions on how to paint your scuba diving fins.  

As dive equipment goes, there is not much that you can do to add your own sense of style beyond choosing unique colors and maybe a colorful rashguard. But you can let your individuality shine by using non-toxic paints to add some personal flair to your fins – and stand out on your next dive.  

Why Paint Your Scuba Diving Fins 

In addition to taking your dive style to the next level, there are some practical reasons to paint scuba diving fins. If you’re an instructor or divemaster, they make you easy and spot to follow in a dive group. If you’re a recreational diver – you can rest assured, you’ll never lose your fins in a busy shop or on a busy boat. Or worse, mistake your fins for someone else’s…Trust us, this happens more often than you think!  

But at the end of the day, painting your scuba diving fins is just a fun way to show off your own unique style. 

Sun Divers hosted a fin-painting party for our dive tribe here in Roatan.

Here are the tips & tricks we learned are best for long-lasting, personalized designs on your scuba diving fins.

How To Paint Scuba Diving Fins 

Step One: Wash & Dry Your Fins 

Use soap and warm water to remove salt, sand and dust from your fins. Wash thoroughly and then towel or air dry.  

Step Two: Sand Your Fins Down  

In order for the paint to stick to your fins, you need to scuff up the surface. To do this, use XX mm sand paper and scuff up the area where you want to paint the fins. If you find that the paint is bleeding when you go to design, that’s a sign that you need to sand your fins down even more.  

Step Three: Get Creative with (Non-toxic) Paint  

From there, the world is your oyster. Go crazy with color adding any touches to your fins that speak to you. If you’re great with freehand, just go for it. Or you can sketch your design out first with pencil – erasing where needed. These stencils were a life saver for some of us. But be careful because on some fin surfaces the paint can bleed under the stencil just creating a big blob of color. This is especially true if you’ve not sanded your fins down enough. 

Be sure to use non-toxic, water-based paint. We loved these paint pens.  

And it’s nice to have a series of acrylic paint brushes with different tip shapes and sizes for finer details.  

Step 4: Allow your fins to dry  

You’re going to want to use them right away. And you’re going to be tempted to touch the paint to see if it’s dry. DON’T. Just be patient and let your fins dry for at least 24 hours to be safe.  

Other Scuba Fin Painting Tips  

  • Acetone is your friend. If you make a mistake (which you wil), it’s the magic eraser!  
  • Do NOT use lacquer. We did our research beforehand, and some blogs suggested applying a spray lacquer to seal in the design. One person tested this and it dulled the paint pens and eventually flaked off. The outcome was fugly fins and the potential for lacquer to end up in the ocean which is no bueno in our book.  
  • Go abstract! If you still draw like you’re in kindergarten (raises hand ?) then avoid detailed imagery and just go with an abstract design when you paint your scuba fins. This will be much more forgiving for any errors.  

Now you have all our best tips for how to paint scuba diving fins. Check out some of our dive tribes creativity for inspo! 

Painted Scuba Diving Fins Inspo

DIY Save-a-Dive Kit

DIY Save-a-Dive Kit

Wondering what a save-a-dive kit is and why you should always dive with one? Read on!

Imagine this: you’re on your dream dive vacation (in Roatan, duh!) and you’re about to dive one of the destination’s most iconic dive spots. You’re all geared up and go to put your mask on. Boom, the strap busts! Now, any good dive center is going to have a spare kit with a mask that will at minimum do the job. But, what if they don’t or someone else is already using the spare? Are you going to miss this dive you’ve been waiting to check out all week? Heck no! You’re going to have a mask strap in your save-a-dive kit. And not only are you going to continue with the dive as planned, you’re going to have YOUR favorite mask to see it with!

What is a save-a-dive-kit? 

A save-a-dive-kit is a travel kit that contains the basic tools and parts needed to make non-technical, dive equipment repairs. Common malfunctions that a save-a-dive kit can help repair include busted O-rings, a torn mouthpiece, snapped mask or fin strap. All small issues, but issues that can be the difference between getting to make a dive or not.

Where can you get a save-a-dive-kit?

You can likely find a pre-assembled save-a-dive kit at a local dive center or online. And it should contain all of the essentials. But you’ll pay for the pre-packaged convenience. Why pay more, when you can easily make a DIY Save-a-Dive Kit with materials you may already have -and with materials that are specific to your personal equipment and liking.

What’s in a save-a-dive kit? 

There are a few essentials that your save-a-dive kit should have (at minimum):

  1. O-rings
  2. An extra mouthpiece and zip tie
  3. Mask strap
  4. Fin strap
  5. Double-ended bolt snap hook
  6. Defog
  7. Dry case to store save-a-dive kit contents

These items will cover the most common gear snafus and what you should have in your kit at minimum. If you want to be uber-prepared, check out our Complete Save-a-Dive Kit checklist. And if you’re a technical diver, photographer you’ll obviously want to add equipment specific to those activities.

What else should you pack for your dive trip?

Want to make sure you have all the equipment essentials for your upcoming trip? Check out our Dive Gear Packing List.

Don’t have your own gear, but wish you did? Sun Divers is a certified Scubapro dealer and we offer our customers great deals, as well as direct shipping. Scope out the ScubaPro gear deals! 

Now that you know what to bring on your next dive trip, it’s time to start planning it .


Top 10 Restaurants in Roatan | West End

Top 10 Restaurants in Roatan | West End

When you’ve got the post-dive munchies, we know which restaurants in Roatan should be on your list.

There is world-class diving in Roatan, adventurous activities, fun night life, and serene natural settings. But one of the most common questions divers always ask is “Where are the best places to eat in Roatan?”

We get it. A big part of traveling is experiencing the food and culture of another country.

Chef and world traveler Anthony Bourdain famously known for his Parts Unknown series once said “I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.” And we couldn’t agree more.

People come to Roatan for a variety of reasons. But the ocean and the food usually sit squarely at the top of the travel priorities.

Just like diving, the challenge of having an incredible dining experience is finding the best spots.

What makes us experts on where to eat in West End, Roatan?

Our location gives us a great perspective on the topic. And we also have a few resident experts, a.k.a. our dive tribe of instructors, captains and local customers who are enjoying the Roatan food scene daily.

Sun Divers sits perfectly on the beautiful Half Moon Bay beach in West End and is surrounded by over forty restaurants and street vendors. The food scene in West End is the most diverse on the island. It ranges from your traditional Honduran meals and cheap street food eats, to fancy steak houses and gorgeous destinations serving tropical drinks with sunset views. Whatever you are hankering for, you’re sure to find it within a short walk. And we’ve likely already been there, done that and can tell you if it’s worth adding to your Roatan food tour.

How we chose the Top 10 Best Restaurants in Roatan | West End 

We created a thorough list of local restaurants from up and down the mile-long West End strip which totaled 36 options. The list was sent to our staff and local customers asking them to rank each restaurant in order from their #1 choice to their last. Each restaurant’s score was determined by their average ranking.

The justification for everyone’s rankings is very different. Some might prefer fine dining, others the cocktail scene, and some lean heavily on the cheap eats. But the end result is a great starting point for you to choose your own dining adventure.

Focusing on just 10 restaurants proved incredibly challenging. So, here’s a bonus: we’re giving you our dive tribe picks for the Top 15 best restaurants in Roatan’s West End.

Check out the list below and don’t hesitate to jump into the debate. We want to hear your opinions. What did we leave off of the best places to eat in Roatan list?

Top 15 Best Restaurants in Roatan

#1 Sandy Buns

What makes Sandy Buns special: Located in the heart of West End, Sandy Buns serves breakfast and lunch. It’s owned and operated by a former Texas couple Tim and Shantal Dolan. Just like in Texas, the portions of everything on the menu are “bigger.”

Enter Sandy Buns and the first thing you notice is the size of the plates served to other guests. Watching a Dirty Bird Chicken Sandwich or a Rough Night Breakfast sandwich will have you drooling like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Their BBQ brisket is the stuff and making a stop for BBQ Country Saturday is never a bad idea.

This isn’t just a case of achieving a food coma. The food at Sandy Buns – and we mean ALL of the food – is drool worthy. No other place in West End (many would argue the entire island) has the reputation for pleasing countless hungry divers and tourists. OurAn extra large cinammon roll drizzled with icing sits atop a plate at Sandy Buns Restaurant in Roatan dive tribe is no different. With nearly 90% of voters ranking Sandy Buns in the top 5 they are the runaway #1 best restaurant in Roatan’s West End and should not be missed.

Don’t Miss: The entire menu features one incredible meal after another. But if you must have only one thing, do yourself a favor and get a Cinnamon Roll. You can also order it ahead to have served as a lunchtime dessert.

Pro-tip: Upgrade your fries to Garlic Sweet Potato Fries. You’ll thank us!

Best enjoyed: As a post-dive lunch or as the hangover cure on a dry day.

#2 Roatan Oasis

What makes Roatan Oasis special: Nestled on the hillside above West End, Roatan Oasis is the only restaurant on our list that will likely require some type of transportation. The extra effort to get there is well worth it as they were recently awarded Honduras’ Best Restaurant by the World Culinary Awards.

An elegant pasta dish is served at Roatan Oasis restaurant in RoatanKnown for a dynamic, internationally inspired menu and craft cocktails, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better dining experience on the entire island. As a testament to the consistent quality, Roatan Oasis ranks #1 with over a quarter of our voters – the most of all restaurants on our list.

Don’t Miss: The Roatan Oasis menu changes frequently, but one item has been a constant: the Chipotle Baby Back Ribs. Just ask Sun Divers Instructor Ricky how good they are.

Pro-tip: This place is always hoppin’ so be sure to make advanced reservations. Too late? You might try squeezing in at the bar where you can watch the craft cocktail mixology in action.

Best enjoyed: When celebrating something special or treating yourself to a nice night out.

#3 Sundowners Beach Bar

What makes Sundowners special: Sundowners is an island icon. Situated right on the beach in Half Moon Bay, Sundowners is the sunset beach bar of your dreams. Caribbean sunsets, swaying palm trees, toes in the sand and a drink in your hand.

Sundowners features a full menu of wraps, sandwiches, and burgers (buns from A tropical martini with a lime wedge is silhouetted by the sunset in Half Moon Bay, West End, Roatan. Sandy Buns) as well as an extensive list of tropical cocktails. And don’t miss the local music most evenings. Whether you are winding down after a long day in the sun or kick-starting an evening exploring West End, Sundowners should make your daily agenda.

Don’t Miss: Roatan’s traditional island cocktail  the Monkey La La, combined with a Half Moon Bay sunset and your toes in the sand.

Pro-tip: If you bring your own insulated tumbler, they’ll fill it with your drink of choice. It’ll keep your bevvy chilled and you’ll look like a local.

Best enjoyed: When you want an ice cold beer and burger after a day of diving, or want to jump start your night with a sunset cocktail and some live music.

#4 Pazzo’s

What makes Pazzo special: There are only six tables, the pasta is homemade, and you can bring your own wine. Chef and Owner Johnny Pedretti brings authentic Italian cuisine to the island in a quaint setting where you WILL need a reservation. Each dish is expertly crafted with simple ingredients, but exceptional skill. Check any review of Pazzo and you will inevitably see quotes that compare the dishes to those that can only be found in Italy.

One word describes dining at Pazzo Spettacolare!

Don’t Miss: All of the Pasta dishes are delectable, but you really are missing out if you don’t start with the Beef Carpaccio.

Pro-Tip: We’re serious about the reservations. Make them well in advance and don’t be late!

Best enjoyed: When you want a nice meal in a truly local setting

#5 Drunken Sailor

What makes Drunken Sailor special: Don’t be fooled by the name… this is not a bar (although they make a tremendous Campari Spritz). The owner is from Northern Italy and brings an authentic dining experience to Roatan. The Drunken Sailor is smack in theA large portion of cheesy lasagna from Roatan restaurant Drunken Sailor sits on a wooden serving platter with a small brown bag of bread on the side. middle of West End. No matter which way you are traveling through the city, you will stumble across this Italian gem. When you see it, trust me, go no further. The pasta is homemade, the pizza is some of the best in the area, and gnocchi is tender, ethereally light, nicely potatoey, and paired with a selection of homemade sauces.

Don’t Miss: The lasagna. Especially if you brought your appetite or want leftovers for lunch. It will rival any made by an Italian grandmother.

Pro-tip: If you don’t have a big appetite, share a main so that you can grub down on one of the delicious Cristini Mistis that come sweet or savory. And dessert, of course!

#6 Creole’s Rotisserie Chicken

What makes Creole’s Rotisserie Chicken special: Located on the Southern end of West End, Creole’s is the islands go-to for the most highly rated rotisserie chicken. The prices are very reasonable and the large selection of sides, make Creole’s a winning dining experience for everyone. You need to be early, though! There are limited chickens available each night and if you aren’t there by 7pm, its likely the doors will be closed.

The island style outdoor seating under the trees, a gang of local dogs and cats (well fed and taken care of) and right across from the beach gives you a true sense of dining in paradise. For $20 you can get an entire chicken with four sides… probably one of the best deals around.

Don’t Miss: The Desserts – As in any and ALL of the Desserts

Pro-tip: A whole chicken comes with four generous sides – enough to feed 3-4 people.

Best enjoyed: When you want to take an early stroll to dinner through West End to take in the energy and spirit of island life on Roatan.

#7 Loretta’s Island Cooking

What makes Loretta’s special: Loretta built her own small local dining patio in her yard in Half Moon Bay in 2021 due to so much demand for her home style island cooking. Loretta’s authentic island food away from the tourist spots makes it a favorit local restaurant in Roatan. It is a hidden gem and Loretta is a star local chef.

Loretta’s features a menu of island favorites including the best fried chicken, perfectly seasoned beans & coconut rice, tender coconut shrimp and an amazing blackened fish. It’s hard to pick a favorite, just ask Sun Divers captains and instructors who order lunch from here at least once a week.

Don’t Miss: The Lobster Pasta is over-the-top rich and oozing with creamy goodness.

Pro-tip: If you spend your day on one of the fishing charters, you can bring your catch to Loretta and she will whip up a dish that will knock your socks off.

Best enjoyed: Breakfast, lunch or dinner. But early in your trip because it is a place many of our divers choose to enjoy more than once!

#8 Ginger’s Caribbean Grill

What makes Ginger’s special: Gingers is tucked into a picturesque alcove in Half Moon Bay. They have a great menu of burgers, sandwiches, wraps, wings, and salads – but the main attractions are their casual fish dishes. Owners Jeff and Ginger have a commitment to sourcing fish sustainably and buy fish from local fisherman to create all sorts of delicacies depending on the catch of the day. We often get the question “where is the best seafood” – the typical response is “Gingers”.

They also feature a great bar to enjoy sporting events, live music, and meeting the local community.

Don’t Miss: Lionfish tacos. You know Lionfish are invasive and we can all do our part saving our reef by consuming as many as possible.

Pro-tip: Looking for somewhere to get great food and catch your favorite sports team? Give them a call, they’re sure to be playing all the popular games on their big screen.

Best enjoyed: When you want to spend the day lounging on a beautiful tropical beach, eating, drinking, swimming and sunning.

#9 Yahongreh

What makes Yahongreh special: Yahongreh is the smallest restaurant on the list, but has one big winner on the menu: The Baleada, a Honduran favorite food. These baleadas are stacked with goodness: eggs, beans, cheese, the meat of your choice, avocados, and tomatoes. Not only is this the biggest, best baleada available, but it is also ONLY $2 making it a favorite of the cheap eats in Roatan. There is no better deal than Yahongreh on the island when you are looking for a filling breakfast, lunch or snack at a remarkable price. While the baleada is the star of the menu, you can also find breakfast bagels, banana pancakes, and a selection of fresh tropical juices. Yahongreh is tucked in the Chili’s hotel grounds and they only serve breakfast and lunch.

Don’t Miss: Assuming you are having the baleada, don’t miss the homemade Chile Cabro (Habanero Pepper) sauce to spice up your life. It’ll likely be in a syrup bottle which can be a little confusing, but the flaming hot yellow color can’t be missed.

Pro-tip: This is a cash only joint accepting USD or lempiras. But make sure your US dollars are not ripped and you have enough to tip the staff member on duty who is usually hustling to take orders, cook, prep, clean up all on their own.

Best enjoyed: When you want quick and cheap, but satisfying meal before the dive day starts or in between dives.

#10 Stowaway Gastrobar

What makes Stowaway special: Stowaway is the newest entry in the West End dining scene and almost immediately propelled into the top 10 dining experiences. Located well off the main drag in the neighborhood north of Half Moon Bay, you are going to ask yourself “did we go the wrong direction?”.

Just keep going, we promise the search will be worth every step. The space is small and unassuming, but also romantic. The Mediterranean-inspired menu changes daily with locally sourced ingredients and, by far, the most creative menu in town. It would likely do no good to list a favorite since it may be gone tomorrow, but a few examples of the gastro genius at Stowaway include Spinach & Mushroom Cannelloni, Pear & Blue Cheese Quiche, mussel croquettes, and brie fingers to name a few. All dishes are cooked to order right in front of you.

Don’t Miss: The frozen Sangria is equally unique and will get your dinner off to the right start.

Pro-tip: Save room for dessert. Literally every creation made by Chef Alionka is pure gastronomical delight.

Best enjoyed: When you’re in the mood for wining & dining.

#11 Argentinian Grill

What makes Argentinian Grill special: Technically there are two locations – one in West End and one in West Bay. The menus are the same, but you cant beat the beach seating in West End. The romantic setting between palm trees overlooking Half Moon Bay under the stars is what Caribbean dreams are made of.

As the name suggests, the Argentinian Grill is all about the grilled meats including all varieties of fine steaks, pork, chicken, fish, shrimp and lobster. All are grilled over an open flame prominently featured in the dining room of the restaurant. The open space is great for groups and couples alike.

Don’t Miss: The West Bay location for daytime lounging & lunch on the beach.

Pro-tip: Don’t be fooled by the exceptional dinner menu, they serve a great breakfast and lunch also.

Best enjoyed: During sunset in West End or on a dry day where you want to work on your tan while treating yourself to delicious cuisine and cocktails in West Bay.

#12 Café Escondido

What makes Café Escondido special: Café Escondido is the first café on our list of best places to eat in Roatan – and earned its position by offering a menu focused on healthy options in addition to a great upper-deck setting that overlooks the water in West End. You can find Café Escondido above West End Divers in the middle of town.

Once you find your way in, you will be welcomed to a very comfortable setting great for meeting friends, hooking into the wifi to get some work done, or just enjoying a great cup of coffee, fresh smoothies, and a healthy breakfast or lunch featuring salads, rice or noodle bowls, and a selection of great sandwiches.

Don’t Miss: The banana pancakes with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Pro-tip: Bring your laptop or book…this is a great place to chill while you grab a coffee and a bite

Best-enjoyed: When you’re looking for a relaxing lunch spot with great views

#13 Crisp

What makes Crisp special: It is admittedly difficult to find a healthy option on the island. And why would you when you are on vacation?! But sometimes, your body needs a break from the fried foods, baleadas, and sweet treats. Or maybe your just truly blessed with a love for healthy food. Whatever the reason, this is one of the healthiest yet still delicious restaurants in Roatan.

As a relative newcomer to the dining scene, and an outlier who is not on the main strip (located in the Coconut Tree Plaza at the entrance of town), Crisp has quickly become the goto for a healthy meal.

Crisp offers a great selection of Poke Bowls, Cold Pressed Juices, Smoothies, Health Shots, and salads. The location is convenient with ample parking (a rarity) and the dining room is colorful, comfortable, and chic regularly featuring new local art for sale.

Don’t Miss: The OG Poke Bowl featuring fresh local Tuna

Pro-tip: As an excellent option for those who are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, pay attention to the icons on their menu showing you which options fit your dietary preferences.

Best enjoyed: When you want natural ingredients that are fresh, light and crisp (hence the name)

#14 Café de Palo

What makes Café de Palo special: You simply will not find a more serene place to relax than at Café de Palo. They are located at the very end of the road in Half Moon Bay tucked inside the Arco Orquideas hotel. You step into the café and it’s like stepping into the heart of a magical jungle. You’ll find yourself surrounded by tropical foliage, big windows open to the breeze rolling off Gibson Bight, and a dining space that can only be described as enchanting.

You can sit there for hours while you sip on a latte or any of their creative cocktails. Now that you are here, there is no rush to leave. Simply kick back and enjoy the serenity – and the food. They are open for breakfast and lunch (but closed on Tuesdays).

Don’t Miss: The Coconut Margarita is dangerously delicious

Pro Tip: While the inside is such a serene setting, be sure to consider dining on their outdoor patio or at the end of the dock. Or at least go take a pic on the hammock swings!

Best enjoyed: When you want a side of serenity with your meal

#15 Juniors Patio

What makes Junior’s Patio special: Restaurants in Roatan include a fair share of pizza joints, but Junior’s Patio (named for pizza chef and owner Junior) takes the top spot in our rankings. Junior has taken a piece of land next to a parking lot at Coconut Tree Plaza and turned it into a romantic courtyard and patio where you completely lose track of your surroundings once you enter.

The creative outdoor ambiance is only half the draw. Junior uses only the best ingredients and features a menu of creative pies to satisfy the most discerning of pizza connoisseurs. His thinner crust variety isn’t as heavy as other pizzas and allows the flavors of the sauce and toppings to take center stage. This is gourmet pizza at its best.

Don’t Miss: Add the garlic oil. Need we say more?

Pro-tip: BYOB or any other alcoholic bevvy you might want. They’ll even put it in the fridge for you.

Best enjoyed: After an incredible Roatan night dive. Only Junior’s pizza comes close to topping the sensory overload of the String of Pearls.

Honorable Mentions | Top Restaurants in Roatan

Okay, we just couldn’t help ourselves. There are SO many good restaurants in Roatan, we had to throw a few more of our favorites in at least for an honorable mention.

Mila del Mar at The Beach House: One of the newest entries in the dining scene in the recently renovated spectacular Beach House Hotel. Sitting two stories above the beach in Half Moon bay, there isn’t a better sunset view from a restaurant in Roatan. Especially in the summer when the sun sets directly in the middle of the bay. They feature an excellent food menu and creative drink menu – including a weekend sunset happy hour on the dock.

Pura Vida: Another newcomer that will undoubtedly break into the top of the list, this Costa Rican gem sits on Half Moon Bay next to Ginger’s. We can’t decide what is better, the food or the sangria… so get both. Try the Rondon soup or Wrapped Snapper for a true taste of Costa Rica… and don’t forget the Tropical Sangria.

Seawiches Lounge Bar: Roatan’s first lounge bar, Seawiches is located on the main street in front of the beach. You can find a very creative selection for meat and vegan dishes. The menu is clever and the setting is completely unique featuring a house DJ on the weekends to kickup the lounge vibe.

Anthony’s Chicken: Often considered the rival of earlier ranked Creole’s, you will find Anthony’s Chicken has cornered the market on Jerk Chicken style rotisserie. Ask anyone who has spent any time on the island and you will run into a heated debate to whose chicken is better. To us, its just a matter of how much spice do you like. Another plus for Anthony’s Chicken is they are reliably open later in the evenings.

Lily Pond House: No place on the list is quite like Lily Pond. During the day, you could poke your head in and the setting appears dark, but at night it transforms into the most romantic space on the island as far as restaurants in Roatan go. Owners Zak and Luis have created a truly charming and enchanting atmosphere to enjoy some one-on-one time with your partner.

See, we’re really experts in the two things that matter most on vacation: diving and eating. Now that we’ve planned the restaurants in Roatan you’re going to try, let us know how else we can help with the rest of  your trip planning!

How to Pack A Dive Bag

How to Pack A Dive Bag

When packing a dive bag for travel, the ‘stuff & smash’ strategy just isn’t going to work well. Dive gear is not an investment for the faint of heart, and many times we develop a weird emotional connection with our kits. Still rocking those vintage teal Tusa fins handed down to you when you first got certified – we see you!

Here are some tips to help you pack your dive bag like a pro and make sure your precious kit is well-protected in transit.

Want make sure you don’t forget anything?

First, what NOT to pack

There are 3 things that you can likely spare yourself from packing that will save you on both space and weight:

  1. Weights – these are absolutely not necessary when packing your dive bag and will only put you at risk for arriving at the airport overweight. The dive shop you’re diving with or renting tanks from should be able to provide these. And don’t worry, they will have weights in various sizes to help you configure your weight distribution exactly how you like it.
  2. Snorkel – check with the local guidelines to see if snorkels are recommended or required for any reason. The answer is likely that they are not, so bringing these comes down to personal preference.
  3. Gloves – most dive destinations, unless they’re colder water, do not allow gloves unless it’s for medical purposes. So check local guidelines and ditch the gloves if not necessary.

Choosing your dive bag

Is a legit travel dive bag necessary? NO. Will it make you look cooler? Okay, maybe. But travel dive bags are by no means necessary. They’re just convenient. Especially if your dive bag is the same brand as your gear – since they’re made specifically to the dimensions of your equipment. Many dive bags come with cool features like fin compartments, roller wheels and back pack systems for when you need to grab that gear and book it to your gate.

If you don’t want to spend the extra cash on a travel bag, no sweat. Any old suitcase will do. Just find one that’s slighty larger than your BCD, so that it fits snugly with your fins, but you have some additional space for the rest of your gear, accessories and even clothes.

5 Steps to Pack Your Dive Bag

  1. BCD Goes First: place in the bag with the back facing down. The backside will provide structure and protection. Make sure the inflator hose is tucked in and not getting smooshed underneath the backside. You can spread the BCD open a bit to allow you to place your other items inside it.
  2. Fins for Structure: Next, place your fins vertically on either side of the BCD. This creates a rigid frame for you to pack within. If you have dive booties, you can usually place these inside the foot of your fin.
  3. Pack Your Regulator with Care: Next you can place your regulator on top of the BCD. This should be in its regulator bag. Don’t have a regulator bag? This is one piece of protective travel gear we would recommend. But, you can also wrap it in a towel for added protection. If you want to be super safe, then carry on your regulator.
  4. Get the Accessories In: At this point there will likely be some extra space where you can secure your accessories, while also adding a bumper to prevent your BCD from moving around. Use this space for your mask, SMB and reel, save-a-dive-kit and whatever else fits. For delicate items like a mask or camera housing, be sure to put in protective casings, bubble wrap or wrap in clothes/towels for added cushion.
  5. Top off with the Wetsuit: Finally, lay your wetsuit on top. Try to minimize the number of times you fold your wetsuit so that you don’t create creases in it.

Additional Tips

Most suitcases and dive travel bags will have additional compartments for any other items you might bring like chargers, dive logbooks, reef-safe sunscreen, etc. High value items like your cameras and dive computers are best kept in a carry on with you.

And it’s always good to give your bag a weight before you get to the airport. You can get a luggage scale online for cheap or if you want to go the free route: step on a regular scale holding your bag close to you, and then subtract your weight from the total to get the weight of your suitcase.

Now that you’ve got the packing process down, it’s time to decide where to go! Thinking about Roatan? Here’s the lowdown on diving here and why it’s considered world class.

And if you’re looking to add to your personal dive gear, we’re a certified ScubaPro dealer that always offers great deals and direct shipping.

If our tips on how to pack a dive bag were helpful, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok for more great dive travel hacks!





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