Your Guide to the Most Epic Roatan Diving
Roatan offers the best of Honduras scuba diving and is considered a top dive destination worldwide. The island boasts a fringing reef that grants you access to an array of incredible dive sites. Including the diverse ecosystem of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, crystal-clear waters, and thrilling underwater adventures. Whether you’re drawn to explore captivating wrecks, tackle swim-throughs, or marvel at vast underwater canyons. Roatan diving gives you a wide variety of diving experiences for all levels and interests.
As the #1 dive shop in West End, Roatan, we’re sharing with you everything we know about Roatan diving. This guide will help you plan a bucket-list-worthy trip perfect for all the dive levels and interests in your group. Diving solo? Don’t sweat it! For this reason, you’ll find a built-in community at Sun Divers. Without a doubt, this complete guide to Roatan diving will help you plan the most epic Roatan dive trip, whether you’re diving solo or with a group.
What You’ll Find in our Roatan Diving Guide
Roatan Diving: A General Overview
When you dive into the underwater realms of Roatan, every turn holds a new extraordinary sight. Roatan’s signature wall dives are like entering a gallery of underwater artistry with their towering sponges, delicate sea plumes, and dark coral tapestries. You’ll journey alongside eagle rays, jacks, and sometimes even elusive hammerhead sharks. Go from the sun-kissed shallows to the mysterious 100-foot abyss and get the thrill of deep dives in Roatan. You’ll find mysterious wrecks waiting to be explored and deep plateaus with unique marine life.
Allow the currents at ‘The Point’ to carry you along, revealing vibrant seascapes teeming with life. Navigate through secret passages, hiding in plain sight along the fringing reef. These coral mazes conceal mesmerizing sights from the cryptic spotted drumfish to elusive moray eels, lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. Embark on night adventures where a whole new set of characters come to life on the reef. Every dive is a unique narrative filled with twists, turns, and discoveries.
The Best Time of the Year to Dive in Roatan
In Roatan, diving can be done year-round. It’s one of the few places in the world where you’ll get great dive conditions no matter the season. Our favorite joke is that a “bad” dive day on Roatan is somewhere else’s best day. It truly is every diver’s paradise on Earth. But we’ll let you in on a little secret. The very best time to dive in Roatan is actually in the summer. Calm waters, crystal clear visibility, and low winds make the summer months a great time to come dive. And since it’s ironically low season, travel and lodging rates can be really affordable, too! Read more about Roatan diving conditions throughout the year and what you can expect from the different seasons.
Types of Roatan Diving
One thing that makes Roatan diving unique is the diverse topography of the fringing reef. This leads to a wide variety of dive types. Canyons lead you to dramatic walls. Shallow plateaus offer a macro diving haven. Deep wrecks offer thrills galore.
Even on a single dive in Roatan, you may find yourself journeying through various dive types. You might glide along a majestic wall only to discover hidden crevices and swim-throughs filled with schooling snappers. Then come out to rays soaring above grassy shallows. The possibilities are endless!
Scroll through to see the type of dive environments you can experience when diving in Roatan. Click to learn more.
Descend deeper and deeper on a deep dive in Roatan and explore our stunning underwater landscapes. Vertical walls plunge to depths over 100 feet, revealing a mesmerizing world of marine life. Colorful coral formations create the perfect playground for divers seeking thrilling adventures in the deep. The fringing reef surrounding Roatan has many walls that drop into the endless blue. As you descend into the depths, you will see your surroundings change. Colors, topography, and animals change the deeper you go. Some species, like the elusive Sargasm Triggerfish, almost only inhabit the deeper waters. This beautiful fish is one of our favorite sights.
Dive Tribe Faves: West End Wall, Texas, El Aguila, Playground, Blue Channel
Pro Tip: Take a flashlight on your next deep dive adventure so you can explore all the nooks and crannies! If you don’t have your own, you can always rent a shop one.
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Roatan’s wall dives. These underwater cliffs offer breathtaking vertical descents into the deep blue, adorned with flourishing sea fans, and colorful sponges. Hanging out at the edge of the amazing Mesoamerican reef, you can truly grasp the vastness of the ocean. And oftentimes you can find yourself surrounded by hundreds of Creole wrasses. Wall dives are a great chance to see bigger animals such as eagle rays and turtles. With luck, you might catch sight of the elusive and shy sharks that sometimes glide by the walls.
Dive Tribe Faves: West End Wall, Cemetery Wall, Divemaster’s Choice to Dixies, Mandy’s Eel Garden
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to turn your gaze into the blue to spot larger fish and pelagics. And also keep an eye on that depth gauge!
While the Roatan reef is awe-inspiring at just first glance, there is so much more than meets the eye. Go slow, swim gently and gaze softly at one small area at a time. In time, you’ll be rewarded with a peek into another underwater world that many divers miss. Some of the ocean’s most weirdly wonderful creatures can be found on macro dives! Colorful nudibranchs, majestic seahorses, inquisitive but shy small crustaceans and blennies as well as tiny juveniles.
Many of our instructors have “magic eyes” and will share their finds with you. As well as educate you on how to spot these amazing creatures on your own. If you’re a dive nerd like us who likes to learn about symbiotic relationships, territorial behaviors, hunting tactics, and camouflage techniques – there’s no better way to learn than to observe firsthand amongst coral formations, around sponges, and amidst the sea floor.
Dive Tribe Faves: Blue Channel, Butcher’s Bank, Mandy’s Eel Garden
Pro Tip: Go sloooooooow. Then look and look again. Also, learn the symbiotic relationships between creatures and their homes in and amongst anemones, sponges and corals.
Roatan is blessed with mild to moderate currents and calm surface conditions, making drift diving available to all divers. Our experienced team of boat captains and guides know exactly when and where to take you. Based upon local conditions, you’ll experience drift diving in Roatan to the fullest. Currents flow through key spots of the reef carrying plankton-rich waters. Consequently, these attract an abundance of marine life and keep the reefs healthy and vibrant. Go with the flow and experience the sensations of “soaring” underwater weightlessly. And surround yourself with schools of fish as if raining from the sky.
Dive Tribe Faves: Pablo’s Place, Texas, Lighthouse, Divemaster’s Choice, Fish Den
Pro Tip: Try swimming out amongst schooling fish or just go with the flow. You can always turn against the current and kick to slow it down and wait for your group.
Canyons and Swim Throughs
If you love the feeling of emerging into the great blue from the inside of the reef or feeling small against large submersed canyon walls, we have the dive sites for you. The fringing reef surrounding the island offers some of the most diverse topography for the most adventurous of divers. You can explore overhangs, cracks, canyons, deep channels, and ravines on many Roatan dive sites, offering thrills as well as excellent places to spot shy species of fish and creatures such as spotted drum, eels, lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. These dive spots can even are in the shallows, making for great afternoon dives.
Dive Tribe Faves: Hole in the Wall, Blue Channel, Canyon Reef, Spooky Channel, Bears Den
Pro Tip: These dive sites are best enjoyed with good buoyancy…If you’re looking to perfect yours, consider taking a Peak Performance Buoyancy course to fine-tune your skills and enjoy navigating these sites to the fullest.
Top Dive Sites in Roatan
There are over 340 dive moorings in the Roatan Marine Park. Sun Divers is perfectly located to access some of the most beautiful and popular Roatan diving sites within just a few minutes of boat ride. Every site offers different topography, wildlife, and diving experience. Discover the hidden treasures of the Mesoamerican Reef with us. Find hidden swim-throughs, and elusive seahorses as we personalize your dive experience. Our goal is to explore a wide range of sites with you, never duplicating sites unless you ask us to, so that every dive is a unique experience.
Discover more about our favorite dive sites by checking out our Top 10 Roatan Dive Sites list.
Top 10 Roatan Dive Sites
Explore some of the hidden gems and discover some of the most iconic Roatan diving experiences. There are many unique dive sites in Roatan that are unlike anywhere else in the world. Some dive sites are especially unique thanks to their breath-taking topography and wildlife that can be found there. Learn more about some of the most popular dives in Roatan to see what your Roatan diving experience could be like:
Special Roatan Diving Experiences
Besides the amazing dive sites that are located right at Sun Divers’ doorstep, there is also an array of amazing unique diving experiences that we can offer. From West End, Roatan, we embark on adventures that will take you to parts of the reef rarely explored. Day trips to the remote islands, seamounts, and starfish-adorned sandbanks near Roatán should absolutely be part of your Roatán diving experience!
The Cayos trip is a great land and sea tour with diving on the seamounts. As well as a traditional lunch from the Garifuna fishing village and time to explore the natural and cultural beauty of the archipelago. Pricing includes two dives, Cayos park fee, and lunch. The perfect way to experience island culture!
Explore one of the Bay Islands’ top dive sites: the Seamounts. 18 miles offshore from Roatan, this area is famous for its abundance of spectacular coral formations and large schools of fish. Snorkels and fishing gear are always brought along. And there’s a good chance you might get to try some sashimi right on the boat!
A truly unique Roatan diving experience awaits you on the southside. Take a day trip to experience the iconic Mary’s Place. There are also the dramatic wall dives of the Southside of Roatan. Renowned for its deep extended crack that was formed by volcanic activity. Mary’s place features awe-inspiring overhangs and an abundance of sea life. You’ll visit two more amazing southside dive sites. Then, make a stop off at Barefoot Cay for an al fresco lunch poolside at the unparalleled Silversides restaurant.
Roatan’s East End
Explore some of the best Roatan diving on the East End of the island. This area is known for epic swim-throughs, caves, and an abundance of soft coral gardens. Dive Rockstar – one of Roatan’s Top 10 Dive Sites – and discover the mystery of Dolphin’s Den. These are truly unique to the East End dive sites. Make a full-day trip of it by coupling your dives with some poolside lunch & lounging at the gorgeous Las Verandas Restaurant at Pristine Bay Resort. This is an unforgettable experience!
How to Choose the Best Dive Shop in Roatan
Choosing the best dive shop in Roatan for you is crucial to making the best out of your stay on this beautiful island. In West End, Roatan, dive shops are plentiful! And while we hope that we’re your pick, we know that every dive shop has its niche and vibe. No two Roatan dive shops are alike. It’s like finding the perfect BCD: when you find your match, it just feels right. So, make sure to create your perfect Roatan diving experience.
Our Guide to Choosing the Best Dive Shop in Roatan gives you the selection criteria to decide if a dive resort in Roatan is the right fit for you.
Sun Divers Roatan: Small Groups, Big Adventures
Concierge Dive Service
At Sun Divers, we focus on giving you the best Roatan diving experience possible. Before you arrive, we help you plan an epic dive itinerary. We can also guide you on any other travel plans, such as where to stay in Roatan and where to eat. When you come to dive with us, your equipment or our new Scubapro rental gear is already assembled on the boat. Your wetsuit and fins are staged for your pick-up. Organic, fair trade certified locally grown coffee or water is available for you to help yourself to.
Tropical fresh fruit and water are on the boats – and on cooler days, you’ll even find hot chocolate aboard. Instructors and captains alike assist you with gear, water entry, and exit as needed. Post-dive, we disassemble, rinse, and dry your equipment with care. We store your personal gear for the duration of your visit. And we offer personal lockers with complimentary padlock and key for you to store your personal belongings. Like this, you can be worry-free while you’re out adventuring.
Dive Group Size
We pair divers with similar skills and interests in small-group diving. This allows us to guide at separate depth profiles regardless if we have both experienced and beginner divers on the same boat. Your dive group will be no larger than 6 diverser per divemaster, and we keep courses at 4 students per instructor for a more personalized learning approach. Dive times average 60 minutes, and most sites allow buddy teams to ascend independently so that differences in air consumption don’t affect the whole group.
Dive Site Selection
We like to select our dive sites each morning so we can take into account sea conditions, divers’ interests, and which sites have already been previously visited. You can easily spend over a week without seeing the same site – unless you really want to. We always take requests and do our best to accommodate.
Best Location for Diving in Roatan
Our ideal location on the leeward (northwest) side of the island protects us from the prevailing southeast winds for the majority of the year. Calm, flat seas tend to be the norm, which lends to idyllic Roatan diving conditions. If the weather patterns do shift to make the south side a more desirable diving location, you’re in luck because we’re one of the few operators to have dock space on both sides of the island. You’ll never miss a dive or experience unfavorable surface conditions during your trip.
Sun Divers Daily Diving Schedule
8:30 a.m. Two-Tank Trips depart earlier than most to make sure we get first dibs on our desired dive sites and ensure you have a proper surface interval/lunch break if you are diving in the afternoon.
2:15 p.m. One-Tank Trips allow you to add a third dive to your day — or to sleep in, sightsee, or check in at work before you go for a little afternoon bubbling.
Night Dives are available any day of the week when we have four or more interested divers.
*If our Two-Tank Morning Trip is fully booked, we’ll open up a Two-Tank Afternoon Trip so that we can accommodate more divers throughout the day.
Marine Conservation in Roatan
At the heart of Sun Divers’s activities stands our guiding value of always being ‘eco-active.’
We are a proud RMP Coral Restoration Center, sponsor of the Roatan Marine Park, and representative on the Board of Directors. We also support the Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA) through pro-bono PADI scuba certifications for their staff members.
Are you interested in diving for good? Become an RMP Coral Ambassador or help the community by contributing to our ROA GIRLS DIVE! Scuba Scholarship fund. Become part of our dive tribe and help us make a positive impact during your visit. Make your Roatan diving experience memorable and impactful.
Roatan Dive Site Map
The Roatan Marine Park Dive Site Map gives you an instant and accessible overview of all of the active mooring lines around Roatan. You can easily access this map of Roatan on your Google Maps app or site. Embarking on your adventure from Sun Divers in Half Moon Bay in West End Roatan, you will reach many incredible dive sites such as the Odyssey Shipwreck, Mandy’s Eel Garden, or Texas within a short boat ride. Most of the best dive sites in Roatan are located right at Sun Divers’s doorstep. The vast amount of Roatan diving opportunities offer the perfect diving experience for every type of diver.
Roatan Dive FAQs
How do you choose the best dive center?
Choosing the right dive center is a crucial decision for any scuba diver. There are several factors to ensure a safe and enjoyable diving experience. The reputation and reviews of a dive center can tell a lot about the quality you will receive. Sun Divers Roatan is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice known for its excellent reputation.. We are committed to maintaining the highest safety standards and ensuring our divers have a memorable experience. Our personalized service and small dive groups, along with top quality Scubapro equipment, boats and facility set us apart from other dive centers.. But it’s our mission to creative good vibes and great dives that give you memories that will last a lifetime. Our team of experienced instructors and captains, take great pride in creating lasting connections among divers. Our priority is to make you feel at home even if it’s your first dive with us.
When is the best time of the year to dive in Roatan?
Roatan diving is a great experience year-round. Our most popular season is the winter and spring, when you can escape the cold to come and enjoy Caribbean sunshine and warm waters. But for the hardcore diver, the best Roatan diving experience is undoubtedly during the summer months. This is when the Caribbean waters around Roatan are at their warmest and clearest. These conditions offer excellent visibility for underwater exploration. The summer season provides the perfect conditions for divers to enjoy the diverse marine life, colorful coral formations, and thrilling underwater adventures. Sun Divers welcomes divers year-round. Our experienced team will make sure that you make the most of your time diving in Roatan.
Find out more about The Best Time to Dive in Roatan
Is night diving dangerous?
Night Diving is not dangerous and can be a thrilling, safe experience with professional guidance and following safety protocols. Diving at night offers an entirely different perspective of the underwater world. At Sun Divers, you can experience Night Diving as an Advanced Open Water Diver or as an Adventure Dive. We understand that many divers may have concerns about night diving, and our team is trained to create a secure and memorable night dive adventure for you. The bioluminescent spectacle in the reefs of Roatan is a mind-blowing experience that we recommend all diversexperience at least once!
Learn out more about Night Diving in Roatan and the bioluminescent spectacle The String of Pearls
Where is the best diving in Roatan?
The best diving in Roatan can be found from West End. While diving around the entire island is fantastic, this area is renowned for its iconic wall dives that offer some of the best visibility and a diverse range of marine life. The walls start as shallow as 20 feet and descend to depths of 100 feet and beyond. This makes diving accessible to divers of all levels. Sun Divers Roatan is conveniently located in the West End, providing easy access to these remarkable dive sites.. Within close proximity to West End you can also reach the Roatan wrecks El Aguila and the Odyssey, as well as popular dive sites along ‘The Point’.
Discover the Top 10 Roatan Dive Sites
Does Roatan have good scuba diving?
Roatan not only has good scuba diving, it has GREAT scuba diving. The island’s location within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system ensures that Roatan is a premier destination for divers. The waters are clear and warm, and the diversity of marine life is simply incredible. Roatan diving is exceptional.
Roatan diving is suited for every type of diver, and dive sites such as Chief’s Quarters or Overheat, are the perfect training sites to advance your diving skills. You can explore jaw-dropping swim-throughs at Blue Channel or Hole in the Wall. Or you may find yourself on a drift dive from Moonlight over Dixies all the way to Vern’s Drop Off. There are an endless amount of dive sites to explore in Roatan. Each of them is a whole new world underwater, with different topography, sea life, and conditions. Besides offering quick access to the dive sites, many dive resorts, hotels, and top-line vacation rentals are located in the West End. So, West End in Roatan is not only the place to be for diving but also for all other activities. Discover some of the best dive sites in the world on your next Roatán diving trip !
Do I need a wetsuit in Roatan?
The need for a wetsuit in Roatan depends on the time of year and your personal preference. Water temperatures can vary, so it’s advisable to check the season and weather conditions before diving. While many divers opt for a wetsuit, especially in the winter months, others may choose a lighter wetsuit or a rash guard during the warmer seasons. Sun Divers Roatan can provide you with recommendations based on the current conditions, ensuring that you have a comfortable and enjoyable dive. And we have full and shorty 3mm wetsuits available to all divers.
Is Roatan or Utila better for diving?
Choosing between Roatan and Utila for diving isn’t easy because both islands offer different experiences. Roatan diving boasts abundant marine life, while Utila diving impresses with its stunning coral. Roatan has more dive site variety because it’s larger, hile Utila focuses on diving professional training centers which create a youthful andenergetic atmosphere. When it comes to nightlife, Utila is known as the “party island” and Roatan is known for its exceptional foodie scene. While Roatan offers a wide range of accommodations, Utila leans toward backpacker-style lodgings.
Consider your priorities and dive into both if you can. If you have to choose, check out our bog post to help you make your travel plans.
Which side of Roatan has the best diving?
The leeward North Side of Roatan has the best diving, because conditions are usually best and dive site options are plentiful. The community of West End is widely recognized as one of the prime locations for diving on the island.. It is famous for its remarkable wall dives, swim throughs and the rich diversity of marine life all within just a few minutes boat rideThese factors make West End an ideal starting point for your diving adventures on the island. West End also happens to be full of good restaurants, hotels, shops and the beautiful Half Moon Bay beach. The town has an indisputable charm and you’ll find yourself welcomed by community, expats and locals alike. Sun Divers Roatan is located in the heart of West End witheasy access to all these amenities and the extraordinary dive sites. When the weather shifts, Sun Divers is also one of the few shops to offer dives on the Southside as well!
Discover what “Southside Days” are like.
What are the best wreck dives in Roatan?
Most divers consider the El Aguila and Odyssey to be the best wreck dives in Roatan. These wrecks are both iconic and unforgettable due to their sheer size and the fact that they sit 100 feet deep in the seas.. These sunken vessels have become artificial reefs and now host an array of fascinating marine life. You can visit these Roatan wrecks with Sun Divers as an Advanced Open Water diver or on a deep adventure dive.