WHY DO WE LOVE DIVING ON ROATAN'S REEF?
Roatan's fringing coral reef system is simply spectacular. Abundant tropical fish and other marine creatures swarm the reef crest which is formed of many different species of hard and soft corals. The wall is sheer in many areas and typically drops off at around 40ft making Roatan's diving ideal for advanced and novice divers.
Roatan's tropical climate means we are blessed with warm water, calm seas and great visibility throughout the majority of the year. Behind Roatan's reef is a crystal clear lagoon which rarely exceeds 15ft in depth and is ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diver training.
Experienced divers will enjoy the dramatic wall diving, deep sunken wrecks and the plentiful underwater caverns and canyons. Whether you are here for a day of scuba diving on a cruise ship, taking a dive vacation in Roatan, or learning to dive by doing one of our PADI courses, we are sure you will enjoy diving on Roatan's reef with us.
DIVING ROATAN WITH REEF GLIDERS
We go diving on Roatan's reef every day at 9am, 11.30am and 2.30pm. Each trip is one tank with a surface interval at our dive center in Roatan's West End. C-Level is an onsite café for refreshments and food between dives. Enjoy diverse marine life that graces these waters, especially unusual, hard to spot creatures. Check out some of our photos of diving in Roatan! The diving here is very varied, on one dive we will visit a wreck, on the next we are drifting along sheer walls or exploring caverns and tunnels. We love diving here and we look forward to showing you what makes scuba diving on the island so special.
The sites we visit are all within a protected reserve and there are over 50 of Roatan's best dive sites within minutes of our dive shop in West End. We make sure you never repeat a site during the week unless you want to that is! We are happy to take requests for particular sites and will accommodate you whenever we can. Let us know what you are interested in so we can take out to do the type of diving you love.
As a PADI STAR DIVE RESORT, Reef Gliders offers unbeatable customer service. On arrival we fit you for complimentary rental gear or put away your personal equipment in our locked storage area. From then on your dive gear will be set up and waiting for you on the boat before dives. We also take care of rinsing everything after diving so all you need to do is relax and enjoy your dive vacation in Roatan. We have lockers available for your personal items and a safe for valuables.
We keep our group sizes small with a maximum of six divers per guide so you will have the space to appreciate the true beauty of Roatan's fascinating underwater environment. On average our dives last around an hour depending on air consumption. We usually have an extra staff member in the water to take divers up to do their safety stop ahead of the rest of the group should they consume air a little faster.
We allocate divers to different groups according to experience. To ensure everyone gets the most out of their experience with us, beginner students will go on a separate boat whenever possible. We ask that all divers take a brief refresher program before hitting the water again after a year or more so that everyone can enjoy a fun stress-free diving experience.
ROATAN'S MARINE LIFE
Up to 95% of the Caribbean's coral and fish species have been observed while diving in Roatan, so it is one of the most diverse areas for marine life in this part of the world. We often see large schools of tropical fish like Blue Tang, Bermuda Chub, and Horse eye Jacks cruising the top of the reef. Several types of Trigger fish, Chromis and Creole Wrasse swarm the drop off and we often spot Hawksbill and Green turtles munching on the abundant sponge life.
The large sandy plateaus offer a great habitat for Southern Sting Rays and Spotted Eagle Rays who like to feed on buried crustaceans.Hiding among the coral formations we might find many species of shrimp, crabs and lobster. as well as Spotted, Golden Tail or Green Moray Eels.
In deeper water we are sometimes lucky enough to see pods of dolphins or Whale Sharks passing by the island during their migration. Our boat captains are usually the first to spot theses magnificent creatures and our staff will be excited to take you out to snorkel with them during your dive trip in Roatan.
All kinds of juvenile fish also find shelter among the hard and soft corals along the reef crest, and here we find odd shaped fish such as the juvenile Spotted Drum, Trumpet fish and some times the extremely well camouflaged Long Snout Sea Horse.
Roatan is a haven for macro life. In the shallow part of the reef especially, there are lots of Blennies, Gobies and Jawfish peeping out of their burrows. The topmost areas of the reef are a good place to look for Nudibranch, with Lettuce Sea Slugs and the tiny Leach Head Shield Slug among the most common.
NIGHT DIVING IN ROATAN
We depart to dive Roatan at night just before the sun sets so we can get geared up in the last of the twilight between five and six in the evening depending on the time of year. We jump in the water to find the reef alive with activity as the nocturnal marine life starts to come out of their hiding places. Night diving in Roatan gives you the chance to see Caribbean octopus hunting, as well as the various crustaceans, molluscs and nudibranch that become more active after the sun goes down.
We experience a unique phenomenon in Roatan, known as the String of Pearls. Hundreds of glowing shrimp can be seen hanging in the water column when we turn off our dive lights for a short time during the dive, providing an amazing phosphorescent light show. At Reef Gliders, night dives are usually scheduled twice a week, so long a we have at least fours divers signed up. If you have never done it before, Roatan is a great place try night diving for the first time as part of our Advanced Diver training program!
DIVING AND CORAL REEF CONSERVATION IN ROATAN
We understand the desire to enjoy diving around Roatan and and get close to the marine life, however, Reef Gliders operates a strict “no touching” policy. Coral reef ecosystem are extremely fragile and easily harmed by divers who are not careful. Coral reefs across the world are suffering from various environmental factors and one one of those factors is careless diver damage. We are passionate about reef conservation here at Reef Gliders and we do our best to minimize the impact that diving has on Roatan's marine environment.
That means going slowly while diving and maintaining good buoyancy control. Marine creatures here are generally unafraid of divers and we want to keep it that way! Anyone seen intentionally holding on to coral or harassing marine life will be politely asked to act in a more responsible manner if they wish to continue diving with us. We ask that photographers are particularly careful when positioning themselves for photos. If you need to get into a difficult position, feel free to ask your dive master to help steady you whilst you take the shot. Reef Gliders supports the Sandy Bay & West End Marine Park organization that has been set up to protect the coral reef system we dive on in Roatan.
They are funded solely via donations and we therefore ask all our divers to contribute a user fee of $3 per day. Or donate $10 per week or $15 per year to this worthy cause and in return you will receive a souvenir bracelet tag or key chain. All funds received help to pay for educational programs for local children, a marine patrol to prevent poaching and dive site moorings to help protect our underwater environment. The Roatan Marine Park also organizes regular training sessions for divers who would like to help control the invasive Lion Fish population. Let us know if you would like to participate during your visit.