DRIFT ALONG ROATAN'S WALL DIVE SITES
The entire island is surrounded by a fringing coral reef wall, which slopes down from 20ft in some areas and drops off vertically into the abyss in others. The majority of Roatan's wall dive sites are ideal for novice and experienced divers alike. You have the choice whether to cruise the reef edge and enjoy flying along the steep drop-off, or to get in close to try to spot the many different marine creatures which cling to the crevices in between the corals.
Texas, Pablo's Place and West End Wall
The western point of the island is one of the best diving locations in Roatan.These dive sites are perfect for drifting, and they make an excellent choice for Specialty Diving courses. The opposing currents which converge at the tip of the island attract larger predatory fish in droves and you can often see jacks, grouper and barracuda hunting in the strong currents that sweep along the wall. There are spectacular barrel sponges and pillar corals as big as a diver all over this part of the reef, some which are over two thousand years old!
Lighthouse, Dixies and Half Moon Bay Wall
A two minute boat ride from Reef Gliders dive center in Roatan's West End, this beautiful stretch of reef wall has some lovely colorful corals. The reef wall drops off between 20ft and 40ft. Gorgonians sway in the gentle currents surrounded by schooling Wrasse, Chromis and Chub. We often spot Porcupine puffer fish in the shallows and the sandy area behind the reef edge is great for finding macro life. Hawksbill and Green Turtles love this part of the reef because of the many sponges that line the reef edge, providing a tasty snack.
ROATAN'S BEST DIVE SITES FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
All the photos of diving in Roatan that you see on our website were taken nearby, Roatan offers great opportunities for getting the perfect shot underwater, with a shallow top reef, great visibility and plenty of unusual marine life. These dive sites are what diving in Roatan is all about! Sun shining over the large sandy plateaus from 40ft to 60ft gives great lighting for photographers.
Seaquest, Butchers Bank and Mandy's Eel Garden
At these beautiful dive sites off Roatan, many small creatures make their burrows in the rubble, including Yellow Head Jawfish and the Garden Eels for which Mandy's is named. Pipefish and Pipe horses can sometimes be seen clinging to plant life nearer the reef crest and juvenile Trunkfish and Spotted Drum are a favorite find among the coral heads, as well as many species of Blenny. The deeper sandy slopes down to 130ft are a feeding ground for Southern Sting Rays and Spotted Eagle Rays who like to eat creatures buried in the sand.
Cara a Cara Shark Dive
If you dream of getting up close and personal with sharks then this is the dive site in Roatan for you. You are taken out on boat 1 mile from shore to an underwater rocky outcrop. Here you will watch as the Caribbean Reef Sharks are fed at their own private dining table and depending on the conditions and the behavior of the sharks, you may even be able to swim around among them. Usually there are between 15-20 individuals, some up to 10ft long! If you're lucky you may even find a souvenir tooth in the sand!
SWIM-THROUGHS AND CAVERNS IN ROATAN
There are lots of tunnels, caves and caverns to swim through while you are diving in Roatan. To the north of our dive shop in West End you will find several of Roatan's dive sites with numerous canyons which run from the shallows down to the reef edge. At certain times of the year, they are often filled with clouds of silver sides and other small bait fish seeking shelter from the larger fish out on the reef.
Hole in the Wall
Hole in the wall is a series of caves and chutes. Advanced divers can drop all the way down the chutes to 130ft where you exit through a hole into the blue! Back near the surface at about 25ft, we swim through a maze of canyons until we enter a large cave. There is a small crack in the roof of the cave which, at the right time of day, allows a beam of light to strike a bait ball of glassy sweepers, which are often found hiding in the cave.
Blue channel is a shallow dive just off the shore from the West End. The channel runs parallel to the shore and is approximately 30ft deep. There is a great diversity of reef life at this site. However, the highlight for many is the series of tunnels and cracks in the reef which run almost the length of the channel.
Bear's Den gets its name from a large underwater cave and tunnel. There are a variety of black corals to be found in deeper water and sea whips and giant sponges cover the site. As you head down from the reef crest you will notice the tunnel entrance. About 100ft long, the tunnel opens onto the drop-off in about 90ft of water. The cave is a few minutes east of the mooring at about 40ft and is large enough to accommodate several divers.
ROATAN'S DEEP WRECK DIVE SITES
There are several interesting wrecks to dive on in Roatan, making the island a great place to do your Wreck Diving Specialty course. As they have all been underwater for sometime, Roatan' s wrecks are encrusted with coral, providing a haven for all kinds of aquatic life.
El Aguila Wreck
The wreck of the Aguila (Eagle) lies in about 110ft of water, approximately 10 minutes east of West End. We often do Deep Diver and Advanced training courses here. The hull lies on its starboard side about 100ft from the base of the reef wall. Prior to Hurricane Mitch the wreck was a good dive, though the hull was fairly intact so seeing to the inside of the wreck was difficult. During the big storm, the hull broke into three sections so now divers can view the interior.
El Aguila is now covered in coral and home to a variety of marine life. Adjacent to the 200ft cargo ship there is a picturesque stretch of wall to finish off the dive among schooling tropical fish. Look out for the moray eel, which sometimes follows divers around the stern of the wreck. Lots of large Grouper can also be found hunting in the shallows at this dive site.
The Odyssey Wreck
Odyssey is a 300ft freighter that was sunk in November 2002. Although there is little growth on the vessel itself, many species of Grouper and Snapper call it home. The ship is basically intact, although one of the cargo holds supports dislodged during sinking. The superstructure is intact and can be penetrated by divers with appropriate training. It sits about 110 feet to the sand and swimming up and through the stairwells is a lot of fun. There is a table and attached stools that makes a neat photo. The top of the structure is at 40 feet with the reef wall a three minute swim away.