There are quite a few scuba diving destinations in the world. There is Oahu in Hawaii, there is Bonaire, the Philippines, U.S. Virgin Islands, and of course, there is Roatan, in Honduras. Roatan may not appear as the ideal diving paradise to some people at first, but when you come to know and understand this island, then you too will understand why it’s the number 1 diving spot and best kept secret of many passionate scuba divers.
More About Roatan
Roatan is a Carribean island about 65 Kilometers north of Honduras’ shoreline. It is part of a group of islands named The Bay Islands, and it is the largest among them, being located between Utila and Guanaja. Roatan has a population of about 45,000 inhabitants and covers an area of 83 sq km, with a width of 8 km, and a total coastline of 154 km. Roatan is located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the second largest barrier reef in the world. This has made the island a major destination for scuba diving, eco-tourism and cruise ships.
The Natural Beauty
There is a little bit of competition between Roatan and its neighboring island of Utila. Utila is more of what you would expect a Honduran island to look like, without much of foreign intervention, while Roatan has been transformed into a resort type destination with American and European styled bars and restaurants, resorts and of course, a vibrant nightlife. In addition to all these, Roatan also has better reefs than its neighbor, Utila, which is mostly attractive to backpackers.
Roatan’s coral reefs are simply beautiful. They are abundantly packed with all manner of marine life, from large coral sponges, to vastly colored and dazzling corals, shrimps, trumpetfish, flamingo tongues, nudibranchs, triggerfish, angelfish and many more. In fact, it is no coincidence that Roatan is the dedicated scuba diver’s best kept secret. The real beauty of Roatan is buried below the clear blue Caribbean waters surrounding it, waiting to be discovered and adored by those in the know.
The Top 5 Diving Resorts in Roatan
There are many diving resorts in Roatan , and even in the surrounding islands. Each of the Roatan resorts are different in their own ways, although they all share two things in common: Holiday resort & scuba diving. This mix of a holiday resort with scuba diving facilities and packages from the resorts scattered across Roatan, make it the great diving destination that it is. Following is a list of the top diving resorts in Roatan. Since we human beings are all a little different, some people may prefer one resort over the other.
1. Coco View
Coco View Resort is arguably the most popular of the top diving resorts in Roatan. Its packages currently start from about $1,414 for a 7 night stay in high season, while it is about $200 cheaper in off season. You can also book for 14 nights at $2,728 or $2,928 for an over-water suite. Coco View Resort’s prices are all inclusive, and this means three full meals daily, unlimited beach diving, 2 boat dive trips daily with up to four tanks, all for free. You will also be picked up from the airport and receive a welcome cocktail, plus you get to use the WiFi and kayaks for free. Finally, the prices are the same, whether you dive, or not.
2. Anthony’s Key Resort
Anthony’s Key Resort is another wonderful Roatan diving resort. It has been family-run for over 45 years and offers everything from snorkeling, kayaking, diving, PADI training courses, horseback riding, canopy tours and a spa and swimming pool. In simple terms, Anthony’s Key Resort is a paradise, in a paradise. Rates start at $1,419 for a 7 day package. If you have more cash to spare, there is the Key Standard for $1,769 and the Key Deluxe package for $2,049. The packages include 3 full American meals daily, 3 boat dives per day, and 2 night dives in a week. It also includes kayaking, airport transfers, and a day excursion to Maya Key. Anthony’s Key Resort is currently running a 2 for 1 Promo through 2016 and 2017, so two visitors stay for the price of one.
3. Reef House Resort
The Reef House Resort is another family owned resort, but it is much smaller and more diving oriented than the previous two. The Reef House Resort is not even on the west-end of Roatan, which is the more visited, and vibrant section of the island. It stands rather on a marvelously beautiful and healthy coral reef of its own, and has been offering divers breathtaking coral views since the 1960s. Prices start from $1,375 for 7 nights per single, or down to $1,125 per person for a triple. There is also a $2,500 package for two persons, for a 1 week package, with a full PADI open water certification. Package of course includes unlimited shore diving, 3 boat dives daily, and one night dive in a week.
4. Bananarama Resort
The Bananarama Resort has one thing going for it, and that is location. The Bananarama Resort is located on the West Bay beach, amidst lush gardens. The organization here is quite different from the other three resorts, but breakfast is free. There are four restaurants: Captain’s corner for fish, Pizzarama, The Thirsty Tutrtle for grill and drinks, and the Vintage Pearl Restaurant. The nights are always active too, with live bands, fire dancing e.t.c. There are also snorkel tours, deep sea fishing tours, dolphin programs and fly boarding. Daily diving tours start at $130 per person, and all return guests get an automatic 20% discount on their next visit.
5. Infinity Bay
Infinity Bay Resort is an upscale resort in Roatan, that is as modern as it is eco-friendly. The resort consists of a total of 145 condos which were completed in 2009. There is a bar and a restaurant on-site, with room service, spa service, daily house-keeping and a concierge desk. The actual owners of the condos rent them out through the resort management, when they are not around. The resort offers romance packages, honeymoon packages, as well as dive packages. The dive package starts from $964, and goes up to $2,500 in high season. The package is per person and includes a 7 night stay, 10 boat dives, as well as unlimited shore dives, shuttle service, kayak use, free wifi, and free breakfast. One drawback to this package is that equipment is not included, and will have to be rented extra.
Have Fun The island of Roatan in Honduras is no doubt the number one destination for dedicated divers in the Caribbean. The coral reef and its marine life is amazing and easily accessible, but there is simply no best hotel on the island. This is because although the top diving resorts in Roatan all offer entertainment and diving opportunities, each resort still remains different in its own right.
Some people may prefer the fun atmosphere of the Bananarama Resort, while others may find the family experience of Anthony’s Key Resort more heartwarming. Still the more devoted diver may opt for the Reef House Resort.
Whichever the resort that suits you, don’t forget to have fun.