Scuba Divers are coming from all over the world to experience this rustic, unspoiled, breath taking coral reef island. Roatan Island is situated along The Great Western Barrier Reef off the coast of Honduras, which is the second largest reef in the world. The crystal clear waters of Roatan are particularly rich with diverse species in the Caribbean in terms of both coral and fish life.
The diving experience is unmatched anywhere in the world.Why?Roatan is still relatively unknown and has retained its natural, unspoiled look.The Caribbean water is emerald green and perfectly clear with a 150 ft visibility range.The coral formations, caves, magnificent walls, intricate labyrinths, and incredible diversity of marine life simply astounds the most experienced of divers.
Sandy Bay - West EndMarine Park
Photo by: Jackson Photography
A Marine Park has been established to maintain the pristine condition of the delicate ecosystem of the reef. Most of the dive shops in Roatan have agreed to offer the Open Water Course for nothing less than $200. This was implemented to give the dive shops and dive masters the time and resources to protect the fragile reef, as well as maintain high safety standards for Roatan diving. These efforts have been established to deter any possible future decline of the reef ecosystem.
The Roatan Marine Park is located in West End Village. One of the primary reasons it was formed was to minimize poaching within the reserve. Organized by businesses and individuals concerned about the reef, patrol boats were initiated to coordinate with the police to catch poachers. The effort has more than encouraged the further development of the Park. In just two years there has been a significant increase in conchs, turtles, and "aquarium fish" on the reef. When YOU visit Roatan, GET INVOLVED in this wonderful effort.
The purchase of a $5.00 dive wrist tag is required by the dive shops when joining their programs and boats for your diving pleasure! These tags make excellent key rings for when you leave the island. T-shirts and other gifts are also available at the Marine Park Office with 100% of the proceeds going toward the and maintenance of the reef system.
Roatan Scuba Diving Shops
Dive shops that offer cheap courses are people who care the least about the environment and your PERSONALSAFETY according to the PADI certification board.There is not one dive shop that will take you diving without you proving the existence of a PADI certification.Beginner Open Water Courses are offered from $200 - $250 at most reputable Dive Shops.This course involves watching DVD’s, classroom study and quizzes, 2 hours in shallow water, and 4 boat dives.It usually takes 3 – 4 days to complete.Refresher courses are also offered for those that have not been diving for 6 months or more.This can be completed in a day for $50.
PADI Scuba Dive Shops
Dive Packages and Specialty Dive Packages are numerous on the island and may include 2 - 4 dives ranging between $125 - $200. Examples of Specialty Dives are: Wreck Diving, Reef Shark Diving, Dolphin Diving, Deep Water Diving, Night Dives, Naturalists Dives (for species hunters), Nitrox Dives, Wall Dives, Cave Diving, and much much more!
Most single dives run around $25 including the boat run.
Sometimes additional dives are offered for $15 for anyone who wants to go. Packages of 2-10 dives run around $20 a dive. The more you dive with one Dive Shop or Dive Master the less expensive each dive becomes.
¿ Which Dive Shop ?
Finally , but MOSTIMPORTANTLYis knowing how to pick the Dive Shop that has the highest safety standards!Listed are the essential questions you need to ask to maintain the minimal safety standards.
Do you carry oxygen on the boat? Don't just take their word for it, you should see it with your own two eyes.
Do you carry a VHF radio - and no a cell phone is NOT nearly as good?.
Does the boat remain at the dive site after dropping off divers?
Do you have the boat manned by a captain at ALL times (DMS or instructors can't do both jobs at the same time!)?
Do you have your air analyzed (The analysis certificate should be dated within the last three months)?
Are your tanks all in hydro?
How long has my instructor been an instructor?
How long has the Dive master/Instructor been on the island (local knowledge makes all the difference to your dive experience)?
Experience in your dive instructor counts for A LOT. When shopping around find out how long YOUR instructor has been TEACHING not just DIVING. Also find out how much of that time they have been in Roatan... local knowledge of the reef also helps them help you.
For further information on How To Choose A Dive Shop and some reviews on local Dive Shops, you are invited by Will, a Dive Master, to enjoy his web site at www.BayIslandsDiver.com
Roatan.ws would like to thank all the Dive Shops and Individuals who have contributed to the creation of this article and especially the safety of diving and conservation of the Roatan Reef System!
"Diving in Roatan - The worlds fastest growing dive destination."
Roatan "Experience Paradise at Glacier Speed" Roatan Island Honduras