Honduras is a country in Central America. Next to El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua to one side is the Caribbean and to the other in the Pacific ocean. Here's the map.
Lying 33 miles off the coast of Honduras, Roatan is the largest of the Honduras' Bay Islands; the others being Utila, Guanaja and Cayos Cochinos (a couple of small islands and islets). There are plenty of resorts on Roatan; however, there are more diving shops on Utila, 18 miles from the coast of Honduras.
The Bay Islands is home to over 95% of the Caribbean's coral and fish species, so is one of the most diverse areas of the Caribbean. The reef surrounding Roatan and Bay Islands forms part of the Meso American Reef (the second largest barrier reef system in the world) and is home to a rich diversity of both corals and fish life. There are around 90 moored dive sites around the island which only make up about a third of the total number of dive sites. On the west of the island there is now a marine reserve with approximately 40 sites.
On Utila, there are 100 buoyed sites around the island and 2 marine reserves.
This is the only place in the world to record whale sharks in every month of the year. Although the main time is March, April, September and December, it is no longer believed that they are migratory but that they come together for feeding aggregations.
- Hole in the wall - a series of caves and chutes that cut through the reef and exit at various depths.
- West End Wall - one of the best dive sites on Roatan. Most of the time this dive is done as a drift dive over the reef edge. Seahorses cling to the bases of sea rods. Huge barrel sponges and pillar corals as big as a diver and often you can see turtles, eagle rays, tarpon, jacks and barracuda.
- Fish Den - the reef here is a gathering place for many species of fish, including tangs, angelfish, trumpetfish, goatfish, spadefish and sometimes pelagics such as jacks and barracuda.
- The wreck of The Angila (Eagle) lies in about 95ft of water, approximately 10 minutes east of the West End. The hull lies on its starboard side about 100ft from the base of the reef wall. Hurricane Mitch broke the hull into three sections allowing divers to view the interior.
- Other wrecks include the Odyssey and the Prince Albert.
- Black Hills - A sea mound starting at less than 30 foot approx 1 mile from the shore of Utila, it is a site where you can see everything from larger pelagics to nudibranchs, the site normally has schooling Horse Eyed Jacks and Atlantic Spadefish above and around the mound.
- Duppy Waters - the word duppy in Utilean means ghost so the site is really called ghost waters, this is because of the huge wall that just drops away from underneath the boat and they say the shadow of the deep will entice you down!
- Little Bight - An amazing south shore dive, spend your time over the sand looking for sea horses, pipefish, pipe horses, snake eels and a myriad of othe rare species that live at this site, one of the best for the macro lovers.
- The Maze - in the center of Turtle Harbor, you can dive in both directions, it has a nice wall with a sand chute leading to the deep, if you go to the west you will come see Willy’s Hole.
- CJ’s Drop Off - Huge sheer wall that is vertical and just drops away into the abyss, a truly amazing sight, but don’t forget after your turn round point to come back to the top of the reef in 15ft of water and explore the life on top, you will see Turtles, Nurse Sharks and an plethora of small creatures, when diving the wall keep an eye to the blue, you never know what you will see passing.
- Ted's Point - top of the reef is about 15ft from there follow the small coral heads out over the sand and you will find the wreck of the Rojan a small sailboat, keep a look out for eagle rays feeding in the sand, when doing this dive if you swim towards town the small wall is full of gullies and channels for you to explore.
- The Haliburton - A wreck that was sunk in 1998, the bottom is at 100 ft and the top at just over 60ft, look for the resident Green Moray, and there are Beaded Fire Worms all over the wreck, in the san you will find different types of Jaw Fish, the wreck is approx 100ft long
- Pretty Bush Mound - A sea mound off the south shore of Utila where you will see some of the most beautiful untouched coral, and if your dive guide knows where he can show you a barrel sponge that is around 7ft tall.
- Although Spanish is the official language, English is widely spoken on Roatan and Bay Islands (especially in the West End and West Bay communities).
- Hurricane season is June to the end of November.
We are indebted to Steve Fox, owner of Deep Blue Utila for providing information for this page. Thanks Steve!
|Language:||Spanish, Amerindian dialects|
|Climate:||Subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains|
|Natural hazards:||Frequent, but mild, earthquakes; hurricanes and floods on the Caribbean coast|
|Diving season:||Year round|
|Water temperature:||27C/78F (Jan-March)|
|Air temperature:||27C/81F (Jan- March)|
|30C/87F (April - Sept)|