Exploring an Underwater World: A Beginner’s Guide

PADI Dive Shops in Roatan, Honduras

Scuba diving is one of the only ways to enter another world—an underwater world!

And there’s no better place to try diving for the first time than in Roatan, Honduras! The reefs are close and there’s no shortage of PADI (Professional Associations of Diving Instructors) dive shops.

All That Roatan Diving Has to Offer

Experienced divers continue to come back to Roatan for the small crowds, warmer water, and the gentle currents that make for great year-round visibility.

Roatan as a tourist destination is popular among cruise lines and budget travelers. Despite that, it is still one of the least-crowded dive destinations in the Caribbean. Peak tourist season is from December to March, but with water temperature averaging 80 degrees throughout the year, Roatan a perfect place to visit all year round.

Coral Reefs

Roatan’s reef system is a lure for divers from all over the world!  And it’s no wonder, as it is home to the second-largest coral reef in the world — the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Being the longest barrier reef in the hemisphere, Roatan’s dive sites offer everything from hard-core wrecks and deep fissures to peaceful eel gardens and shallow terraces where countless macro photo opportunities abound.

Wreck Diving

The Caribbean has been one of the most explored stretches of the ocean for the past century. Because of the number of ships that have sailed the Caribbean throughout the years, and the frequency of storms and pirates that could bring them down, there’s an almost endless number of shipwrecks for divers to explore.

Shipwrecks are a popular diving excursion because they form their coral reefs and become the home of different marine animals. Also, there’s a certain eerie experience in exploring a ship underwater.

There are two wrecks dived regularly in Roatan: the El Aguila and the Odyssey.

A hurricane shipwrecked The El Aguila in 1997. This shipwreck is a popular dive because it’s relatively close to shore and easy to access.

The Odyssey is a very large freight ship reef after it was no longer in commission. The Odyssey is one of the largest shipwrecks in the Caribbean and is a perfect place to view wildlife underwater.

Wreck diving is more advanced than reef diving, so it’s important to be certified for wreck diving beforehand.  PADI offers a wreck diving certification, which is highly recommended for anyone who wants to experience diving an underwater wreck.

Marine Life

Coral grows thickly on walls that begin as shallow as 20 feet below the surface and drops into purple depths of the Caribbean. You can find every kind of coral among these reefs. Some of those include flowering coral, pillar corals, and staghorn coral.

You’ll also find many kinds of fish on the reefs of Roatan. You may see parrotfish, grouper, squadrons of eagle ray, schools of brightly colored tropical fish, and the occasional meandering shark are just a few of the different species you will encounter.

While diving, you may also see whale sharks or wild marine mammals.  You can also purchase a shark diving tour from different shops and resorts.

Why get Scuba Certified with PADI?

Without training or experience, you can be severely injured while diving. However, with training from PADI and other dive certification agencies affiliated with Roatan dive shops, there’s no need to be overly concerned with your safety.

PADI is one of the most recognized dive organization in the world. It is sought after by non-divers and the most experienced divers. If you use an associated dive shop, you’ll dive with the assurance that the diving staff is well-versed in regulation and safety.

Also, dive shops associated with PADI receive training on how to decrease the human impact on the underwater environment that divers enjoy so much. This is especially important to know in Roatan where the second-largest coral reef resides.

Diving For the First Time

For those of you looking to get a head start on your certification, PADI offers a great way to complete the theory portion before you travel with PADI eLearning. Once you’ve completed the online theory, then all you’ll need to complete your certification are the real-life dives. Anthony’s Key Resort in Roatan is the perfect place to complete your certification with our eLearning Water Work.

Of course, if you prefer a more hands-on approach to learning, you can begin and complete your diving certification in Roatan at Anthony’s Key Resort, where you’ll receive personal instruction and dive trips all in one place. Then, you’ll be able to experience all that Roatan’s oceans have to offer.

How to Prepare For Your First Dive

Scuba certification is a step-by-step process. Before you enter the depths of the open ocean, instructors will have you begin in a pool or shallow water where you can stand and get the feel for all the equipment and get comfortable using it.

When getting ready for your first dive, your instructor will help prepare you in a lot of ways, but some factors may catch you off guard. For example, wearing a mask changes your vision. Breathing through a regulator is different than breathing normally. The scuba equipment is louder in your head than you might think.

Scuba diving takes a bit of getting used to. Breathing underwater isn’t a natural thing for us to do! However, with time and practice, and professional supervision, you’ll soon be

Dive Shops in Roatan

There are a handful of PADI certified dive shops on Roatan island. Just like any other industry, there are pros and cons to each option. Most of these dive shops are within proximity to each other and offer a variety of equipment rentals and boat trip options. You can expect to spend 13 dollars a trip to 150 dollars a trip, depending on what equipment you need to rent and the extent of the dive tour.

Dive Shop vs. Dive Resort

Roatan is one of the most affordable diving destinations, but rental equipment, food and lodging, and transportation can add up in cost if you’re not careful. Planning your diving trips on your own can be daunting and exhausting. Paying for each dive trip can be limiting, and you might not get the amount of dive time that you would like.

Because of the limitations, many avid divers choose to stay at a resort dedicated to divers. Resorts offer the same PADI diving as dive shops but provide a one-stop-shop for lodging, food, equipment, and transportation.

Also, you can purchase dive packages that include everything you’ll need for your vacation. Resorts offer upfront costs for all you need to enjoy a trip without surprising expenses. What’s great about a dive resort as well is that you don’t have to worry about planning your travel from hotel to dive shop to finding food. Everything is done-for-you-easy and all in one place!

Anthony’s Key Resort Dive Packages

If you choose to stay at a resort in Roatan, Anthony’s Key caters to divers of every experience level. Anthony’s Key Resort is a PADI 5-Star Career Development Center and ranked as one of the world’s top dive resorts for the last 50 years.

Our 7-Night All-Inclusive Dive Package is the most popular option for people seeking to get the most diving while in Roatan. This package includes three boat dives per day, two-night dives per week, and shore diving. This package also includes all your meals, airport transfers, and resort activities.

If you want to get the most out of your visit to Roatan, this package is almost more than you need!

For visitors who don’t want an entire week of diving, there is a daily package. This day package includes three boat dives, your stay at the resort for the night, and three meals.

Plan Your Trip

Roatan is one of the most beautiful and accessible places for an unforgettable dive experience. If you’re planning a diving trip, there’s no better dive shop or resort than Anthony’s Key Resort.

There are over 35 different dive sites, from West Bay in the south to Man of War Cay, and Anthony’s Key is ideally situated in the middle. Most dive sites can be accessed in just 5 to 30 minutes, which ensures you can maximize your diving time in Roatan.  Our dive boat fleet is unrivaled in the Caribbean region and provides comfort, safety, and convenience for all our diving guests.

If you’d like to learn more about our dive packages, check out our current package promotions and contact us if you have any questions or if you’d like to book your island getaway!

Want to learn more about Roatan?

Access our complimentary Vacation Guide and get all of our hand-picked recommendations on where to eat and what to do during your visit to the island.