Steps Away From An Underwater Wonderland — Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
Roatan’s reef system is a lure for divers from all over the globe searching for natural adventure and pristine waters. And it’s no wonder. It’s the world’s second-largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, and it just happens to be our backyard. Also, Roatan’s warmer water and gentle currents make for excellent year-round visibility.
From vibrant coral, massive sponges, and peaceful eel gardens to schools of tropical fish, fleets of eagle rays, and sea turtles — marine life here is abundant and mesmerizing. There are approximately 35 dive sites located from West Bay in the south to Man of War Cay, and Anthony’s Key is ideally situated in the middle.
The island’s reefs and drop-offs are teeming with colorful marine life and are ideally suited for novices and experts alike. Surrounded by the longest barrier reef in the hemisphere, Roatan’s diving sites offer everything from hard-core wrecks and deep fissures to peaceful eel gardens and shallow terraces where countless macro photo opportunities abound.
Coral grows thickly on walls that begin in crystalline waters as shallow as 20 feet below the surface and drop to the purple depths of the Caribbean. Squadrons of eagle ray, schools of brightly colored tropical fish, and the occasional meandering shark are just a few sites that delight divers.
Several large wrecks submerged near the resort await exploration. With water temperatures averaging 80 degrees or warmer, gentle currents, and visibility ranging from 50 to 100 feet, Roatan is a favorite among visitors who prefer their diving colorful, thrilling, and unswerving.
AKR’s Daily Dive Schedule
- 8:30 am – Depart for first single-tank dive
- 10:30 am – Depart for second single-tank dive
- 2:30 pm – Depart for third single-tank dive
All boats return to the dock for a 45-minute surface interval, giving you the flexibility of missing an early or late morning dive if you desire.
Weekly Night Dives
The reef takes on a new look as the nocturnal creatures become more active, and guests are often treated to views of octopus, unfolding basket stars, spiny lobster, and more! Just before sunset, AKR’s dive fleet departs for twice-weekly night boat dives (Tuesdays and Thursdays). The two night-dives are scheduled to accommodate mid-week check-ins. Night dives are typically moored dives.
Flashlights are available for rent at Photo Roatan to enhance your night vision.
If three boat dives daily and two scheduled weekly night boat dives don’t quench your dive thirst, then our shore dive site will! The dive shack on Anthony’s Key is staffed and equipped with air tanks for easy beach access to “Front Porch” reef, a vital area of the reef ecosystem.
Among the varied seascape, you may observe eel, grouper, and octopus as they descend to depths of 40 feet or more and schools of blue tangs, parrotfish, angelfish, damselfish, sea fans, star coral, and brain coral. In addition, a small plane wreck in the lagoon at 30 feet is an excellent training tool for students and novice divers.
Available Monday thru Saturday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
“El Aguila” or “The Eagle” ran cargo between Puerto Cortes, Honduras, and San Andres Island. This freighter originally sank in 1989 around the Utila Keys, Bay Islands, Honduras. It was then salvaged and brought to Roatan by Anthony’s Key Resort in 1997 and sank in 100′ of water for an incredible Bay Islands dive highlight.
- Type: 230 ft. double deck cargo vessel
- Depth: 100 to 110 feet
- Sunk in: 1997
- Skill: Intermediate to advance
- Location: Northwest shore of Roatan, a two-minute boat ride from AKR.
Dive enthusiasts hailed the sinking of the 300-foot Odyssey off the north coast of Roatan as one of the Caribbean’s most significant shipwrecks. The wreck adds more scuba diving opportunities to the island because to fully view the multi-level ship, which measures 85 feet from keel to mast and 300 feet from bow to stern, would take a few dives. From AKR, a 12-minute boat ride east finds the Odyssey resting on a sandy flat. Divers may follow the top of the mast at 40 feet and descend to the top of the bow at 70 feet. Then explore the bulwarks or cargo hole level at 80 feet, the bow at 107 feet, and the stern at 120 feet.
“The enormity of the Odyssey is overwhelming,” says Samir Galindo, General Manager of AKR. “There is ample opportunity to return again and again to the ship and still not see it all. Better still, up to three Roatan dive boats can dive the site simultaneously without divers ever getting in each other’s path.” In addition, the ship’s size allows divers of different levels to explore the wreck safely.
- Type: 300ft. multi-level ship
- Depth: 112 feet
- Max Depth: 120 feet
- Min Depth: 40 feet
- Sunk in: 2002
- Skill: Wreck diver certification recommended
- Location: North coast of Roatan, a 12-minute boat ride from AKR.
Dive With Caribbean Reef Sharks in Roatan
Dive with sharks on a beautiful site on Roatan’s south side in about 70-80 feet of water. You can expect to see anywhere from 8-12 Caribbean Reef Sharks at one time. This dive is a relaxed observational dive and not a typical frenzy seen on shark dives in other areas of the world.
Shark dives are scheduled weekly, and each requires a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 15 divers. If you are staying at Anthony’s Key Resort and are interested in signing up, please stop by the dive shop.