Updated: May 26
Roatan Honduras is a place where I never thought I would travel, especially not to scuba dive. An opportunity for a dive trip arose with my diving group. I looked it up on the map and saw that it was this tiny island off the coast of Central America. There was only one flight in a week, when we were going, so the plane tickets were a little pricy.
Traveling To Roatan
It was reasonably easy to travel to Roatan. I took a connecting flight straight from Atlanta, GA, to Roatan. There weren't any special visas or precautions necessary for entry. There was a recommended Yellow Fever Vaccine, so I did get that before arriving. That vaccine set me back about $115.00
Let it be known there is a robust military presence on the island. To the extent that you will be lying on the beach and men in full military clothing with AK47s will walk past you, which was not something I was expecting. This was a place where you get to your resort and don't leave. I am not sure if I felt more scared their presence or of what they were protecting me from. Either way, I didn't experience anything crazy while I was there.
We all stayed at the Mayan Princess dive resort. This was my first experience staying at a dive resort, and I loved it. We had little outdoor storage for our scuba gear, the boats were off of the beach in front of the resort, and they came fully stocked with anything you needed to rent for your dive. I also selected the package to have my stay be all-inclusive. I had one roommate in a double room, which made my trip a little bit cheaper. We also had the option to have a single to ourselves but I didn't think it was worth the upcharge.
The resort included a buffet style breakfast, which is my favorite. You could pick out what you wanted and have it. It was pretty Americanized, but that's okay. I loved that they had someone making specialty coffees, and could make you a latte if you asked.
Lunches were also buffet-style, and I remember them being exactly what I needed to hit the spot after the morning dives.
We had sit-down meals for dinner which I believe my diving group reserved. One night we got the chance to go outside of the resort, to the local town, which gave us the chance to experience more authentic cuisine which I really enjoyed.
The drinks at this resort were top-notch. They had one called the Victoria's Secret, which was a spritzer, and I fell in love with them. Check out my copycat recipe here.
The diving was incredible! We did two-morning dives and two afternoon dives a day. We also had the chance for a night dive and a shark dive.
Roatan is a beautiful place to go diving. There were so many sea turtles swimming along as long as massive groupers. One of the divers started petting a grouper under the chin, and it rolled into him like a puppy. They are gentle giants unless fighting over a meal against a shark. There were a few lion fish that our divemaster would kill. The second the band of the speargun snapped, you could bet on sharks and groupers circling hoping for a snack.
Night driving was the most unique diving experience I have had. To jump off a boat at night with an underwater flashlight is exhilarating. I remember being so scared I would lose my dive buddy, that we held hands. You could only see where your flashlight and the other dive lights were shining. The aquatic life that comes out at night in the ocean is absolutely beautiful to see. At one point, we all rested on the bottom and turned off all of our lights to see the bioluminescence. It was like snowflakes of lights which was an experience I will never forget.
I found myself seventy-five feet underwater, kneeling in the sand, with dozens of sharks inches away from me. Would you do it? I was so nervous and so excited to take part in this dive. The divemaster had the huge five-gallon buckets of chum. The shark frenzy of breaking into the buckets was something I had never seen. It was an adrenaline rush having the fins whip around and seeing the sharks with their teeth out. I was amazed. They are such beautiful creatures.
If you are looking for your next diving location, you should definitely check out Roatan.