The Bay Islands of Honduras have always been known as one of the world’s most inexpensive places to learn to dive. Don’t think that because it’s cheap, it’s any less amazing.
The Meso-American Barrier Reef System, begins off the Honduran coast, and then continues past Belize to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. It is the second largest barrier reef, and much more accessible than the first largest, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
The Bay Islands can be considered sea-life central. People dive alongside whale sharks, hammerheads, dolphins, manta rays and beautiful vibrant corals, all in abundance. The islands have a very Caribbean feel to them, even though they are considered Latin American. Roatan has indigenous Garifuna tribes, who are of African descent, and English is primarily spoken.
Roatan is the most advanced of the islands, with the best-established hotels, while Utila (where diving is even more inexpensive) is a hit with backpackers. But I must say, the dives I had from Roatan were among the best I’ve ever encountered.
My dives included the Blue Cave, an amazing cavern, and a desert-like coral plateau, which someone ingeniously named “Texas”. There were a good amount of of “swim-throughs”, where you can squeeze through the spaces between neighboring corals (careful now!), and a challenging wall dive, where I drifted along with the current and tried not to get pushed up over the top of the wall.
There were huge schools of blue wrasse and grouper, inquisitive parrot fish, wispy angelfish, a group of three lobsters, a turtle and little rainbow-colored reef fish dashing about. I saw a cowfish (my personal favorite) which fluttered here and there with fins that look like wings, and huge corals, from brain coral to elephant ear.
A fun change was going on a night dive, which on Roatan is as easy as walking into the ocean after sunset. Diving at night can be disorientating, but you get to see a completely different side to the reef. At night there is lots more lobster, shrimp, and sea cucumbers coming out to investigate.
One of the most fun parts was when I saw a gigantic octopus coiled up in a crevice, and watched it change from purple to turquoise in a flash.
Honduras is still cheaper than other Caribbean destinations and if you combine your Roatan trip to one on the mainland, you can see the country’s other key attractions, luscious rainforests and the intriguing Copan Ruins, diving in Honduras can really make for a dive holiday you’ll remember.
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For those of you who prefer our native Spanish Language which is prevalent on the Honduran Mainland; we offer you Honduras en Español. On the Bay Islands of Honduras English is the prevailing language; however you will encounter Spanish speaking Hondurans during many of your activities at the various Honduras Hotels and Resorts and Honduran Restaurants. So this handy Guide to Honduras Slang to ease you in understanding the meaning of many Honduras sayings and can go a long ways during your travels in Honduras. Consider it your homework!
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An easy way to check what is going on in the areas you visit during your travels of our country is to check the Daily Honduras Newspapers for which we have provided you with this handy one stop Honduras Newspapers page to assist in maximizing your Holiday time in Honduras.
The Honduras.com Team.