Scuba Diver's Guide to Bay Islands
Average water temp 78°F to 82°F depending upon season. What to wear 5 mm wetsuit to 3 wetsuit or shorty. Average viz 70-100 feet depending upon season. When to go year-round, March to June for more whale sharks.
Mary’s Place, Roatán: This unforgettable site is a narrow crevice crowded with whip, black and wire corals, gorgonians and rope sponges.
CoCo View Wall, Roatán: Most divers explore this prolific wall at least once a day — for a week.
Odyssey, Roatán: This 300-foot wreck has nearly 85 feet of relief and sits mostly upright on the bottom. There are plenty of options for penetration.
Whale Sharks, Utila: The biggest fish in the sea gather off Utila from March to April and August to September.
CJ’s Drop-Off, Utila: A sheer wall that drops to nearly 1,000 feet, CJ’s is part of the Turtle Harbor Marine Reserve. Sea turtles pass over a lush reef teeming with life.
Secret Spot: In Utila Town, Treetanic’s bar has decks on multiple levels and is whimsically decorated in tiles, glass and shells.
Local Flavor: Order the tipico for breakfast — eggs, a chunk of white cheese, fried plaintains and ham.
Bring Back: Scoop up a handmade hammock; you’ll find them everywhere.
Where to Next?
Other options for places you can flex those new dive muscles.
1. Costa Rica: Shallow reefs beckon with lots of cool critters, not to mention killer beaches and excellent surfing.
2. Bahamas: There’s great visibility here year-round, along with tons of beginner-friendly wreck dives. It's easy to reach from many U.S. airports too.
3. Grand Cayman: Loads of affordable condos for stretching the budget, and easy diving on sunny reefs and shallow wrecks. Seven Mile Beach is a hot spot for R & R.
4. Bonaire: Shore diving puts you in the driver’s seat — sometimes literally with the island’s dive-and-drive packages. And there’s topside fun, from mountain biking to Blokarting.
5. U.S. Virgin Islands: No passport required, plus rookie- rated reefs, wrecks and piers, and ample natural beauty.