A rapidly developing Marine Park is helping to protect the reef that surrounds the main touristic island of Roatan. Dives can cost as little as 20 USD per tank based on buying a package of 10. Utila always costs a bit less than Roatan in everything and the island has regular power cuts. Utila feels much more backpacker like but doesn't have the beaches or diversity of attractions that Roatan has to offer. The diving is comparable between both but Utila is famed for the largest fish in the ocean the Whale Shark.This is also a cheaper place to get your scuba diving license and one of the cheapest places in the world furthermore the safety standards here are much higher than in places like Vietnam etc where I have heard of some real poor professional stories. I think this is due to Roatan and Utila being close to the United States and more easily controlled verified by PADI.
Diving in Roatan
The diving is often drift diving along the common walls but the diversity of topography allows the visitor to dive canyons such as Canyon Reef, shallow channels like blue channel or weird coloured water - spooky channel, a deep chute called hole in the wall, pinnacles, fingers of coral and there are a few wrecks too like the prince albert !
One of the nice things apart from the price about dives in Roatan is that while not normally close enough for shore diving the boat trips are short 5 mins is typical. Diving started here in the west end but is moving around the island as development continues. In the east for example with Marble Hill Farms and Roatan Reef House offering diving holidays wrapped up in one. One might say the east is like west end used to be.
Check out Roatan Diving to learn more.
Diving in Utila
The diving starts an hour earlier in Utila so the boats leave at 8am with longer boat rides. In whale shark season you might get lucky and spot one but here they don’t use spotters like in Mexico to guarantee a sighting. I find that kind of thing less sporting and harassing to this gentile creature. Here if you do get to see one it will be a real privilege. They do appear from time to time on Roatan too. All the whale shark research happens on Utila. In Utila the diving is not so much walls and swim throughs.