Though Mexico and Central America are not normally considered
part of the Caribbean, their eastern coastlines border the
Caribbean Sea. And, considering this area offers some fantastic
underwater adventures, it has to be included in any discussion
of Caribbean diving.
At the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula lies the fabled
vacation area known as the Mayan Riviera. Encompassing the
mainland resort town of Cancun, this area offers some spectacular
diving off Isla Contoy, Isla Mujeres and larger Cozumel.
Farther down the coast, near the border with Belize, lie
the famed Chinchorro Banks. Although not that well known,
there is some good diving just offshore Cancun, where colorful
reef fish congregate over small walls in the Bahia de Mujeres.
Not far from Cancun, both Isla Contoy, and Isla Mujeres
have their own specialties. Brain corals are common off
Contoy and Mujeres is known for its caves, which often harbor
sleeping Nurse Sharks. Cozumel is a divers’ Eden, with most
of the experiences being drift dives of one sort or another.
These same currents are the reason marine life abounds here.
The multitude of individual dive sites offer everything
from large fish, such as Barracuda, jacks and sharks, to
expanses of coral formations, to sheltered lagoons, to wrecks,
to steep drop-offs. Numerous dive sites follow the Caribbean
coast of the Yucatan, and there is freshwater diving at
inland cenotes. However, some of the best, and most often
overlooked, diving is at the coral atoll of Chinchorro Banks.
Here there are fantastic sites both on the outside and inside
of the barrier reef. In addition to magnificent sponges,
corals and reef fish, encounters with open ocean species,
including sea turtles and dolphins, are common.
Bordering the Mexican Yucatan is the small country of Belize,
and there is magnificent diving off its shores at the famed
locales of Ambergris Caye, the Turneffe Islands, Lighthouse
Reef and Glover’s Reef. The myriad dive sites off Ambergris
Caye feature fantastic coral formations, swim-throughs,
tunnels and caverns, heavy concentrations of invertebrates
and tropicals and encounters with sharks and rays. Hol Chan
Marine Reserve protects the area off the southern tip of
Ambergris. The Turneffe Islands are a coral atoll with hundreds
of mangrove-covered islets. These support massive concentrations
of marine life of all types. Farther out from Turneffe,
Lighthouse Reef has its own fantastic marine ecosystem,
with the added feature of a huge blue hole. Glover’s Reef
atoll offers one of the greatest varieties of reef species
found anywhere in the Caribbean, and a marine reserve ensures
things will stay that way.
BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS
The giant barrier reef system that begins off the tip of
the Yucatan reaches its southern end in the Bay of Honduras.
The incredible diving in this area is located around the
Bay Islands of Utila, Roatan, Barbareta, Guanaja and the
Cayos Cochinos. Utila diving is truly virgin, with reefs
featuring coral formations and gardens. Elkhorn and Black
Corals are a highlight. Whale Sharks are often encountered
here. Roatan is the largest and most famous of the Bay Islands.
Along both coasts, sharply defined terrain is emphasized,
with fissures, drops, ledges and overhangs. There are wrecks
and impressive marine creatures of all kinds. Barbareta
highlights include wall diving, with a dramatic scarp suddenly
plunging to nearly unfathomable depths. In the sport diving
zone, there are Black Corals, towers, multitudes of reef
fish and pelagics. Guanaja also has its impressive drop-offs,
but has shallower reefs inshore as well. There are cave
and tunnel formations and several notable wrecks. The Cayos
Cochinos offer pristine fringing reefs and deeper sites
that have only recently become known to divers. As with
the other prime offshore sites in the Central American area,
the Bay Islands are visited by dedicated live-aboard dive
CoCo View Resort, Roatan Imagine spectacular barrier
reef wall diving so accessible you can snorkel
to it from your front door! That’s CoCo View,
Roatan’s award winning dedicated dive resort.
Unlimited diving, all meals, 50 ft dive boats
and a PADI 5 Star dive shop on site. Beach house
rentals also available.
Fantasy Island, Roatan A brilliant
white sand beach, room service, TV, and all the
amenities of a first class beach resort just might
fool you into thinking you got dropped off in
the Mediterranean. But this is Roatan, with all
the charm and incredible scuba diving the island
is famous for.
Posada del Sol, Guanaja Imagine
that remote millionaire’s retreat, a Spanish Villa
where service is grand, the cuisine grander, and
the masseuse just massaged the sun out of the
sky and into the sea. Guanaja’s finest resort
offers swimming pool, tennis courts, light tackle
fishing, and fantastic Bay Island diving.
Lodge, Utila The little lodge with
big diving, Utila Lodge is the Caribbean’s only
SRI sanctioned whale shark research field station.
The best boat diving in Honduras includes everything
from sea mounts with sheer walls to delicate bluebell
tunicates. Join a whale shark research project.
CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE
Free Bay Island Resorts video.
Roatan Charter Your Specialist in Honduras Travel
800-282-8932 ext 301
PO Box 877 San Antonio, FL 33576
CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE
on the Sunbreeze Hotel, offers best in diving.
PADI Resort Facility equipped with 43' boats
departing daily to Blue Hole, Turneffe Atoll
and 4 local dives. Special dive packages available
Call now 800-641-2994
Reef Club Belize
within 300 yards of the famous dive and snorkel
haven known as Mexico Rocks, this
fabulous Belize beach resort highlights world-class
reef scuba diving and fishing activities.
Avalon Reef Club is the essence of sun, surf,
sport, and spacious white sand. Toll free
See why the Flamingo Dive Resort is becoming the
island’s most popular spot for divers in the know!
Recently renovated, its features include large
AC rooms, cable TV, ocean view sun deck, new cyber
cafe, diving with BLUE BUBBLE DIVERS, fast boats,
small groups. Skin Diver Reader Special: book
a 5-night/3-day package and get a free dive knife!
Families, divers, non-divers love our 45-acre
paradise in the Marine Reserve. Small, informal,
guest-focused resort operates its own restaurant
and dive operation. Package includes A/C rooms,
3 boat dives daily, 1 night dive, 3 meals daily,
airport transfers, Historic Village, Natural Aquarium
Buoyed Snorkel Trail, and more.
CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE
Blackbird Caye Resort
Enjoy all that Belize has to offer--Reefs, Ruins
and Rainforests. Dive and Snorkel the second largest
barrier reef in the world! Explore ancient Maya
ruins! Horseback ride through tropical rainforests.
Check out Blackbird Caye’s new Dolphin & Marine
Field Station operated by the Oceanic Society!
Call now 888-271-3483
Cozumel Island, Mexico World-class
Caribbean diving is within your reach! Colorful
reefs, dramatic walls, and relaxing drift diving…budget
to luxury and all-inclusive accommodations…discount
airfare. Call Bay Adventures toll-free at 1-888-599-3483
to speak with a travel professional who knows
Cozumel. Dive into www.bayadventures.com for weekly
This lively all-inclusive beachfront resort has
220 spacious, air-conditioned guestrooms, private
balconies, tow pools, oceanfront restaurant, Palapa
bar, gift ship, gym, Kids’ Klub, full service
PADI dive shop, private beach & pier. Includes:
three meals daily • domestic beer, wine & cocktails
• nightly entertainment • beach snorkeling • more!
CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE
Laguna Beach Resort
Utila’s most exclusive. Private peninsula, secluded
emerald beach, fringing coral reefs, 9 waterfront
bungalows, ocean front restaurant, gift ship,
custom dive boats, world-class diving, bone fishing,
diving, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, diving,
relaxing on the palm-fringed beach. “The whale
sharks make Utila waters their playground, why
1-800-66-Utila Fax: 337-893-5024
Marriott Casa Magna Cancun Resort
Located in the heart of Cancun’s hotel district,
the Marriott CasaMagna Cancun Resort will provide
you the tranquility of life in paradise. Sparkling
turquoise waters and white talcum sand are the
backdrop for this Mediterranean-style resort.
In addition to the allure of our magnificent beach,
and our 450 spacious rooms, a full range of amenities
and world class service await you. For reservations
and information, call 1-800-223-6388.
Lose yourself in the island accommodations at
Ramon's Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize. Stunning
thatched roof cabanas hidden beneath coconut palms,
air-conditioned and fan cooled for idyllic comfort,
Splash in the cerulean waters of the Western Caribbean
from our white sand beach and view the largest
barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere just one-half
mile from our resort. Dive two rare and breathtaking
atolls, plus Jacques Cousteau's famous Blue Hole,
aboard our Pro 42 dive boat The Miss Gina.
Discover Ramon's Village....A wonderfully intriguing
Call 1-800-MAGIC 15 for a free brochure!
Reef House Resort, Bay Islands
Discover spectacular diving at secluded, intimate
tropical island Resort, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras.
A coral wall is a fin kick away from the bar.
Dive packages include all meals, three boat dives
daily, night dives.7 nights $725 pp/do Snorkelers
TOLL FREE 800-328-8897
We can help you plan a luxury vacation to Cozumel,
a Mexican Island in the Caribbean, including meals
and diving. Villa Dzul-Ha is no more expensive
than staying in one of the island’s better hotels.
Villa Dzul-Ha is a luxurious three-bedroom home
located on the south beach of Cozumel four miles
south of downtown.
CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE