Sandy visits Roatan and WBD Top Recommendations Turquoise Bay and Mayan Princess
10 days diving on Roatan in January, what could be better? Well...how about having a pair of dolphins show up on the wreck that we were diving for the very first dive of the trip? Yup...it really happened!
Sandy and WBD friend Tom spent 10 days learning about Roatan and WBD Top Recommendations Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort and its sister property, Turquoise Bay Resort as well as Roatan’s great diving.
Mayan Princess is located on the southwest corner of the island, in West Bay, and Turquoise Bay is located about half way up the island, facing west, toward mainland Honduras. Diving off both locations is great and the two dive operators, Mayan Divers @ Mayan Princess and Subway Watersports @ Turquoise Bay are both well staffed and well equipped. Both did great jobs keeping us wet just as much as we wanted.
After meeting the dolphins on our first dive with Mayan Divers, We were pleasantly surprised with the rest of the diving in that area. There are nice steep mini-walls with the tops at around 50 feet and the bottoms well below recreational depths. I was pleased with the quality of healthy soft corals and we saw turtles on nearly every dive as well as schools of Caribbean reef fish and lots of nice sized grouper.
We moved up the coast to Turquoise Bay for the second half of the trip and found the underwater structure to be quite different. The walls were steeper, the canyons were longer and weaved around and there were several beautiful caverns. Several of the shallow reefs came up to around 15 feet, so many of our safety stops were extended dives on the top of the reefs.
On three different days, we had pods of dolphins playing in the boat’s bow wave during the surface interval between dives. The boat’s captain took the time to bring the boat back around and let us enjoy having the dolphins up close.
The two resorts are quite different, as well. Mayan Princess is a condo/hotel located in the more busy end of the island, with a busy beach and lots of activity. Turquoise Bay is located in a much more remote area of Roatan, with traditional hotel rooms in separate 4-plex buildings that are spread throughout the resort. The beach at Turquoise Bay is expansive and usually very quiet and private, as well. Turquoise Bay is as quiet as Mayan Princess is active.
Both resorts can be all-inclusive, including meals and drinks. The Mayan Princess condo design includes full kitchens, however, so if you prefer to do some or all of your own cooking, that option is open, as well.
There is a lot to do on Roatan besides diving. Zip lines, horse back rides on quiet beaches and there is a very active bar/restaurant area in the town of West End, near Mayan Princess.
One last thing to mention is the shark dive that is available on Roatan. There is only one operator on the island that does it, and all of the other dive operators use them for their guests. We did that dive one morning, and it was very professionally run, with lots of sharks. I enjoyed it thoroughly!
Check out Turquoise Bay and Mayan Princess here on the World’s Best Dives web site and take a look at their web sites.