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Roatan : la mecque de la plongée dans les Caraibes

Roatan, Honduras is a jewel in the ocean where scuba divers from all over the world come to enjoy its spectacular underwater wildlife and glistening beaches.

Located just off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea, it boasts the second largest coral reef in the world! In fact, most of Roatan's shore is rimmed by this reef, making access to scuba and snorkeling areas a breeze. At only 30 miles long and a mere 3 miles wide, the island is easy to circle by boat, and a trip out on the waters gives visitors glorious views of the beaches encroached by dense green jungles.

The underwater Bonacca Ridge, a submerged mountain range, is responsible for Roatan's famous diving venues which are teeming with life. Divers will be treated to a swim with colorful parrot fish, seahorses, pufferfish and a myriad of other species. One of the many things that sets Roatan apart is the health of the coral on the reef: it is unusually colorful and is as beautiful to look at as the fish.

Because of the calmness of the sea around the leeward side of the island, underwater visibility is seldom a problem. Divers report relatively unfettered viewing all the way down to 100 feet. These conditions make the waters ideal for snorkeling as well: those who prefer this type of underwater tourism will not have to constantly fight strong currents and will enjoy clear looks at the reefs all day long.

Divers can also enjoy a variety of experiences during their stay. There are 38 dive sites scattered within the West End Marine Preserve, and each one is truly unique. Scuba enthusiasts can choose to explore caverns, do swim throughs, seek out life in the underwater canyons and hover over deep drop offs.

If you want a day out of the water, there are plenty of beaches to laze on and a tour of the island might allow you to glimpse some of the drier wildlife: there are over 40 species of reptiles on Roatan alone, as well as 12 native mammals! You may want to try your hand at deep sea fishing or relax at one of the islands many resorts. Nothing caps off a day like dancing on the beach at one of the island's many watering holes and night clubs.

But despite Roatan's many landlubber attractions, the scuba diving is the main reason enthusiasts choose to spend time on this island. It is important to choose a reputable outfitter who knows all of the best dive spots and offers scuba classes if needed. Visitors who have traveled to this little jewel in the Caribbean to dive or snorkel rave about the beauty of its underwater marvels and many return again and again. It's well worth the trip!