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The Ultimate Bay Islands Dive Trip

The Bay Islands are much more than a dive destination now, but that doesn't mean you don't need to dive. Hardcore enthusiasts spend months at a time here checking out the reef at some of the lowest prices anywhere in the world. For many, this isn't their first trip, and they mix new dive spots with their favorites. New divers will rejoice in low fees and a wide range of dives for every skill level. This itinerary brings you to many of the top dive spots on Roatán and Utila, with ample time to take classes or side trips to other islands and still have time to take in some other island attractions.

Day 1: Arriving Island Style

Arrive directly to Roatán or transfer from La Ceiba by either ferry or regional jet. Settle into your resort and get your first taste of the island life with a plate of seafood beside the water and a potent cocktail.

Days 2-5: Come on Baby, Don't Fear the Reef

If you have yet to dive or still consider yourself a beginner, don't hesitate to get your basic certification. In 3 or 4 days, you can attain your basic certification or, if it has been a while, just brush up your skills in the 80°F (27°C) water. The island is surrounded by more than 150 dive sites ranging from crevices and caves to wrecks and walls. Many are directly off shore and easily accessible to tourists. Mary's Place, near Sarah Cay, is one of the most popular here and showcases a series of tunnels, walls, and canyons filled with black groupers, gorgonians, and large bearded fire worms. Don't miss Spooky Channel on the northwest shore for the abundant coral and sea whips. For wreck diving, try either the Prince Albert or El Aguila, both of which are frequented by an array of rare marine life.

Days 6-9: A True Dive Village

Either by plane or by ferry, transfer over to Utila for a completely different dive-town vibe. Stay on the island's one town, East Harbour, or on one of the dive resorts on the desolate south coast, and take your pick of more than 130 or so buoyed dive sites, such as CJ's Drop Off, the Black Hills, or Pretty Bush. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, sign up for a trip to spot and swim with whale sharks, which can be seen year-round in the Cayman channel off Utila.

Days 10, 11 & 12: More Sun & Sand

Head back to Roatán for a few more days. Maybe take a full-day dive trip to the Cayos Cochinos or Guanaja, the other Bay Island. Maybe take an underwater photography or rescue diver course. If you are tired of diving at this point, you can spend a few days just hanging out on West Bay beach, swim with dolphins at Anthony's Key, take a canopy tour, or explore the mangroves over on the east end.

Day 13: Hasta Luego

When you are done with paradise -- both below and above the surface -- head back home.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.