Marine life

Roatan’s marine life is unlike any other. The marine life on the Mesoamerican Coral Reef around the island of Roatan is as diverse as the visitors who come to see it. Following proper Marine park protocol, we do not touch or feed the marine life. When diving in Roatan, you have the opportunity to see an abundance of blennies, squirrelfish, snappers, tuna, barracuda, pufferfish, and the list just goes on. We also have the pleasure of sharing the underwater world with moray eels, sharks, dolphins, squid, sea turtles, various rays, seahorses, lobsters and so many more!

Even without this incredible diverse community of marine life, we are also incredibly lucky to enjoy the beautiful Mesoamerican Coral Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world. Varieties that live here include brain coral, tubes, elkhorn, staghorn, etc. The colors and the variety is enough to make you stop and take a moment to savor the gorgeous underwater world of Roatan.

Blue tang

Dory is happy at home here in Roatan! Big schools of blue tangs will no doubt be a part of your dive experience here on the coral reef of Roatan island.


The sharks that call Roatan their home can be encountered while on a fun dive. More often than not the sharks you will see while diving are blue sharks, shortfin mako sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, and silky sharks. You might just be lucky enough to see a hammerhead shark while diving! You can also choose to do a Shark dive where you will encounter Caribbean Reef sharks in a relaxed, observational experience. If you are interested in the Shark dive, please let your dive professional know.


Roatan is home to a variety of rays, including sting rays, eagle rays and if you are very lucky you may see a manta ray. Look for rays who may be taking a nap under the sand!


We have two species of sea turtles in Roatan, green and leatherback turtles. You will be able to tell them apart by their shell color, pattern and general size.


Pufferfish are one of the most curious fish you will be lucky enough to dive with. While they are incredibly cute, don’t let those big eyes fool you. In addition to being highly poisonous, when scared, they also inflate themselves to 2 or 3 times their usual size thus deterring predators from snapping them up. When diving, you may notice them swimming around at a distance, curious but shy.


Wild dolphins are always a delight to encounter on a dive. The bottlenose dolphins are curious and playful animals that you can sometimes find racing along your dive boat!


Garden eels, green & spotted moray eels, sharp tail eels – there is no shortage of eel action on the Mesoamerican reef. While the eels might look a bit frightening to some, they are not to be feared. Watch for eels in coral crevices along the wall or in the sand patched of dive sites such as Mandy’s eel garden.


Seahorses may be masters of hiding in plain sight but if you go slowly, you will be happily surprised by the number of seahorses you can find. If you’re on the lookout, you might also see a cousin of the seahorse – the pipefish.


Lionfish are an invasive species to Roatan and for various reasons, there is a program in place to control and eliminate their population in our area. Lionfish reproduce at an incredibly high rate, they eat the juvenile fish of native species, they have 18 venomous spines, and they have no known predators in our area. If you’re interested in taking the Spearfishing course, please let your dive professional know.

Would you like to see them all? Choose diving from Best Dive Roatan!