Earlier this year, scuba diving became one of my new passions so during my trip I plan to dive in as many places as possible. This week I’m visiting the scuba diving mecca, Roatan Honduras. Roatan is known as a diver’s paradise with gorgeous coral formations, a wide array of tropical fish, sea turtles (my favorite!), swim throughs, caves, wrecks, and hundreds of dive sites to enjoy it all. After a quick search I learned that while you can go to Roatan, to do it right, you have to stay at Anthony’s Key Resort.
Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR) is not just a resort or island getaway, it’s a full all inclusive diving and island experience. They offer packages that include your stay, all food, and up to 3 dives a day all for one price so for the avid diver or even a novice you can’t beat the price.
The grand vision of this resort began 40 years ago when Roatan was but another island in the Caribbean. Today, AKR is an inviting cooperative of 3 islands and a hillside on the mainland that provides an environment unlike any I’ve experienced before.
Anthony’s Key is a small island a couple of hundred yards off the mainland shore. The edges are dotted with nicely done cabanas complete with their own covered porches as well as a sun deck. Most are on the water while many actually overhang the water. This is where I stayed and I enjoyed every minute of it. Imagine sitting on your private deck listening to the waves below you and watching a dramatic sunset.
Just a short boat ride across the channel you can step foot on Bailey’s Key, an island dedicated to nature. You can walk its trails or head straight to the main attraction, the dolphins! As a part of the resort there is a dolphin training center where you can watch and even participate as the dolphins are being trained. Another rarity is the ability to dive with the dolphins. You can enjoy the playfulness of these creatures without missing a moment below the surface. Fantastic!
The third island is Maya Key and is actually located near the airport, ferry, and cruise ship docks. This island is a preserve that houses rescued indigenous animals. You can see everything from toucans, to monkeys, to jaguars, and macaws. Along with the preserve, Maya Key was a great place to spend an afternoon in between dives having lunch at the restaurant and lounging in the pool.
Finally, back on the mainland at the resort there are hillside cabins that are tucked neatly into the jungle canopy and only a short distance from the restaurant and bar. I’ve stayed at a number of all inclusive resorts and I have never been able to rave about the food, but luckily this is far from the case with Anthony’s Key. Each meal provided great selection, 3 courses, and everything was delicious, not to mention the fact that you could enjoy an amazing view of the sea from the hillside.
Along with the mixture of settings, the diving and snorkeling locations are almost endless. Anthony’s Key Resort is a mature dive operation with a fleet (yes fleet!) of nice covered dive boats. On your first day, you’re assigned a boat and group of people to dive with and you stick with this group throughout your stay. That means I got to know some great people and also didn’t repeat a dive throughout my stay. And even with 3 dives a day to explore, I didn’t even come close to seeing all of the dive sites Roatan has to offer. I could imagine it taking months or even years to visit each one. Also, for those more inclined to snorkel, there are multiple trips per day offered as well….though you should just check out a dive course and get going!
Bang for Your Buck
While I felt very spoiled by my indulgent stay at Anthony’s Key Resort, even for the budget traveler, this resort is a great option to get a lot of diving bang for your buck. I would have spent twice as much diving with a local dive shop than I did with Anthony’s Key which also includes the room and 3 meals a day in the price tag. So while usually I’m the type of traveler who likes to try something different each time I travel, I can definitely say I will be back to Anthony’s Key Resort. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Full Disclosure: Anthony’s Key Resort is a sponsor. With that said, even if they weren’t I wouldn’t change my opinion one bit. This is a great resort and the best diving experience I’ve had.