I remember when the idea of Scuba Diving was just that- it was an idea. It was something that I saw on television or in the movies, but it didn’t seem like a real thing that I could personally do. But then, I was given the opportunity to scuba dive on a press trip, and my world was changed. It became a reality for me, and I’m so, so glad it did.
Have you ever wanted to go scuba diving? It’s something that I have always wanted to try that I just hadn’t been provided the opportunity to do. And it’s not something that one usually thinks of being able to just go and do in everyday life. Submerging yourself under the water is really like stepping onto a different planet. You will hear people say this all the time, but it will never quite click until you give diving a chance. Then it all makes sense. And that is exactly how it feels, like a peaceful, serene planet.
While getting an opportunity to visit this strange planet may seem like a distant dream, Ibagari Boutique Hotel and Duna Divers made this experience possible for me in Roatan, Honduras. Many divers refer to Ibagari and Duna Divers as one of the top diving destinations on Roatan. And how could it not be when you can dive down to see the second largest coral reef in the world? Second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Belize Barrier Reef is a 190-mile-long section of reef that spreads out along Belize, the Yucatan, and Honduras. So, there are roughly 75 dive spots of shallow reefs and shipwrecks within a 30-minute distance from Ibagari Boutique Hotel and Duna Divers (and close to 200 dive sites around the island of Roatan). Talk about a perfect place to go scuba diving!
Duna Divers teaches “Discover Scuba Diving” (for those who want to try it out but don’t have the time to be certified), open water courses to become a certified diver, advanced diving courses, a rescue course, and a dive master course. For those who don’t like being under the water too deep, snorkeling is another great option offered at the Ibagari Boutique Hotel.
While I was at Ibagari Boutique Hotel, I wasn’t expecting to go diving. Once I met and talked with their dive master, Francheska, she made me feel comfortable enough to try “Discover Scuba Diving” with her. And I was so glad that I did! I found a passion for diving that I never knew I had. The “Discover Scuba Diving” was all I had time for, but after a quick lecture and safety protocol, we were kneeling on a tarp in the ocean trying out safety procedures.
Then, shortly after, we were falling back off of a boat and splashing into the water in our scuba gear. Francheska led me down through the coral reel at one dive spot off the coast of Roatan, and it was one of the greatest experiences that I have had. Hearing your breath is almost meditative under the water, and as long as you know how to swim, it’s a super easy and serene experience. There’s nothing like being surrounded by water yet being able to breath and see everything crystal clear. There’s nothing like swimming past fish, shrimp, and sponges and nerding out over them.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to give diving a chance. There are many ways to get started. One of the easiest ways is by setting up a diving session with a dive master while you are on vacation. Many resorts offer diving as an activity; some can even get you certified if you’re on a longer trip. Or, if you’re not traveling, contact your local dive office and set up your basic certification course.