Come Face to Face with Caribbean Reef Sharks in Roatan
Our shark encounter excursion is with the Waihuka Dive Center in Coxen Hole. We will transport you from/to our dive shop to the shark dive operator. The encounters are scheduled at 9am and 11:30am where Sergio, Maurillio or a certified PADI Divemaster will lead the dive. Detailed briefings take place in the dive center preparing you for a safe, enjoyable experience. There is also footage of previous dives being shown allowing you to further prepare yourself and add to the anticipation.
The dive site is located on a unique part of the reef surrounding Roatan, an arm that juts perpendicularly from the southern shore surrounded by walls that drop off to depths beyond the reach of divers. The dive site is named ‘Cara a Cara’ which in Spanish means ‘face to face’. And you will be ‘face to face’ with the species of ‘Carcharhinus perezi’ – the caribbean reef shark.
Cara a Cara is also quite different from sites found on similar shark encounters around the Caribbean. Firstly the sharks have not been ‘chummed’ away from their natural environment, ask any local fisherman on the island of Roatan where the sharks are and they can tell you… sharks have been stealing fish from them here for years! The sharks we dive with are all female, displaying a daytime schooling behavior known only to a few species of sharks.
Typically about 6 to 9 feet long and several hundred pounds each, these are handsome, powerful fish – healthy hunters of the reef in natures system of checks and balances.
The dive is held among a beautiful reef of hard and soft corals between 60 – 70 feet (18 – 21 meters). Visibility is usually more than 80 feet as the site is located a ten-minute boat ride from Roatan’s shore and thus not diminished by rain or other factors. Divers descend along the mooring line (there is often current) to a small wall where divers arrange themselves kneeling or standing, back to the wall and facing the Divemaster and anywhere from 10 -20 sharks. A snack of fish (1-2 pounds) is kept in a bucket to keep the sharks interested, divers watching the sharks circling the area. Often the divemaster allows the divers who want to swim into the crowd of sharks and having a direct interaction with them – of course no touching, just watching!
After 15 or more minutes divers are going back into the standing or kneeling position at the wall. When everyone is ready, the bucket is presented to the sharks for a few moments of action as they jostle for position and a snack. At no time are the sharks handled or fed individually. Although this species of shark is not known to pose a serious threat to divers we like to keep a healthy respect and a reasonable distance from the bait. Following this the sharks will usually swim off so there is an opportunity to move around the site and look for shark teeth on the bottom,
Check out our favorite green moray eel or simply enjoy the splendor of the many other fish. There are usually large groupers and snappers that have all become quite tame, offering additional photo/video opportunities.
After your dive and the mandatory safety stop we head back to the dive center to watch the footage from the dive and sign log books. The shop offers a custom video of your experience, t-shirts and other memorabilia to buy at the end of your experience.
***Please note that the operator does not allow GoPro or other similar hand-hand style cameras to be taken on this dive for safety reasons***
The dive site illustration is copyright by Ignacio Gonzalez, Roatan Dive Guide.
The Roatan Dive Guide with over 60 dive sites around Roatan is available in our dive shop!
The price of this unique excursion is $130 per person. This includes transportation to the Waihuka Dive Center and back to our dive shop as well as tanks and weights. Full equipment (BCD, regulator, wetsuit, mask snorkel & fins) can be rented for $20 in our dive shop.
In order to participate in this dive you should be an advanced diver. If you need more information for this great adventure, please ask our dive shop crew for more details.
Experience a new life with one of Roatan’s best dive shops, Subway Watersports, a PADI 5-Star Resort and Instructor Development Center.