Guanaja Dive Sites
There are 50+ named Guanaja dive sites, another 6 or so “kept secret” by the Clark’s Cay dive staff for their guests only. More dive sites being discovered every day along the barrier reef off Guanaja and around the numerous cays that surround the island. Below is some information on just a few of our favorite Guanaja dive sites.
Visibility is generally around 100 feet/30 meters. During the rainy season (roughly October to January) visibility can dip below the usual, though we are always able to scout out the areas that offer the best conditions. Currents are mostly mild to non-existent.
Diving Guanaja’s Barrier Reef
Guanaja’s fringing reef is a protected marine reserve making it an ideal spot for scuba diving and snorkeling nearly anywhere offshore the mainland. Part of a volcanic and coral mountain range called The Bonacca Ridge, Guanaja marks the beginning of the second largest barrier reef in the world – the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. It offers a mixture of pinnacles, vertical walls, lava tunnels and wrecks including the nearby Jado Trader, one of the most sought-after wrecks in the Caribbean. It also boasts nearly every species of coral growing in the Caribbean Sea, including several species of rare black coral, and sponges of all colors, shapes and sizes.
Nearly all of the sites offer lively shallow terraces that are perfect for snorkeling as well as scuba diving. Separate snorkel tours are offered to ensure you are taken to a site that is guaranteed for good snorkeling. When joining the scuba divers, we also do our best to accommodate sites that work well for divers and snorkelers.
All visitors to Guanaja are now required to make a $10.00 (annual) cash contribution to the Environmental Fund for the Protection of Guanaja Island. Proceeds go toward the preservation of the reefs, mangroves and general ecosystem as well as to fund environmental education programs for Guanaja residents. The $10.00 contribution will be collected at Clark’s Cay during your scuba diving registration.
A Few Of Our Favorite Sites:
Michael’s Rock: This site is famous for its cracks & crevices. The maximum depth reaches to 70ft/21m. This is also a good practice dive before you do Black Rock Canyons.
The Pinnacle: This pinnacle is located in a channel, close to Guanaja Island. It stands on a sandy bottom at 135ft/41m, very close to the channel wall, & rises 80ft/24m to a point about 55ft/17m below the surface. Several varieties of black coral are attached to the pinnacle. The wall of the channel has some really beautiful coral, blue bell tunicates and crinoids along it at depths of only 10 to 30 feet (3 – 9 meters.)
The Jado Trader: The 240-foot Jado Trader was a refrigerator freighter sunk in 1987 to form one of the richest artificial reefs in Guanaja. The Trader rests on a sandy bottom, completely intact and in waters between 80 and 110 feet (24 – 33 meters), suitable for experienced divers. The wreck is now nicely encrusted and the marine life around it excellent. It is one of the most photogenic wrecks in Honduras. Near to the wreck are several coral pinnacles that can be explored as well.
Black Rock Canyon: Created by volcanic action, this conglomeration of caves, tunnels and deep cracks & crevices is one of the most exciting dives around Guanaja. It’s common to turn a corner, or come out of a tunnel and come across a sleeping shark or a big moray eel lounging in a hole. Expect to see plenty of silverside sardines, glassy sweepers, groupers, and barracudas.
Vertigo: This is a site along the barrier reef wall that has some spectacular drop-offs. As is true along the entire barrier wall, the beauty here is truly unbelievable. The top of the wall is at about 35ft/11m then drops down to about 160ft/51m. From here, a sandy shelf juts out 60f/18m or so before the wall drops off to oblivion. Black crinoids are found here.
Jim’s Silverlode: Jim’s Silverlode presents a tunnel along the wall at a depth of 70ft/21m which will bring divers into a sandy-bottomed amphitheater-like area populated by huge groupers, yellowtails, moray eels, and swarms of silverside sardines. This is an intermediate-level dive.