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Dive Review of Anthony’s Key Resort in

March, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Gregory S. Yarnik, IL, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6008
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Kona, Little/Grand Cayman, Belize, Turks & Caicos, Bonaire, Aruba,
Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Virgin Islands, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 81    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Initial quick check of buoyancy and mask-clearing skills is required on
first day, depth limits, 50 minute dive times on average, computers
required, 3-5 minute safety stops, no gloves in marine park (wrecks
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Boats provided separate storage tables and rinse tanks for cameras and
UWPs. On-site photography shop and staff provided good support and
problem-solving capabilities. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
My wife and I traveled to Anthony's Key Resort (AKR) on the Honduran Bay
Island of Roatan the final week of March, 2011. We flew Continental from
Chicago O'Hare with one stop en-route in Houston before moving on to Roatan
for a mid-afternoon arrival. We were met at Roatan airport by AKR's shuttle
service and were promptly loaded onto the bus with other incoming divers
for the 30 minute trip to the resort. Fortunately all checked bags and dive
gear also made the trip on-time with no problems. AKR is a full-service
dive resort on the north coast (Sandy Bay) of Roatan wih all-inclusive dive
and meal packages as the norm. Most guest rooms are "cabana"-type
2-room units (some are air-conditioned) suspended over the mangrove-lined
shore on supports, located on Anthony's Key, a small island a few hundred
feet across a narrow navigation channel from the resort's main office,
restaurant/bar, and dive/photo/gift shops. The resort operates a small
skiff as "ferry service" round the clock transporting guests from
their lodging on Anthony's Key to and from the resort proper. Meals
comprise usual island-type fare one might expect (fresh fruits and juices,
catches of the day, baked goods, etc.) and are plentiful and well-prepared.
Two fully-stocked bars are open daily, one adjacent to the restaurant and a
second serving the pool area on Anthony's Key. Support staff are cordial
and hard-working; the infrastructure and grounds are very well-maintained.
Security is good at all times, both on Anthony's Key and around the
remainder of the resort (we understand the resort is owned by the island's
mayor and family). Water taxis and cabs are available for trips
"off-campus." The resort also touts its close relationship with
the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences, which specializes in dolphin
research, and offers swim encounters and dives with the animals for an
extra fee. Horseback riding and zip-line tours through the nearby forest
canopy are also available. Diving with AKR is generally very easy and
low-impact, with all diving conducted on the nearby Mesoamerican Reef
system. Three boat dives per day are offered, along with 2 night dives per
week. Shore diving is also offered from the north beach area of Anthony's
Key until 9:00 pm each night, with a single attendant overseeing a small
equipment shed with tanks and weights. Depths ranged from 50 to 100 feet
along the reef with a few wrecks extending to 120 feet. Viz was in the 80
feet+ range every day and surface temps averaged 80 deg F. Occasional drift
dives were conducted when the currents were running. The AKR dive operation
is professional, well-managed, and is staffed with congenial,
knowledgeable, and experienced dive masters and boat captains. Boats are
all roomy 42 to 50+ foot-long Newtons fully outfitted for diving and
comprise one of the best and most well-maintained fleets I've experienced
in the entire Caribbean. During our stay no more than 10 divers were
assigned to our boat. My wife dives with 2 prosthetic joints in her left
leg and received much-appreciated special care and assistance from the crew
at the start and end of her dives. Dive groups are assigned to the same
boat and crew for the duration of their stay, which makes for a much more
collegial atmosphere on board, not to mention improved communication. 
After having earlier experienced the northern reaches of this reef system
in Belize and Mexico, I would grade these southern areas to be in slightly
better condition. Although there was some minimal bleaching, overall, both
hard and soft coral stands were healthy, along with sponges and other
invertebrates. The reef supports the usual species assemblages of Caribbean
reef fish, all very plentiful, but with very few large or pelagic varieties
(outside of turtles, southern stingrays, and barracuda, which were numerous
on every dive). Whale sharks, however, were active just off Roatan's sister
island, Utila, during this week and were photographed by several fellow
dive travelers that were laying over at the Roatan airport on the way back
to the states. Roatan is also evidently not immune to the regional lionfish
invasion as the invasive species has successfully taken up residence here
and can be observed on every dive. Local lionfish extraction derbies have
removed hundreds of individuals at a time from the reef, but it appears as
if they are fighting a losing battle. Research is ongoing in the area to
try to induce lionfish predation on the part of groupers, snappers, and
other similar predators, but only minor successes have been documented.
All-in-all, the reef is still reasonably healthy and supports a diverse and
abundant community of mostly smaller, regional species. AKR is highly
recommended as a well-managed, accommodating, and efficient dive-centric
resort that provides easy, low-impact Caribbean diving on the second
largest barrier reef in the world.    
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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