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Dive Review of Coconut Tree Divers/Paradise Beach Club in

May, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Gareth Richards, OH, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 4258
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Caymans, FLL, Cozumel, Cocos Island, GBR, NZ, Cyprus, Turkey, Puerto
Vallarta, Bahamas, BVI
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
55 minutes max. Good job separating Nitrox divers from air, and heavy
breathers from others  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Rinse Tank on boat. Can lock gear away at dive store overnight
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
I looked at the dive resorts like Anthonys Key, Bay Island Beach Resort,
Inn of Last Resort, etc in doing my research. They offer good value for
dive/hotel packages. However given the geography, these resorts are away
from the better beach and nightlife which is in the West Bay/West End area.
So you have a choice according to how much you weigh these factors. The
pros of staying in West Bay/West End are that you can separate the hotel
from the dive operator if you want, and have complete choice of both, and
be in a better location; the con is that you may not have shore diving such
as you usually get at the dive resorts. There are some places like
Bananarama or Luna Beach that fit somewhere between these definitions too,
because they are close to West End. So there are plenty of options. It
really will be up to you to weigh these according to what your style of
trip is. I decided to go the separate route and book hotel and diving
independently. There are so many choices if you go this route that you can
easily put together a combination that will meet any taste and budget. You
can go anywhere from a small room in a B&B, to a hotel, or even your
own villa. After wringing my hands for a week or two and surfing all over
the web, I settled on Paradise Beach Club for the hotel and Coconut Tree
Divers for the diving.

Paradise Beach Club lives up to its name. West Bay Beach is truly Paradise
Beach and it may be in the top ten beaches anywhere. Check out the hotel
web site for pictures. It is just a beautiful classic tropical beach with
superb sand, clear blue water and palm trees.

Coconut Tree is one of the longest established independent operators in
West End and may be the biggest. They offer a 2 tank trip at 9.00,back
about 12.15, a one tank trip at 1.00 and a one tank trip at 2.30. Night
dives are at least once a week, depending on demand, it was three times the
week I was there. Nitrox and trimix are available on site. The 9.00 is for
certified divers and so most of the students are on the 1.00. Given the
short gap between the return of the morning boat and the 1.00, I elected to
do the morning 2 tank trip and the 2.30 one tank trip each day, leaving
plenty of time for lunch. They run all levels of training at least up
through DM and Assistant Instructor. Their DM program is 2 months on site
starting from Rescue. I watched them run a Rescue class during the week I
was there, and they were extremely thorough. They really earned that card.
There was one guy doing trimix training there too, which again I would say
is unusual for an operator to be able to offer that.

I used Nitrox the whole week. They ran the daily analysis process well and
by mid week were asking me what mix I wanted for the next day. 30 to 32 is
typical. During the dives they separated the Nitrox divers from the others
so we could max out our profiles. The DMs and instructors impressed me as
knowledgeable and professional without being overbearing. They did a good
job of matching up buddies based on air consumption both before and
rearranging during dives, so nobody got cut short. On the other hand, the
boat is on a schedule, so dives were limited to about 55 minutes max, and
on all but one dive I still had 1100-1400 left. In a group of say 6 they
usually had a DM-trainee following the group, so they could bring up the
people that ran low without interrupting the others.

The boat is capable of taking around 15 divers, but most days was less.
They have fresh water on board and a camera tank. The boat has a roof so
you can get out of the sun. They carry the big green DAN O2 kit. You stride
off the fixed platform at the back and then there's a ladder for re-entry.
Pretty standard.

Since I was staying in West Bay, Coconut Tree was nice enough to send a
fast boat for me every morning at 8.00 at no charge. They also offer this
to people staying in their cabins in West Bay whether or not they are

All in all, Coconut Tree are exactly what you want in an independent
operator, capable, flexible, knowledgeable and friendly. Highly
recommended. Check out their web site which is very comprehensive.

I did go visit the on-site operator at Paradise Beach (TGI)-they gave me
the impression of being more geared to the "occasional diver" or
"resort course" operation. They offered one tank in the morning
and one tank in the afternoon, no nitrox, and were more expensive. 

17 dives and I only repeated one site which was El Aguilla wreck. Some of
my favorites were Spooky Channel, the Odyssey wreck, Half Moon Bay Wall -
literally 5 minutes from the dock. Typical day was first dive to 100-110
(deepest 128), second dive to 60-80, afternoon dive 25-40. You don't need
me to list depths and times 17 times. Boat rides were generally 15 minutes
-the longest was to the Odyssey, about 25 minutes. Seas were calm to maybe
1 foot swell. Occasionally you could see flying fish off to the side.

The sites range from walls to swim throughs to cool "aquarium"
type shallows. Seems like everywhere has a dive site named Aquarium. Viz
was extremely good, 60+ everywhere except the Odyssey where it was about
40. Water temp was 82 at any depth. I wore a 3 mil and was glad of it later
in the week, but I get cold easily.

Loved the diving and the dive op. Great trip.
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All Honduras Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Honduras
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