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Dive Review of Coconut Tree Divers/Private condo in

February, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by David Shirley, MN, USA (1 report)
Report Number 4706
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Numerous Caribbean and Pacific destinations.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
Water Temp
78   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Staff clearly communicates guidelines for dive profiles and yet allows good
latitude, based on experience and dive objectives.  Safety is clearly a top
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 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  
The boats have freshwater tanks exclusively for cameras/video equipment and
there is a dedicated tank back on shore. The staff, especially Jose and
Marco, are extremely helpful in pointing out small subject matter for the
photographers.  Their website ( has some
outstanding UW photography output from customers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
As a diver with over 37 years of underwater experience, I often find myself
being more than a bit critical on the nuances of dive operations.  In the
years of diving with Coconut Tree Divers (CTD) since their inception, I
have never found the service, professionalism or quality of the operation
to be lacking.  Although at times the shear volume of activity at the
operations West End facility is somewhat trying, the overall experience
has been one of the more satisfying this professional dive instructor has
encountered in decades of travel to destinations throughout the Caribbean
and Pacific.  The staff is first rate and the efforts to ensure customer
satisfaction and dive experience nirvana is exemplary.  

With two boats now serving their customers, the benefits of segmenting
groups of divers, based on experience and dive objectives, is working quite
well and there is minimal crossover of mismatched groups of divers.  The
facility has a well developed continuing education environment, resulting
in a plethora of enthusiastic Divemasters in Training to compliment the
existing professional staff of seasoned instructors.  The staffs attention
to detail on pointing out the smaller, often missed, sea-life during dives
has been a humbling experience for someone who often claims they have seen
nearly everything the seas have to offer.  

Dive site selection is typically a negotiated decision in concert with
diver group dynamics and dive objectives, along with the sometimes
challenging conditions of the sea/weather.  Safety is clearly job one and
yet CTDs symbiotic balance of safety and genuine customer service is
something not experienced enough in the realm of dive operators.  From
accommodating everyone from the back-pack transient divers frequenting
Roatans West End, to seasoned divers and even the part time residents of
this island paradise, CTD has a balanced and effective customer service
approach that should appeal to the majority of dive society members.

Although the fish life and diving is still very good; with the increased
pressure on the fish life and island ecosystem since 1998s Hurricane
Mitch, there has been a noticeable decrease in fish activity in the Marine
Park Preserve.  Hopefully increased efforts to enforce the fishing bans in
the preserve will yield positive results.  To give divers expanded
opportunities for unique underwater experiences, Coconut Tree will, (based
on weather conditions and customer interest), offer trips to Barbaretta,
along with the Cayos Cochinos, where the fish life is nearly unaffected by
the last 10 years of increased pressure to feed inhabitants and tourists.

Above the water, the staff has been diligently helpful in providing
concierge level service for both diving and non-diving activities, while
suggesting everything from great meal venues for reasonable cost, to
arranging one of the best shark dives I have ever experienced.  The younger
crowd seems to enjoy hanging out near the shop to share post-dive stories
and beverages, with occasional organized social events to further enhance
the benefits of the camaraderie that divers worldwide seem to share. 
Although at times the cost of flights to Roatan is somewhat high, it
remains one of the best values in the Caribbean and the island is nicer
than many other dive destinations in this hemisphere. 

David Shirley-Minneapolis, MN-February 2009    
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Diving Guide to Honduras
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