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Dive Review of Reef Gliders in
Honduras/West End Roatan

March, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Debra Ferguson, MN, US (1 report)
Report Number 5985
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Grand Cayman, St Lucia, Hawaii, Soloman Islands, Heron Island,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
could dive own profile within some limits. guided dives with depth
recommended and generally followed by divers, stayed in small group  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
I didn't use camera, but there were buckets on board and cameras handled
carefully by staff.  Photos taken by other divers were quite impressive.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
The Bad was we hadn't made contact with this dive shop before we left home,
so we didn't realize all equipment was included (regs, bcd, wetsuit, fins,
masks) in the dive price of $30 US per dive (for 5 or more dives). 
Consequently we took all of our gear. We had our own computers and there
may have been an extra charge for computer rental.  We also didn't know
that Reef Gliders has a deal with Georphi's for discount lodging with a
dive package.

For lodging we shared a house in West End, which was about a 5 minute walk
from Reef Gliders which our friends found on line. They paid $2400 for a 2
bedroom 2 bath house for a month.  Lodging ranged from $10 a night at the
hostel type rooms at Georphis (they also had small cabins for $25/night)
to hundreds of dollars per night at the upscale Infinity Bay Resort on West
Beach, a 40 minute beach walk along the water from West End.

We were warned about the need for mosquito repellant.  We ended up using
very little, but we were indoors most evenings after sunset.

The other Bad, was that there were three burglaries during the month our
friends were there.  The economic downturn has exacerbated the poverty
which results in increases in crime. 

The Good was the quality of the equipment provided and the competence of
the dive guides/masters/instructors.  They were insistent on keeping groups
small, 3-6 divers per guide, usually 4.  Boats carried 12-15 passangers.
Pre dive orientations were given at the shop and reinforced at the dive
site.  Most dives were within a five minute boat ride. The deep dives had
pretty healthy corals.  They had two boats operating with BIG motors. 
There was shade on the boats, but the rides were so short we didnt need
it.  Back roll entry or gear up in the water.  Head counts were done at the
conclusion of each dive. Safety stops were done on each dive.  Divers
usually had the option to do a free descent or follow the anchor line. Most
dives were around an hour.  On several dives a second guide took up the
fast air consumers leaving us with the lead guide for another fifteen to
twenty minutes of dive time. 

There was no shore diving. Even though the reef was close to shore, boat
traffic made it unsafe.  

An al fresco restaurant The Wet Spot is attached to Reef Gliders. They
served good lunches, coffee and beer.  There is a good noodle shop down the
street lots of restaurants and several small grocery stores where you can
get basics. Fruit and vegetable venders sold out of the back of their
pickups.  We made most of our meals in our kitchen with fresh produce.

One of our friends had not been diving for many years and took a refresher
course.  His wife did all her PADI certification there and we and she were
pleased with the quality of the one on one attention and training she got.
We observed other small groups of students working on their open dive

Reef Gliders are eco conscious, reminding divers to keep hands and fins off
coral.  They support the local school with fund raisers.  There are about 3
dives shops per block in West End.  We were lucky to connect with this one.
It is on the water while several others are located on the land side to the
road.  Reef Gliders staff took care of all our equipment, changing tanks
and washing up after the dives.  They locked up our equipment at night with
their gear so we didnt have to drag it back and forth. They offer 3 dives
a day; 9:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. 6 days a week.  Two dives are offered
on Sunday.  Night dives on Thursdays.

Other reports indicate that quality and quantity of sea life has
deteriorated in Roatan over the past 20 years.  Unfortunately, in my
experience this may be true in the Caribbean if not world wide.  Based on
our experience we will go back to Roatan for more diving with Reef Gliders.
 It is certainly a good value compared to other Caribbean islands where we
have logged the majority of our dives.  
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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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