Getting back to scuba diving after nearly 20 years caused me a little bit of paranoia. I remembered how much I loved diving, and always wanted to do it again, but it just never worked out properly for me.
Getting to Roatan, Honduras, I was excited to get at least one dive in over the 10 days I would be spending there.
Without being too detailed, here are facts about the incredible Octopus Dive Centre, in Sandy Bay, a minute’s walk from where I was staying in Roatan.
- all divers will pay a $10 fee for the Roatan Marine Park, which goes towards the preservation of the reef. Many hotels or resorts include this in their price. Make sure you get your white bracelet.
- Costs are about $35/dive with your PADI, $80/dive without
- all of the courses are offered, so you can certified while you are there. The whole course to get your certification, including the “classroom” component, is about $300
- all of the dive masters there are absolutely incredible. They are super friendly, and after diving with them even just once, they will remember you, and wave or make small talk every time they come across you.
- Danny made me and my friends feel very comfortable and confident in our skills. He gave us the Discover Scuba run down, and patiently waited in the water while we mastered all of our basic skills. In the water, he was a great leader, always taking the time to ensure we were all good, and pointing out some of the incredible reef wildlife we may have missed. He always had a sense of humour, and was a tremendous guide.
- On our second dive, even though most people were going to the site we had been to on our first dive, they made a special stop so that we could do a drift dive, and not have to dive the same place twice
- they will sumbit information to the PADI website, if you are interested in getting certified later, so that it knocks off a couple of your dives needed for certification later.
- there is a 19% charge to pay with a credit card.
- the dive shop is right next to a very good restaurant/bar on the beach. Great lobster there.
- the rental gear is all very good, and they make sure everything fits properly and that you are comfortable
- all dive groups are very small, with 1-3 people going with their own guide. You don’t have to worry about being in a massive group, just trailing after one another in the water.
- they were so great, I wish I had done more than 2 dives with them
- the reef waters in Roatan are incredibly clear, and they are extremely active with sea life. We saw a ton of different creatures, and a lot of them. Never saw an eagle ray, but I guess that will be for next time.
I would recommend Octopus with my highest approval rating. They really did make diving a comfortable, and crazy fun experience. They love their jobs, and they want you to have a great a time as possible. There are definitely lots of options in Roatan for diving, with the endless number of dive sites around the island, and there is no shortage of dive shops in West End, to be sure. But I was incredibly happy that I went with Octopus, and not just because they were right down the beach for me. They made a great experience incredible.