We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

Saint Augustine...
Level Contributor
13 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

And was wondering on advice on how to go about doing it and what dive shops or resorts are recommended by those who have been there, done that. Padi Open water I think? Need a place to stay etc too. Maybe a one-stop shop would be best? Not sure. I am planning to come with my husband in late August for a week Wed to Wed based on cheapest flights we found (don't know if that makes a difference for courses.) We're on a budget, so doesn't have to be a fancy place to stay. Thank you for any input!

1. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

We ask all of our members to keep their forum messages free of self-promoting advertisements or solicitation of any kind - members affiliated with any tourism-related business should not include commercial contact information or URLs in their forum messages.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 09 December 2013, 15:43
I wander the world
Level Contributor
4,167 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

It is going to depend in just what you mean by budget, if you could give us a better idea of what you want to spend per day on accommodation we will be better be able to help you.

Do you need anything other than a dive shop on location with your accommodation.. I mean is no pool a deal breaker? Do ya need quiet, sea view? Do you want to be in an area with various food choices or are ya happy being isolated? is you husband a diver or do you need to be in a place where he has things to do and what might those things be?

West End is going to be less expensive than West Bay. It may be one of the all inclusive dive resorts will be inexpensive, Fantasy Island comes to mind.

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,454 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

Any dive shop in Roatan will provide PADI certification, and ther are a lot of shops, so this does not help you any. I have seen classes going on at every dive resort and every shop I have ever visited. Many people will advise you to begin your certification process at home either on-line or with a local dive shop, and then doing your final certification dives on a referral to a shop in Roatan. This will be more expensive but will save you vacation time. I prefer doing the whole 4-day course at once in Roatan, to save money and to get into the water faster.

Where to do it? West End town is your cheapest and most colorful option. Must be over a dozen shops there, but my favorite is Coconut Tree in the middle of West End on Half Moon Bay. They are the largest outfit training dive masters and dive instructors, but also beginners. I believe that all the shops in West End charge about the same for open water certification, $280. Shops in West Bay will charge more. They have cabins on the property, but I have not seen them. Lots of decent places nearby or over on Lands End for about $50--60/day. Whatever you decide, you need to contact the shop immediately to see when classes are scheduled. You can PM me if you need more info.

Somers, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

My wife, 2 sons and I just returned from a week long first time vacation in Roatan. My wife and I had a 'refresher' course, and my sons, 18 and 20, became certified. We used Bananarama, which is at West Bay beach. They were wonderful, especially Martine who was my sons' instructor, and my wife's 'scuba' whisperer, (she was nervous at first). We stayed in a Condo (Villa Joya) at the end of West Bay beach. The condo was nicely appointed, and the staff, really a driver, (Jenson) and ppty manager (Kevin) were excellent. Having stayed at various ocean front locations, Roatan was very reasonable for dining, diving and drinking. My neighbors used Los Rocas (for lodging and dive instruction) and were also happy with them. I did one dive with them and they were also great. I think the prices amongst the dive shops are pretty comparable. West Bay beach is the best, and we loved the restaurant there also. West End is a little more rustic, especially with the road work which is a mess, but easy to get there by water taxi, or taxi if you want.

Before we arrived, my wife had reservations about Roatan, but it turned out to be one of our best vacations ever. The people, weather, beaches, diving, dining were all great. Go, have a great time, bring sunblock, a hat, and some bug repellant.

Guatemala City...
Level Contributor
682 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

I got certified a few years back in roatan.. there are a ton of options... just pick one that is close to your hotel...and or get a vibe from the hope when you visit....

Bonnyville, Canada
Level Contributor
644 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

defenitely go to www.padi.com and do the online portion, then it is just some pool work and off you go! I did the whole thing on location in the DR and it sucks having to spend your time in a class and doing bookwork!

Sunny California
Level Contributor
2,107 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

just came back from Roatan, stayed on the West End at Sueno Del Mar...they are well priced and have a dive shop on site with 3 scuba trips per day... Did my first dive there with Michelle. they provided all the equipment and the boat leaves from the hotel dock....loved it would highly recommend!

Wish i would have done the online portion first, but it was still awesome!

Edited: 30 July 2012, 22:57
Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,454 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

it's hard to argue with raawkneee about Sueno del Mar. It's perfect for your purposes....inexpensive hotel, right on its own beach, good snorkeling right in front. I have not dived there, but I did stay there in May and the divers all raved about it. No need to leave the place except for dinner. Nice bar next door and a little food store just up the road. No running around all over town to get to your dive classes and no regret about not having a nice beach right outside. But it's small so if you want to do the dive classes, better let them know you're coming.

Saint Augustine...
Level Contributor
13 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

Thank you everyone for all of the responses! I have taken everything that you all have said and after giving it much decision have decided to split our time between West End and West Bay, so as not to miss out on everything. We are going to check out the area and different dive shops once we're down there and sign up for courses based on what we see/feel. I hope it won't be rushed but I think we will spend 4 days getting certified and the other 3 to snorkel and lounge on the beach, eat, drink, and sight see. I'm torn at the moment between doing an all-inclusive ( something along the lines of Bananarama, based on cost/affordability) not a big resort, or just a rustic cabana in west end, and going our own way for food. If anyone has a favorite anything, (restaurant, dive shop, or secret activity) let me know! Looking to spend about $1500 for the week, for everything but plane tickets. I know it can be done :)

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, East End
Level Contributor
5,841 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Thinking of getting scuba certified in Roatan...

If you are looking at getting certified do all your course work and pool work at home (or online) with a local dive shop. Then when you get to Roatan you can finish up your certification with a local dive shop by doing the open water portion. I wouldn't want to spend my time in Roatan doing course work. I would also suggest you try to prearrange your certification before you get there so you are insured of getting it done. Dive shops will have to arrange an instructor for you and sometimes they get busy.

B.