Roatan, Honduras -- Report by Ken Aitken
Diving per Dollar - Maximum Value
CocoView Resort is all about maximum value for dedicated divers and snorkelers. Even the casual diver can comfortably accomplish four or five dives per day, and the really sincere nitrogen hound is welcome to jump 30 or more dives in a week, making diving per dollar at Cocoview second to none. As the package is all-inclusive, additional expenses are basically nil. Other than bar bill, tip, departure tax, and an optional contribution to the chamber fund, everything is included. That's lodging, meals, tax, transfers, truly unlimited diving, even complimentary use of the sea kayaks. If you do buy anything from the boutique or snack bar, it all works on an honor system and there's no need to touch your wallet until check-out time.
Cocoview offers two boat dives and two "drop-off" dives per day, plus truly unlimited beach diving, available twenty-four hours a day. You'll find the dive shop open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., but if you need a nitrogen fix in the middle of the night, or wish to enjoy the peaceful exhilaration of an early dawn dive, just let the divemasters know and they'll set tanks out for you. As there is generally minimal current, the boat dives are almost always moored dives. After a short ride, your boat hooks up to one of an extensive system of permanent moorings, the divemaster provides a concise briefing, and after that, "the pool is open." Follow the divemaster if you'd like to see a sleeping nurse shark or sonambulent seahorse, but if you prefer, you and your buddy are welcome to explore the reef at your own pace and on your own dive profile. This atmosphere of mutual trust and respect is enhanced with the aforementioned drop-off dive. At the conclusion of the boat dive, divers who care to, are invited to switch to a full tank and enjoy a leisurely swim back to the resort. This is a superb convention, though one I've not encountered at any other dive resort. With two boat dives, two drop-off tanks, and a beach night dive it's easy to enjoy five dives per day, and still have time to read, relax, paddle a kayak, nap in the hammock, or enjoy a stroll down the beach.
Freedom to dive as a responsible adult
Cocoview advertises that, "Our front yard is a wreck," referring to the 146' Prince Albert sunk intentionally as an artificial reef. But the fact is, Cocoview is as solid, well-put together a dive resort as you will find anywhere in the world. Most appreciated is the fact that they treat divers like adults. Once you've proved your ability, you are free to plan your dive...and dive your plan.
CovoView is also known for its casual, friendly atmosphere, service, and rock solid physical plant. Although the island of Roatan now has a stable power generating plant, CocoView has always generated its own electricity. With double back-up generating capacity that enables this resort shows off by serving ice cream for dessert. You can be sure that they will always have full tanks at the ready.
Menu promises never to repeat during the week. Served buffet-style, all you care to eat, there are always two entees at the evening meal, one meat and one seafood. Vegetarians and other special diets are graciously accommodated. Excellent homemade soups, nightly salad bar, strong Honduran coffee, and death by chocolate desserts.
Unlimited day dives, night dives, dawn dives
If you want to safely maximize your bottom time, this resort is ready and willing to accommodate. Dive computer users are most welcome. Divers, whether on computer or tables, are responsible for selecting their own profiles and remaining responsible for their own nitrogen situation. Boat dives allow at least one hour per dive and if you take the drop-off, you have all the time in the world to swim leisurely back to the resort's front yard.
Cocoview Resort, still a work in progress, was begun in 1980 by Bill and Evelyn Evans. With their own hands they have turned a remote island penninsula, overgrown with mangrove, into one of the Caribbean's finest dive resort. Their son Terry and his partner Jackie man the state-side reservations. Gail and Susan head up the housing staff, and Cliff Yeary leads the divemasters. Originally from Fort Stockton, Texas, Cliff experienced a personal epiphany when he came to Cocoview. Once prone to running with motorcycle gangs, Cliff is now a benevolent born-again pirate. Standing 6'2" and weighing in well over 200 pounds, Cliff cuts an impressive figure in his ubiquitous short britches, bare chest, and bandana headgear. His gold earring completes the picture nicely, and you may find Cliff at sunset, strolling along the water while playing waltzes, jigs, and fiddle-tunes on his beloved violin. Cliff has put his personal stamp on the diving at CocoView. He runs an efficient operation which allows capable divers great freedom while never forgetting safety, and his personal passion, reef ecology. Cliff Yeary is synonimous with CocoView Resort, you'll be glad you met them, and will soon call them friends.
Pricing and Details
Find resort pricing and details here: CoCo View Resort, Roatan