As a small IDC center we teach approximately 30 instructors a year, that means over 300 since we became an IDC center. Here are a few of the kind notes our past students sent us to put on this page.
Chris - Australia
Do it...just do it! I did my divemaster course and my instructor course here with coconut tree divers and it was one of the best experiences of my life! The staff were incredible, the owners were amazing, the diving was insanely good and the life experience and great friends I gained...priceless. The instructors, your mentor, and your course director will guide you on your way to becoming the ultimate diving machine!
You will learn how to dive, and more so...how to be a leader, a role model and a teacher of our beautiful watery world. Completing your instructor course with Will Welbourn will also make you a very competent teacher of diving to say the least.
You also become part of the team here which not only dives together but socialises together, you become family at this place :)
Couldn't recommend a better place in Roatan or the world to do a divemaster course and an instructor course! A huge thanks to Gay, Monty, Will, Ted, Rachael, Dan, Cruz, JoJo, and Rudy! You guys rock!
Oh...and you get to live in paradise while doing it with lots of pretty fish, turtles, rays amongst sandy beaches and coconut trees =)
Patric - USA
Roatan is the perfect place and I am so happy i made the choice to do my IDC here with Will at GoPro Caribbean and Coconut Tree Dive center. The experience and the amazing Instructor assured my confidence in my self to become an amazing Instructor. My Scores at the Instructor Exam could get much better and i walked into the exam confident and ready. I recommend Will and Gopro Caribbean to anyone who wants to be serious about becoming a Padi Instructor. Cheers for helping me making my dreams come true!
Mandy - Scotland
I did my IDC with Coconut Tree this month. This dive shop is just the best! Will, the Course Director really sticks by his mantra of "under promise and over deliver". Awesome classroom away from the dive shop with a pool right there for confined work. We got so much experience, far more than the minimum Padi asks that we do before going forward to the Instructors exam. I don't think I could have been better prepared and felt very confident during the exam and now feel ready to go out and use the skills and get teaching. We also got fresh coffee and cold purified water on tap which was awesome.
It's always nice to walk into the dive shop and be greeted by Gay's cheery attitude and everything is really well organised in the shop. The DMTs are all really friendly and helpful, the Divemaster programme looks fantastic too and I wish I had done mine here too.
West End is an awesome place and Roatan is a beautiful Island. After the IDC we got a complimentary sunset cruise and the next day, a celebratory party round the pool with the best burgers and fajitas on the island!
Can't recommend Coconut tree divers enough!
Bob - USA
I made a personal goal of becoming a PADI Dive Instructor and did a lot of research by talking with PADI Course Directors, discussing with other Instructors & divers, online forums, and various social media outlets. Because not only did I want to become an Instructor, but I wanted to be the absolute best Instructor that I could be.
After conducting my research on where to go for my IDC, I decided on PADI Course Director Will Welbourn, at Coconut Tree Divers in Roatán, Honduras. I knew from the moment that I arrived that I made the right decision. The staff at Coconut Tree Divers is absolutely amazing, I was immediately welcomed by Gay and her staff, making me feel right at home.
Not only did Will teach us the fundamentals of the Instructor course and properly prepare us for the IE, but most importantly, he taught us how to be great Instructors. I feel grateful for the time I had, and am appreciative of the education and training that I received from Will.
Many thanks to Will Welbourn and the Coconut Tree family, for helping me realize my dream!
Lewis - Scotland
Spent 8 months on Roatan and the vast majority of my time was spent in coconut tree divers, this was the best 8 months of my life by far! Completed all my dive courses from advanced all the way through to instructor and I feel blessed to have picked this shop. Everyone at the shop from Monty and Gay the owners, to all the instructors, Alex, Cruz, Dan, Ted, Rachel and Rudy passed on so much knowledge and improved all my skills in a way I could have never have imagined. My time here really did change me as a person for the better! I also completed TDI courses through the Roatan tec center which Monty and Dan run and I want to thank Monty for everything he taught me. Will Welbourn, the course director who runs his IDC through coconut tree taught me a lot about what it takes to be an instructor and I would never hesitate to recommend him to any potential candidates. It was a sad day when I had to leave the beautiful island and the shop where I felt part of the family. Hopefully one day I will return and I know it will be like no time has passed! If you are considering doing any courses or even wanting to just try diving for the first time, GO to coconut tree! You will not regret it and the people there will make you feel welcome and do everything they can for you!
Miss you's all!
Tom - England
I completed my Divemaster programme with Coconut Tree Divers and it was hands down the best thing I've done. The programme they follow is very thorough and goes above and beyond PADI expectations. The instructors are all incredible experienced, knowledgable and helpful and this made sure I was supremely confident as I went on the complete my IDC.
Having been able to assist on many dive courses and leads I am an infinitely more confident diver than ever before and now an instructor myself thanks in no small part to all the staff at CTD. Thank you very much!
Maike - Netherlands
I had been comparing the different courses and their prices on the island. Will was the only one that was absolutely straightforward about the price, no hidden taxes or PADI fees. This was refreshing after struggling to find out the total price of the course at other schools. Will was also very helpful with everything to do with being new on this island. After meeting him I canceled my appointments with other course directors, I didn't think I'd get a better deal anywhere else, and I thought Will was a funny, friendly, likable guy.
The course was fast and busy, but I was prepared for that. Will has a nice teaching style, makes things interesting and includes a lot of his own experiences. He includes more in-water time then required for the course and spends less classroom time on theory because the theory can be studied beforehand and he prefers to work with people that are having difficulties with the theory individually. That way everyone that comes fully prepared doesn't have to listen to things they already know, which I very much appreciated. He was helpful and went out if his way to make sure everybody was more than ready for the IE.
We all passed easily.
I freelanced for a while after the IE and then was lucky enough to be offered a fulltime instructor job at Coconut Tree divers. So things worked out pretty well for me and I'm happy I did the course with Will!
Patrick - Switzerland
My Instructor Development Course was fabulous. Will understands to be totally professional and still making the course a lot of fun. He prepared us perfectly for both, the IE and our future task as instructors. Even though there is a lot to learn he manages to put it in normal days, never would we have to stay until late in the evening or start very early. During the IE we met candidates from other IDC courses and it was obvious that our group was clearly the best prepared. Will is for me a role model instructor because he also helps after the course, for example, he gave me tips to successfully teach my first course and certify a new diver.
Lauren - Texas
Will's teaching style was just what I needed! It gave me the real world knowledge and dive theory needed to become an instructor who can hold her own in a competitive diving market. The course included a great blend of knowledge, teaching demos, and instant detailed feedback.
MARK - OKLAHOMA
Obviously, my PADI IDC experience is a bit limited; I've attended only one. I do have many instructor friends, however, with whom I've spoken about their IDC experiences, both prior to and since mine in May of 2015. After hearing their stories, I know I couldn't have done better than GoPro Caribbean and their Course Director, Will Welbourn.
For starters, Will's Instructor Development Course is spread out over two weeks (many IDCs cram theirs into one). This is great for a couple of reasons: one - it allows your brain time to absorb all the material (there's a lot) at a more relaxed pace making it sink in a lot better, and two - the schedule allows a little time off here and there to actually go diving! It doesn't hurt that GoPro Caribbean is affiliated with the best dive shop in West End, Coconut Tree Divers. Further enhancing this IDC is the amount of fun that you'll have, both in and out of the classroom, and Will's absolutely incredible breadth of knowledge! There is no question--be it about physics, teaching, the Instructor Examination, the PADI system, etc.--that Will can't answer immediately and with certainty. The bottom line is this: many IDCs prepare you to pass the IE; GoPro Caribbean prepares you to be an instructor. You'll be over-prepared for the IE, afterward thinking, "Really? That was it?"
After passing the IE and taking the MSDT prep course, I returned home to start practicing what I had learned. The confidence I had gained from Will's IDC enabled me to immediately jump into teaching without ever wondering, "Do I really know what I'm doing?" The thought never even occurred to me because I DID know what I was doing. I've now taught Open Water, Advanced OW, Rescue, EFR, and numerous specialties (in the classroom, pool, and open water), and I've always been confident that what I was doing or saying was the correct thing to do or say. This is so important, as students can pick up on an uncertain or underprepared instructor. I know I sure did during my ‘undergraduate' dive classes. In fact, I was so prepared to teach right out of the gate that my local dive shop's owner gave me enough students (even in land-locked Oklahoma) to make Master Scuba Diver Trainer in a little over three months and only teaching on weekends. Furthermore, I was able to earn PADI's Elite Instructor Award for 50 or more certifications in 2015 only teaching on weekends and not starting until June! The ability to accomplish this I owe to the incredible instruction and support I received from Will Welbourn and GoPro Caribbean. I couldn't recommend this Instructor Development Course any higher!
I did my advanced rescue, and Divemaster certs with them and it was the best experience of my life an I live in Hawaii. Also I have travelled all over the world from the Maldives in the Indian ocean to Australia, Fiji, Tahiti, Jamaica, Florida, and the entire west coast of north america from panama to Alaska but only went diving in Vancouver northern California and all the rest of the coast down to northern panama. I must say the amazing people at coconut tree are the most professional, safety minded, and caring staff I have ever come across. I felt like I was leaving my family when I went home and the friends I made there are some of my closest and will always be. for instance Jose, Marco, Rags, Sagita, Pj, Gay, Toby, Katy, Bill, Will, Lanita, Dreddy, Duse, Jim, Manu, and of course Will Welbourn! and many others. Also they are some of if not the most environmentally conscience people in the dive industry. After my Divemaster course I went on to do my IDC with Will Welbourn which was unbelievable fun and comprehensive course I can possibly imagine if you have that opportunity seize it my friends you would forever regret it if you knew what you missed.....
Robert - Alaska
You have now found the best IDC!
I attended the IDC at GoPro Caribbean one year after my Divemaster training. Needless to say, I was a bit rusty on my water skills. Will recommended I pass on the IE, and we made a training plan. In March of 2015, I returned and spent a couple weeks assisting on PADI courses prior to the April IDC at Coconut Tree Divers. The 100% pass guarantee is real. I and my classmates rocked the IE. We were so prepared that the IE was a walk in the park. During the IDC it was very apparent that Will was dedicated to our success in the IE. I believe that Will's greatest strength as an instructor lies in his ability to assess each student's learning style and adapt his teaching style to each student. A private air-conditioned classroom was provided, and it was fully equipped for all classroom activities. December 2nd I sent out my first CV to secure an instructor position. The week of January 11th I received three separate offers of employment. I am starting my first instructor position January 25th in Belize. If you are looking for the BEST instruction in the IDC you have found it with Go Pro Caribbean.
Heidi - Ireland
I highly recommend Will to anyone considering doing their IDC. Will is an experienced course director that teaches with energy and enthusiasm. After my first day in the classroom with Will, I felt confident that by the end of the course I would be ready for the instructor exam and I was.
I really enjoyed Will´s teaching style. It was well structured, a good pace and it was fun. In particular, what I really valued about the course with Will is that he shares lots of real life stories and gave advice based on his experience. Now that I´m working as a dive instructor, I often find myself underwater using those tips and thinking ¨damn that was some great advice¨. I also did my divemaster training with Coconut Tree Divers and did it back to back with the IDC. The Coconut Tree Diver divemaster program is an extensive internship. It really sets you up to go on to do the IDC and to work in the dive industry. I was lucky to get work almost straight after my IDC. I got my first freelance jobs and my current position through a recommendation from the Coconut Tree Divers owners and staff.
Brad - Canada
I decided to take the IDC with Will after I completed my divemaster internship with Coconut Tree Divers. The deciding factor was because of all the high-quality instructors that I had met on Roatan and other places in the Caribbean that had also taken his IDC. I can honestly tell anyone that it was the best choice I could have made to become an instructor. His experience in the diving industry and as a course director, will turn you into a knowledgeable instructor ready to teach any student. His great reputation and high-quality teaching lead to me getting work after the first month of completing my IDC. I can highly recommend that you take his IDC and become part of the elite group of scuba dive instructors in the world!
SCOTT - USA
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to complete my IDC with Will and Coconut Tree Divers in beautiful Roatan. During my first trip to Roatan the summer of 2014 to complete my Divemaster training, I learned a lot about what to look for in an IDC program. I also became very familiar with the island, dive shops, and locals. While I know first-hand that making the choice can be difficult, especially when you aren’t familiar with much of anything, the decision to choose Will and CTD for your IDC is one you will not regret.
Will is very accommodating to each individuals’ needs, extremely talented at making the course relevant to real-life work as an instructor, professional, and fun. There is no doubt the course is rigorous, but one should expect nothing less while preparing to be a professional PADI instructor. However, rigor was folded into real-world training in a way that left me feeling confident and excited for the next day. Coconut Tree Divers is an awesome shop that has amazing owners, instructors, and staff, and I was welcomed into the “family” on day one. This is also important to your success during the IDC because you will be diving and interacting with them daily basis. In addition, the classroom, pool, and dive shop are very safe and secure (not all places in Roatan are), and in a perfect location…the West End. There is no need for a daily commute to the dive shop, and you are right in the middle of the best location for diving, night life, restaurants, etc.
Since completing my IDC, I began working as an instructor for a dive shop in the US. They were immediately impressed with my knowledge, water skills, and teaching capabilities as a new instructor. This is a testament to Will and his course. While there are certainly other IDCs available, and I am sure many of good quality, I truly do not believe one can beat the value, experience, professional preparation, and fun in the package put together by Will and CTD. I’ll close with the idea that bounced around in my head over and over while making my decision, “I can think of a hundred excuses why I shouldn’t commit to the IDC, but not one good reason.” I am so glad I made the decision that I did, and am excited to return to Roatan this summer to dive and work on specialties with Will.
KEN - CANADA
I participated in the IDC at Coconut Tree Divers in Roatan with Will Welbourn! I thank Will for my personal success throughout the IDC. It was his determination that prepared all of us in becoming Open Water Scuba Instructors and pushed us all to succeed! Will suggested I come to the course several days in advance to practice skills presentations (my weakness) to be ready when the course began. The days were long, lot's of material to cover, but very well organized, classroom each morning followed by practicing in water scenario throughout the afternoons, Will made it fun! As we approached the Instructor's exam date, I began to feel well prepared and more confident!
The day of the exam, we were all nervous but very confident in our abilities and instruction. We all "Aced" the written exam, we did extremely well with all the in water scenario's, as well as the classroom presentations. Each of us passed the Instructor's examination and became Open Water Scuba Instructor's that day! It was a great day and we all celebrated.
I would highly recommend Will Welbourn for the IDC in Roatan, it will be one of the best experiences of your life!!