Utila Dive Center News
Our February Instructor course just ended with a 100% pass at the exams. We're currently running some tech Instructor training, and have had awesome diving conditions with a Whale shark sighting last week, so many happy divers and students. This weekend we´re taking Sunday afternoon off and enjoying a beach party with several other dive centers on the island.
Utila Dive Centre - Utila, Caribbean Bay Islands of Honduras
The Utila Dive Centre is a PADI Career Development Centre and full service dive resort located in the Caribbean Bay Islands of Honduras, Central America, offering diving packages, accommodation, PADI certification courses from beginner to Instructor (monthly PADI IDC’s), GoPro internship programs and marine ecology training. There is no other facility in Utila, Honduras or elsewhere in Central America that has such a combination of experience, commitment and enthusiasm and we are proud to be a Global Dive Network member.
In the last few years we have received countless awards from PADI for our training programs and in 2010 we were awarded the best PADI IDC center worldwide by Sport Diver and the Instructor Development award by PADI Americas. Our PADI Course Directors have been recognised as Platinum level for the last 6 years and in 2004 we were voted No 1 Dive Facility worldwide for entry level training by PADI Americas. In 2006 the 'Divers Alert Network' (DAN) awarded our Instructor trainers for their commitment to promoting safe diving and from 2006 - 2009 we also received the PADI Project Aware Environmental Achievement Award.
Our PADI internship programs are ideal for divers who wish to GoPro and train to become PADI Divemasters or Instructors in our immersion environment, and gain experience assisting on PADI recreational courses and specialty diver training. As part of our Divemaster internships all candidates partake in the Project Aware Coral Watch program and learn about identifying diseased corals and recording data for the University of Queensland. For certified divers we also offer training to Instructor in 8 weeks. Utila is the ideal destination to gain experience whilst interning, unlimited diving, great conditions with coral reefs and Whale sharks, and very affordable living with a fun and social lifestyle.
In 2006 Utila Dive Centre was one of the founding members of the 'Utila Centre for Marine Ecology' (UCME), a non-profit NGO, which is headed by marine biologist Dr Stephen Box. UCME is dedicated to protecting Utila's delicate marine environment, through research, scientific studies and education. Through our support for Utila's only environmental NGO, the Utila Center for Marine Ecology' (UCME), we have committed ourselves at the forefront of environmental research, scientific studies, community awareness and educational offerings. We want to share our passion, enthusiasm and respect for the underwater world, reef systems, and mangroves with all visitors, professionals and the local community on Utila. No other facility on Utila places as much emphasis on environmental protection as Utila Dive Centre, after all we are in this profession for life and for love, and we hope to share that with all our divers and students.
UDC also offers technical dive training from both PADI/DSAT and IANTD, the two most respected agencies in technical diver training. On top of this we are also the only facility in Central America/Bay Islands to offer diver level and Instructor training with the 'Beautiful Oceans' Science and Marine Ecology Programs.
In addition to training we have our hotel/resort 'The Mango Inn' and offer weekly dive packages from 2-4 dives a day on our dedicated resort boats for certified divers, that are comfortable, spacious and can reach the dive sites from 5-40 minutes, often allowing Dolphin or Whale shark encounters on the boat rides or during the surface intervals.
Our core competencies are the experiences that we provide certified divers, the training we provide to students of all levels and the effort that we take to protect our environment and underwater heritage.
Utila Dive Centre doesn't just aim to be a market leader but aims to raise standards not just by educating our own divers and staff but through professionalism, customer service, innovation and environmental protection. We set the standard for the dive industry and other dive centres in our region and we aim to provide our service with dedicated personal attention. This benefits our divers and makes 'word of mouth' the number one reason why people choose to dive with us. Every diver or student that visits us is treated as a friend and a lifelong member of the Utila Dive Centre. Our weekly BBQ's and social events highlight the fun and personal service; our staff like to share with all our divers to at our facility.
We invite you to come to Utila and dive with us.
Diving on Utila – Bay Islands Honduras
Utila offers a wonderful variety for underwater adventurers and the reefs are packed with life and the corals are in pristine condition. It is not uncommon for divers to play with manta rays, swim with dolphins and gasp with wonder as the biggest fish in the sea, the incredible whale shark, goes by.
Utila has some of its best diving just minutes from the town on the south side of the island. The shallow coral spur and groove formations are perfect for identifying macro life, and Paul Humann etc al (authors of the Reef Fish ID books) rate the Bay Islands as having one of the most bio-diverse reefs in the Caribbean.
The north side of the island offers advanced divers the opportunity to do some deeper diving. The continental shelf actually meets the island at Turtle Harbour Marine Reserve and even the most experienced of divers will be delighted by the amazing drop offs. The walls start at just 5m (15ft) and drop vertically down to over 1000m (3300ft). CJs drop off and Duppy waters are famed in The Bay Islands for their vertigo inducing views into the deep. Hawksbill turtles, eagle rays, reef sharks, moray eels and sting rays are all common, as well as giant sponges and a tremendous variety of soft and hard corals.
As well as fringing reefs, Utila has some spectacular sea mountains which rise from the ocean floor to just a few feet from the surface. These act as magnets to filter feeding fish and of course to the fish that like to eat other fish. Many people's favourite, a site called Black Hills, is one of the top dive sites in the Bay Islands. Sharks are common and large schools of jacks swirl around you as you drop down the coral encrusted hill top.
If you are an experienced diver, you will find that Utila has much to offer. On the west end of the island the currents allow for some wonderful drift diving. There is also a great wreck dive; the Halliburton 211 was sunk as an artificial reef by the Utila Dive Operators Association in 1998 and is already attracting a lot of fishes. It lies just minutes from Utila town and has become a favourite dive site with our instructors for their advanced course dives.
Utila offers a laid back and chilled experience reminiscent of the traditional Caribbean. Things tend to move at a relaxed pace in the Bay Islands and in particular on Utila. If you like adventure and want to experience something different in the Caribbean then Utila is the place for you. The crystal clear warm waters, the unhurried atmosphere and the friendly nature of the people will combine to give you an experience, which you'll never forget!