Review of Utila Dive Center: Honduras scuba diving holiday in Utila

Jan 28, 2022 BY Cara Rees

Are you planning a Honduras scuba diving holiday in Utila? If you are looking for more information read this review of Utila Dive Center (UDC) to find out why I would recommend diving with them.

Review of Utila Dive Center Honduras scuba diving holiday in Utila Photo copyright of UDC and Ashley Kirkham

I had never imagined going to Honduras in Central America to dive until I discovered three things. First it is considered to be some of the best diving in the world. Second, it’s one of the cheapest places to dive. And thirdly it is one of the best whale shark diving destinations on the planet with these gentle giants in Utila’s waters year round. I couldn’t resist and I was not disappointed.

Getting to a scuba diving holiday in Utila

International flights into Honduras to San Pedro Sula, Roatan or La Ceiba all have transport connections to Utila. There is a small airport on Utila which has commercial flights from San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba three to four times a week. There are also ferry connections from La Ceiba and Roatan (only at weekends).

Travelling from San Pedro Sula via bus to La Ceiba is also an option and takes about three hours. This is the option we choose with a two night stay in La Ceiba so we could go whitewater rafting on Rio Cangrejal.

Review of Utila Dive Centre in Honduras

There are lots of travel routes to choose from, and the Utila tourist webpage has useful information to help you pick the right one for you.

About Utila Dive Center

Your Honduras scuba diving holiday in Utila with UDC starts from the moment you arrive on the island. Utila Dive Centre is partnered with the Mango Inn Resort offering free or discounted accommodation with dive courses and packages. It was great being picked up from the ferry and taken straight to the resort where we were warmly welcomed.

After checking in we headed to the dive centre. It is about a 20min walk from the resort through the vibrant town, a great way to get your bearings. We were offered a lift though, a useful service for those transporting heavy dive gear. The centre staff and dive instructors are very friendly, we were greeted as if we were part of the dive family already.

Utila Dive center offers recreational, technical and professional dive courses including instructor training. All their courses are led by extremely experienced instructors and often have newly qualified or trainee dive professionals supporting them.

Review of Utila Dive Center

Review of Utila Dive Center

I found Utila Dive Center to have an inspirational learning environment. I completed my enriched air (Nitrox) course and my partner did his PADI open water course in Utila. We both had very positive experiences and would choose to continue our scuba development with UDC. Something super cool is that if you complete a professional qualification with them they offer you free fun diving for life.

On that note, if you are just looking for some fun dives UDC have two to four trips available everyday to beautiful dive sites. They have a full range of well maintained equipment to use with air, Nitrox or to complete technical dives.

You’ll enjoy UDC’s great social scene too with regular activities. During the eight days we were with them there was a themed music night, tie dye event, floaties and Halloween party.

Halloween Party at Utila Dive Centre

Why choose a Honduras scuba diving holiday in Utila?

It is one of a few places in the world where you can see whale sharks all year round with their main seasons running March & April and October to December. Utila does not allow anyone to scuba dive with these amazing creatures however snorkeling is permitted. There are also regular sightings of dolphins and pilot whales.

The UDC boat captains are in contact with each other and actively seek out big fauna when the opportunity is available. We dove over six days and got to see a really large pod of spinner dolphins which was amazing! We didn’t get to see any whale sharks this time so look forward to returning for another Utila scuba diving holiday.

There are numerous smaller inhabitants too, like; seahorses, crustaceans, fish, rays, mobula and turtles. The many soft corals sway as if they are waving an underwater greeting, this creates beautiful and dynamic dive sites in Utila. I’d have been happy just enjoying these vistas.

I saw many things for the first time including flamingo tongues (colourful snails), Juvenile spotted drum fish and an eagle ray. Plus had two close encounters with huge great barracuda and an inquisitive shoal of squid gave a great display during one of our great safety stops.

Eagle Ray during Honduras scuba diving holiday in Utila

Lionfish are an invasive species in the bay islands. Divers spear fish for them and prepare ceviche from their catch, which is delicious! UDC even have a speciality two day Caribbean lionfish containment diver course. This is a great additional activity for any scuba holiday.

Review of Mango Inn Resort

The resort is pretty with a selection of small swimming pools surrounded on two sides by terraced accommodation and other cabins set back amongst the gardens.

We stayed in the standard room which isn’t large but is perfectly formed with useful storage and even a desk space. We found the air conditioning to be quiet and wonderfully effective. There is a water dispenser in the room giving hot and cold water, I really like this extra touch. The Mango Inn Resort is pleasant. Staying here added to our Utila scuba diving holiday enjoyment.

Mango Inn Resort swimming pools in Utila

Food at Mango Inn

I didn’t think this review of Utila Dive Center would be complete without some details about food. I get really hungry when diving so food is an important part of my scuba diving holidays. We found it very convenient that both the Mango Inn Resort and Utila Dive Centre offer food.

Mango Inn has a reasonably size restaurant nestled amongst vegetation. It was amazing to watch a hummingbird buzz around there while enjoying breakfast. Their food is are tasty, with plenty of variety and good portion sizes. Meals are served all day and the wood burning stone pizza oven gets plenty of use.

UDC offers freshly prepared food until two in the afternoon, and drinks are served all day. You’ll find the bar area next to the pontoon with a lovely view across the water. Alternatively you can take your food up to the balcony where there is social seating, a pool table, foosball and darts.

Mango Inn Resort bar and jetty in Utila

What is Utila like as a holiday destination?

Utila is a tiny island but I found it has plenty of life and things to do. The main street has a plethora of restaurants and bars with some amazing fare on offer. From tasty vegetarian poke bowls, to huge shrimp and passion fruit mojitos there is something for every pallet.

There are a number of party venues too as well as many relaxing bars with brilliant views. Some even offer access to world class snorkelling at the edge of Utilia’s dive sites.

I also enjoyed visiting and tasting the handmade wares at the island’s chocolate factory. The iguana center was interesting and worth a visit. Plus we had a rewarding experience taking some dogs out for a walk from the local animal shelter.

Review of Utila Dive Centre Snorkelling on the reef

Honduras scuba diving holiday in Utila: Conclusion

In summary, I had the best time! I now think choosing a Honduras scuba diving holiday in Utila is a no brainer. Utila island offers everything I want for a beautiful relaxing holiday. As detailed in this review of Utila Dive Center, I know I will have an amazing experience next time I return to dive and complete qualifications with them. I have no hesitation in recommending a Utila scuba dive holiday with UDC.

We hope you found this review of Utila Dive Centre helpful. I thoroughly recommend learning or diving with them. For more info head to their website: www.utiladivecenter.com

 
Bay Islands, Caribbean Sea, Central America, Honduras, Mesoamerican Reef, Utila
Scuba Diving, Snorkelling
Coral Reef, PADI
Travel Articles
 

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