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Dive Review of Utila Lodge in

December, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Dean Knudson, MN, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 2249
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Florida, Mexico, Bonaire
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy  
Water Temp
79   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
One hour dives, may stay with guide if desired, obey computer, advised to
stay out of the caves and to approach whale sharks in the instructed
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Dedicated tank on the boat, dry table for set up.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
The short and unpredictable flight from Roatan is something of a nuisance,
both coming and going.  There is a luggage weight restriction for that
plane. The Utila aiport consists of a platform with a tin roof.

While waiting in the airport on Roatan it is possible to purchase
inexpensive liquor and wine. Bottles of Cabernet from Chile are only three
dollars in the region.  

The accommodations are comfortable. The hot tub on the front deck is a nice
touch.  There is no pool. Room 2C has the best Internet connection,
although there is supposed to be wireless internet throughout the resort.
Our Skype connection worked just fine for international telephone calls on
a daily basis, using a laptop and a headset.  

The dive boat is large, but is on the slow side, cruising at about 10 mph. 
There is no fresh water rinse on that boat, a definite minus.  The cook is
willing to pack a lunch for the entire group, to allow three dives instead
of two on the morning trip.  It is a good idea to request this, as the
better dive sites are on the other side of the island, and it takes an hour
to get there.  

The sand flies are vicious, bring plenty of DEET, and pray that you are not
one of those individuals who reacts to the bites.  

Captain Willy is quite sharp, and found a whale shark for us on the fourth
day.  We had three close encounters with it.  The dive guides are competent
and friendly.  The visibility was somewhat reduced during our trip, but the
coral is healthy, and the structure on most of the sites was quite
interesting.  The entire area is significantly overfished, unfortunately. 
There is a lot of small marine life, however.  

The entire island is a dirt cheap place to entertain one's self.  Beers are
$.75 to $1.00, and there are plenty of young Europeans, creating a lively
bar scene. the two best bars are La Tranquilla and La Champa. 

The resort food is above average and plentiful.  Meals are timed around the
dive boat schedule.  

Honduras is a poor country, the average monthly family income is around
$110 on the island of Utila, and only $80 on the mainland. A seven day-old
baby died of a fever, on the island, during the week we were there.  There
is little violent crime, but theft is something of a concern.  The resort
owner insists that the entire resort is secure, and we had no difficulties
with our valuables. 

There is little for non-diving family members to do here. The sunset view
from the Bay Islands College of Diving bar is excellent, and the drinks
there are substantially cheaper then in the main lodge bar which is only 60
feet away. Go  figure. 

There are only two roads on the island which are paved, totaling about 5
miles. Renting a bicycle and spending an afternoon riding around will allow
you to see all of the island. 

The treehouse bar is definitely worth a happy hour drink. Gunther, the
sculptor, is an interesting character, and his shop is worth a visit.

  There are, unfortunately, no large interesting wrecks, and if one does
not encounter a whale shark during the week the dive vacation becomes
somewhat average to slightly above average. 

There are both malaria and dengue fever on the island, although they are
both quite rare, and it is a good idea to use malaria prophylaxis, and to
have the oral typhoid vaccine before departing.  Captain Willy can attest
that dengue fever is quite an experience, he apparently came close to dying
from it.

There are big changes in the planning stages for the island.  A Florida
style condominium complex is apparently being planned for one of the main
lagoons.  The island will probably lose its charm in the next decade.  The
dive guides are very concerned about the possibility that the mangrove
swamps will be trained for development.  They fear the reefs will decline
substantially without abundant healthy mangroves to filter the island water
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Diving Guide to Honduras
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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