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Dive Review of Utopia Villagae in

January, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Eric Weiss, VA, US (1 report)
Report Number 6431
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Belize, Turks and Caicos, St. Vincent, West Palm Beach, Keys, San
Diego, Puerto Rico
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dove with dive master, but could dive deeper or shallower as long as with
buddy.  Back on boat with 500 lbs.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
A large cooler served as a camera tank.  Dive masters did not enforce rule
against no dive masks and no dripping wet suits into the tank, so I did. 
Lots of great stuff to see and photograph.  I got a picture of a French
angel and a turtle hanging around together.

They checked at the beginning of the week to size the tank for the
equipment the divers brought.  Plenty of room.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
Utopia runs a really great all-inclusive operation (extra for liquor, extra
trips, etc.).  Six of us flew from DCA to ATL to SAP to Utila.  Some of the
luggage had to follow later because the plane and the Utila airport are so
small. Utopia arranged for a taxi (mini-van) to take us through town to the
dock.  We took the Miss U (Utopia's dive boat) 45 minutes to the resort. 
The resort is set up for divers on a Saturday-to-Saturday schedule.  There
are 17 rooms, but they accept only 20 divers because of the size of the
dive boat.  The boat was very roomy with 17 divers.  The system leads
everyone to become friends, even the honeymooning couple learning to dive.

They are very safety conscious.  You must always dive with a buddy.  Your
first dive on the house reef is lead by a dive master.  Divers are broken
up into groups of 6-8 and we started back to the boat (by a different
route) when someone reached 1,500 pounds.  After each day, one of the DMs
puts notes from each dive on a board:  time, depth, name of the site,
notable fish.  (The web site made it sound like they check your dive
profile, but this is not the case.)

My fish sighting include:  whale sharks (snorkel only), nurse shark
(sleeping), 4-foot porcupine, morays, lobster, crabs, flounder, mackerel,
turtles, eagle rays, trunk fish, full sail blennies, scorpion fish.
assorted angels, and a glossy slipper.  

We did a night dive on the house reef and found two octopuses. The second
one played around as we shined a dive light on it.  I did two day dives on
the house reef and they were great.  They have posts planted in the reef
and a rope connecting the posts to make entering and leaving the water

Reefs are very healthy.  There's lots of little stuff, both juvenile and

Dives were 45-60 minutes. 

Sidney, who drove the dive boat, did a great job of finding the whale
shark.  Anke our dive master was great.  One day when the water was a
little rough, she stayed deeper and helped us to remove our fins.  One bit
of confusion, when they put out a tag line, they would pull you in.  (A
nice touch, but my dive buddies and I are used to holding onto the tag
line, removing my fins, and pulling myself in.)

I had gear malfunctions on my first dive.  My mask kept flooding and Anke
insisted I trade with her.  I haven't taken off my mask underwater in a 100
dives.  Then my BC started power inflating.  Back on the boat, Anke
suggested removing the inflator hose and adding air orally.  I took off my
in-line horn and it never happened again.

Two of the divers in my group recently had knee operations and the crew was
very helpful.  One diver took his gear off in the water and the crew
brought it into the boat.  The other diver did not need any extra help.

The resort has a large dining rooms and meals are served at roughly fixed
times.  Breakfast is a buffet.  The staff offers two choices for lunch and
dinner (one meat, one fish).  Peter the chef made excellent meals for us. 
He accommodated special requests as best as possible; Utila is a small
island with limited resources.

There's an open air bar run by Brien with help from Soquey.  The four local
beers are on the light side, but good.  They cost US $4.50.  At the airport
they were US $2.00.  Wine was available by the glass or bottle.

One afternoon we took the water taxi to town (30-40 minutes each way).  The
spray was rough, so they put a blue tarp over us and we stayed mostly dry. 
Town was interesting, but small.  "Tree Tonic" is an interesting
bar/restaurant/folk art venue.

The rooms were large with two queen side beds, air conditioning, shower and
bathroom.  The grounds are pleasant with various palms and broken coral. 
There's a sandy beach that reverts to coral once you enter the water.

The resort is on the south side of the island near the west end.  This
allows Utopia to dive south, west, or north depending on how the wind is
kicking up the ocean.  The sea was never very rough by Florida standards,
but several days it made returning to the boat a little difficult.

One warning about the airport at San Pedro Sula.  One of the divers in our
group did not realize that the Delta agent did not return his credit card
(used for an overweight bag).  The agent tracked him down 30 minutes later,
but it turned out that $1,000 was charged within minutes in several Wawa
stores in Delaware.  He notified Delta, but has not received any personal
response.  His credit card company has canceled the charges.  So you will
get your passport, your boarding pass, a luggage receipt, a receipt for the
overweight fee, etc. make sure you get your credit card back.

Returning home, the six of us killed four hours in the airport at San Pedro
Sula.  There's not a lot to do, but you can eat and purchase souvenirs. 
Bring a book or an e-reader.
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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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