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Dive Review of Utila Lodge; Bay Islands College of Diving/Stay at Utila Lodge, if on a budget in
Caribbean (General)/Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

Utila Lodge; Bay Islands College of Diving/Stay at Utila Lodge, if on a budget: "Diving with the Lodge", Jul, 2023,

by Elasmobranch, TX, US ( 2 reports). Report 12842.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Utila Lodge, is built to accommodate about 16 people at a time and provides all inclusive room, board, and diving. The rooms are island nice, rustic on the outside and well furnished inside. The Lodge is built on piling and stands over the shoreline and shallows of the bay and each room has a screened porch that faces west with a hammock and a ceiling fan. If you like the sound of small waves as you go to sleep, ask for a lower level room. You can check in here and never go off the property except to ride a dive boat and get in the water, but you will miss out on the local culture and all of the characters that make up this island if you do. Utila Lodge and the dive operation and school are owned and managed by the Engel family, led by Kisty and her daughter, Rebecca with son Shawn working behind the scenes. Look for Queen Ann in the bar, Ceasar waiting tables, Annie, Daisy, Leslie and Vanessa in the kitchen and Brittania, at the desk.

Diving is with Lodge guests or Bay Islands College of Diving students or both. There are three primary boats. All are inboard, single screw, diesel drive vessels. All have emergency equipment, rinse tanks that are dedicated to cameras and computers, and overheads that provide shade to at least 40% of the main deck.

Utila Lodge, like most of the dive shop/dive school operations on Utila, has a mix of long term employees that serve as crew, including some divemasters, plus plenty of dive teachers and students. Most of the divemasters are recently certified graduates and divemaster students working with their teachers. The boat captains are island natives, in almost all instances, and are highly skilled, having been on the water since before they could walk. At Utila Lodge, look for these captains: Bootsy, Gringo, Albert. All of these guys are good at finding the sea mounts and making sure the boat drifts to drift divers without any motor involvement. Gringo has blessed me by taking dive site suggestions and is an excellent spotter of dolphins, pilot whales and whale sharks. I have seen him gently manage a boat with mechanical problems and maneuver a vessel that was crippled to a feather touch on the dock in a crosswind.
and these divemasters: Marcos, Hanna
plus these long term employees who have shown themselves to be better than the general group of dive service workers: Arjen (highly skilled), Vicki

Utila sits in an area of prevailing easterly trade winds. A large part of the island in the western part of the land mass, is still undeveloped rain forest, swampland, mangrove mix that the locals call the bush. There is very little current most of the time. Most of the time, the current is east to west.

Visibility is mainly good, 80 to 100 feet and more, especially on the north side of the island and on dive sites near the east end of the island, which is upcurrent. Visibility diminishes at sites near the mouth of the harbor and down current, meaning just west, of the mouth of the lower lagoon during outgoing tides. Visibility is also affected by rainwater runoff, with the south side of the island affected more than the more aside due to greater development and population on the south slope of the island.

The south side of the island and west end of the island are sheltered most of the time. These are closer to town and to the bay and these dive sites see the most use. The south side dive sites are typically characterized by shallow reef, 5 to 15 feet below the surface of the water, that have a sharp drop off to a sand slope that may star ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Websites Utila Lodge; Bay Islands College of Diving   Stay at Utila Lodge, if on a budget

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Honduras, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Australia, Caymans (each of them), Bahamas
Closest Airport San Pedro Sula or Roatan Getting There Any carrier to San Pedro Sula: From there by CM Airlines to Utila or by arranged driver to La Ceiba and across to Utila on the ferry. OR Any airline to Roatan and from there to Utila by ferry.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 75-120 Ft/ 23-37 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions One hour per dive, not consistently enforced, to keep the kitchen on schedule.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments I will send the broader report via email and allow you to edit as you see fit. ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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