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Dive Review of Utila Lodge in
Honduras/Utila

Utila Lodge, Feb, 2003,

by Susan Freedman, DC, USA . Report 448.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman (lived there), Cozumel, South Caicos (lived there), Florida, Roatan
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 85 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Asked not to break rec dive limits, didn't.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We had plenty of room for camera area. Don't know if it'd be the case if everyone had cameras/strobes. But only 8 roooms at facility, max of those 8 rooms (maybe 16 on boat) so pretty good.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Utila Lodge is a small and homey facility with 8 rooms off the water(2 floors of 4 rooms). It's next door to the Utila Dive College so you'll run into many more folks from all over the world into diving. Very friendly, very easy-going, if diving is your thing, this is a place to be. Not a lot for non-divers or if you need a lot of amenities.
Boat captain "Willy" and our divemaster Albert were excellent! One morning we ventured into the deep blue for whale sharks and found them on 4 separate occasions. Laguna beach's boat and others (rival companies) would follow us because Willy had a knack of finding these gentle giants, so once a crowd formed, we'd head off to find more on our own again---which Willy was a pro at. So one day we jumped in on snorkel with whale sharks 4 times--from 18' to 35' long. Another day Willy found them again once for others not on boat earlier in the week, but I relaxed and watched the shadows on board enjoying the new excitement. The diving: very good to excellent. So many pristine corals and small nudibranchs and tunicates and sea horses and juvi spotted drums and more. And lots of schooling horse eye jacks, blue tangs, an old, large turtle and more. Schools of dolphins chased and led our boat on more than one occasion. Only wish I'd seen a school of spotted eagle rays--but I've seen them many times in my travels so that was OK. The boat was good, easy on and off if you had any common sense. Food was OK, most of time good or tolerable, sometimes less, which is par for the course with remote all-inclusives. Went into "town" a couple times and enjoyed thoroughly. Only down-side was reaching the island destination itself. There is no real airport--more a giant black top on a field and Utila is not in airline computer systems. I had mechanical problems with my first flight out of DC to hub in Houston so I missed it and it took 72 hours to finally reach Utila via Belize, El Salvador and the mainland. Being so remote, airlines were not very helpful,and Roatan Charter was absolutely horrendous. But seeing the whale sharks--sometimes just a few inches from me--made it all worth the pain. The Lodge owners, staff and bar were great too. If you don't mind no TV, no email, no phones, and needing a lot of bug spray, this place is excellent. It's definitely for divers by divers. Two thumbs up!
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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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