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Dive Review of Utila Lodge in

Utila Lodge, Jan, 2009,

by Vance Esler, TX, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4835 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I hesitate to give the Utila Lodge a great review because it could become too crowded, and then I might have trouble making a reservation. Yet I must say that we loved this place.

We took a small commuter plane to/from Roatan to Utila. It is a 10 minute flight that doesn't get above 200 ft (important to know when you are trying to plan your last dives around flying).

The island is small, but it is a diving mecca. There must be dozens of dive schools within a few blocks. There are people from all over the world there learning to be divemasters and instructors.

The Lodge is quaint, not fancy, and it is perfect for diving. Everything is very close. The boat, the dining room, and the bedrooms are all within a few yards from each other.

The Lodge is clean and comfortable. Everything is wood and made to get wet. The place is owned by Americans who were there during our visit, helping to cook and simply visit. The buffet meals were very good. Between meals one could get sodas or alcoholic beverages from the bar using an honor system linked to your room number. Overall, this is one of our favorite places to have stayed.

The Lodge had our gear on the boat each morning, tanks filled. They would even set up your rig if you wanted them to. Some of us used Nitrox while others used air. If I had any complaint, it is that the tanks were not always fully filled. After the day's diving, you put your stuff into numbered mesh bags which they provided, and the staff would clean the gear and hang it to dry.

The diving was a lot of fun. Willie, our boat captain, was said by many to be the best on the island. He sure knew how to find whale sharks. He also had lots of good stories, and he was very knowledgeable about the underwater life. One morning we went to the other side of the island where we saw pilot whales, dolphins and whale sharks. Fun!

If you go to Utila, you should plan to spend one afternoon on a whale shark excursion. Go with the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center and Dr Rob Davis (an ex-Navy Seal turned marine biologist). He will teach you a lot about the huge fish, and he will show you how to do the encounters the right way.

Oh, there are small lock boxes in the rooms, but you don't really need them. We found everyone at the Lodge trustworthy. Tipping is interesting. Rather than tipping individuals on a daily basis, they ask you to leave your tip when you check out. It is then split up among ALL the staff. 60% goes to the cooks, room service, desk clerks, etc, and the other 40% goes to the boat captain and dive guides.

If we go to Utila again, this is where we would plan to stay and to dive.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Roatan, Florida, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 77-78°F / 25-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions We were content to dive with guides who were pretty laid back. Most dives were 45-60 minutes -- the limits of our air.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Very good if you want to photograph small critters.
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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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