It’s about a half an hour boat ride from Utila, and it is the perfect example of tropical paradise. Different dive shops make trips here on various days of the week and depending on the shop, the prices vary. There is a $2.60usd (50 lempira) fee for park upkeep. Many of the dive shops will include a trip to Water Cay if you bargain it into your course cost. And depending on the night before, you may just go to enjoy a relaxing day of snorkeling and sun-tanning — or maybe you bring a bottle of rum and get a bit more rowdy. Either way, the level of relaxation is unparalleled and there is no better way to spend a day nursing a hangover.
Parrot’s Dive Shop
This local-owned dive shop is the most likely culprit of why our five-day stay stretched to nearly three weeks. The owners, Alfred and Tatiana, are probably the nicest people you will meet on the island and their house parties are a must while you’re in Utila. It takes a special couple to invite hoards of international travelers to their incredible treehouse-style home for barbecue and unlimited beer. But, the reason you’re really here is for the diving, and luckily Parrots provides just as stellar dive trips as they do parties. The prices are competitive with the other dive shops, and in most cases (on most days) probably the cheapest. You may even be lucky enough to get a free t-shirt and breakfasts out of the deal. The diving instructors are a perfect balance of professional and fun; and the regular crowd of dive masters are knowledgeable and a lot of fun under the water. Ask around to see which dive master would be best for your fun dives — some prefer the deep dives others like the tropical fish in the shallows — whatever floats your boat. Parrots offers everything from open water to dive master training and everything in between. The accomodations here are basic — but hey, if you’re diving with Parrots then it’s free! We could not have asked for a better experience in Utila — diving or just hanging out. Parrots was a perfect fit for us and we’d venture to say most other trampers would be impressed with this dive shop.
RATES (cash only)
Open water / Advanced open water / Rescue diver – $289usd
(Includes two free fun dives, accommodations and a free breakfast from Friendly Girls Cafe)
Dive Master – $950usd
As far as lifestyle on Utila goes — it’s hard to beat living on the Underwater Vision grounds. Great dorms, airy and clean, beach volleyball with daily matches (careful when going up against the instructors!), a bar and restaurant and of course, great diving on offer. As far as free accommodations with dive shops go on the island — Underwater Vision is very competitive.
Open water / Advanced open water – $278usd
(Includes free accommodations and two free fun dives upon completion)
Rescue diver – $286usd
(Includes free accommodation and two free fun dives upon completion)
Alton’s Dive Shop
When we say that Underwater Vision is competitive with their housing, Alton’s would seem to be the shop they are competing with. Depending on availability, you could even set yourself up in a private cabin for two right on the water. There is also a nice two story dock, fun for socializing and jumping off into the clear blue water below. Remember prices for dive courses on the island are competitive and being a walk-in can be an advantage when it comes to trying top fill in courses.
Open water / Advanced open water – $299