A unique Caribbean resort
Utila, Bay Islands
- Jacques Cousteau
Our goal is to deliver an amazing dive experience that is safe, fun and educational, combined with the convenience of valet service. Udive, our on-site dive operation, has experienced dive masters with local knowledge, a spacious dive boat and high quality rental gear. We are also fortunate to have a beautiful house reef located just off our shore, teeming with healthy coral and aquatic life. We are passionately committed to protecting the reef.
Sitting at the edge of the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, Utila’s crystal blue waters are teeming with colorful marine life. Utila has over 100 charted dive sites which include sea mounts, shallow fringing reefs and plunging walls that circumnavigate the Cayman Trench.
The North side of Utila is best known for its drop-offs, which are considered deep dives. The upper edge of the wall begins anywhere from 20-30 feet, with each dive site having a different topography and its own personality and marine growth. Inshore from the drop-offs, excellent medium to shallow coral reefs can be found with diving depths ranging from 20-55 feet which allows both novice and expert divers to enjoy the sites. With water temperatures averaging 80 degrees or warmer, gentle currents and 100 feet of underwater visibility, Utila will be a dive destination you will never forget.
The beauty of our house reef is beyond compare. Its shallow fissures with sandy bottoms and beautiful purple fan coral gardens just at our doorstep will tantalize shore divers. This reef is truly world class and has been dubbed by many visitors as their favorite "house reef". It has many ideal features that create a natural environment for shore diving, night diving and snorkeling excursions. A gradual descending beach leads to the wall, a 130 foot drop-off, a mere 100 feet from shore. The underwater terrain is suited for multi-level dives due to the two descending shelves. Plenty of unique landmarks make the area easy to navigate. The coral is plentiful, healthy and vibrantly colored. We have a big variety of Elkhorn coral and giant pillar corals. There are several sea mounds at 120 feet that are spread out at the breaking point between the coral shelf and the sandy seabed.
Udive is a PADI Resort Dive Operator with the following amenities:
• Hours of operation: 7am to 7pm
• Spacious, custom dive boat
• Dive equipment rentals
• PADI Educational Program with resort courses through IDC training
• Private equipment storage, fresh-water showers and rinse tanks
• Gear bag and tag system
• Valet service to move, rinse, and store your gear
• Shore diving directly from the resort’s beach
• Recompression chamber and physician in Utila Town
Udive is our full service dive operation located on Utopia Village's resort premises. An office, gear rental, guest locker room, and outdoor dive deck complete the Udive facilities.
The Dive Shop is open from 7am to 7pm. It will take care of all gear rental inquiries, daily dive information, course sign-ups, shore and night diving sign ups and specialty equipment sales. It has a full array of dive gear available for rental on a weekly or daily basis. Udive has brand new stock of Cressi and Mares regulators, BCD’s, gauges, wetsuits, and computers. All dive packages include tanks, weights and weight belts.
Personal gear storage is available to guests and is conveniently located next to the Dive Shop. The Guest Locker Room accommodates (30) oversized lockers including benches, water and towel service. The lockers were constructed for full height hanging storage. Guests are welcome to use this facility or use the hanging storage provided outside the hotel rooms. Upon arrival guests will be issued a locker that matches their room number. They will also be provided with a tagged gear bag for storage and handling while at Utopia Village. Our gear specialists will move all gear to and from the boat on a daily basis. The gear will be properly rinsed, dried in the shade and returned to your locker each day. Divers may request to handle their own gear. Items such as: photo equipment, dive computers, and specialty equipment, should be stored in the divers’ room and taken to and from the boat by the owner of that equipment.
The Dive Deck is a spacious area where divers can hang out before and after each dive. There are benches, outdoor showers, rinse tanks and hanging racks located in this area. Also, located here are the dive sign up and scheduling boards.
The Library Lounge facility is a place to relax or to watch dive videos and presentations on the large flat screen TV. Reef and fish ID books, as well as scuba magazines are located here.
Depending on the weather, divers will either board our boat, the Miss U, at our community dock (about 250 yards from the Dive Deck) or at the Casablanca dock (about 5 minutes drive in our Jungle Bus). The shore dive entry to our beautiful house reef is less than 50 yards from the Dive Deck.
All gear is transported and unloaded by our team as part of the included valet service for all boat dives, and on request for shore dives.
click on a dive site for more details on the location
The house reef off Utopia Village’s shore is one of the best dive sites in Utila and is excellent for both diving and snorkeling. A gradual descending beach, less than 50 yards from our Dive Deck, makes for an easy entry on a calm day – on days with big waves, entry may be more difficult especially for novice divers. To further help divers there are a set of poles with ropes in between for support. Wetsuit boots or booties are highly recommended due to the bedrock and fossilized coral stones upon entry.
Utila is often called the Whale Shark Capital of the Caribbean. Sightings are more frequent in the months of March-April and August-September, but whale sharks have been spotted around the island year-round. Unlike pods of dolphins, that are also frequently found around Utila, whale sharks are usually solitary. But it is not uncommon for multiple whale sharks to be sighted in a single day along the northern shores of Utila. Our team of experienced boat captains and dive masters will give you the best opportunity to see and potentially snorkel with these amazing creatures. Please note that it is by no means guaranteed.
(for more info click below)
The Pinnacle is named for the tall coral formation and several chimneys that are typical of this area. Below the dive buoy are two small caverns that begin at 60 feet and drop to 160 feet. To the East of the mooring, there are several swim through tunnels and sandy patches where you can find Nurse Sharks loitering under the rock ledges. The second channel gradually slopes to a depth of 80 feet where it disappears to a depth of 130 feet just over the wall.
The Cabanas are favorite dive sites just in front of Utopia’s shore. Cabana is Spanish for bungalow and the site is named for the small cabana sized coral heads. This fringing reef area begins at 15 feet and gradually drops to 90 feet. This is an excellent multi-level dive featuring great soft coral formations. Look for Nudi Branch and Sea Slugs in this area.
JACK NEAL POINT
Jack Neal Point is just East of Utopia and hits sand at about 90 feet. This is a great site to view Southern Stingray and Spotted Eagle Rays. Photographers will enjoy the “macro” marine life found in a perfect depth to make your safety stop.
HALIBURTON WRECK DIVE
The Haliburton, Utila’s favorite and largest wreck, is 100 feet by 25 feet. The wreck sits at 100 feet in depth and is situated on a sandy bottom making it perfect for the Advanced Diver and those hoping to earn specialties in wreck, nitrox, and deep diving. The Haliburton was sunk in 1998 to create an ecosystem that would add to Utila’s diverse underwater world. Look for Grouper, Southern Sennet, Flameback Angelfish, as well as, Yellow Pencil Coral, Bearded Fireworm and Pore Rope Sponge.
The Aquarium dive site is appropriately named for the colorful wall filled with coral and encrusted sponge. Hang out with a big school of Southern Sennet as you initially descend from this dive mooring. Upon approaching the wall and turning left, enjoy watching the surf hit the lava rocks above you. Here, there are two caverns shaped by the waves which mold them into sweeping arches. These caverns and over hangs are great places to search for Octopus and Glassy Sweepers. You will see everything from Greater Soap Fish to hundreds of juvenile reef residents congregating at this dive site.
At Jack Bight, drop down East of the buoy to 30 feet and find banded Coral Shrimp and a huge Green Moray Eel peering at you from within a chimney hole. Further along there are narrow canyon swim through passages to deeper parts of the reef where an open basin of soft Coral heads reside.
This dive site gets its name from the volcanic rock that forms the wall running parallel to the shore. The upper section of the reef is at 25-35 feet and filled with abundant soft and hard coral heads. At 60-85 feet, swim past a series of caverns and view everything from huge lobster to Goliath Grouper. There is a light current at Blackish Point making it a perfect drift dive.
Duppy is the Utilian word for ghost. This dive site is named for the ghostly images of sharks seen in the greater depths below this buoy. The marker sits on a knife-edge of coral. On the island side of this knife head is a huge sandy patch with rock formations hosting large schooling fish. On the ocean side of the buoy, the depths drop to 140 feet. This area is teaming with reef life and sits right on top of the Cayman Trench.
TED'S POINT WRECK DIVE
Ted’s Point is approximately 45-50 feet deep. Descend onto sandy area with a large coral head that sports a cleaning station. Southeast past the coral head, at 65 feet, is a sunken concrete hull sailboat approximately 41 feet long where you will see a sandy patch littered with Southern Stingray and Spotted Eagle Rays. Toward the West of the mooring are swim through canyons filled with Permit and Bermuda Chubs. Listen to the Toad Fish as you swim by at approximately 60 feet. East of the buoy, in the shallows, you can see turtles and an abundance of soft and hard coral.