Affordable Scuba Diving with Kids in Utila, Honduras

scuba diving kids

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Della and Wit (from South Carolina), her instructor working on her skills in a salt water pool.

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Preparing to head out for the morning dive

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Wit and the boys, prepping for the dive.

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between dives

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The crepe place is run by a french man who sits at a table painting very cute pictures when not making crepes
Hola Utila! Utila is the smallest of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras. It’s a tiny island with an even smaller little town. It’s claim to fame is it’s scuba diving and it just happens to be the cheapest place in the world to get your PADI open water certification. We wanted our kids to enjoy scuba diving and Utila is the perfect place to learn.We are staying at a dive hostel that provides lodging, scuba certification, all your gear, and dives. There is a little restaurant right outside our room where the kids can sit at the bar and order their fill of limeade and pancakes for very few limpiras. The upside of a hostel over a hotel is the ‘community living’ aspect. You quickly become a part of a bigger, funner community just because everyone is hanging out together on the little beach, swinging in the hammocks, or hanging out at the bar. We stay in a dorm like room. We have an entire dog network that runs up and down the main street and checks in regularly for any scraps or affection that they can find.There is barely a street here. The main drag is more like a big sidewalk and couldn’t handle two passing cars if it had to, which is fine, because there are no cars here, just lots of tuk tuks, golf carts, motorcycles, dogs, folks and bikes…. The island is primitive, but that doesn’t say much, does it? Put it this way….I figured i’d buy a bathing suit when I got here and I figured wrong. There is no bathing suit to be bought….on an island?!? That astounds me in a good way. I hate shopping for bathing suits anyway.
I’ll be happy in my thrift store mis-matched bikini that I got, just in case, the day before we left for fifty cents. Customer Service is not really a thing here and it’s sometimes frustrating because I’m a spoiled American, but also refreshing because we’ve taken it waaaayyy too far with all of our yelping and reviewing and such.We are here to dive and it couldn’t be better. Della is 10. She is the youngest to be certified here in several years. The entire island worked together to find her equipment that fit. They bought little tanks just for her. If you know Della you know that she’s petite and if you know scuba diving you know that the equipment is massive and heavy. Long story short, she has rocked it! She is certified and it was a ton of work and she did it. The boys are certified, too. I am so proud of them all!
Early this morning, on their first fun dive after passing all their skills, a sea turtle swam by to congratulate them.NOTES: We are diving/staying with Captain Morgan’s Dive Center. Ask for Wit to be your instructor. The crepe place is awesome, try the wood fired pizza at Mango Inn, Trudy’s has real coffee, buy your pineapple from the guy on the street and have your children bust open the coconuts on the beach for you to drink, Rehab is a cool spot on the water to drink a beer and eat some seafood, and you can exorcise any personal demons with the locals at Skid Row.

If you are in Utila diving with your family here is a ranking of dive shops.

1. Captain Morgan’s Dive Center….cozy, very clean, great food, with it’s own little beach that is just perfect. Awesome people and great instructors. Hot showers, which is no small thing during the rainy season and they are NOT a given! And another good little restaurant right next door!
2. Alton’s….great beachfront location with amazing dock, great instructors and decent rooms. Food is limited, but good and no hot showers.
3. Utila Dive Center and Mango Inn….downside is that the hotel is not on the water, but is an excellent dive outfit. We stayed there our fist night and it smelled musty and was not as clean as one might want. Good food, but pricey for the island.
4.Bay Islands College of Diving….I don’t know much about this school except that I loved their employees and it was located next door to us right on the water. Seemed very nice with a less hostel , more hotel feel.
4. Underwater Vision seemed awesome and is right on the water, but is considered the ‘party’ scene with mostly young adults. We liked the food at their restaurant and had fun whenever we were there!

Do you want to go high end?
Then here ya go! Utopia has got you covered!

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