Utila is an island off the coast of Honduras that a lot of tourists visit to learn to scuba dive. The other popular island in the same area is Roatán. We went to Utila to get our advanced scuba certifications because it was cheaper than what we found in Roatán. That being said, I heard from people while we were in Utila that Roatán has better snorkling / scuba diving because there are more fish and a more colorful reef.
We had a lot of fun in Utila! But it was mainly because of the people we met along the way. We met a great couple (Matt & Jess) who we hung out with all week and then even followed to León, Nicaragua. There were also a ton of cool people that we met through our dive school, Parrots (I'll get to my review of the dive school later).
Oh, P.S., on the ferry to Utila, the water was so rough that I'm surprised no one fell overboard. It was only about an hour, but if you get seasick, sit inside or take some meds. It can be rough out there.
We partied really hard for the 4th of July (Go 'Merica... had to say it) because not only is Jess from the USA too (Matt is from the UK), but Parrots has a bar attached to it (Tranquila), and they do Tequila Tuesdays... Tequila shots are free from 9 - 10 PM. (Side note... Tranquila has several specials all week long. Ex: On Thursdays, ladies drink free all night SAY WHATTTT.) Needless to say, we had a lot to drink in the true spirit of the 4th of July. The sky was even red, white, and blue for us since there were no fireworks (thank goodness... am I the only one who hates fireworks? yeah? ok, I'm a Scrooge; I know):
Anyway... let's talk about Parrots Dive Center. They aren't horrible. The people are really cool. They are people I'd want to party with and that I enjoyed hanging out with. It's cheaper than a lot of the other places. However, I didn't like them and wouldn't go there again if I returned. I think they were unprofessional, and I don't think Colin or I learned enough for what we paid for. At one point on a deep dive, one of the dive masters joked around with a tourist girl that he was out of air (pretty sure they were hooking up). In my book, that's not okay. Remember the story about the boy who cried wolf? Maybe this guy never heard the story?
If you take a class at Parrots, you get free lodging. If you accept this free lodging, expect loud late night music (from Tranquila), roaches, and just all around grungy accommodations. Colin and I opted for a private room at Rubi's Inn which was an extra $20 per night (if you want A/C in your room though it's an additional $20 per night on top of that). The girl who works at Rubi's is nice and although she doesn't speak any English, we were able to communicate enough with her (my Spanish is on point... if you count a 3 year old speaking Spanish as being on point). There's laundry service there too (yes, we are being lazy and paying to get our laundry done instead of washing it by hand).
I will say that one plus is that there is a great Chinese restaurant (Foo King) also attached to Parrots. You can visit without any affiliation to Parrots though, so I suggest just doing that.
Overall -- worth a visit maybe if you want cheap scuba lessons, but choose a different dive center. Or go to Roatán, but I can't speak for that. It was #worthit though to meet our new friends :)
See our Honduras photos here.
Hi, I'm Sara Monica Patton. I love animals, traveling, and eating. Read more about me in my first blog post here.