Location: Activities and Sports >> SCUBA
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Advice on Dive shops in Belize or Honduras
Posted December 23rd, 2012 - 5:49 am by from Vancouver, Canada (Permalink)
Screw this winter business! I'm thinking of heading to Belize or Honduras in the new year. Any recommendations on good dive shops in either are always appreciated, I hate looking at websites and planning. Recommendations from Csers are always better.
Cheers,
Alex

Posted December 25th, 2012 - 3:23 am from New Braunfels, United States
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Posted December 25th, 2012 - 3:42 am by from Utila, Honduras (Permalink)
Hi, I was not a big fan of Coconut Diversand had better more personal dives at reef gliders(slightly cheaper and they gave me me own DM a couple of times and then dove with owner etc) for roatan. Also Utila has good diving and is a little cheaper i worked at parrots dive center for a bit and they are a blast but would recommend anyone on the island maybe except paradise divers and eco-marine less buisness and worse boats. If you want more info message me!

Posted December 25th, 2012 - 11:43 am by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
I've dived with BICD and UDC on Utila, and can recommend both. They're at opposite ends of town so you can dive with whoever you're closest with. Both provide cheap as well as higher end accommodation depending on your budget. UDC was definitely more of a party atmosphere and is the big operation on the island with smaller but more frequent boats. BICD has the Whale Shark center, deco chamber, and larger boats though may not always go to the north side (best diving).

Only problem with diving on Utila is getting there. There are no direct flights and the flights are spotty at best. If you decide to fly, be aware that the airlines may delay (until the next day... ) the flight until they reach a minimum limit. Best bet is to fly to La Ceiba, taxi to the boat ferry, and take that (try to take the larger one if you tend to get seasick).

If you contact one of the dive shops beforehand, they can help you with information as well as personal travel to and from the island for an additional fee.

Posted December 25th, 2012 - 10:23 pm by from Seattle, United States (Permalink)
Personally I had a terrible experience diving with Parrots on Utila. I would not recommend them. The equipment leaked and was held together with duck tape. They changed the dive that I had specifically signed up for on us last minute. We started 1.5 hours late. The dive master was no more than 20 years old, if that, but had this righteous attitude that she knew everything and more than anyone else despite some very experienced divers on board, and her way was the only way. The dives were short (I surfaced both dives with over 1/2 a tank and I'm just an average breather), etc... The only pro I can give parrots is they're cheap but so is every other operation on the island.
The diving itself in Utila was very good and maybe I just had bad luck with Parrots but honestly that was one of the worst operations I've ever doven with and I've doven all over the world.


Posted December 25th, 2012 - 11:57 pm by from Utila, Honduras (Permalink)
I'm sorry your experience w parrots was less than perfect that being said I do remember the 40 min rule(people still look at me funny when my watch goes off)... working as a DM we would go up at 40 min regardless sometimes and i had plenty of people i would take on 65 min tank drainers covering 3 divesites. They offer good value for the courses but everyone is more or less the same. However some really good people work at parrots and being a locally owned shop has its advantages and disadvantages mainly the timing is terrible. They are a party oriented dive shop. That being said Duncan I understand the needs of a more serious diver and for that reason i'd def recommend reef gliders in Roatan small and efficient.

Posted December 29th, 2012 - 1:29 am by from Seattle, United States (Permalink)
If you're going to Honduras... go to Utila and dive at UDC!!! I did my divemaster there and a lot of my other certs and I miss it every single day. The diving is better in Roatan, though... so I hear. Northside diving in Utila is pretty decent though but Belize has the blue hole. If you're just fun diving, I might actually suggest Underwater Vision--next door to UDC. It's a bit more for the traveling vagabonds rather than people staying and living on the island for extended periods of time. Plus they have a sweet set up (hammocks all over their 'beach' adjacent to the water)--not to mention awesome wings on Tuesday nights. But UDC is hands down the best on the island for certifications.

Have an awesome time down there, I miss it so much!

Posted December 30th, 2012 - 11:50 pm from Osasco, Brazil
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Posted December 30th, 2012 - 11:57 pm by from Melbourne, Australia (Permalink)
Hey... If it's quality diving you're after, i'd definitely prioritise Belize over the Bay Islands... the variety and quantity of marine life is far better in Belize, and there's the Blue Hole which, while an expensive day trip (US$200 for 3 dives), is well worth it in my opinion.

On Caye Caulker (Belize) I dived with Frenchies, who were excellent - one of the most safety conscious dive operations I've dived with anywhere. Their equipment was decent, the staff super friendly, and I always felt like they were watching out for their customers, which is more than i can say for many other operators in this region.

As for Bay Islands, Utila is a fun place to be (definitely more party vibe than Caye Caulker), but the diving leaves alot to be desired (it was the first place in the world I ever got bored diving, and that happened after a week or 2 into my 7 weeks there). There are absolutely no sharks around Utila, no nudi brancs or other macro stuff (Very little), and not many big fish either. I hear Roatan is better but i haven't been there. There are, however, tons of Eagle Rays which are always nice to see.. and if you're lucky you may get to see some friendly dolphins. One of my most amazing experiences in my 7 weeks on Utila was snorkling with a pod of friendly dolphins - so amazing!

Have fun :)

Posted December 31st, 2012 - 2:28 am by from Shediac, Canada (Permalink)
I hear you Alex! I just finished shoveling my driveway for the fifth time in 3 days :(

I spent some time in Honduras (Utila) and Belize (Caye Caulker) in 2008 and I must say that the diving in Belize was much better....The weather in Utila wasn't very good while I was there so that surely played a factor.

I dove with UDC and another company (can't remember who) while in Utila had UDC is a fine company that I would have no problem recommending.


I dove with Frenchies in Caye Caulker and did the blue hole dive with them as well as the hole chan marine reserve (twice) they are a very good company.

one thing to note the diving in Belize is quite a bit more expensive but some of the best dives I have ever done!

enjoy

Maurice

Posted January 1st, 2013 - 7:54 pm by from Roatan, Honduras (Permalink)
If you're coming to Roatan and want to stay a bit out of West End, Octopus Divers in Sandy Bay are great, a lot of the people that stay at my hostel use them. In West End, Ocean Connections are good, as are Tylls Dive.

Mel

Posted January 4th, 2013 - 9:31 am from Okinawa, Japan
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