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Activities in Utila for Non-Diver and after Dives

Discussion in 'Bay Islands' started by Oldbear, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Marshall Islands and Westminster, Co
    2,687
    1,022
    113
    SB,

    In a couple of weeks my GF and I are headed to the Bay Islands for a month of dive training, rest and relaxation. We will spend three weeks on Utila and a week on Roatan. While on Utila I will be dive training. My GF, however, is a non-diver.

    While on Roatan we will be staying at AKR, snorkeling and enjoying the sites. I have a list of restaurants and small pubs to hit and we are excited. After looking around at different hotels on Utila, it was recommended that we stay at the Lighthouse…and as of right now we are. I am sure that we might also do some snorkeling on Utila too.

    My questions is can the good folks who have been to Utila offer us some suggestions for activities that my GF could do during the day and some restaurants & pubs we should hit in the evenings? Right now we are really open to all suggestions.

    BTW is the Shark Dive at AKR worth the trip or are there better on Utila?


    Thanks,

    ~Michael~
    :wavey:
     
  2. go-scuba-dive

    go-scuba-dive Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
    45
    5
    0
    Hi there,

    Utila is a divers island so there is not a huge range of activities to do if you're not a diver. However, that said, here are a list of things your girlfriend could do:

    1) Visit the iguana station - see the research that is being done at the center; if you're lucky you can see the staff feeding the iguana as well.
    2) Go snorkeling. Rent a pair of fins and a dive mask, and you're pretty much game to go snorkeling on one of the nearby reefs. The beauty is, most of the dive sites
    can also be snorkeled, so she can keep herself occupied while you're diving.
    3) Rent a bike and bike around the island.
    4) Play mini/crazy golf
    5) Look for the underwater cave. I didn't do it while I was living in Utila, but apparently, there is an fresh water cave somewhere near the airport. Ask around
    6) Use the pool at the Mango Inn for some R&R and sunbathing
    7) Party it up at Tranquila or Tree-tanic

    Lighthouse is one of the nicest, albeit expensive, places to stay on Utila. It's located on one end of the street and is quite nice and quiet. And safe!

    Remember to get your electronics insured because thievery is rampant on the island. While I haven't heard anything about the Lighthouse, a dozen of my friends were robbed while on Utila, so definitely bring a lock, and get your valuables insured.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Marshall Islands and Westminster, Co
    2,687
    1,022
    113
    Go-Scuba-Dive,

    Thanks for the list of activities. I didn't know about the theif issues...but it stands t reason. I have the option of 4 free nights at the Mango as apart of my DM course thru UDC. My GF and I are in our late 40's so Andy thought it might be a little too rowdy for us. How are the beaches?

    ~ME~
     
  4. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,280
    5,854
    113
    There's only one Shark Dive on Roatan, AKR, Cocoview, etc. all sell it but it's really this one: Roatan Shark Dive

    The dive is on the south side off the airport so AKR will transport you there. It's one of the least "canned" shark dives I've seen - they do feed them a little at the end but for the 1st 1/2 hr. or so you can float among the sharks - if there's no current. If there is, you'll need to go down the rope and stay down at the feed site.

    <-- There's snorkeling (from a boat) with these guys off Utila. You should be there at an optimum time to see some. I highly recommend you try. There's no "official" shark dive on Utila afaik.

    Several of the sites on the south side seemed like they'd also be great snorkels. At a couple the coral just about breaks the surface in places near the mooring. One dive I came up a few minutes early and was swarmed by a school of Black Durgon just under the boat. (it helped that the captain was eating something and dropping pieces in the water..)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  5. laurenceh

    laurenceh Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: utila & chicago
    573
    234
    43
    kayak utila and standup paddle board utila may be fun for your girlfriend. andi the owner does really interesting kayak trips to the cays and to the deserted northside, highly recommended. the lighthouse is imho the nicest hotel in town.
    skidrow is a good bar with nice food, so is tranquila and babalu, you should visit treetanic bar at least once.
    there are two beaches in town, chepes beach which is public and at the opposite end of town from lighthouse. the other beach is bandu and its 5-10 min walk from your hotel but they charge a small fee to cover sunbeds.
    the really great beaches are all out of town on the south, southwest and north sides. they are well worth a visit, miles of empty beaches with great snorkeling close to shore, however they're only accessible by boat from town.
    the only shark dive on utila is snorkeling with whale sharks.

    ---------- Post added April 10th, 2012 at 12:40 PM ----------

    just remembered something else she may enjoy. bica (bay islands conservation association) does a snorkel and lionfish hunt in the marine preserve at turtle harbor once or twice a week. for a small donation she can accompany them on their boat, i've done it several times and its really fun plus the snorkeling in turtle harbor is beautiful.
     
  6. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Marshall Islands and Westminster, Co
    2,687
    1,022
    113
    Thank you everyone...we both really appreciate the great input. In three weeks, she might have time to do all of them. :D

    ~ME~
     
  7. go-scuba-dive

    go-scuba-dive Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
    45
    5
    0
    I agree. Right about this time through the end of Aug/September is their busy season, and the rooming that is offered at the Mango Inn is usually 4 beds per room, meaning 4 people + whoever they bring home for the night. Eek.

    I'd probably pay a little more and get your own room. But make sure to do that in advance because their rooms fill up quickly.

    How long are you staying in Utila? If you're staying longer, you could opt for an apartment that will probably be cheaper for you in the long run. You could stay at the mango Inn the first few nights until you find a decent place to stay. Caribbean Dreams offer 1 bedroom rooms with private bath, kitchen, and cleaning for about $450/month, but I'm not sure what their weekly rates are.

    The Lighthouse is a fave, but that is quite expensive. I'd check out the Dive Inn run by the Aggressor. They have the cleanest and nicest apartments on the island. You can get a room with a bed, bathroom, and a small kitchen for $400-450/month. Again, they do have daily and weekly rates. Talk to Edith at the office.

    Hope that helps!
     
  8. Oldbear

    Oldbear Teaching Neutral Diving

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Marshall Islands and Westminster, Co
    2,687
    1,022
    113
    Thanks...

    We already booked with the Lighthouse for three weeks. The reviews were good and i 'think' I like the location; will know more after the stay. But I will look into the Dive Inn while I am on the island for future trips. :cool2:

    ~ME~
     
  9. freshorangina

    freshorangina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto, Ontario
    137
    21
    0
    The Lighthouse is great, I stayed there last year and will be staying there again when I go for the Dive Festival in August. Thelma is really awesome and will take great care of you. You can also flush the tp there, not like most other places, they have their own well and backup generator as well. You also get a freshly laundered SOFT hammock which is awesome. I would not really recommend your gf go hiking on her own as there have been some incidences lately, and it might not be too safe. Snorkeling is an option on almost any dive, and there is a lot to see on the forereef. Just ask your dive shop, do you know which one you are going with yet? BICA's excursion is a $10 donation I do believe. She could also ask if there are any projects to volunteer on there or even at the Whale Shark Research Centre. I say bring some books, a snorkel, enjoy the hammock, enjoy the party and take some great pics. Bubalu's is one of my fave restaurants and Bundu Cafe has free internet. Maybe she would be interested in doing a reef ecology course with a snorkelling component instead of diving.... Enjoy your time there, it's whaleshark season so I hope you both get to see them! :)

    Carey

    PS, I also think there is a ranch on the way to the airport that offers horseback riding.
     
  10. laurenceh

    laurenceh Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: utila & chicago
    573
    234
    43
    " Bubalu's is one of my fave restaurants and Bundu Cafe has free internet. Maybe she would be interested in doing a reef ecology course "
    carey

    if she does the reef ecology course she may get upset when dining at bubalu's, he serves poached lobster throughout the no lobster fishing months and to add insult to injury the one's he serves are all under the legal size. bubalu's is a great example of how tourist restaurants help destroy the reefs ecology and of how ignorant "ecotourists" can be.
     
    RTBDiver likes this.

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