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Laurent
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Best scuba diving schools that are worth taking a trip for

Where should I go for a scuba diving trip?  What are some good scuba diving schools that would be worth taking a trip for?


4 Answers

answered by
Andy from San Francisco

I highly recommend Bay Islands College of Diving in Utila, Honduras. I went there in the summers of 2011 and 2012 and got both my open water and advanced open water certifications there. 

Here are the reasons for choosing Utila:

Flights:

Honduras is not one of the major tourist destinations in Central America and so flights to Honduras are pretty reasonable. Both times I went I paid around $500 for round-trip flights into San Pedro Sula. I then took a bus to La Ceiba and then a ferry to Utila. 

If you do take the bus, you can also stop in the city of Tela. It's a beach town with a nice beach and fun seaside bars. You can also take a jungle tour and explore the rain forest. 

You can also fly directly to Roatan and take the ferry or plane to Utila. 

Price:

There are lots of dive schools on Utila and so a good amount of competition. That means good prices for you. I got my open water certificate for $250, and that includes your accommodations while you dive.

The accommodations vary greatly from school to school. Bay Islands College of Diving had some of the best rooms. My girlfriend and I had a 1 bedroom suite to ourselves. It even had a balcony and an ocean view. The accommodations alone was worth the price. 

Water:

The temperature of the water in Utila is perfect for me. It's so warm that on a few of my dives I didn't even bother wearing a wet-suit. This included my deeper dives down to 30 meters. 

Sea life: 

Utila sits next to the second largest barrier reef in the world, which means it has an abundance of sea life rarely seen in other areas of the world. I saw dozens of species of fish, manta rays, eagle rays, sea turtles, sea horses, jelly fish, and squid. I lost count of the varieties of coral that we saw. 

I did a night dive while getting my advanced open water cert and saw a tiny squid that glowed all different colors. We gathered around it to observe it and spooked it. It inked and squirted away. It was pretty cute. 

Nightlife:

Utila is a diver's island, which means that you won't find your regular tourists there. Most people are either backpackers stopping in on their trips through Central America, first time divers, or dive instructors trying to get their teaching licenses. That means the crowd is mostly young (mid 20s to early 30s), and that means a lot of partying. 

There is a party almost every night of the week and they go all night. For example Tuesday night is tequila Tuesday at Tranquila Bar and it goes till at least 2 am. And since the island is small, you'll see the same people each night.

Oh yea, beers there are cheap. 

Cons:

One con about Utila is that great food is hard to find. Most restaurants on the island serve decent food, but it's pretty standard local fare or the local interpretation of foreign cuisines. If you order sushi at the only Asian restaurant on the island, it's not going to be exactly what you expect. 

But there are a few good places on the island. Rj's Bar And Grill is a local favorite, but it's not open everyday and it gets very busy when it is open. I also liked El Picante. If you do go you should ask around and get recommendations from locals. 

Haha, I got a little long-winded with my response, but I hope you got a good idea of what diving on Utila is like.

Hope you have a great trip! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bay Islands College of Diving (attraction)
  2. Utila (attraction)
  3. San Pedro Sula (city)
  4. La Ceiba (city)
  5. Tela (city)
  6. Roatan (island)
  7. Tranquila Bar (restaurant)
  8. El Picante (restaurant)
  9. Rj's Bar And Grill (restaurant)
2 thanks


answered by
Rebecca from Brooklyn

There are plenty of reputable dive outfitters out there. I think anywhere around the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico is worth checking out. Cozumel has some amazing diving. You could also go over to Southeast Asia - Thailand has some fantastic options at great prices. Check out Koh Tao or Phi Phi Islands. I'm about to head down to Utila to complete my Divemaster certification, there are a lot of schools down there as well.

Scubaboard is a great resource for this kind of stuff as well: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/content/

Good luck and happy diving!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cozumel (island)
  2. Koh Tao (island)
  3. Phi Phi Islands (attraction)
  4. Utila (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Alvian from Jakarta

I couldn't stop recommend Indonesia to take your diving license with a gorgeous trip. Gili Trawangan Tulamben Weh Island Labuan Bajo Derawan Island Bunaken Raja Ampat Ujung Bira all of them have their own dive resort and of course provide an international standard diving certification (SSI, PADI, CMAS, etc) many of them run by European so don't worry if you couldn't speak Indonesia. Come and have a visit! You won't regret them! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Indonesia (country)
  2. Gili Trawangan (island)
  3. Tulamben (neighborhood)
  4. Weh Island (island)
  5. Labuan Bajo (region)
  6. Derawan Island (city)
  7. Bunaken (island)
  8. Raja Ampat (metro area)
  9. Ujung Bira (attraction)
1 thanks


answered first by
Justin from Phoenix

From what I understand, PADI-affiliated schools will all give you a uniformly solid intro to SCUBA diving. 

I wrote something about cool beginner dive sites once. I'll see if I can dig it up for you.






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