Most visitors come to Utila specifically for the diving, attracted by the low prices, beautifully clear water and rich marine life. Even in winter, the water is generally calm, and common sightings include nurse and hammerhead sharks, turtles, parrotfish, stingrays, porcupine fish and an increasing number of dolphins. Whale sharks also continue to be a major attraction – the island is one of the few places in the world where they frequently pass close to shore.
On the north coast of the island, Blackish Point and Duppy Waters are both good sites; on the south coast the best spot is Airport Caves. The schools will be happy to spend time talking to you about the merits of the various sites.
It’s worth spending a morning walking around checking out all the schools. You want to feel comfortable with your decision, as diving can be dangerous – it is imperative that you get along with your instructor.