All divers must dive on the South Side Reefs as their first familiarization and orientation dive.
All divers are required to have a certification card. See all acceptable Valid Certifications for further details.
All divers are "recommended" to have dive insurance. U Dive is a DAN (Divers Alert Network) member and policies can be purchased online at:
Divers with special needs should call the dive shop for further instructions.
Refresher Course Policy
Last dive was:
- One year ago-refresher course recommended
- Two to six years ago - U Dive mini-refresher course required
- Seven to nine years ago - U Dive full refresher course required
Please contact dive shop for assessment prior to booking your dives. We offer dive training and diving classes.
Diver Medical Policy
All divers are responsible for getting a medical release from
their doctor prior to arriving if they have any existing medical conditions or issues
that should be taken into consideration by U Dive Staff.
• Medical Release (PDF 114KB)
Utopia welcomes junior divers ages 10 years or older. Parents must provide a written statement authorizing a legal guardian. Junior Divers (10 years old and up) are permitted to dive to 60 feet deep with a PADI professional, parent or legal guardian.
Generally, wetsuits are not needed during the summer months, as the water temperature is approximately 85 degrees. Guests may chose to wear a 3mm shorty wetsuit or dive skin. In winter, a long wetsuit either 3mm or 5mm is recommended. Those who get chilled easily may want to use a hoodie during the winter months.
Utopia Village provides complimentary gear valet to and from Utopia’s dock for guests who wish to shore dive. There is a small shuttle fee if guests wish to shore dive from other areas on the island away from Utopia’s house reef. The house reef covers four dive sites that are just in front of the resort.
Choosing a Dive Site
The dive boat captain will make every effort to reach requested dive sites. However, as there is a “first come, first served” policy for the moorings, sites cannot be pre-booked or guaranteed. Weather is also a factor in selecting the appropriate dive site for the group.
• View Dive Site Locations
Safety & Conservation
Utila’s recompression chamber is located in Utila Town at Bay Island College of Diving. Utopia Village and U Dive are members of the Utila Dive Safety & Environmental Council (UDSEC), an association that endorses safe diving practices and encourages environmental conservation among its members. Divers are encouraged to stay above 100 feet and to avoid damaging the coral reef. The weekly reef fee is for education, preservation, and conservation of Utila’s reef system. The Utila Reef Fee also contributes to the maintenance of dive site buoys and the availability of the Utila Hyperbaric Chamber.
UDSEC, together with local dive operators, make it their business to protect the natural beauty Utila has to offer. The reef, which encircles the island, has taken centuries to develop and should be treated with respect. Please be aware that a piece of coral that is broken off by a diver or snorkeler, whether intentional or not, only grows back at a rate of half-an-inch per year.
For the future enjoyment of everyone in The Bay Islands, residents and visitors must act responsibly. Things to keep in mind while underwater:
- Avoid touching coral with any part of you body or equipment.
- Do not stand on or use coral to push off.
- Do not collect mementos or any marine life.
- Do not feed the fish harmful food.
- Molesting marine life is not acceptable.
- Observe and follow marine life at a safe distance.
- Treat the reef with respect and it will continue to be here for the next generations.
U Dive dive ratio is one Divemaster per ten certified divers on each guided dive. We provide one instructor for every four Resort Course students. U Dive does not allow divers to dive solo from our dive boats. A Divemaster guides deep wall dives, shallow one-tank dives and buddy-team dives.
U Dive welcomes dive computers aboard all of our dive boats. Computers provide divers with more bottom time on their wall dives, however, we ask that you follow the following rules if you plan to dive with a computer:
- Each diver must have his, or her, own computer, fully operational BCD, regulator with octopus & console (depth & pressure) and timing device.
- Divers must be back on the boat with no less than 500 psi in their tank and back at the time announced by the Divemaster before each dive.
- Divers must stay within five minutes of the no-decompression limit.
- U Dive recommends a five-minute safety stop at 15 feet after each dive.
- Profiles will be recorded after each dive.
If your certification is listed below you may qualify to enroll in the PADI Adventure Diver and/or the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver courses.
- ACUC Open Water or Plongeur Scuba Eau Libre
- ANIS One Star Junior or One Star Diver
- AUSI Level 2 Diver
- BSAC Ocean Diver, Club Diver or Sport Diver
- CMAS One Star Diver
- FFESSM Niveau I
- FIAS Base Avanzato
- IDEA Open Water
- IDD Open Water Diver
- IDF Two Star Diver (with Alternate Air Source Ascent and 50 yard compass swim)
- NASDS Open Water
- NAUI Scuba Diver or Open Water One
- PDIC Open Water
- SAA Club Diver
- SSI Open Water Diver
- SNMP NICEAU (Level) 1
- SSAC 3rd Class Diver
- YMCA Bronze Star, Open Water or Scuba Diver