a) By Air?
Honduras has 4 international airports:
1. San Pedro Sula
2. La Ceiba
The main airlines that fly into these airports are: American Airlines, TACA, Continental, DELTA, and Aerolineas SOSA.
Currently, the only scheduled flights to Utila are Aerolineas SOSA (via La Ceiba) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. CM Airlines has flights on Saturdays only (from San Pedro Sula and Roatán) and Island Air (based in Utila) organizes scheduled flights to and from Roatán on Saturday and to/from La Ceiba on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
b) By Bus?
La Ceiba is easy to reach by bus from any of the main cities in Honduras. From San Pedro Sula, luxury buses with air-conditioning take about 3 hours, and run directly to La Ceiba. They offer extremely tight security, checking passports both at the ticket counter and upon entering the bus, so be sure you have your passports ready. They are extremely safe and offer in-service videos, snacks, and true reclining seats.
Hedman Alas leaves San Pedro Sula daily at 6am, 10am, 2pm and 6pm while Viana leaves San Pedro Sula at 10.30am and 5.30pm. Direct services with no air-conditioning are also offered by Diana and Catisa-Tupsa. These services take about 3 hours to reach La Ceiba and run several times throughout the day.
From Tegucigalpa, Viana runs a luxury service, leaving Tegucigalpa daily at 6.45am and returning from La Ceiba at 2pm. Direct services are run by Etrusca, leaving Tegucigalpa at 10am and 4pm, and leaving La Ceiba at 3am and 10am. Cristina also offers a regular direct bus service.
b) By Sea?
There is regular ferry service from the Mulle de Cabotage in La Ceiba to Utila and also from Roatan to Utila on the Utila Dream ferry. It departs the dock in La Ceiba for Utila at 9.00 am and 4:00 pm every day. It departs Utila to La Ceiba at 7:00 am and 3:20 pm daily. From Roatan to Utila it departs at 2:00 pm .It departs Utila to Roatan at 10:15 am. If you are prone to seasickness, be sure to ask the Utila Dream ticket office for a free seasickness pill. Be sure to take it at least 30 minutes prior to when the ferry leaves.
d) San Pedro Sula?
The best solution is to take a bus. There are two private bus lines leaving SAP for La Ceiba and these are Viana and Hedman Alas. These two companies are private, comfortable with big seats, air conditioning and snacks! Be sure to have all your documentation with you because they are very strict on security.Hedman Alas departs twice a day: once at 5:50 am (arrives in La Ceiba at 8:50 am) and the other at 10:10 am (arrives in La Ceiba at 2:15 pm). Be sure to be there half an hour before the bus leaves. Visit website.
Viana departs once a day which is at 9:30 am and arrives in La Ceiba at 1:15 pm. Visit website.
The ferry (Utila Dream) runs twice a day on a daily basis and leaves at 9:30 am and 4:00 pm. The trip takes about 1 hour to Utila. The cost for a ticket is just over 500 lempiras and you can buy your ticket the day of. If you have a big group of people be sure to be there an hour ahead of time. Visit website.
*** For more information about traveling to and from Utila, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
The first certification is the Open Water course. This course is offered over a 3-4 day period as most people here are on vacation and do not want to spend much time in a study environment. This course gives you the possibility to dive anywhere in the world with a buddy.
The second course is the SSI Advanced Adventurer or PADI Advanced Open Water course. It consists of 5 dives, completed over 2 to 3 days, and is designed to build on the experience of the Open Water course. This course introduces you to more diving scenarios and provides knowledge to dive safely in different situations.
SSI (Scuba Schools International) is the world’s largest store based training agency. SSI Instructors and Dive Masters, must be affiliated with a physical store. SSI empowers instructors to add information and or skills if it will improve the quality of the course. SSI Instructors train using the 80/20 rule. 80% of the course structure is set by SSI, and 20% can be flexible and based on local dive conditions, students ability, and students learning methods etc.
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the world’s largest scuba training agency. PADI Instructors can teach independent of a dive store without supervision.
SSI and PADI both follow the diving standards set by the Governing body – WRSTC (World Recreational Scuba Training Council) meaning that knowledge and skill requirements are almost the same. The differences between these two are quite small but at the end of the day, they both offer good and safe courses and produce proper and capable divers. Both organizations have been around for years and they have very high quality teaching materials and high standards. The biggest difference is the marketing departments. Truly, the quality of the courses strongly depends on the experience and attitude of your dive instructor and the dive school you train with – no matter what organization you should choose to certify with. Certifications are interchangeable.
Yes, you can cross between PADI and SSI as much as you like for the recreational dive levels. Their levels are quite similar and certification of another dive organization is totally accepted. As noted all standards are set forth by the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council).
The Dive Master course is generally done over 6-8 weeks. Working closely with our friendly Instructors, you’ll expand your dive knowledge and hone your skills as you become a dive professional. PADI Divemaster training helps you to develop leadership skills by training you to supervise dive activities and assist instructors with student divers. We are completely flexible about course start dates and have availability throughout the year.
As a Dive Master you will expand your knowledge of all facets in diving, ranging from equipment maintenance to running dive operations. You will complete water skill exercises, practical application skills, rescue scenarios and a mapping project. As your confidence grows you will begin to assist in day-to-day dive trips and courses here at Captain Morgan’s. Upon completion of the course you will be eligible to work at local dive centers, on live-aboard dive boats, yachts and at exotic resort locations.
In order to begin your DM, you will need to be certified as a Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver with a minimum of 40 logged dives. A dive computer is not compulsory, but is very strongly recommended.
We give you 2 weeks of free accommodation in a shared dorm room so you have time to find a longer term option on the island. There are many budget long-term options available on the island so what Dive Master trainees generally do is rent an apartment or house with someone else at a cheaper expense. You will not have any problems finding a place to rent here as people come and go on a weekly/monthly basis.
We suggest that you make a reservation as soon as you know the actual dates in which you will be on Utila. It is unpredictable how full our hotel will be and how busy our dive courses will get, so the sooner you reserve your spot, the better.
We are very flexible with course start dates. If you are on a tight schedule we are completely willing to work with your travel plans.
We like to keep our courses quite small so that the students have complete attention from the instructor. Our course sizes are generally anywhere from 1-5 students per instructor.
Like our course sizes, we like to keep our fun diver groups small as well. According to standards, a dive master is legally allowed to take a total of 8 divers per dive, however we prefer to keep our sizes to a max of 6 divers per dive master. Unless of course we are extremely busy, than we would have 8 divers per dive master.
Yes. We prefer to have more advanced divers with one dive master and new divers with a second dive master. We completely understand, for example, that a rescue diver with 50 dives isn’t too keen on diving with an open water diver doing his/her free fun dives (with 4 dives experience). This is something we truly value.
Both PADI and SSI have an online system and since we are affiliated with both PADI and SSI, we will be able to look you up. If a dive center is not affiliated with the organization you have done your course with, they can contact them to see if you are in the system. A signed logbook also helps.