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MitHere

Sorry - It's the Utila vs Roatan Question

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Hi guys

We are going for a dive trip in the Bay Islands for a couple of weeks over New Year - we HAD chosen Captain Morgan's for diving and accomodation on Utila but we have since been told the diving is FAR better on Roatan.

We are a couple in our mid-20s, don't really care about the party scene (Except for NYE of course!) but we want very cheap accomodation that's half-way decent ($6 per night per person in a private double at CM's and a kitchen to cook cheaper food) and cheap food (Like... $5 to a MAX of $10 per large plate of tucker)

If any of you know and can comment.. PLEASE do! I feel like no-one reads my threads lately ;)

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It's been 7 and 6 years, respectively, since I went to Utila and Roatan, but I'd go back to Utila if I had to choose. Went to Utila alone for 7 weeks in 2004 and had a great time getting my DM and partaking in the lively backpacker scene there, as well as whale shark swimming. A year later I went to Roatan with my girlfriend (now wife) and thought the diving wasn't significantly better except for a few prominent sites (Mary's Crack, a.k.a. Mary's Place) that were quite a trek to get to from West End. And it was much easier to swim with whale sharks off Utila, at least at the time. Roatan felt more like a couples destination, for better and for worse.

 

It's hard to imagine why anyone would say the diving is "far better" in either place, as they're so close to each other and the fauna is basically the same. I suppose the hordes of dive students can make some sites on Utila seem worn down or overcrowded, but I also felt that some sites off Roatan served a similar purpose. What Roatan does have is beaches, whereas Utila's beaches are either hard to get to (North Side), private, or small. Watch out for sand flies, either way.

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Six dollars a night for lodging? REALLY? A tent, maybe......

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Six dollars a night for lodging? REALLY? A tent, maybe......

Yes, $6 a night Alison.

If you dive you can stay with Captain Morgan in a double private room for $6 a night per person if you are a diver.

Looks like we're staying there ;)

Cheers!

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Hi,

 

I was in Utila and Roatan earlier this year for about 3 weeks. I am also in my mid 20's and had a blast in Utila as it was a very young island. There is usually a party if your looking for it but also a quiet scene too if thats what your after. I did not find the diving in Utila all that great to be honest. We had some nice dives but nothing too fantastic and we didnt see any whale sharks which was part of the reason of going. I would recommend staying and diving with Underwater vision. It was a fairly new facility, quite clean, volley ball court, nice dock to swim from, good cheap food and a bar with cheap beer. From what I saw it was one of the nicest places on the island and set up the best. I don't recall what the diving cost was but somewhere around 25 a dive and accommodations were very cheap. I think it was about 7 or 8 dollars each for a twin bed room. Decent diving and a good time for sure.

 

Roatan is a much bigger island but I only stayed 4 or 5 days there. The diving was noticeably better due to the fact that it is a marine park. It didn't blow Utilia out of the water but it was nicer in my opinion. I made this judgement with zero persuasion too as I didnt even know it was a marine park or meant to be any better. I noticed the difference the first dive. The island itself was a bit more expensive but seemed to be very quiet and relaxed. Not a lot going on except a few beers on the beach. I stayed and dove with Native Son's/Chillies which was suggested to me by another wetpixler and I was quite happy with them. Big roomy boat for day trips and nice enough accoms. Take bud spray as I was destroyed by sand flies.

 

I would suggest spending some time on both? There is a couple that sail (motor) in a catamaran almost daily and just takes 3-4 hours from what I remember. I don't remember the name of the operation but I'm sure you can find info online or just ask at Underwater vision, they will call the captain and book it for you.

 

Good luck and I hope this helps.

 

Kelly

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I lived in Roatan from 2003 till 2006, i absolutely loved it! I went to Utila as well for about a week. Utila has a paved road all along the beach and you cant really see the ocean while your walking down the street (not my idea of paradise), however Roatan has a lovely beach road going all the way along west end which has really ideallic picturesque beaches along the way. The diving in Roatan is awesome, lots of walls, swim throughs, caves, good deep dives, wrecks etc... You used to be able to stay for 5 bucks a night in a cheap place in Roatan, cant remember the name sorry! Its not hard to find, just ask a dive instructor. Also seagrapes was an excellent option for 10 bucks a night. If your staying long term you can easily get by on 200-500 bucks a month on accommodation, plenty of apartment options around.

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