In the early 1990s, the dive industry on Utila as throughout the Bay Islands and much of the Caribbean was in its infancy, with few centers and training programs and only basic dive services offered.
Utila Dive Centre (UDC) was set up in 1991 by a group of passionate Diving Instructors who wanted to create a dive training facility which offered amazing dive experiences and educational programs for visitors in Utila. Throughout the 1990’s we built a reputation as a professional dive center offering superior customer service on the island of Utila and throughout the Bay Islands, and introduced thousands of divers, from beginner to dive professionals, to the underwater world in an environmentally conscious and sustainable manner.
At the turn of the millennium as scuba diving grew in popularity worldwide, training programs became more established with higher standards, divers gained more experience and expected more specialized services, Utila Dive Center continued to advance and lead the way, not just in Utila and the Bay Islands but also within the region of Central/Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2001 we qualified as a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center and were then able to take our years of experience and excellence within the dive industry and train divers and PADI Divemasters to become Instructors, so they could also share and spread our commitment to the marine environment and safe and fun diving practices. At this time we also expanded our teaching beyond standard specialized activities such as photography, and introduced technical diving to the Bay Islands. In 2001 we were also the first technical diving center in Utila and the Bay Islands, and could now offer safe and credible training programs to train divers beyond traditional recreational limits with the PADI TecRec and IANTD courses, with air and helium based gas mixes.
Our passion for teaching was soon evident at the PADI Instructor Development Course (PADI IDC) level, and with a proven track record in training divers we were able to successfully establish ourselves as ‘THE’ PADI IDC center in the Bay Islands, for the whole of Latin/Central America and the Caribbean, and soon we were attracting Instructor candidates from all over the world.
Raising The Bar
As technology has evolved in everyday life we’ve also seen this in scuba diving, and in recent years rebreather technology is now becoming more commonplace for recreational divers, and in 2011 we were also the first (and currently only) facility in Central/Latin America to qualify as a PADI rebreather training facility and can now offer all our divers a more enhanced experience.
In 2012 another significant addition to our professional training programs occurred as we partnered with the IAHD-Americas to offer adaptive diver programs at both diver and Instructor level, so that the professionals we train could help introduce people with physical and mental challenges to this amazing sport, and enjoy many benefits. The popularity of these programs are shown every month as our PADI Instructor candidates also choose to enroll on the IAHD-Americas Instructor courses and enhance their teaching skills and employability.
After discussions with ‘International Yacht Training’ (IYT) we hosted several of their staff and Directors, and in 2013 we were trained and qualified as an IYT facility, and we are now offering formal training on boat handling and Captains courses, that make a great addition to our professional training courses, also attracting dive pro’s from around the world to further their own maritime qualifications, with certificates being issued by IYT and the British Maritime Coastal Association.
We continue to evolve and stay at the cutting edge of diver training, actively involved in environmental protection and conservation, setting the standard throughout the region and worldwide for professional dive training. We hope this gives you an idea of who we are, we don’t claim to be the best or the biggest, and we’re definitely not a ‘me too’ dive operation, but we do know our stuff! So come and dive, learn and have fun with one of the most dynamic and innovative dive centers and teams around!