Gunter's Ecomarine Dive Shop Utila

Dive in Utila with Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop!

In Activities, Diving & Snorkeling, Honduras by Sheena34 Comments

Utila Island in Honduras is one of the world’s top diving destinations – with down to earth staff, small groups & flexible schedules, find out why you’re part of the family when you dive with Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop!

Location of Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop

From the pier, turn left & Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop is just a short tuk-tuk ride or 10 minute walk away.

Located in the neighbourhood of Sandy Bay, it’s far enough from the traffic & noise in the centre of Utila, but still close to all the action.

Restaurants, cafes, bars & mini-marts are all within walking distance – besides, Utila is a small island anyway.

Best of all for us here at DIY Travel HQ, the beach is just a few hundred metres away!

Gunter's Ecomarine Dive Shop

Introducing Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop!

Facilities at Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop

Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop is the only one in Utila without a shopfront on the main road.

The whole operations are run from a deck over the water, accessed via a wooden boardwalk.

Here, you’ll find the main office with all the diving information & schedules.

There’s also a classroom stocked with lots of great diving material, if you’re taking a course or just want to brush up on your reading.

Gunter's Ecomarine Learn to Dive

Learning to dive starts in the classroom!

You can relax in one of the deck chairs or hammocks around the wrap-around sun deck – there’s a small bar too.

There’s no wifi at the Backpacker’s Lodge so this is the place to get connected, in more way than one.

If you prefer real communication, it’s also a great place to meet people – from the shop staff & divers to locals & expats, you’ll always find someone friendly around to chat to.

The community vibes made Utila one of our favourite places to visit in Honduras.

Gunter's Ecomarine Dive Shop

Chill out on the deck with sea views

Backpackers Lodge at Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop

The Backpacker Lodge run by Ecomarine is open to everyone but divers with the company can stay at reduced rates. It’s located across the road from the dive shop & (well) behind Skid Row bar.

The Backpackers Lodge is one long cabin with 8 private rooms & 2 dorm rooms with 4 bunk beds each.

Toilets & showers are shared, and there’s also a communal kitchen & fridge.

Our room was simple, clean & comfortable with a double bed, desk, fan, laundry line & hooks.

There’s lots of space outside to hang your clothes or simply hang out on the deck.

Private room: $10.00 per room, $5.00 for divers

Dorm room: $4.00 per person, $2.00 for divers

Dorm & private accommodation Utila

The Backpackers Lodge may be the cheapest accommodation in Utila!

Features of Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop

So what sets Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop apart from the rest?

  • Most affordable prices
  • Small group sizes for courses & fun dives
  • Social events – regular BBQ, movie & trivia nights
  • Honest opinions & feedback
  • Friendly, community atmosphere
  • Personable service
  • Flexibility in dive schedule
  • Kayak & snorkel rental available
Gunter's Ecomarine family atmosphere

You can beat the views & atmosphere at Gunter’s Ecomarine!

PADI Courses & Fun Dives at Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop

Utila is known to be one of the least expensive destinations in the world to undertake dive training and Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop offers the cheapest PADI courses & fun dives on the island.

PADI Dive Courses

  • Open Water course:                $269.00
  • Advanced Open Water:           $269.00
  • Rescue Diver course:              $269.00
  • Emergency First Response:   $73.00
  • Dive Master course:                $650.00

* Includes materials, certification, dorm accommodation + 2 free fun dives (excluding Dive Master

PADI dive course Utila

Take a PADI Rescue Diver course with Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop!

Fun Dives

  • Discover Scuba Diving:           $85.00
  • Night dives:                               $45.00
  • Fun Dives:                                 $35.00 (discounts for multiple dives)

Wreck, Nitrox, PPB, S&R, Naturalist & Deep dives also available.

Great equipment at Gunter's Ecomarine

Gear up before you go!

Diving with Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop

We really enjoyed the laid-back approach to diving with Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop.

There’s flexibility with dive schedules, which we appreciated in the rainy season.

We didn’t feel pressured into committing to any dives, even when we were already out on the water – after one of our 1st morning dives, the visibility wasn’t very good so we didn’t want to dive again & that wasn’t a problem.

If you have certain dive sites in mind or sea-life you’ve got your heart set on, let the dive crew know & they’ll try their best to make it happen.

One of the other divers really wanted to see a frogfish & the divemaster just so happened to know where one was – sure enough, we not only found it but had the best dive of the day.

Frogfish Utila Diving

Can you spot the Frogfish?! Hint: it’s red & round…

The relaxed atmosphere did not come at the expense of safety.

In fact, I felt more comfortable & secure because I was never rushed, in or out of the water.

The divemasters assisted me with my equipment, briefed us on each site and there were roll-calls before & after each dive.

As an Open Water diver, I also had my own dive master when I was diving with Advanced or higher level divers.

Unlike other centres, Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop doesn’t operate like a “dive factory”.

Their boats hold a maximum of 12 people but often only 4-6 people go out – the smaller groups allow more personalized attention.

You can also have a good amount of input into where & when you want to dive or if you’re like us, you can just leave it to the experts.

Tara (the owner) says it best:

“We never treat our divers like a number. We pride ourselves on personal and professional service, reliable and comfortable boats and revealing the best diving Utila has to offer.”

Dive boat crew Gunter's Ecomarine

Feel confident heading out on a great boat with the professional & friendly crew

Diving on Utila

Beautiful Caribbean Seas surround the lovely island of Utila, which is just 11km long & 4km wide.

It’s the smallest of the 3 major islands that form The Bay Islands in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the 2nd largest in the world.

Utila is a diver’s paradise of soft coral, tropical fish, sea fans, deep walls & sea mountains. It’s also a haven for macro creatures such as the seahorse, pipefish & nudibranch.

Spotted eagle rays, lobsters, barracudas, moray eels & dolphins are commonly spotted, while whale sharks, hammerhead sharks & manta rays occasionally make an appearance.

According to Tara, the top 4 dive sites are:

  • Ted’s Point
  • Black Hills
  • Maze
  • Duppy Waters.

CJ’s Drop Off, Airport Caves, Labyrinth and Great wall are also highly rated by the crew.

Lobster Utila diving

One of the many lobsters we saw at the “Aquarium” dive site

Other Things to See & Do in Utila

  • Swim at Chepes Beach (free) & Bandu Beach ($3.00)
  • Take the free ferry across to Neptune’s beach & restaurant for great food & snorkelling
  • Kayak to the Cays
  • Stand up paddleboarding
  • Hike up to Pumpkin Hill for great views of Utila
  • Explore fresh water caves
  • Visit the crash site of a drug smuggling plane
Neptune's Coral Beach Village

Discover island paradise at Neptune’s Coral Beach Village

How to Get to & from Utila

Utila Dream is the only ferry operator from mainland Honduras to Utila:

  • Ferries from La Ceiba to Utila depart at 9:30am & 4:00 pm everyday.
  • Ferries from Utila to La Ceiba depart at 6:25am & 2:00 pm everyday.

Price: Lps/575.00 each way (approx. $25.00) – no discounts for return tickets

Duration: approx. 1 hour each way

Utila Dream runs ferries from Utila to Roatan on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, departing Utila at 10:45am & arriving in Roatan at 1:00pm.

Utila Dream ferry

The Utila Dream will take you to & from the island

Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop Contact

Managers:   Tara & Steve Dankewich

Phone:         + (504) 2425 3350

Email:           [email protected]

Website:      Gunter’s Ecomarine

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Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, Utila Island in Honduras is one of the world's top diving destinations. Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop offers the cheapest PADI courses & fun dives on the island, along with discount accommodation for divers at the Backpacker’s Lodge. With down to earth staff, small groups & flexible schedules, find out why you’re part of the family when you dive with Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop

*** The Final Word: Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop is the only one in Utila that feels like a family *** 

Do you dive? Where did you learn to dive?

* Thank you to Tara & Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop for hosting us!

Visited in November 2016

 

Comments

  1. That is a very informative post. Right down to the pricing details, you have everything covered. Should be very helpful to anyone planning a dive in the area.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Punita. There are a lot of dive shops on Utila so hopefully this helps anyone looking to make a decision a little easier. Most blogs tend to leave the price out, but that is usually one of the more helpful items besides transportation to some places.

  2. It sounds like Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop is a very economical option for people wanting to get their certification! I can never understand how places who take our large groups can do so safely. A smaller group is definitely what I would be looking for!

    1. Author

      Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop is the cheapest we found on Utila, and doesn’t sacrifice quality or safety to do so. When taking a course it is always good to minimize the other number of students if you can. This is especially true if you don’t feel comfortable in the water to begin with.

  3. Wonderful. I think around the world so many places have been able to promote themselves as dive destinations that places like Honduras are not known to many. The location looks wonderful and it seems to be done very professionally which is another plus point. Not to forget, the shack is so quaint and charming. Thanks for the information.

    1. Author

      You are very welcome. I always knew Utila in Honduras was on the cheaper side for diving courses, but didn’t know they were on par with Koh Tao, Thailand. The thing they do differently on Utila is they throw in 2 fun dives for most certifications. That really gets you to gain experience quickly.

  4. its seems quite cheaper option for people who love diving. you have explained very well. price looks so cheap which make this place for everyone.Thanks for sharing…

    1. Author

      Diving with Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop was great. They really customized the sites based on our preferences & weather conditions. The price then allows you to keep on diving & seeing more underwater life.

  5. I’ve gone diving before without prior education and felt so nervous! The fact that Gunter’s places so much attention on their clients and works with their needs is huge! SCUBA diving can be scary when it’s your first time so it’s nice to know about a place that is patient.

    1. Author

      Hopefully more places can be the same since your desire to keep diving is really based on how you feel after you finish your class. Whether you ever dive again may depend on your instructor. No pressure instructors…

    1. Utila is all about diving, but there is excellent snorkeling too. The food is also very good and there are a few places to pass time on land as well.

  6. Honduras is a beautiful country! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Your photos and the experience itself all look like a dream come true.

    1. Author

      After finishing traveling Honduras we noticed that most of the best parts of the country focus on water. Diving, white water rafting, and waterfalls are all highlights for us.

  7. This sounds like a great way to go diving in Utila. I can see that the place has all the amenities required. But what appeals to me is the fact that they have their setup right inside the water. A perfect setting indeed.

    1. Author

      Gunter’s Ecomarine is a small community on small Utila. It is great having everyone hang out at the dive shop at all hours. You really feel more than a number.

  8. Thank you for a detailed and informative post. I just snorkel, don’t dive so far. It would be great to try some day. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      Of course, Anita. Even if you don’t want to learn to dive, Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop can also have you tag along on the boat to go snorkeling at the dive sites. Just ask in advance to see if the sites are suitable for snorkeling.

  9. This dive shop seems to have all a diver needs! Thankyou for sharing down the very bit of details for this shop. I’m sure a lot of people in the lookout for shops like this will benefit from you post.

    1. Author

      There is so much competition on Utila that we felt that we might as well help others in the market for a dive shop as well. It takes a lot of time to research all the companies, and above are the reasons why we chose Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop.

  10. This is a very crisp and informative piece on the area. I couldn’t find anything more helpful across the web. This is gong to be beneficial for all those who are looking for a dive here 🙂 Thanks for writing.

    1. Author

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Madhurima. There is a lot of information spread out on the internet about Utila, but hopefully we have been successful at pulling together info on Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop & a bit about Utila, Honduras.

    1. Author

      The diving is very good around Utila, and most sites have little current so it is great for learning. It is also one of the cheapest places to learn in the WORLD, and they include accommodation & 2 fun dives too!

  11. Great post. Will definitely have to check this place out. It looks like they have everything one could ask for when wanting to dive in Utila! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Author

      No problem, James. Gunter’s Ecomarine Dive Shop has everything you need from increasing your diving ability to fun dives. Utila is also a great place to relax enjoy the nightlife.

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