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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

UTILA AND SCUBA DIVING...THE REAL COSTS

SCUBA DIVING

I'd heard that 'Honduras is the cheapest place in the world to get certified in SCUBA diving.'

This may be true but the costs people have run by me in the past are wildly off.  Lets break down what the actual costs are and how much you're going to need to get involved with this hobby.


The basic cost to get certified in 'open water' (as opposed to someone's swimming pool I suppose) is about $300 (give or take 10%).  The course lasts for four days.

In addition, the dormitory room is thrown in for free.

That didn't sound too bad until I saw a couple of them...And smelled them.

If you don't mind staying in a filthy room that smells strongly of ass, this is a good option.


Should you wish to upgrade to a private room, the cheapest I could find here (at the Captain Morgan's dive center) adds $30 per day or $120 for the four day course.

This ups your cost to about $420 if you'd like to sweat your ass off in a private room instead.


Air conditioning?  You thought that price included air conditioning?  No.  Electricity on islands is expensive.  Add ten dollars a day.  We're now at $460.  Believe me, even in the slightly sometimes it's cooler rainy season, you want electricity.

Now you're going to need to eat and drink while you are here.  It always makes me want to punch tourists that say "This is cheap compared to back home!"

Because everything you eat and buy is imported to the island, it costs more than the mainland.

The average meal seems to cost about 150L.  Lets say either three meals a day or two and some beverages.  Maybe even a bit of alcohol.  We could go with $22 per day but the reality will be closer to $30 per day.  Don't forget that the government here smelled extra profit to be made and stuck a hefty VAT (value added tax though it is unclear what the 'value' part is) onto things and the merchants pass that directly on to the consumer.  At $30 per day we're up to $580.

If you want to buy knickknacks and small gifts for people you'll have to budget for that.  I think planning on $20 per person you are buying for is safe but I don't buy knickknacks so that's just an educated guess.

After you get certified, you're going to want to do 'fun dives'.  These are $25 each but they sell them in pairs (the boat thing) so call them $50 and you get two 45 minute dives.

This doesn't include incidentals like actually getting to the island (nearly 500L) and away again, doing extra excursions while on the island and so on.

No clue how many of these you'll want to indulge in but it would make sense to get some experience and see a bunch of natural beauty after going through all the trouble to qualify for it.

For me, this seems a bit too expensive of hobby to indulge in.  Not sure if for the call it $700 to $1000 I'd blow through in a week it would be worth it to sit around for several months in cheap digs trying not to do anything but suck down on water bottles to have a bit of fun like that.

Honestly, I thought the price would be half of what it is.   I'm sure there are plenty of people who would argue (rightly) that they did it for a lot less than the costs I've computed.  Honestly though, if you are going to do something like this you want to have a good time and not worry about penny pinching everything.

End recommendation, take a grand with you to blow through and have fun.


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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster

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