I was completely new to the world of free-diving and so started the beginner course and after two... read more
I was completely new to the world of free-diving and so started the beginner course and after two... read more
I loveeeeeeed the beginner freedive course with Freedive Utila! Erin was an awesome instructor and... read more
I decided to try freediving whist on Utila I'd never heard of it before. Mark Rogers better know as "Tex" from Apnea Total Freediving was my teacher. The class room stuff was interesting, very informative and prepared me well for the practical side of the sport. In the water he was amazing calm, gave tips on techniques and troubleshooting and gave me the confidence to achieve what I thought was impossible! I enjoyed it so much I decided to do the Apnea Total Advance course which I can highly recommend. The advance course offered more techniques for deeper dives, exhale dives & static apena. Tex helped me to achieve a static apena breath hold of 4:35 minutes using some magic jedi tricks! He's a great teacher both in the class room and in the water and has the amazing ability to help you reach your full potential. I also opportunity to receive some freediving teaching from Teo who has a great amount of enthusiasm & passion for the sport which shines through in he's teaching style. He offered many helpful tips and showed me some wonderful warm up breathing exercises. On top of that I had the pleasure and added bonus of receiving some teaching from Lisa Starchild another amazing member of the Apnea Total team. Her gentle and very chilled approach helped me to feel way more relaxed in the water. A little bird told me she has some...I decided to try freediving whist on Utila I'd never heard of it before. Mark Rogers better know as "Tex" from Apnea Total Freediving was my teacher. The class room stuff was interesting, very informative and prepared me well for the practical side of the sport. In the water he was amazing calm, gave tips on techniques and troubleshooting and gave me the confidence to achieve what I thought was impossible! I enjoyed it so much I decided to do the Apnea Total Advance course which I can highly recommend. The advance course offered more techniques for deeper dives, exhale dives & static apena. Tex helped me to achieve a static apena breath hold of 4:35 minutes using some magic jedi tricks! He's a great teacher both in the class room and in the water and has the amazing ability to help you reach your full potential. I also opportunity to receive some freediving teaching from Teo who has a great amount of enthusiasm & passion for the sport which shines through in he's teaching style. He offered many helpful tips and showed me some wonderful warm up breathing exercises. On top of that I had the pleasure and added bonus of receiving some teaching from Lisa Starchild another amazing member of the Apnea Total team. Her gentle and very chilled approach helped me to feel way more relaxed in the water. A little bird told me she has some freediving records in her country. A BIG BIG thank you to Tex, Teo & Lisa for an amazing and very memorable experience. I would highly recommend this course to anybody it's fun, empowering and great value for money!!!MoreShow less
I was completely new to the world of free-diving and so started the beginner course and after two and a half days I was captivated, and so enrolled into the advanced course. Carlos my instructor was thorough, attentive and always kind. He guided us through step by step, teaching us the breathing techniques and how to be calm. He was very safety conscious and taught us how to always be safe. Before I started I could comfortably dive to about 5metres, after day five I was at 30metres! Thank you Carlos, your love for free diving becomes transferable!
If you love the water and/or want to explore how incredible our bodies and minds actually are then get into free diving.
Thank you Tex, Carlos and the team at Freedive Utila, this truly was a lifetime experience. Thank you for being so inspiring, what you do is beautiful.
I loveeeeeeed the beginner freedive course with Freedive Utila! Erin was an awesome instructor and explains everything you need to know to a tee. She is a super positive person however super relaxed. Would highly recommend for anyone to do a course with any of the instructors. Thanks guys :)
Before I decided to attend Freedive Utila I searched a few different options for schools with various questions about the best use of my time and money. I decided to go with Freedive Utila and glad I did for these reasons.
First of all I'm writing this more geared toward the more lengthy 4-6 week master course option, but to begin I had to complete the beginner and advanced which even if you don't have a lot of time these are well worth it, the instructors are top notch and you will leave with fine knowledge to lead on with the lifestyle of freediving. Also I think this is good info for these courses as well.
So here are some of the reasons Freedive Utila is amazing.
1. At some freedive schools boat rides to get to the dive spot are long and can add up for fees, Utila is special in that is gets deep quick and most days the boat ride is 5 minutes or so and included in the price. This is a winner for me. Boat or boats depending on amount of divers go out everyday in the morning, which allows you to dive everyday. If you are staying a while this is what will accelerate your skills.
2. There is accommodation on premises, many private rooms, and one dorm I believe. So you'll be able to eat, sleep, and socialize daily with other free divers if you decide to stay on premises. The environment is social, supportive, and friendly. There are frequently people meditating, doing yoga, doing breathing exercises etc.. There's a dock with a hammock to sway in and relax, and clear water to jump in and swim around. I find it the perfect environment to clear my mind and deepen into the freediving practice.
3. From Freedive Utila there are short walk to get groceries, cup of coffee, grab a bite to eat or beer, and by short walk I mean 30 seconds to a minute or so to a few these spots. Many days I don't spend over 4-6 US dollars on food because I'm staying a while and trying to stretch the funds.
4. The instructors are around all day as well as the owner Tex, they are always happy to talk freediving if there is something you need help on. Plenty of reading resources as well with small library in the office.
Bottom line I would say its free dive immersion. The best environment you could hope for if this is what you love and want to grow at. For the price and whats available I thinks its about as good as it gets. Hope this helps.
We did our freediving beginner and advanced courses with Freedive Utila. Our instructor Zack did a great job and we learned a lot about freediving and made a lot of progress during the courses. As we had participated in AIDA I already they allowed us to skip the first day of the beginner course and start from the second day on. The courses are pricey but very competitive compared to other freediving spots. Courses start every couple of days. The quality of the training is really good. Depending on the weather they choose different location with different depths. One of them even allows you to dive at a wreck which is awesome.
Only things we didn’t like is that they don’t allow training sessions for not certified freedivers (as we‘ve been before the courses) and they are maybe a bit too strict with their equipment (wear your weight in front of you as you may scratch the boat, put your wetsuit on only if you sit). But those are minor things and we nevertheless can recommend Freediving Utila for everybody.
I absolutely cant say enough good things about this operation. we read about freediving and decided to try and find a place off the beaten path, away from resorts, and commercialization. Freedive Utila was perfect. the school is run very professionally, the people are incredibly knowledgable, friendly, and supportive. we ended up having one of the best vacations either of us has ever had and are already planning our trip back to take the advanced course. we will never look at the ocean the same way again :)
Oh my! Where to start???
I came here with a friend. At the beginning, we both wanted to get our scuba diving certifications. But we ended up starting our week of vacation with this fabulous Freedive school. The last two days of our stay, we did squeeze in some scuba classes and were offered free accommodation by UDC, a scuba dive school. But we still stayed here with the freedivers even if that’s extra money(tho not a lot for sure). I guess that says a little about how much we love it here?
We both did our entry and advanced Freedive course here. Erin and Mariano were superb instructors who made it a fun and enriching experience. They were always happy to answer questions and demoed us everything we needed and wanted to know in a super professional manner.
We went to some really beautiful dive sites. One of them is the Wreck. Since I wanted to write a travel story, I asked Mariano and Tex to help me shoot. They not only helped me shoot, but also made sure all safety protocols were observed, and that I didn’t stress myself for shooting in compromise for a fun and relaxed experience. I really appreciated their help!
Freedive competitions are about depth and breathhold time. But the experience here is not about the numbers. If you break your personal best, people will congratulate you. But they always ask, “did you have fun?” They made it really about enjoying yourself and relaxing. At the meantime, safety is always stressed through the course no matter how you are trying to push your limit.
My friend and I could not dive head first at the beginning. We were advised to dive feet first. Tex showed us during a water session and we quickly reached depth we are happy with. Later, I was able to have the opportunity to practice headfirst dives and I reached 12m(free immersion).
As I progress, my instructors constantly checked if my ears are doing ok, if there was chest pressure, and if the urge to breath was too strong. They gave timely feedback on my posture, my breathing techniques and my diving strategy, making every dive a great learning. They always dive down with me to do safety even if they don’t have enough breath-up time in between each student’s dive.
My friend and I shared a dorm with Zach, an instructor at the school. Again, super fun and friendly! Takes good care of us newbies. And a great roommate too!
We also met very interesting people at the dive school. Scuba instructors curious to try, wildlife biologist, doctors and other really wonderful people. I guess people who come here are at least a bit adventurous and want to try new things. Many of them are very well traveled, making it super easy and fun to strike a conversation!
It is such an unforgettable experience. I was pretty sad to leave. But hopefully I’ll come back. Highly recommend freediving here!
We have been snorkeling and scuba diving as a family, but now we are freediving together, too! Five of us took the Apnea Total class, and it was thrilling to watch my 11-year-old son dive comfortably to 17 meters. Mariano did a great job encouraging all of us--regardless of age, experience level, or goal. This is a professional outfit with a supportive community. After having traveled all over the Caribbean, I highly recommend coming here to learn to freedive. We have been set free--to take our new skills and do the kind of adventure snorkeling/freediving we love with confidence and safety.
Freedive Utila is a special place. I've found myself advertising for this dive shop to everyone I encounter, as the benefits I've received are transformative, and I feel compelled to spread the word. Three major things encapsulate these benefits: goal-oriented yogic practices, the most pure and convenient way to dive, and a clear personal path to self-improvement. Next, the manner in which Freedive Utila conducts themselves is nothing but the highest level of professionalism. My instructor was Mariano, who firstly was great at sternly showing me how not abiding by certain safe practices could harm me and other divers. He balanced this approach with passionate warm support: high-fiving and laughing with me for a dive well done. Tex runs and owns the shop and does so in an elegant manner. Everything has it's place, and the shop has influences of a buddhist monastery with its minimalistic design, evening yoga on the dock, and more. Despite running what many consider the best dive shop in Central America, Tex sits down with anyone and everyone who wants to talk. The community around this adventure sport in Utila is also a special one. Everything I relished about the SCUBA community was boosted with the freediving community. The people who choose to freedive are often on the same wavelength and I would argue, by necessity, have to be a bit contrarian (independent spirits). You'll meet some amazing people, brought together by the experience of pushing yourself mentally and physically, and exceeding what you thought was possible for yourself. As I sit here typing, I want to say so much more, but if you're at all curious and have the opportunity, just do it. ;)
I’ve been a SCUBA diver for 20 years, but decided to try the freediver course last summer. It’s one hell of an experience. It allowed me to explore depths of my own physiology and see the ocean with a set of new eyes.
The staff at Freedive Utila are all great people and highly trained professionals. You will have a great time and learn tons of new stuff.
I came to Utila just for this freediving school. Excellent teachers and staff, the most amazing experience, they put you at ease and make you feel comfortable and the whole vibe from start to finish is safe, chilled and so so fun! Totally addictive too!