Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I sign up for an encounter with whale sharks?
A: Trip schedules are dependent upon weather and boat availability. The cost is $50 per person with a minimum of 5 people required. Alternatively for less than 5 people you can privately charter the boat for $250. This can be paid in cash or by credit card. Please send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your trip. Let us know when you will be arriving, and how many people are interested and we can work towards scheduling your request.
Q: Are we guaranteed to see a whale shark on these trips?
A: Unfortunately we cannot guarantee you a whale shark sighting, as they are wild animals. They are not marine mammals, so they do not have to come to the surface to breathe. However, that being said – Utila does have whale shark sightings during all months of the year. So, whenever you find yourself here on Utila, your best bet is to give it a try! Remember – you definitely will not see this elusive giant from land!
Q: Where does the funding for WSORC come from?
A: Currently WSORC is primarily funded through the original founders of the Center. Donations, whale shark encounter trips, naturalist courses and merchandise sales also generate money for the center.
Q: Do I have to be a certified diver to take WSORC naturalist courses?
A: For the majority of the courses we teach, you must have at least a PADI Open Water certification. The Whale Shark Distinctive Specialty and the Coral Identification course can also be done by snorkellers. In this case you will receive a WSORC certificate of completion but you will not be able to receive the certification from PADI…
Q: How long do these courses take on average?
A: All of the courses WSORC offers with the exception of the Advanced Naturalist course take an average of one full day (a morning and an afternoon session).
Q: What is the fish diversity like around Utila?
A: On an average 45 min dive, we usually record between 50 and 60 species of fish. We may record as many as 75 species on an exceptional dive.
Q: Where are the naturalist training dives conducted?
A: Utila has roughly 90 permanent mooring buoys that encircle the island. We use any and all of these dive sites for training dives.
Q: How can I find out more about these courses?
A: Email your inquiries to email@example.com
10/24/2012: Whale Shark Migration more >>
09/27/2012: Guided Snorkel Tours more >>
07/05/2011: 54 souls, mostly new faces, braved the storm last night to pack the Utila Lodge Bar for Jon's weekly whale shark presentation. Thanks to everyone, especially Shawn and Kate Boyer from Miami who adopted a whale shark, for coming out... more >>Join mailing list >>