Whale Shark Week

Marine Conservation & Whale Shark Week

Hosted by Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center

At Utila Lodge Resort

Whale Shark Oceanic Research Center



Dates for 2016:

February 13– 19    March 19-25    April 23-29  May 28-June 3

July 2-8     August 6-12    September 10-16

What Is Whale Shark Week:

The Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center’s (WSORC) Marine Conservation and Whale Shark Week package invites participants to join us for a dive holiday with a twist! A unique opportunity to learn about marine conservation on a small Caribbean island, dive into current research projects and contribute towards WSORC’s ongoing whale shark monitoring program.

Guests will stay at the friendly Utila Lodge Resort and the workshops will be delivered by the WSORC. WSORC is a local non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to facilitate conservation through scientific research and education, and promote the sustainable use of Utila’s natural resources to protect and benefit both the natural environment and the local community.

The week will consist of a series of lectures and workshops covering various aspects of marine conservation in Utila, and these will be followed by practical application dives and excursions to experience first-hand what is being learnt during lectures. The opportunity to gain PADI recognized specialty courses will be available, as will the opportunity to be involved with our ongoing whale shark, coral reef, and Caribbean fish population monitoring programs.

Marine Conservation and Whale Shark Week includes:


  • 7 nights accommodation at the Utila Lodge Resort
  • 3 meals per day, buffet style
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • All lectures and workshops provided by WSORC
  • Diving and snorkeling
  • Whale shark excursions
  • Become Level Two qualified in Fish ID
  • Become a CoralWatch reef health surveyor


The following is a sample schedule; activities are weather dependent so itinerary is subject to change. Additionally, Marine Conservation and Whale Shark Week dates for 2015 are based on WSORC’s sightings data from previous years, however wild animals can be unpredictable and whale shark presence here in Utila is driven by a variety of natural factors therefore we cannot guarantee sightings.


  • Afternoon: Arrival & pick up to be announced
  • Check into Rooms and fill out registration followed by Lodge orientation
  •  Welcome cocktail
  • Evening: Dinner
  • Presentation: Welcome to Utila! An introduction to the island.

whaleshark feedingDAY 2

  • Morning: Breakfast
  • 2 Fun Dives
  • Afernoon: Lunch
  •  PADI Specialty: Whale Shark Awareness. An introduction to the amazing life of whale sharks, their biology and life history traits, habitats, life cycle, feeding habits, and conservation efforts on Utila and around the world.
  •  Coffee Break
  • Lecture: Fish ID and REEF.org.
  • Sunset Hour – Enjoy our beautiful sunsets at the Utila Lodge bar with one of Queenie’s famous cocktails.
  • Evening: Dinner
  • Marine Documentary: Big Fish – An interesting documentary providing an insight into conservation issues and efforts on Utila.


  • Morning: Breakfast
  • CoralWatch Coral Watch workshop. An introduction to the Coral watch survey program and how to conduct Coral Watch survey dive.
  • Lodge Dock Snorkel – Fish ID Workshop
  • Afternoon: Lunch
  • Whale Shark Excursion
  • Happy Hour – Relax and enjoy our beautiful sunsets at the Utila Lodge bar with a cocktail.
  • Debriefing from whale shark encounter. Ecocean. Share photos.
  • Whale Shark Presentation
  • Evening: Night Dive
  • Dinner


  • Morning: Breakfast
  • 2 Fun/ Fish/CoralWatch Dives
  • Afternoon: Lunch
  • Mangrove Presentation followed by potential mangrove tour (Weather and group dependent)
  • Happy Hour – Relax and enjoy our beautiful sunsets at the Utila Lodge bar with a cocktail.
  • Evening: Dinner
  • Coral Reef Presentation in Lodge Bar
  • Marine documentary: Coral Seas. BBC documentary series Coral Seas, an insight into coral reef ecology and conservation on a global scale.

DAY 5Come and swim with these amazing creatures!

  • Breakfast: Breakfast
  • 2 Fun/ Fish ID survey/CoralWatch Dives
  • Afternoon: Lunch
  • Whale Shark Encounter Trip
  • Evening: Night dive (optional)
  • Dinner


  • Morning: Breakfast
  • 2 Fun/ Fish Survey/CoralWatch Dives on North side of the island in one of Utila’s protected areas; Turtle Harbor Wildlife Refuge. As well as looking out for nurse sharks, sea turtles, and spotted eagle rays, the purpose of these dives will focus on the status of coral reef health on north side in comparison
  • Afternoon: Lunch
  • Options
    • Visit fellow conservation organization BICA – Bay Islands Conservation Association.
    • Visit Iguana Station
    • 1 Fun Dive
  • Happy Hour – Join your hosts for a sunset drink in Utila town at one of the famous dock side bars for a real taste of Utila life. Sit amongst locals and chat to other divers visiting the island.
  • Evening: Dinner
  • Presentation:Plastic Pollution Documentary
Whaleshark Tagging

Whaleshark Tagging


  • Morning: Breakfast
  • 2 Fun/ Fish Survey/ CoralWatch Dives
  • Afternoon: Lunch
  • Whale Shark Encounter Trip
  • Happy Hour – Relax and enjoy our beautiful sunsets at the Utila Lodge bar.
  • Evening: Dinner
  • Quiz night & award ceremony.

 DAY 8

  • Morning: Breakfast
  • Departure to be announced

For more information feel free to contact us via E-mail or telephone at (855) UGO-DIVE