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Tropical Island of Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

Troy Bodden - Mayor of Utila
Troy Bodden - Mayor of Utila

Welcome to our beautiful tropical island of Utila, nestling in the Caribbean Sea and located approximately 18 miles (29 km) from the Honduras mainland port of La Ceiba. Our island is just 11 km long and 4 km at its widest and surrounded by vast coral reefs with prolific undersea life. The smallest of the major islands in The Bay Islands group, we are renowned as being one of the least expensive and most beautiful places in the world for a scuba diving vacation.

Utila Water Cay - Relax on a tropical island beach - Click to enlarge
Relax on a tropical island beach

Whether you are on a back-packing tour to travel Central America or just on a short Caribbean vacation away from the busy office, the friendly island people will ensure your time spent here will be a relaxing and delightful experience you will treasure and want to share with your family and friends.

Sandy Bay - Click to enlarge
Sandy Bay

From the Payan Indians, through the years spent as a British Colony, to the present day as part of Honduras, our island provides a rich and diverse cultural experience with it's unique blend of British, American and Spanish heritages making this an authentic Caribbean Island which, even today, is still a largely undiscovered and unspoiled tropical island paradise.
 

Tropical Sunset over Eastern Harbor - Click to enlarge
Sunset over Eastern Harbor
Chepes Beach - Click to enlarge
Chepes Beach

On the island of Utila, which borders on the Mesoamerican barrier reef system, (the 2nd largest reef in the world after the Australian Great Barrier Reef), you will discover some of the most beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and tropical island sunsets in the world.

 

Enjoy a Caribbean scuba diving vacation
Caribbean Scuba Diving Vacation

With over 60 different scuba diving sites to choose from, including caves and numerous wrecks (such as the famous Halliburton), scuba diving is always interesting and never crowded.

Diving with Whale Sharks
Diving with Whale Sharks

Utila is also famous for divers encountering the Whale Shark migrating through the waters of Utila. The Whale Shark is the world's largest fish. The slow moving Whale Shark is a harmless zooplankton, snapper egg and shrimp eating fish which grows up to 12-18 meters in length.
 

Aerial photo of the Island
Aerial view of the Island

At the south-west end of the Island are the Cays (or Caylitos), a small collection of tiny islands, some just 100 feet across and 1-2 feet above sea level. The 2 main Cays, Suc-Suc (Pigeon) and Jewel Cay, are inhabited by local fisherman and the descendants of the original settlers who arrived here from the Cayman Islands in 1836.

Jack O'Neil Cay
Jack O'Neil Cay

Most of the other Cays are privately owned but several are open to visitors, especially Water Cay, the definitive deserted tropical island, which is uninhabited and has no buildings or construction on it. It is possible to hire a water taxi for the 30 minute journey from the town centre to Water Cay and spend the day enjoying the isolation and the fabulous snorkeling that can be found there. Water Cay is also home to the famous Sun Jam, a 2 day music and dancing fiesta held at Water Cay every year during the 1st weekend of August.

View from Sandy Bay towards town - Click to enlarge
View from Sandy Bay towards "The Point"
The main street runs around the Harbor

Most of the population, which averages around 3,500 people, lives on and around Eastern Harbor. The Scuba Dive shops, Bars, Restaurants and many of the Hotels are located on the main street which runs around the Harbor from "The Point" where the old airport was once located to the start of Chepes Beach, just past Sandy Bay. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes to walk from the beach at one end of the main street, to the beach at the other end.

Getting here is easy, there is a regular passenger ferry, the Utila Princess,  which runs 2 times a day between the mainland port of La Ceiba and our Municipal Dock arriving in the centre or "El Centro" of the town. Our small Airport receives flights every other day from Aerolineas SOSA and there are Charter Airlines who fly on demand. (Airline Flights are best booked through Morgan's Travel here in Utila.) Most people here speak English and you can use USA Dollars as easily as Honduras Lempiras.

You will not find International or even National chain restaurants and hotels in Utila. All businesses are run by local families or people living here. There is a range of lodgings and accommodations available to suit all budgets and all tastes, from shared dormitory-style rooms from as little as $2 per night to luxury private houses and inclusive resorts. You can even rent and stay on your own private tropical island (Little Cay or Sandy Cay) for as little as $US130.00 a night!

Advisory - using ATM's

An incident of ATM Card 'Skimming' at one of the ATM machines in Utila was reported to have ocurred in March 2014. This is the first incident I have heard of in Utila, but I have heard of others occurring in the Bay Islands. So be warned and learn how to avoid ATM/POS Card skimming. The person reporting this incident states there is a camera mounted in the ATM booth that overlooks the keypad. Stand so that your body obscures the view this camera has of the keypad.

Read what others say about Utila ....

"The diving was extraordinary, the experience phenomenal" - Bill Mashek - read review

"Diving was terrific" "got to swim with a Whale Shark" - Darren Dawson - read review

"Utila is a tropical island paradise" - Christina Mueller - read review

Read more reviews ...

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Copyright © 2005-2014 Mark C Smith  All rights reserved.

The Webmaster (who lives here in Utila) tries to keep this information accurate and up-to-date.

If you are aware of any errors or inaccuracies, please email details to me at