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|The Official Web Site of Utila, The Bay Islands, Honduras|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Sandy Cay or The Rocks Cay) for as little as $US130.00 a night!