Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras. The smallest of the three major Bay Islands, Utila
lies closest to the Honduran Mainland and is by far the flattest of the islands.
Utila is located approximately 18 miles from the coast and can be easily reached
from La Ceiba either by sea or air. Utila is serviced by the Utila Princess passenger
ferry providing a total of two daily departures, making it easy to get to Utila from
La Ceiba. The Ferry departs from the Muelle de Cabotaje in La Ceiba. The trip takes
only one hour on this fast motor vessel. Tickets can be purchased directly at the
dock. Arrival in Utila is at the municipal dock, conveniently located in the central
area of east harbour. Air service is available daily via Sosa Airlines and Atlantic
Airlines. There are some charter air services available from both La Ceiba and Roatan
that can help you get in or out of Utila.The main town in Utila is known as East
Harbour or simply Utila, and is located on the eastern side of the Island, between
the Upper Lagoon and the Lower Lagoon. The Upper Lagoon’s entrance is between the
old airstrip and town, precisely where the only bridge in the road between the airport
and town is located. Thus, some of the rooms and dive shops are actually located
right on the lagoon, such as Sharkeys Reef and Crosscreek Hotel. The main road is
paved until the end of town, however, a dirt road continues and will take you as
far as Blue Bayou, which is very popular with many backpackers and offers one of
the few beaches in Utila. The Blue Bayou is located at the entrance to the Lower
Lagoon. There is a small entrance fee to enjoy the beach and facilities located here.
On the other side of the Lagoon,on you will find the two most exclusive resorts in
Utila: The Laguna Beach Resort and the Utila Utopia Village, both accessible only
by boat. The Laguna Beach Resort is located on a narrow strip of land, with the Caribbean
Sea on one side and the Lower Lagoon on the other. Shore diving from the resort is
outstanding, as the reef is only a few feet from the beach. The Airport, is located
on the northern side of the island, about 4 km from town, and is a little too far
to walk; however there is good taxi service available that will cost you about 2
dollars per person to your resort in town.
It is basically impossible to get lost in Utila. There is one main
road following the coastline along the harbour. This road is a
pedestrian road, although you do have to watch out for the
ever growing number of cars and motorcycles on the island,
as well as for the many bicycles. Bicycles are the main means
of transportation and there are several outfits that rent
These. If you wish an alternative to walking, ATV's and
scooters are also available for rent. We recommend
Bodden Rentals, located behind the HSBC bank as the most
reliable. Although Utila is world famous for it's diving, which
is not only excellent, but also very affordable, this does
not mean that Utila is necessarily a cheap destination.
Accommodation and food are much less expensive than at
the other islands, but Utila also has some world-class diving
resorts, such as the Utila Lodge, the Laguna Beach Resort .
And the Utopia Utila Resort. Fore those looking for a unique
boutique style hotel to enjoy, check out the Nightlife Cabins
at Jade Seahorse. These are unique cabins with a very artsy
design set amidst a pleasant garden with fruit trees and
walking paths, the Treetanic Bar,which is part of the complex
is one of the most original bars you have ever seen. There
is a Spanish language school in Utila for tourists.
The Central American School for language has been
successfully operating for four or five years. They are
offering quality courses, which will help you, spruce up
your Spanish and communicate better on the Honduran
Mainland as well as at the different Central American
countries that you plan to visit during your trip. There are two banks in Utila,
Banco HSBC, which is located across the street from the Municipal dock, and Banco
Atlantida, located half a block away from HSBC to the East. The bank hours are 9:00
a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:00 - 11 :30 a.m. on Saturdays. Both,
HSBC and Banco Atlantida will exchange your dollars, travellers' checks and offers
cash withdrawals on your Visa Card. An interesting site on the island is Gunter's
Driftwood Gallery, where Gunter an Austrian who was attracted to the island 40 years
ago and has lived here since. His gallery is located just off Cola de Milto Road.
Here you will find a variety of items carved from driftwood as well as some paintings.
Gunter is great source of local information and is always very friendly. It is better
to call in advance to make sure that he is there. His phone number is 425 3113.