Utila

Background

Utila Map We dove Utila in May 2008. Útila (Isla de Útila) is the third largest of Honduras' Bay Islands, after Roatán and Guanaja approximately 18 miles (29 km) from the Honduras mainland port of La Ceiba. The island is just 11 km long and 4 km at its widest, Utila is in a region that marks the south end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest in the world. The eastern end of the island is capped by a thin veneer of basaltic volcanic rocks, erupted from several pyroclastic cones including 74 m (243 ft) Pumpkin Hill which forms the highest point on the island. It has been documented in history since Columbus' fourth voyage, and currently enjoys growing tourism with emphasis on recreational diving.

Accommodations

We stayed at the Utila Lodge . The Lodge is largely built on a pier and over the water with direct access to the beach. This makes for easy access to the water, the beach, and a very relaxing night's sleep. The Lodge also has a Hyperbaric chamber available in the event of a problem. The meals were done in the buffet style. The food was simple but delicious. The kitchen was also accommodating and would would gladly handle requests. The size of the facility encourages camaraderie.

Local Town

The local town did not feel like a tourist town. It felt safe and the locals were very welcomming. We did not go out for dinner so we cannot comment on the restaurants.

Diving

Utila is one of the destinations one goes to in order to see Whale Sharks, in fact there is a group of folks who monitor and study the local whale shark population called The Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center (WSORC). They also provide lectures and slide shows fairly regularly which are well worth the time. Unfortunately, when we were there, there had not been any sighting for the previous three weeks, and there was no sighting while while we were there. The diving was rather easy. The boat rides were short, and there was plenty to see ranging from a spotted ray to turtles, to what I referred to as 'Free Range Sea Horses' - a large number of sea horses swimming free.