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.
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.
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.
Utila is one of the destinations one goes to in order to see
, 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.