Utila, Honduras: A heavenly place in the Caribbean
January 1, 1970
by Grettel Lemus
Where is Utila?
There is a paradise in the Caribbean of Honduras, located in the Bay Islands, about 45 minutes from land, the smallest of the three islands is called Utila.
In this island, there is no international hotel chain, in fact, there are no hotels in the area, which I think is one of the fascinating facts I can share. Though, there are hostels with a varying change of fees from each one, for example, $ 7 per person up to $ 350 per night for many people. Of course, there are also more luxurious accommodations to be found, it is really up to you. Overall, there is a very famous saying of the island: “In Utila, you don’t sleep …” Ha ha ha ha. Checked!
After having settled in the room that is probably wooden walls and floors, a great adventure awaits us out there…
Restaurants are all spectacular! I especially love their freshly caught seafood, baleadas, “pollo chuco” (which belongs to the Honduran cuisine). Most will say that the general cuisine of this place would contain a mixture of the island itself, the world and Honduras.
The Lempira is the currency of Honduras, so the price of the average dish is 150 Lempiras ($ 6.5), sodas and beer 30 Lempiras ($ 1.5). These are prices that tourists find very comfortable; this is another one of the main reasons why the place in Utila is a favorite establishment for any traveler in the world.
The vibe and the adventures
You can feel the peace while walking through the streets, it is an indescribable feeling. Such is this feeling that you question yourself about your current lifestyle or decisions that led up to this point in your life. One of the questions I frequently asked myself was “Why can’t I live here?”. There are no cars, people walk barefoot while being super nice. Like I said, it is a really peaceful place.
All over the island, you can encounter local bars, restaurants, shops, diving schools and one of the most common attractions is on the main street, where you can buy wristbands made by well-known hippies.
The nightlife of Utila is wild and amazing, an environment that’s provided from Monday to Saturday, usually by students from all over the world that come just to learn how to dive or simply have a good time.
There are no police or security guards. In fact, police and security are not necessary because we are undoubtedly in the safest place in Honduras.
The cinnamon rolls
As you can imagine the perfect life continues in the morning in this paradise. Cinnamon rolls are a must have for breakfast; they are quite famous around the island. You are in heaven when you take a bite of this warm sugary and spicy dough, which can be obtained for the price of 12 Lempiras ($0.50). But you better make sure that you get to try them fresh out of the oven in the morning!
What to do? It’s hard to decide between tourist attractions.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System
If we hike to Blue Bayou, we find the reef of Coral View. You better grab your snorkel set and GoPro, we are about to snorkel between the second largest reef chain in the world.
The island continues with a list of things to do, from Chepe’s Beach (public beach) to Bando Beach (private beach), located from end to end.
The options are endless, where we can opt for a trip to Water Cay (one of the cays located 15 minutes from the pier by boat) or a tour to Cayos Cochinos, offered by several charters.
Jade Seahorse and Treetanic
There is a specific place on the island where you can enjoy sightseeing and the feelings that stir up in your chest are just undeniable. It’s called Jade Seahorse! This place is decorated with seashells, shiny stones, colored wood and recycled materials. It also has a small restaurant and bar that opens up at 6 pm, it’s called Treetanic.
The kinds of pictures you can take around the island are just breathtaking. From the spiders that tend to prostrate in any corner to the depthless aquamarine blue sea that contains many harmless creatures beneath it.
I assure you will tell all those who have the chance of hearing, how incredible Utila is.
Doctor John Patrick McVay
By the way, there as in “He” is an iconic symbol of the island; a man of the third age, who left his profession as a doctor after having arrived at Utila. Yes, a former doctor offers parties at his house in Utila, famously known as Dr. John
Dr. John’s famous house offers all kind of activities. There’s a well-known challenge (for a cost of 200 Lempiras $10) in which they mix powdered juice with pure alcohol. You have to drink four cups of this drink while following the rhythm of the song AC / DC, TNT. Each time the word “TNT” sounds in the choir, you should drink one of these juicy drinks. Once the challenge is completed they’ll give you a shirt as a price.
The endless nature
The distant and famous caves of Utila full of fresh and natural water. The tank, where you have a 360º view and you can see at one end the shadow of Pico Bonito in La Ceiba. The northside, Rock Harbor, the kayak and the mangrove, all form the perfect complement of one of the most famous places in Utila.
After getting the opportunity to visit this lovely place, I understand why many people decide to establish their lives in here, after thinking it was just a simple vacation.
Time is never enough in Utila, I should have said it before. I really hope that if you choose to visit Honduras, you get to enjoy Utila as much as I did.