Utila is the most western Bay island in the Caribbean belonging to Honduras. It has one village and around 6.000 inhabitants. When we were in D&D Brewery (nearby lake Yojoa, Honduras, read about it here) other travellers told us that we’d probably be longer at Utila as planned. And they were right! Once you’re on the ferry from La Ceiba to Utila everything’s changing to the Caribbean easy going vibe which is very addictive. Most people travel to Utila to get there PADI Open Water because the ocean temperature is so good (31 Celsius degrees), the coral reefs are breathtaking, the water is incredibly clear and the diving classes are one of the cheapest on earth! We decided to do the same thing. Don’t worry about fixing a hostel before you go to Utila, because once you take your first step on the island a lot of people will offer you great deals for diving and sleeping in the most beautiful hostels.
We stayed in the hostel Alton’s Dive Center and it truly is an amazing place! Our dorm was right at the docks, so when we opened our dorm door we had an ocean view (heaven right?). The hostel has an amzing dock where you can relax in hammocks and jump into the ocean. We took our diving classes here (from scuba babies to PADI open water divers) which went great. The staff is really professional and at the same time very easy going, so you won’t feel any pressure and can fully enjoy your diving experiences! The corrals are so beautiful and you will see so many sea life closeby. I saw so many colourful corrals and fish, eels, stingrays and even a shark! There are plenty of curious whale sharks so if you’re lucky you bump into one during one of your dives. We paid around 275 US Dollars for all the diving classes (including 2 fun dives) and 6 free nights at the hostel. We stayed twice as long as planned because we just couldn’t leave this magical place. After your 6 free nights you only pay 6 dollars per night.
Mosaic garden & vegetarian food
Besides the diving there’s plenty to do on the island. There is a beautiful garden made by an artist who took over 30 years to complete the garden! Don’t be afraid of banana spiders though, because there will plenty of those spiders there! Next to this garden is the amazing restaurant Jade Seahorse where you can eat fresh and healthy vegetarian food and drink some cold beers in the treehouse next to it. Make sure to try the home made hibiscus lemonade, it’s so delicious!
Utila is definitely a party island. The rum and cokes are cheap (1.50 US Dollar) and the party’s are great. At some nights you have party’s at other hostels or at the bars (like the Tequila Tuesday), but there are also amazing beach party’s! Friends we met at the hostel convinced us that we had to ‘win’ a Utila t-shirt at a bar before we left the island, their argument: you’ve never been to Utila if you don’t have an Utila shirt. To win this t-shirt we had to do funny games (like run around the pool table) while drinking the most awful shots we ever had: they kept the liquor bottle behind the fridge and there were even veggies in it…! Never again although we were very happy with our t-shirts.
Another great thing to do is to hike to the highest spot on the island: the top of Pumpkin Hill. Make sure to bring enough water because the temperatures on Utila Island are very hot! A famous story is that Utila was the island Robinson Crusoe lived at. During your hike to the top of Pumpkin Hill you will cross the rock Robinson Crusoe used to live in (if you want to believe the story of course, we thought it was quite fun to believe!). Once on the top you have breathtaking panoramic views.