You will never find another place like Utila, this island will steal your heart and travel with you wherever you go. It is its charm that attracts so many to this exotic location, making Utila an obligatory stop on the traditional Central America backpacker route. The atmosphere on the island is best described as both laid-back and upbeat. During the day, there is a peaceful and relaxed ambiance while people enjoy diving or sun bathing. At night, you will find the streets are transformed into a busy bustle of locals and visitors alike, celebrating life on the Caribbean.
Unlike other Caribbean islands, Utila is easier on the budget, celebrated for being an ideal place for finding the best value on scuba certifications from novice to professional.
For those seeking to check items off their bucket list they will be able to experience the swim of a lifetime with the largest fish in the sea – the mysterious and gentle Whale Shark.
Utila is the smallest of the three Bay Islands. It measures 11 km (7 miles) in length and 4 km (2.5 miles) in width. Most of the island remains undeveloped with the majority of the population living in and around the east harbor, a horseshoe-shaped bay with a narrow road lined with shops, buildings, and residences with rustic construction perched on stilts, an image reminiscent of a Caribbean island from the 1970s.
To the southwest of Utila lie the Cays (or cayitos in Spanish), a small cluster of scenic islands barely rising above sea level. Pigeon Cay and Jewel Cay are home to a community of local fishermen, most of them descendants of the original settlers that arrived in Utila from the Cayman Islands during the 1800s.
Further west you will find Water Cay, the quintessential Caribbean island covered in white sand, decorated by lofty palm trees, and bright turquoise waters. This idyllic location is deserted, making it the ideal place to spend a relaxing day on the beach or snorkeling above the fringing reefs.
You can make your experience in the Utila Cays all that more memorable, by renting a private island for a night or two, it just so happens that Little Cay and Sandy Cay, two of the smaller islands in the area come with a fully furnished beach house and are available for rent.
Do not miss out on the opportunity to experience this part of paradise in its entire splendor, up close, and on a budget.
Utila is the only island with both Marine and Terrestrial Natural Reserves. In Utila, the Natural Reserve is Turtle Harbour which boasts some of the highest diversity of fish larvae in the Mesoamerican Reef. Also, many endemic terrestrial species call this area home!