Utila, Honduras is truly a tropical island paradise situated along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef--making it perfect for divers and snorkelers looking for an escape.
Whew, has the whole world gotten you down? How many times have you said to yourself, "I wish I could live on a deserted island". What if I told you that was possible. And that it wouldn't cost you a gazillion dollars to do it. Sure enough, head to Isla de Utila (Island of Utila) in Honduras and it's all possible.
The actual island itself isn't uninhabited, it's a beacon for all sorts of SCUBA divers and snorkelers; researchers and beach lovers. They all seem to love the Caribbean Sea air and the hot weather, that averages some 80F in the middle of winter.
Folks also love the chance to swim with the massive Whale Sharks--and who couldn't love these gentle giants? Don't worry, they won't eat you; they're vegetarians eating krill and shrimp. Wait--I think that makes them pescatarians.
Whale sharks aren't the only ones who love the seafood around Utila. You got the freshest seafood around (hello, Caribbean Sea) and the many restaurants found on the island serve everything from crab to conch.
When you've spent the entire day SCUBA diving along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the 2nd largest in the world of its kind), as well as kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, and just about anything else you can do water related--you're gonna be hungry.
Ohh, the coconuts are quite a treat too. Sure makes for a delicious Pina Colada at one of Utila's nightclubs.
As I said, if you want to get away from all that you can do that here in Utila. A mere 20 minute boat ride from the island can take you to your own rented private house on the Cays (a set of smaller islands). Wait, the best part is it'll only cost you about $105 a night. Yeah, awesome is that?
A four bedroom/three bathroom house too much space for you? Apartments are available all over the island that'll only set you back about $15 a night. Ha, no major chains or suburban American here on this island--it's all local flavor.
Sightseeing in Utila isn't like most places. There aren't any Fine Art Museums, but then again, if you got some 60-odd dive sites the whole ocean is your canvas. You can come see the Iguana Research & Breeding Facility, and the Oceanic Research Facility, if you really want something educational.
The island does have its fair share of festivals, however. Come July everyone parties for Carnival; and on the first weekend of August every likes to party for the 2-day Sun Jam that takes place on Water Cay. What's even more remarkable at that is Water Cay doesn't have any kind of buildings. Hmm, talk about roughing it.
Just remember that rainy season comes to Utila from October to January--but that doesn't stop everyone from flocking to the island. Water only hurt the Wicked Witch of the West--so let it rain.
Besides getting the chance to lord over your own private island, you can take a totally awesome Sailboat Tour--relatively inexpensive too, just $300 for a 2-night adventure. Getting to Utila is just as easy as getting around on Utila, there is a ferry (the Utila Princess) running twice daily to the mainland; and the D-Express will bring you straight from Belize (it'll only cost you about $52 one-way). Just make sure your passport has at least 6 months left on it before you arrive.
Hey, it's a small price to pay for the chance to stay on your very own private island; or to stay at a beachfront property like the Laguna Beach Resort with its palm-shaded hammocks and beachfront cottages.
Eat your heart out Gilligan--ain't a better place to be than on this island.