Utila is best known for its crystal clear waters and abundance of whale sharks. Unfortunately, the whale shark odds were not in our favor, but we did find beautiful reefs, friendly people, and some amazing food. Below are a couple tips for spending a few (or many) relaxing days on Utila:
1. If you’re traveling in the summer, know that it’s the low season in Honduras. We loved having the beaches, restaurants, and tours to ourselves, but if you’re looking to party, come back in a few months.
2. Go to the Whale Shark Research Center to get the facts on whale sharks. Along the main road, you’ll find many businesses advertising whale shark tours, but it’s always safest to go with the experts. The Research Center will be completely honest about what days are best for seeing whale sharks (they told us not to go out, but we were stubborn and ended up spending $150 fruitlessly searching for sharks). Trust the scientists! They’re not hustling you.
3. Eat some Israeli food. We didn’t take any photos of the place…but it’s there. Near the end of the road, just a few minutes walk from the beach, there’s a small Israeli restaurant (it looks like a house with a sign out front) owned by the loveliest local woman. She cooks the food for you right in her living room and makes amazing hummus and banana bread. If you want to know what heaven tastes like, order her banana bread.
4. Take a trip to Water Caye. The water is crystal clear and the island offers a picturesque place to read or take a nap. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Our verdict: go to Utila! If you’re in the region, we highly recommend traveling to Utila for ocean exploration and escaping cities. This tiny island will give you the space to truly relax.