Utila, the smallest of the Bay Islands
We're going to talk a little bit about Utila, which is the third largest island of Honduras' Bay Islands. The largest island is Roatan, followed by Guanaja. We have talked about Roatan and Guanaja in previous posts on this site, and we can´t help to include a post about Utila, so here we go.
Utila is very near to La Ceiba, of all the Bay Islands Utila is the one which is closer to Honduras mainland. You can clearly see in the following map the location of Utila, very near to La Ceiba as we said before. In a normal sunny day you can see the island of Utila from La Ceiba.
Utila is a small island, it is about 7 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. The cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are much larger than Utila. Another characteristic of the island is that it's almost completely flat, there are no mountains in Utila, which is a major difference compared to the other Bay Islands as Roatan and Guanaja. The highest peak in Utila is about 80 feet high, it is called "Pumpkin Hill". Several buildings in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are much higher than this peak. If you´re looking for ecotourism in the mountains of the Bay Islands you should go Roatan and Guanaja. Utila is mostly a destination for beaches and diving.
Divers from all over the world who visit the Bay Islands enjoy a lot the diving spots in Utila. In the diving world Utila is known for being the cheapest place in the world where you can get an official scuba diving certificate. So, now you know that if you are short in your travel budget and still want to get a scuba diving certificate, Utila is the place to get it.
In order to get to Utila the most common way to get there is taking a ferry boat from La Ceiba, it´s about 1 hour trip. There are ferry trips in the morning and in the afternoons as well. You can also get to Utila taking a boat from Roatan. You can also fly to Utila, there is a small local airport for small aircrafts, however they don´t have daily flights in their schedule. As far as I know, the flight schedule is only available once a week on Saturdays. So if you want to get to Utila by air, you will arrive on Saturday, stay the whole week in Utila and depart next saturday.
One of the main advantages of Utila for being such a small island is that most places are within walking distance. You can easily walk all over the island, there is a main street that runs all along the island. You won´t go uphill or downhill, remember that Utila is completely flat. Many tourists in Utila enjoy a lot taking walking tours all over the island.
If you ever go to Utila you will find visitors from all over the world, most of them are tourists and visitors who just love diving. Utila is a paradise for diving. The coral reef in Utila is just incredible, and it is part of the second largest barrier reef in the world only after Australia. That barrier reef is just right there in Utila, as it is in Roatan and Guanaja as well. But most divers agree that the barrier reef has something special in Utila.