In the months leading up to our trip to Utila, Honduras, we had many of the same reactions from people that usually went something like:
‘Honduras?! How’d you end up picking that? Isn’t it dangerous there?’
We would have never found Utila without a friend of a friend who teaches scuba diving lessons there. And, yes, surely from everything we see on the news, Honduras can be a dangerous place. But with that in mind, you can make plans that avoid unsafe situations. The main thing you can do to prevent an unsafe situation is to book and prepare all transportation before you get on the plane.
From Madison to Utila took roughly about 24 hours. (2 hour ride to O’hair, Chicago >> 2 hour flight to Fort Lauderdale >> 2 hour Layover >> 3 hour flight to Son Pedro, Honduras >> Night in Son Pedro hotel as it was 12:30am >> 3 hour car ride to the coast, La Ceiba >> 1.5 hour fairy ride to Utila). The flights are easy to book, but you need to make sure that you book a good overnight hotel as fling into Son Pedro after midnight (which seems to be the most common option) is the time to be the most safe. Our hotel picked us up and took us straight to the hotel. In the morning we got a ride to the coast with someone that was recommended to us from the owner of the house we rented the house from.
Once you get to Utila, it’s a very safe place. Since there are only about 2,000 people who live on the island and it’s an hour and a half fairy ride, everyone knows each other.
With safety out of the way, here are some of my favorite things about our recent trip to Utila:
- The house we stayed at, The Cay House, was unbelievable. Not only were the views incredible, but the owners and property managers were awesome. They were super helpful and responsive with everything we needed. Not only that, but seeing them at the local bars was a good time too. The Cay House also has one of the largest float rooms in the world.
- Island Time. If you need a little reboot time, this is the place to be. Island time makes you forget everything and actually relax. Somehow, you just don’t care, and in the best way possible.
- 86 degree water means all you need to pack is a swimsuit.
- Scuba Diving & Snorkeling. None of us were certified so we did a little crash corse with Ecomarine – Gunter’s Dive Shop. Only 3 of us actually made it out to dive, but the rest of us snorkeled.
- Cay Islands AKA a real life Corona commercial. We drank rum out of coconuts of course. Mmm, so good.
- Pumpkin Hill Beaches. There were no people there! We had the beach to ourselves. It was crazy. You also have to ride 4 wheelers out there which leads me to the next one…
- Everyone rides 4 wheelers, golf carts, dirt bikes and Tuk-tuks (local taxis- so fun.)
- The Treehouse bar. This place is pretty mind blowing both day and night. The pictures don’t really do it justice. Also the bartender whom I believe was the owner was super cool.
- The Mango Inn Bar & Grill: local pizza joint. I cannot get over how good their food was. They had a calzone special which I would have raved about even in the states. Not to mention, the owner (from Minneapolis) was one cool dude. The friendliest people around.
- Skid Row Bar & Grill. This seems to be where a lot of the local scuba dive instructors hang out. They play a lot of 90’s rock which is a funny opposition to being on an island.
- Tranquilla. Located behind the best Chinese restaurant (Fu King Wok, yep, best name ever), this is the late night spot to go for ‘Tequila Tuesday’s’ where they give out $.50 cent tequila shots. The dance floor is hoppin, especially after midnight. I also enjoyed having a beer there earlier in the night as it’s a beautiful view on the water.
- Neptune’s. There’s great snorkeling off of their dock and then afterward, grab a spicy margarita and some food. Both were delicious.
- Rehab Bar. Right off of the beach, you can drink and lay in a hammock. How could this not be fun? They also have cheese fries (the key to my heart) and a shot challenge. The challenge is to drink 4 shitty blue vodka shots under 10 seconds after spinning 4 times. If you pass, you get a free ‘Rehab’ teeshirt. Apparently though, Skid Row was the originator of this contest. Regardless, it was a fun place.
Anyhoo, if you might have any questions about traveling to Utila, feel free to drop us a line. Till next time!
Thanks to Abby Gaebler for some of these awesome photos above.