Whale Shark Capital of the World
Utila is the Western-most of the Bay Islands and has become increasingly popular due to its party atmosphere, great vacation prices, amazing diving, and as a prime spot for Whale Shark encounters.The whale shark is the world's largest fish, and this slow-moving giant is a harmless zooplankton-, snapper egg- and shrimp-eating fish. Growing up to an incredible 12-18 meters in length, you just have to come and see it for yourself!
Getting to Utila is easy, with a large passenger ferry servicing the island daily from the coastal city of La Ceiba. The one-hour trip covers the 18 miles between La Ceiba and Utila, and the ferry service is offered twice daily. The domestic airport receives a daily flight from a local airline and there are charter airlines who fly on demand as well. You will need to show your passport when you purchase your ticket.
You will not find international or even national chain restaurants and hotels in Utila. All businesses are run by local families or new residents from around the world. There is a range of lodgings and accommodations to suit all budgets and all tastes, from shared dormitory-style rooms to luxury private houses and all-inclusive resorts. You can even rent and stay on your own private tropical island!
The main town in Utila is known as East Harbour or Utila, and is located on the eastern side of the Island, between the Upper Lagoon and the Lower Lagoon.
The main road is paved until the end of town and ends at Chepes Beach, the most popular beach in Utila. However, a dirt road continues and will take you as far as Blue Bayou. On the other side of the Lagoon, you will find one of the most exclusive resorts in Utila: The Laguna Beach Resort. It is located on a narrow strip of land, with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Lower Lagoon on the other. Shore diving from both resorts is outstanding, as the reef is only a few feet from the beach.
The only mountain on the island is Pumpkin Hill, from where you can get a fantastic view of the whole island, as well as of Roatan. There are caves around Pumpkin Hill where, according to legend, pirates hid their treasures.