tHINGS TO DO IN UTILA
What to do in PADI’s paradise when YOU ARE NOT DIVING? Here's a list of alternative activities that kept me busy on the island for 10 days straighT!
The great thing about Utila is you don’t need to pay to go on an expensive snorkelling trip you can do a lot of marvellous fish spotting directly off shore. I personally much prefer going snorkelling on my own, this means I don’t have to follow someone around and you can go at your own pace.
Here are some of the best spots on the island:
Neptune beach and restaurant
You can hop on a free boat ride every hour from town to this restaurant and gem’ snorkel spot. The seared tuna salad is delicious as well. Whilst snorkelling there we’ve spotted lots of beautiful corals, swanky fishes and even a stunning sting ray!
This lovely pontoon bar offers ice cold beers, a stunning view of the sunset and great snorkelling. A guy told me a spotted some dolphins here once too!
Bayou on the beach cafe
This spot was closed when I was there but it was recommended to me by a dive instructor so presuming it’s good.
Take a boat to this remote island and explore its magnificent coral reef
HELP OUT AT JASPER'S ANIMAL SHELTER
The Shelter as they describe it on their website is a community animal rescue and protection organisation. It was founded by a New Yorker formerly fashion worker. She still running the puppy show at the moment and is always on the look out for adoptive pet parents, dog walkers and food suppliers. If you’ve got some time to spare please stop by and check this amazing charity.
Visit Utila's Chocolate factory
Although none of the cocoa is grown on site, the chocolate is still exquisite! Upon arrival at the Utila Chocolate Co. you’ll be taken on a quick tour of the factory, followed by an extensive chocolate tasting. Make sure to stay at a cafe for a cup of hot chocolate or a degustation of a home made brownie. Even if chocolate isn’t your thing, they’ve got mango sorbet and kombucha on offer as well. I would also recommend buying the organic mosquito repellent made of coconut oil and citronella, it’s made of all natural ingredients and will last you forever!
SUPPORT THE IGUANA RESERVE
Up in the hills you’ll find a little family run the Utila iguana station. To be honest, you’ll probably see Igunas at a closer range just by walking down the roads but you won’t get the same insight. The owner will take you through, in Spanish and tell you how the creatures mate and recreate. It’s an awesome way to support a local community and make sure the iguanas continue to prosper in their natural habitat.
KAYAKING & LIONFISH HUNTING
Head to the public beach and rent out some kayaks from one of the local shops. You can’t miss them they all have giant kayaks outside. From there embark on an hour long journey to the beach where (too) many lion fish reside. They are an invasive specie so hunting them is encouraged. On the way there, you’ll go through swamps and spot some wildlife such as birds or even snakes if you’re lucky! Allow yourself at least half a day to complete the whole trip.
I would recommend getting individual kayaks as they can get tricky to manoeuvre in the windy swamps.
Duck down and search for the lion fish in the most intricate coral caves, that’s usually where they like to hide
If it’s windy make sure to Kayak closest to the coast, it will be easier to paddle
What you need…
Mask & snorkel + flippers (optional)
A sling - pole spear + a special recipient to store your fish whilst swimming
Cost: from $10 for a single kayak
RENT A QUAD OR GoLF CART
A good way to check the island is to rent one of these little motor vehicles since cars are not allowed at all. If you’re a big group, obviously get the golf buggy. If you’re riding solo or duo and feeling a bit more adventurous get the quad, this way you’ll be able to drive along all the dusty roads.
Make sure to go to Pumpkin Hill, the highest point in Utila to lookout over the island.
Sunbathed at the public beach
This playa known as Chepes beach is not your typical white sanded beach but you don’t come to Utila for this! It’s still a nice place to wind down and have a swim.
GO ON A TRIP TO PARADISE AKA WATER CAYE
Ever wanted to spend some time on a picturesque deserted island? Located only Twenty five minutes boat ride from Utila, Water Caye is heaven on earth, here the sand here is white and the water is crystal clear. On one side of the island you can bathed, on the other you can snorkel and spot lots of colourful fish. There’s literally nothing on the island apart from wooden picnic tables and a toilet so ensure to take plenty of snacks and drinks for the day.
Trip duration: 25min each way