What visitors find when they arrive is that Utila has much more to offer than just underwater adventures. For those of you that didn’t come just for the water, you can pack your free time with any number of fun activities:

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EXPLORE, RESTARAUNTS & NIGHT LIFE, THE PEOPLE ,
SHOPPING,
A TRIP TO THE MAINLAND OR ROATAN


EXPLORE THE ISLAND BY LAND
It is basically impossible to get lost in Utila. There is one main road following the coastline along the harbor and another going to the new airport & Pumpkin Hill. Bicycles are the main means of transportation and there are several inexpensive outfits that rent these if you need more than the 4 we provide for you. Many people use 4x4 ATV’s and scooters. Golf carts are now becoming a popular form of transportation among the wealthier islanders.

Take a mountain bike through town & around the island. Visit the airport beach for a swim. Go spelunking and swim in the several freshwater caves around the island. Hike up Pumpkin Hill, a 270 foot high extinct volcanic cone that rises at the northeastern tip of the island for panoramic views. There are caves around Pumpkin Hill, where according to legend, pirates hid their treasures.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are available for hire; they’re especially useful for getting to the popular north side eco-trails. Go horseback riding through the jungle trails or ride along Pumpkin Beach with Red Ridge Stables. Their knowledgeable guides will give you a behind the scenes look into island living rarely seen by tourists. Take a guided tour of the island and see where Robinson Crusoe is said to have built his home. Visit the Iguana Research & Breeding Station for just a $2 entry, preserving Utila’s unique iguana found nowhere else on earth. They also provide hiking tours to Rock Harbor & up Pumpkin Hill for reasonable fees. Another good non-profit, government established organization formed to protect the natural resources of Utila & the Bay Islands is BICA (Bay Island Conservation Association).


RESTARAUNTS & NIGHT LIFE
Millionaires, expats, backpackers and the fun loving locals make up Utila’s flourishing nightlife. Utilians love to party and play their music. Coco Loco, Bar in the Bush, Casino, Margarita Ville, Bundu Cafe and the Hideaway are a few of the many bars offering a different taste of the many nightlife options. You can find a quieter version by going to the local movie theatre for just a few bucks or rent a video to watch at the house. It’s not uncommon to be invited to a free city wide barbecue celebrating a birthday party, sports championship or just a gathering to celebrate life.

Utila has no shortage of great “open-air” restaurants. Even though there are no Pizza Hut’s to be found on the island, you won’t go hungry by any means. A typical meal will run you between $3.00 and $5.00. Whether you're in the mood for a great wood-oven fired pizza at La Dolce Vita or a fresh lobster dinner at Café Mango, a big slab of tuna at RJ’s BBQ or a baleada (Caribbean tortilla) from a local street corner stand, Utila has it all.

The Bundu Café, Munchie’s Café & Thompson's Bakery are famous for their breakfast and lunch menus. The new La Piccola Italian restaurant is also making quite a name for itself. The Jade Sea horse is well known for their fruit shakes, eccentric owner & the most unique hotel you’ve ever seen. Other restaurants are Lucille’s Seafood, Ultra Light Café (Israeli food), Big Mama’s and the list goes on. You can find an assortment of baguettes, bagels and bread at Camilla’s Bakery as well as homemade Italian ice cream at the Mango Tree Gelateria. We also have a great Wine shop with an impressive list. AboutUtila.com has a good list of more Restaurants & Bars

If you want to cook in your own kitchen, you can get your groceries & beer at family operated Bush’s or Henderson’s Supermarket and have them delivered to your front porch at no charge. You can hire our talented cook, Estella, or inquire for one of your wish for under $2.00 per hour or pay by the meal. You can also get fresh seafood & fruit of all types. Utila has a few good local beers for about $.60 a bottle that can be delivered right to your front door free of charge.

THE PEOPLE
The people of Utila are simple and the social life revolves around friends, gossip, and the happy hour at the assorted bars around town. They’re also famous for their easygoing nature and friendly disposition. They love their public gatherings, carnivals (Sun Jam Festival in July), beauty pageants, dominoes matches and drink. They have an intriguing history and love nothing more than to tell stories of their adventurous ancestors; many of who were pirates and buccaneers centuries ago. Just after a few days, you won’t be able to make it through town without someone familiar tempting you into conversation.

English is most commonly spoken on Utila; however, if you know Spanish, it always makes it easier to talk with more of the locals. If you want to learn Spanish, you can attend the Utila’s Central American Spanish School between dives. Utilians speak a sing song English and carry names such as Morgan, Cooper and Jackson. Utila is made up of some very interesting characters. Listen to the wild fishing stories of Hal Whitefield, or the tales of Robinson Crusoe’s 27 year stay on the island from Shelby McNabb or watch Dick “the parrot man” ride through town with colorful birds on each handlebar.

You can get into a game of volleyball, basketball or soccer with the locals in the afternoons. If you’re tired from a day of diving or basking in the sun then get into a game of dominoes. Attending one of the many churches on Sunday is a great experience. You can spend an entire day just sitting with the elders on the public bench in the middle of town watching everyday life go by in slow motion.


SHOPPING
Utila isn’t a shopper’s paradise but we do have one of the single best shops in all of the Bay Islands in "Island Originals". They have an excellent and tasteful collection of clothing, music, handicrafts and collectibles to choose from. Fine gifts can be found in the form of Honduran coffee, rum, maps and cigars. There are also street vendors, a few local artists and new shops sprouting up in town. But if your idea of a great time is “shop until you drop” then you might prefer to vacation elsewhere.


A TRIP TO THE MAINLAND
OR ROATAN

Less than an hour’s ferry ride will get you to the coastal town of La Ceiba, less than 20 miles away. From here you can visit one of the top archaeological sites in Central America, the Mayan ruins of Copan. You can also take a white water rafting expedition down some beautiful class 2-4 rivers, explore Pico Bonito National Park, take a canopy tour or swing down a zip line in the jungle. All these activities and more can be set up with any of the local travel agents in Utila Town. All these activities and more can be set up with any of the local travel agents in Utila Town like Jungle River Tours.

Roatan is less than an hour’s ferry ride from La Ceiba. There are endless possibilities of fun here too including: the famous dolphin encounter at Anthony’s Key Resort, testing how brave you are on a shark dive, pet a 30lb iguana at the iguana preserve, set a parrot on your shoulder at the bird park, or take an island tour by boat or taxi to visit the many interesting communities on the island.

Usually a night or two in a lodge near your destination of choice is needed. Roatan and La Ceiba can be reached in the same day by ferry or plane.