Tips and Factoids for Utila, Honduras

Oct 01, 2014


Well I'm a little late on this one considering we left Utila almost 2 months ago, but whatevs. The fact of the matter is, that little island stole our hearts, and part of our livers, and we wound up living there for over 3 months. It's the kind of place that sucks you in quickly and you don't realize how deep its hooks are in until you finally make your way off, and the spell is broken. So without further ado, here are some random tips and factoids for Utila!

  1. There are two t-shirt challenges (at least that matter): Skid Row Bar and Rehab Bar. I won’t mince words, Skid Row’s challenge is…a challenge…yet completely and totally worth it. It is always fun and you feel like you earned that damn shirt by the end of it. Rehab’s challenge, isn’t really so much a challenge as it is you paying for a shirt and getting four small shots with it. That being said, the shirts are cute and both challenges are a sort of rite of passage on the island. You just need to do them.
  2. If you hear a honk from a car, and you aren’t looking for a taxi, just immediately start shaking your head. Honking is how the tuk tuk drivers try to get your attention and ask if you need a ride. This is actually a good tip for all of Central America. I instinctively just start shaking my head every time I hear a horn now.
  3. If you have a fridge and like beer, buy it by the case from Archie’s on the main strip. This is the distribution center for a ton of the island. It costs 425 lps (around $22 USD) 75 lps for deposit which you get back when you bring back the case and all the empties. A beer in most bars will cost you 35-40 lps each so buying from Archie will save you lots of money. He is located in between Bar Cuevas and Munchies but if you aren’t sure you can ask pretty much any local.
  4. Rio Coco has hands down the best coffee on the island. They close at 2pm though so no late afternoon caffeine fixes available. They are located just past Utila Dive Center towards the ferry dock.
  5. Wing Night on Tuesdays at Underwater Vision is a must. They fry up breaded wings in a gigantic vat of lard and then swirl in your choice of sauce. Delicious. There is a sign up sheet at the bar usually starting at around 5pm-ish. There is no real method to the madness though, meaning you sort of just have to go up to the bar and tell them you’d like your order whenever you get hungry.
  6. Skid Row Pizza Wednesday is such a steal. You can get a cheese pizza for 99 lps (around $5 USD) and 15 lps for each additional topping. Also, the pizza is amazing, plain and simple.
  7. Real mixed greens from Roatan are delivered on the Wednesday ferry to Bush’s Supermarket. The bags, which cost 90 lps are stuffed with crisp leafy greens that are to die for. You can find them in the refrigerated section at the back, top shelf over some of the packaged meats. These go quickly as it is a task to find anything other than Iceburg on the island.
  8. Be prepared to search around for the cheapest prices. I almost never went to only one grocery store when shopping.
  9. There is a whole subculture of young women who manipulate tank tops. They cut them all up and make crazy designs and tie them in places…it’s impressive is what it is. I never knew this before but it is unavoidable in a lot of Central America, especially on Utila. And it seems like the less fabric that remains of the tank, the more fashionable. Sometimes there is nothing but hopes and dreams holding these things together I tell you.
  10. Mama Rosa’s is a staple. The pastelitos (essentially empanadas) are to die for, especially the chicken ones (these are the ones in the yellow basket). For only 10 lps a piece, it’s probably the best deal for a quick bite on the island.
  11. If you are there to dive, which you probably are, the dive shop you are with is a big deal. I only did my Open Water Certification while there so I’m no expert by any means, however Underwater Vision was an excellent shop. Jen's post about Underwater is a helpful one.
  12. Chepas Beach hosts beach parties every Friday night. They don’t generally get started until 12am-1am.
  13. Sandy Caye is a tiny, private island not too far from Utila. It has only one house on it that sleeps 6 in beds and plenty more on cushions in the living room area.  The kitchen is really well stocked and the beaches are gorgeous white sand with awesome snorkeling and diving right there. You can rent this entire island for around $150 USD/night and if you are able to do this, DO IT.  Did I mention that this is a freaking private island that you can rent?! So amazing. The guy who runs it is named Barry. He comes and picks you up from Utila and drops you off on the island. He will make runs with supplies back to the island if you need it, however he charges you $50 for every trip so I suggest making sure you are fully stocked before going. There are other private islands you can rent as well, but Sandy Cay will forever be in my heart. 
  14. You may want to get a bike if you will be there for a longer period of time, although it really isn’t completely necessary. Regardless, it is much cheaper to buy one than renting. You can then sell them relatively easily when  you are leaving and wind up making most of your money back. Rental Roney has bikes for around $50 USD but you can also check out the Utila Buy and Sell Facebook page.
  15. Which brings me to my next topic: Utila Buy and Sell. This is a closed group on Facebook but they allow anyone to join. This page is amazing as you can post any sort of question about the island you can think of, you can sell things, businesses post information about specials and whatnot. It is massively helpful.
  16. Tequila Tuesday. It’s a Tranquila thing. Crazy busy. You have to experience it at least once, which was enough for me.
  17. If you see a skinny, super tan, shirtless man with a t-shirt wrapped around his head, running or driving around yelling obscenities and/or singing Scarlet Begonias, this is Web. He is a local. He is a legend. He is insane, but he is a sweetheart. You will definitely assume he is going to mess with you in some way and probably be frightened, but really he is harmless. He is the inspiration behind the Skid Row “Welcome to Hell” tank, so if you see him, yell “Welcome to hell motherfucker!”
  18. Foo King Wok is the only Asian food on the island. It’s located right in front of Tranquila, to the left. It is expensive but worth it, each meal costing 250 lps but being enough food for two. They open at 6pm, and you should get there early because they cook until they run out of ingredients. You order at the counter and then hope you get a seat!
  19. Most bars close between 10pm-12pm. Skid Row and Rehab are sometimes open a little later, but Tranquila is the late night spot where the party continues into the wee hours of the morning.
  20. You really really can do pretty much whatever you want. Like really. I’m not kidding. 
  21. You should absolutely, unequivocally, 110% go there.


Category: Resources

Please add a comment

Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.