Utila: The Cancun Spring Break For Travelers On A Budget

Jun 22, 2014


Cancun. Spring Break. One of the ultimate party places to go during your college career and up through your twenties, hell, maybe even into your thirties. Your days will be filled with sunbathing by your hotel’s pool or splashing around at the beach, you might even be so ambitious as to rent out a kayak to paddle around, all with endless drinks in hand. You might then head back to your hotel room to clean up and nap, and then the whole process starts all over except now you’re enjoying dinner and making plans to go out and party the night away, maybe even finding a lucky lady or guy to share a smooch or two or hours with. But how much is this weeklong trip going to cost you? Probably around $800 plus airfare (accommodations, meals, drinking, souvenirs, a couple rentals).


Utila and Underwater Vision

Now let’s translate that into Utila terms. Your days will be filled with sunbathing at your hostel, which is obviously Underwater Vision, or on your dive boat between dives, clearly only a drink in hand while chilling at the hostel. Mid-afternoon, you’ll likely find yourself asleep in one of the hammocks with a dive book draped across your stomach and an empty beer bottle lying lazily beneath you in the sand. Early evening strikes and it’s time to get showered rehab1.jpgup, which of course means waiting in a line 3-people long for one of the two showers. Just like Cancun, the process starts all over again with dinner and another night full of partying at one of the local bars.

The difference? Accommodations on Utila for the budget traveler are anywhere from 5-20 times less, depending on where you’re staying. Yes, that means spending anywhere from $5-$20 USD per night. While food and drink are about half as much if not less. I mean, is there any way at all to complain about getting a halfway decent beer or a cocktail for $1.75 USD and a slightly better beer or top shelf cocktail for $2 USD? No, I can’t say that there is. And how much will this weeklong trip cost you? Probably less than $600 USD plus airfare and transport, and that includes an entire dive course (accommodations, meals, drinks, diving).


So really, here’s the low down.

Coming to Utila is like being on spring break while still kind of being at college…at least if you’re diving and if you’re staying at Underwater Vision. But I’m curious, if you’re not diving, why are you visiting Utila? It’s a common question. Anywho, so you’re here diving. You can’t go out partying every night because you probably have to go diving tomorrow morning and the boat leaves at 7:30am and you should really be sober for that. This means that a lot of your free time for the first few days will be spent studying with your fellow divers by the bar or gathered in some sandy, shaded area between the dorms.

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But. When you don’t have to worry about diving? Game on. You’re surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of young people from nearly every continent, who are also looking to have a good time on what is widely known as a “party island” and in one of the cheapest places; how can you not take advantage of that?!

And the nice thing about Utila, aside from the newly established drinking law in Honduras preventing the sale of alcohol after 5pm on Sundays (REALLY HONDURAS?!) [SIDENOTE: this may be coming to an end here on Utila. I will report back shortly], there is no such thing as “the weekend.” Every day is the weekend. Your “weekdays” are simply the days that you have to get up early to go diving…bummer! What a life! So any given night you could head to Babalu, Treetanic, Coco Loco, Tranquila, Skid Row, Rehab, or Champa and find a crowd of your drunken cohorts.

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Spring break or backpacking as a single gal or guy.

Let’s not try to kid anyone by saying that you’re not looking for someone to hookup with; or at least just to make out with. I mean, you’ve definitely thought about it at least once. Well let me tell you, as a bartender on this fine island (and an avid people watcher – not in a weird way of course!!), I can tell you from the several nights I’ve spent working that your chances are quite good. But if you do decide to make out with someone, would you mind maybe taking it to a corner or something? I’m not a huge fan of being stuck behind the bar having to watch you swap saliva with your tongues. But don’t let me stop your fun! As a people watcher, I’ve also noticed the many little flings that occur with a small population and a high turnover rate. It’s very interesting.

So anyways, it’s like college: you’re studying, you have to get up early sometimes, you have to go to class sometimes, and living in close quarters you’re very likely to make some new best friends. It’s like spring break: you do what you want, spend all day every day in your bathing suit, you drink – a lot; you meet many new and interesting people, you might make out with one or a few of them knowing that you’re likely to never see them again. (This is a judgment-free zone.)

Don’t believe me? Take a look at one of the best, worst videos ever created. It’s Utila in a 6-minute nutshell, created by Marty and Ginski last August. It really is quite catchy, and I can’t help but listen to the song every now and again. And more often than that, I find myself humming the song. And well, sorry not sorry, you definitely will too. {#emotions_dlg.cool}



And don’t think for one second that the three lies of Utila are not real and will not apply to you. I’ve personally experienced and know some friends that have experienced at least one, if not all of them.

So if you think you’ve got what it takes to survive Utila, “where the water is clearer, you can drink tequila, and you will spend Lempiras,” then book your ticket now! But beware; you may never leave!


Roam on!





Written by Jen Hays
Jen is a marketer with a passion for the digital world and an insatiable desire to travel and explore all that the physical world has to offer; marrying the two to share her experiences with and inspire all who join her along the way.

Find her on  | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram





Tags: Utila
Category: Places

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