Climate: Honduras has year round warm tropical weather with air temperatures of 29°C / 85°F
Water Temperature: 27 – 30°C / 80 – 86°F
Time: UTC -6:00
Currency: Honduran lempira (HNL). U.S. Dollars are widely accepted
Electricity: 110 Volts. U.S. Stand plugs.
Marriage Requirements: Please contact the local tourism board for instructions and requirements.
Airport(s): La Meda International Airport (SAP)
Hyperbaric Chambers: Cornerstone Medical Service
Home to the second largest reef in the world teeming with beautiful coral gardens, coves and wrecks, Honduras is bordered by Nicaragua on the southeast and El Salvador and Guatemala on the west. It comprises 42,000 square miles, with the highest point at 2,400 meters. North is the Caribbean Sea and coastline 880 kms in length. The South coast in the Gulf of Fonseca (Pacific Ocean) is 153 kms in length.
Almost everything about the trip was positive. Flights were all on time, although of course it's luck of the draw flying in and out of Philly in the winter. All pre-arranged transfers went smoothly. Arriving in Utila by rust-bucket ferry and getting picked up in a three-wheeled tuk-tuk was a hoot. Service was uniformly friendly and helpful at both locations. The accommodations at Utila Lodge were more than adequate.
The dive operation at Utila Lodge is a bit more funky. The rental gear has seen better days. The boat is big, slow, and departs on island time. What made the Utila diving special was our dive master, Willy. I’ve never seen anyone as skilled as Willy in finding marine life. Finding the big stuff like turtles and sharks is easy, but Willy had an uncanny ability to find little things in holes, juvenile fish you hardly ever see, and that sort of thing. Diving with him really enhanced the experience. And the boat captain, Albert, was a crackup. We really had fun diving on Utila.
We saw eagle rays, dolphins, free-swimming morays, octopi, reef sharks, nurse sharks, barracuda, spiny lobsters, more turtles than we could count, and many, many species of fish, coral, and sponges. The reefs are healthier than I’ve seen at some other places in the Caribbean. The underwater topography is spectacular, and the abundance of steep walls had the added benefit of allowing diving near the reef at whatever depth was desired. We did shipwreck dives (including the Aguila), night dives, and on Utila a night dive on a shipwreck, which was a real highlight. Visibility across all our dives ranged from 40 feet (rarely) up to more than 100 feet.
The only negative, was food and water. We got all our food and drink at Utila Lodge, never venturing out of either resort for meals. Both of us became sick at both locations.
It’s hard to pinpoint, of course, exactly where these illnesses came from. The resort said that the “filtered water” they provided was safe to drink. After two days of feeling sick at Utila Lodge I stopped drinking the filtered water and switched exclusively to bottled water and soft drinks. I recovered quickly and remained healthy for the rest of the trip. So I suspect the water there.
My wife and I have traveled all over the world, and have encountered food and water that gave us trouble in many places. So this is nothing new for us. Digestions that are used to the highly sanitized food and water we have in the U.S. are very sensitive, and minor illnesses in a place like Honduras are hardly surprising. But if there’s anything that I think could be improved at Utila Lodge, it would be providing cleaner water and better kitchen hygiene.
In summary, we had a fantastic trip. The accommodations were great, and the diving was excellent. I would go back again, and I would recommend the location to friends. If I had it to do over again, the only things I would do differently would be to make sure my wife had all her own dive gear, so she wouldn’t have needed to rely on the rental gear at Utila Lodge, and I would stick to bottled water and be a little more careful about what I picked off the menu.
The Bay Islands, Roatan, Utila, Guanaja, and more.
The Bay Islands
Roatán, Útila, Guanaja, and more.
When you think about the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, your first thought should be, “Why aren’t my bags already packed?” We know divers and snorkelers that have been traveling down to the Bay Islands year after year and never seem to get tired of the endless dive sites, reefs...Read Blog
Diving With Whale Sharks
Diving With Whale Sharks
Whale Sharks, Rhyncodon typus, are the largest cartilaginous fish in the world today. The largest ever recorded was just over 41ft long, but rumors by fishermen say that they may grow over 46ft in length which makes whale sharks the
second largest cartilaginous fish ever to exist and places them only second in length next to the Megalodon shark that exist...Read Blog