Utila Geography Video
Utila is an inexplicable jewel of an island. Why is it inexplicable? Because no matter who you ask, they can’t really tell you why they love it here so much. Granted the island isn’t for everyone, and you may need to learn how to slow down, but when you do, there is no other place you’d rather be. They say “Once you’ve drank Utila water, the island will be in your heart forever”.
Formerly known as the backpacker mecca for affordable scuba diving, the island has morphed into a great retirement destination where life is simply simpler. The common mode of transportation is golf cart, scooter or bicycle (the latter often depends on whether you live up the hill or not)! Some people even walk! People are so friendly, as you often turn to the person sitting next to you and strike up a conversation. Utila is really an island that you need to experience, rather than have someone describe it to you.
Probably the morphing point was when Utila obtained 24 hour power in 2003 when the power company was privatized.. I remember the exact time because I went to La Ceiba to give birth to our first daughter. When we returned to the island, we had 24 hour electricity! Prior to that, power generation was from 6am to midnight! Except on Tuesdays when the freight boat came in, and power stayed on until 2am! Everyone went out that night!
Having 24 hour electricity moved Utila’s tourism industry into a growing market of travellers seeking nice rooms with A/C and hot water, and more upscale amenities (and I use the word ‘upscale’ in a relative manner). When travellers, mostly scuba divers, learned of this amazing little island, tourism here grew greatly outside the backpacker market.
Utila Personal Experience
After having lived here since 1999, I have seen the island grow on all levels, just like everywhere else in the world. People often ask whether Utila is a ‘party’ island? The answer is ‘yes’. However, the backpacker party crowd is just one layer of Utila’s island living. Most expats who retire or semi-retire here, don’t even see that side of The Rock, as Utila is fondly named. Most often the young, energetic backpackers are just emerging when all of us are snuggled up in bed, or at home watching Netflix. My friends are all up at sunrise, and asleep by 9pm. Dinner dates are made at 6:30pm, and finish by 8:30pm before everyone starts fading. The great thing is that home is never too far away, since most inhabitants are within about one square mile!
Well whether you have visited Utila or not, this Utila Geography Video will give you a better idea of the different areas and amenities available in the varied neighborhoods of Utila. We hope you enjoy it!
The second video on boat accessible areas is coming soon!