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Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras. The smallest of the three major Bay Islands, Utila lies closest to the Honduran Mainland and is by far the flattest of the islands. Utila is located approximately 18 miles from the coast and can be easily reached from La Ceiba either by sea or air. Utila is serviced by the Utila Princess passenger ferry providing a total of two daily departures, making it easy to get to Utila from La Ceiba. The Ferry departs from the Muelle de Cabotaje in La Ceiba. The trip takes only one hour on this fast motor vessel. Tickets can be purchased directly at the dock. Arrival in Utila is at the municipal dock, conveniently located in the central area of east harbour. Air service is available daily via Sosa Airlines and Atlantic Airlines. There are some charter air services available from both La Ceiba and Roatan that can help you get in or out of Utila.The main town in Utila is known as East Harbour or simply Utila, and is located on the eastern side of the Island, between the Upper Lagoon and the Lower Lagoon. The Upper Lagoon’s entrance is between the old airstrip and town, precisely where the only bridge in the road between the airport and town is located. Thus, some of the rooms and dive shops are actually located right on the lagoon, such as Sharkeys Reef and Crosscreek Hotel. The main road is paved until the end of town, however, a dirt road continues and will take you as far as Blue Bayou, which is very popular with many backpackers and offers one of the few beaches in Utila. The Blue Bayou is located at the entrance to the Lower Lagoon. There is a small entrance fee to enjoy the beach and facilities located here. On the other side of the Lagoon,on you will find the two most exclusive resorts in Utila: The Laguna Beach Resort and the Utila Utopia Village, both accessible only by boat. The Laguna Beach Resort is located on a narrow strip of land, with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Lower Lagoon on the other. Shore diving from the resort is outstanding, as the reef is only a few feet from the beach. The Airport, is located on the northern side of the island, about 4 km from town, and is a little too far to walk; however there is good taxi service available that will cost you about 2 dollars per person to your resort in town.

It is basically impossible to get lost in Utila. There is one main

road following the coastline along the harbour. This road is a

pedestrian road, although you do have to watch out for the

ever growing number of cars and motorcycles on the island,

as well as for the many bicycles. Bicycles are the main means

of transportation and there are several outfits that rent

These. If you wish an alternative to walking, ATV's and

scooters are also available for rent. We recommend

Bodden Rentals, located behind the HSBC bank as the most

reliable. Although Utila is world famous for it's diving, which

is not only excellent, but also very affordable, this does

not mean that Utila is necessarily a cheap destination.

Accommodation and food are much less expensive than at

the other islands, but Utila also has some world-class diving

resorts, such as the Utila Lodge, the Laguna Beach Resort .

And the Utopia Utila Resort. Fore those looking for a unique

boutique style hotel to enjoy, check out the Nightlife Cabins

at Jade Seahorse. These are unique cabins with a very artsy

design set amidst a pleasant garden with fruit trees and

walking paths, the Treetanic Bar,which is part of the complex

is one of the most original bars you have ever seen. There

is a Spanish language school in Utila for tourists.

The Central American School for language has been

successfully operating for four or five years. They are

offering quality courses, which will help you, spruce up

your Spanish and communicate better on the Honduran

Mainland as well as at the different Central American

countries that you plan to visit during your trip. There are two banks in Utila, Banco HSBC, which is located across the street from the Municipal dock, and Banco Atlantida, located half a block away from HSBC to the East. The bank hours are 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:00 - 11 :30 a.m. on Saturdays. Both, HSBC and Banco Atlantida will exchange your dollars, travellers' checks and offers cash withdrawals on your Visa Card. An interesting site on the island is Gunter's Driftwood Gallery, where Gunter an Austrian who was attracted to the island 40 years ago and has lived here since. His gallery is located just off Cola de Milto Road. Here you will find a variety of items carved from driftwood as well as some paintings. Gunter is great source of local information and is always very friendly. It is better to call in advance to make sure that he is there. His phone number is 425 3113.

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