Utila, this little tiny island in Honduras just completely blew me away when I visited last week! I got so much more than I ever expected this little island could give. I originally picked Utila for the whale sharks. Whale sharks had been on my bucket list for at least 10 years and according to everything I read this was the place and the time to see them. So that is what drew me to Utila. Then, the resort I found, Utopia Village, looked amazing, and private, just what I look for in a hotel plus it was rated #1 on tripadvisor.com. Again, my expectations were completely blown out of the water.
We went there looking for a great vacation with our best friends and we came away with the most amazing trip we have ever taken for diving. We met people who literally changed us. I know that sounds crazy for a vacation trip but it is true.
So I am torn over whether I tell you about that, about the diving, the snorkeling, or the island, or can I mix it together in such a way that it completely conveys the magic we experienced? I fear I am not that gifted so I will do my best to just tell you what I can in the least jumbled way possible.
Traveling to Utila was done on a tiny turquoise colored plane flown by Captain Angelo who is about the cheeriest pilot I have ever experienced. This 5’6″ (approximately) man is so full of love and happiness I immediately wished I could adopt him into our family. The airplane was pretty small, and vintage 1970’s, and a little toasty for the 13 minutes we were on it, BUT, Angelo did an amazing job and got us there safely. Plus, on the way back we spotted a whale shark from the plane so how can you not love Captain Angelo and Island Air?!
There are almost no vehicles on Utila island except for Tuk-Tuk’s, ATV’s, Bikes, Motorcycles and city vehicles. That is it. I loved this, especially after being in Florida for a few months where most of the cars are big and the drivers honk like it is a contest.
Nothing makes me happier than boarding a speed boat with my luggage to get to my hotel. We had to do it in Belize and now in Utila. I love it! As the wind blows through my hair I feel like everything is blowing off of me and into the wind. Every problem, worry, concern, trouble, or annoyance, all gone in the wind on the ocean. I highly recommend this as a way to start any vacation.
Said boat also meant secluded resort. Perfect. We have been through a lot recently and nothing could be more perfect than seclusion, beautiful, quiet, and serenity. As we pulled up to the dock and saw the gorgeous Utopia Village I knew I had done a good job selecting our vacation. If you want to get away to somewhere you won’t have to do anything, think about anything, or see anyone outside of your resort, this is the place.
When arriving at a hotel, after you have flown with the bartender by coincidence, and you are greeted with fresh rum punch, homemade plantain chips (they had fresh lionfish ceviche as well but being a vegetarian that was of no interest to me), fresh fruit and fresh baked cookies, be prepared to never want to leave. Then, you are shown the gorgeous pool and hot tub, which are grey concrete on the bottom so they welcome you in from the hot sand and sun. The pergola stands above blue chairs which seem to float in the water while the white curtains hanging from the pergola blow in the breeze. This pretty much sealed the deal for me, I am going to love this place! I am not a lay by the pool kind of girl but for some reason I always judge a place by the pool setting. Is that strange?
Drinks, food and conversation are always so much better under a palapa roof. This I found out after a week of eating family style dinners in the dining room with the other 7 guests in the hotel, and having drinks with them as well. We met some really interesting people doing some really cool things in the world. We met a man who is the lead contractor on the new train and bus station in San Francisco, a man who has traveled the world as a humanitarian and documentary film maker, and a couple brave enough to quit the corporate world and buy a beautiful hotel in Utila and run it better than any place I have ever stayed. Then, we met the locals, and got to know them. They were the ones who really blew me away. They are so happy, smiling, joyful and kind. They are gracious, considerate, and accommodating to the nth degree. It was so humbling to be reminded of what I know in my heart to be more true than anything, it is only the moments & people in our lives, not the things or the money which make us truly happy.
I will be posting more all week about our different experiences, and what we saw and did. I am so excited to share it all with you!