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The smallest of the major Bay Islands, Utila enjoys a reputation for world-class diving with over eighty stunning dive sites to be found around the extensive reefs.

Diving in Utila

Recommended training

Take the PADI Deep Diver and PADI Wreck Diver courses for diving on the deeper walls and wrecks. The PADI Enriched Air Diver course is also a good choice as enriched air nitrox is available in Utila. Technical diving is also available, so look into PADI TecRec courses, including the PADI Rebreather Diver course, if interested.

When to go

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USD 662Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers

There are over eighty stunning dive sites in Utila and it's no surprise the area has a reputation for offering world-class diving. Here are a few of the gems on offer.

  • Haliburton Wreck: a lovely cargo ship sunk in the 1990s in a community-led project to create an artificial reef in the local waters. It's about 30m down and is intact with very little corrosion
  • The Lighthouse: a diverse site on a gorgeous reef surrounding Utila's lighthouse, offering beautiful gardens with gorgonians and rope sponges, along with octopus and spiny lobster on night dives as they come out to feed in the darkness.
  • Black Hills: a sea mound covered with coral and offering currents bringing in a range of fish including Creole Wrasse, King Mackerel and Barracuda, with moray eels also to be found around this popular dive site
  • CJ's Drop Off: located in the Turtle Harbour Marine Reserve, this wall-focused dive site offers stunning brain coral and weaving canyons capped with gorgonians, along with moray eels, barracudas and sea turtles.

Overall, Utila's diverse reef landscape and abundance of dive sites means that divers of all levels can enjoy the stunning marine environment, with lots of deep dives available for advanced divers.

What to see

Many divers heading out on boats report seeing schools of flying fish, a great introduction above the water before you get down below.

The island is well-known for large spotted eagle rays, who frequent sandy areas and coral walls. You could also see French angelfish, barracudas, turtles and tongue snails.

Since Utila's underwater landscape features stunning sea mountains, expect to see filter-feeding fish as well as larger fish looking for a meal.

One of the jewels in the Utila crown is whale sharks: you can swim with these majestic giants - a mesmerising experience - in specific seasons. Utila is one of the only places in the world where whale sharks pass so close to shore and can be seen - conditions permitting - year-round.


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Utila is part of the beautiful Bay Islands group. The island is around 18 miles (29km) from La Ceiba port on the Honduran mainland and is truly a tiny slice of paradise, measuring just 11km long and 4km wide.

Known for being affordable and friendly, Utila is a superb choice for divers looking for world-class diving and an intimate and unforgettable experience.

It's easily accessible from mainland Honduran but also has an 'off-the-beaten-track' feel about it. Spanish is the official language but English is extremely-widely spoken.

Other attractions

Animal lovers should head to the Iguana Research & Breeding Station, where you'll find a team dedicated to ensuring the survival of the endangered swamper iguana, which is endemic to Utila and lives in the mangrove forests.

If you're a party-lover, check out the annual Sunjam festival, the largest electronic music event in Honduras and well-known even across Central America. Expect world-class DJs and international talent as well as the very best of the home-grown performers.

If food's your thing, the area is known for delicacies including conch and crab meat, mango jam and bread made with coconut milk - a real treat. Also check out the comida tipica - superb baleadas (tortillas with refried beans, cheese and other delicious fillings).

Getting there

International flights do not go to Utila directly. You'll need to take a flight to one of three airports: Golosón International Airport (LCE), Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (RTB) or Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP).

Golosón International Airport (LCE) is closest to Utila, located on the coast in the small city of La Ceiba. From here you can take a ferry across to Utila.

Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP) - located further inland - offers commercial flights direct to Utila. If you don't want to stay over in San Pedro Sula, your international flight will need to land early enough to ensure you have enough time to get through customs and pick up your bags. If you don't want to fly to Utila, public transport is available to take you to La Ceiba, where you can get the ferry across to Utila.

From Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport (RTB) - located on Roatan - you have a range of options to get to Utila, including ferry, charter boat, afternoon scheduled flight or charter plane. 

Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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