This week I took a quick trip to Utila from La Ceiba. My intention was to prove that is possible to arrange a day tour to Utila from La Ceiba. I found that you certainly can do it! Although I was not able to pack in as many hours in Utila as I did to Roatan, I did have enough time to enjoy the island. In the case of Utila, the best and most reliable way to get there is using the Utila Dream Ferry. My adventure began a bit before 9 a.m. when I arrived at the ferry terminal in La Ceiba. The ferry left sharp at 9 a.m. and I was in Utila before 10 a.m. The trip was fast, comfortable and affordable!
As soon as I was off the ferry and on the dock, I hired a motorcycle taxi to take me to the dock where the Neptune Restaurant boat departs from. This is west of town, towards Blue Bayou. On the way, we drove through Mainstreet Utila and I was able to appreciate the local architecture of the island. I just love those homes built on stilts with a large porch in front under a big oversized roof. Best of all, the wooden benches that hang from the ceiling are my absolute favorite. I must get a carpenter to make one of these to hang at home! Since I did have a bit of extra time, I made a quick stop at Chepe´s beach, the most popular public beach in Utila and took a short stroll. I was short on time, so I continued to the Neptune dock.
I was at the dock before 11 am and saw the complimentary Neptune Restaurant boat arriving. Within minutes, I was off toward Coral Beach Villas to my favorite beach in Utila. The trip took us through the lagoon, as well as through some canals before arriving at our destination. A short 5-minute walk from the dock had me at the foot of a lovely white sand beach in Utila! I took possession of a beach lounge, took off my shirt and ran to the dock to dive into the Caribbean Sea.
Upon departing to Utila from La Ceiba, I was not carrying a suitcase. But I did pack my snorkel equipment with me. This allowed me to swim to the reef that is just beyond the dock and take a close look at the reef and its creatures. The reef is spectacular, and I spent quite some time snorkeling. After a couple of hours in the water I had worked up a good appetite. I dried up and walked into Neptune’s air-conditioned dining room and had myself a great burger. I did want to go back into town to make a visit to Jade Seahorse. This is a unique, eclectic and artsy restaurant bar and boutique hotel in Utila. I hurried to take the 1:30 pm shuttle boat back across the lagoon. I had prearranged a pick at the dock with my taxy driver, who was waiting for me!
It was quick ride to the Jade Seahorse. The restaurant was closed, and the bar opens only during the evenings. However, the gardens where open and I took advantage to walk around them take photos and simply admire the art. Neal, the owner is an artist who uses wood, ceramics, old bottles and even marbles to create his art. Literally, he uses anything that comes to his hands and finds the perfect place for it. A trip to Utila without stopping by here is a mistake. After my stroll through the gardens, I continued my walk towards the Municipal dock.
As it turns out, I still had a bit of time in my hands! So, I walked over to the Mariposa Building and ordered a coffee at the Rethink Café. Not only is the coffee outstanding, the view of Utila Bay is magnificent. It is also the best spot to comfortably wait for the ferry, since you can clearly see it as it comes into Utila from Roatan.
I was very pleased with my experiment about a day tour to Utila from La Ceiba. This is one heck of a reason to visit La Ceiba and use it as your base to visit the Caribbean Islands of Honduras! As it turned out, I had over five hours in Utila. I visited the nicest beach on the island, walked around town, and had a great cup of coffee, with the best view on the island.