Utila in Honduras is a tropical paradise, a backpacker’s paradise and a breath of fresh air away from the smoky fumes of gigantic Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. To get to Utila, you need to head north to the Honduran Caribbean. There are two daily ferries from the port town of La Ceiba to Utila. The ferry is called the Utila Princess, and it is very much NOT a princess. It will be the worst ever boat crossing you ever do in your life – it was worse than my 2 day voyage across the Drake Passage to Antarctica.
After that bumpy crossing you will need a decent base for the night, or in my case week that you spend on Utila. Backpacking in Utila often means – diving!! Most people come here for a few days and stay much longer. I did the same, in fact with almost every place I visited in Central America I prolonged my stay for the first 2 months, which meant that I was leaving Nicaragua and Costa Rica to the end to pick up the pieces – those countries ended up getting less of my time due to my slow travel earlier on. The Robbie Williams thing again, “tonight I’m gonna live for today so come along for the ride.”
Once we arrived on Utila, we looked at options for two things:
1. An Open Water Diving Course
Luckily they often go hand in hand. I’d recommend booking your diving course with Utila Dive Centre, not only are they one of the most recommended in the world, but they also provide you with the best accommodation, included in the price of your dives. By the best accommodation, I mean the Mango Inn. A truly great place to relax while you learn to dive. Let’s look at 5 reasons why you should make the Mango Inn the place to stay.
Beds are cosy, clean rooms, some with TV and air con (ours had both) and they even have a hot and cold water dispenser in your room.
You are in a comfortable place here, which is important when you’re out diving as you will be tired at night.
2. Swimming Pool
If you want to practice some swimming or just relax while you’re here, there’s a fresh swimming pool and jacuzzi here at Mango Inn.
3. Two Free Breakfasts
When you book your diving course with Utila Dive Centre, you will get your accommodation covered for the duration of your diving. They also give you the bonus of 2 free breakfasts at the Mango Inn. Bear in mind that accommodation in Honduras is strict with giving out breakfasts so this is a good deal.
Utila is not great for wi-fi or running an online business as I found out, but each night I stationed myself in the Mango Inn’s bar to use the wifi as it worked fastest here. It didn’t work in the rooms though, which I guess makes sense as most come here for diving not for internet. But my situation these days in running a business needs wi-fi, or I can’t make money and keep myself on the road!
5. Good pizza
The Mango Inn bar is a great place to relax and they serve good pizza plus they also randomly had Van Morrison songs on when I was there which reminded me of home – Belfast and Northern Ireland.
So yes – get yourself to Utila and enjoy a week in this paradise, learning to dive and chilling out in the Mango Inn. One big travel tip though – bring lots of insect repellent!! The mosquitos and sand flies go crazy at dusk!!
Here are the details if you want to get the Mango Inn booked:
Book the Mango Inn
Cola de Mico Rd, Utila, Utila, Utila, Honduras 24321
Here are some videos I made in the Mango Inn: