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Trip Report-June 1-6

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Dover, Ohio
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Trip Report-June 1-6

We've just returned from an awesome 4-night stay on Utila. I truly hope that we can make it back there some day! First, about us, we're a married couple, both 41, non-divers just looking for R&R. We've been to Honduras 6 times, but this was our first trip to Utila.

We arrived by private plane which was very convenient. Make sure to have someone meet you at the airport or have a way of calling your hotel/resort when you arrive, as it's a bit of a way out and not staffed. We left by way of Capt. Vern's catamaran for Roatan. He and his shipmate were very personable, and the ship was in nice condition. If you have any issues with seasickness, I'd recommend taking dramamine or something. I didn't and so wasn't able to enjoy the trip as much as I'd have liked...this, of course, was NOT Capt. Vern's fault. He was on time to meet us, and did all he could to help us enjoy the trip.

We stayed at the Jade Seahorse which we thoroughly enjoyed! It is an amazing place which neither words nor photos can really do justice. The staff was friendly and helpful, the beds were very comfortable, and our cabin was clean. Not to mention, it has what is the coolest bar on the island, as far as we could tell, the Treetanic...nice staff, cool music and an awesome setting. On the down side (just to be balanced): this is NOT a place for young children or anyone with mobility impairments; maid service seems to be on a by request basis, which is fine with us (when we did request it, they took care of us promptly and thoroughly); there isn't always someone at the front desk, but usually if you go looking for them, you can find them; the "hot water" wasn't all that hot, but as the weather was, it really didn't matter. Those are all things that didn't bother us, but that some travelers (esp. those from the States) might want to be aware of in advance.

Hubby did a fishing trip with a capt. he met near Alice's laundry, but whose name I can't remember unfortunately. It was his most productive trip in the Bay Islands, and he had a great time. He especially enjoyed learning to fish without a rod or reel as is common among Utilans. If anyone wants more info on the fishing, I'll try to get him to post a reply.

Overall, the food we had on the island was good, some great. Our favorite meals were when we took his catch to a local restaurant to be prepared. First, the grouper was deliciously marinated and fried and served with plantains by Evelyn at Evelyn's BBQ. Then, for something completely different, Christina at Cafe Mariposa prepared the trigger fish by pan searing it, topping it with shrimp ceviche, and serving it over lightly seasoned rice with beautiful fresh baby greens, avocado and tender-crisp carrots and green beans...one of the best meals we've ever had!

Other restaurants where we had tasty food included a breakfast at Cafe Bundu and a nice whole red snapper meal at Munchies. (Somehow eating at a place called Munchies made me feel like a wretched tourist, but is was a nice place to sit under the fans and people watch, and everything we saw come out of the kitchen looked good.) Our last night we had an excellent meal at RJ's. The only meal that truly disappointed us was at La Picola's. The ambience was nice, and it was our "splurge" meal as far as the price of our entire meal, but the food just wasn't nearly as good as other places we went. Without a doubt, our favorite place for breakfast and lunch was Cafe Mariposa. Not only was the food consistently delicious, it was also beautifully presented, and the view and fresh ocean breezes made it a joy each time we were there.

One word of advice is that many restaurants have erratic schedules, so do your homework if you want to go to a particular place. For example, RJ's is only open three nights a week, I think, and we were looking forward to a meal at the Indian Wok so checked their sign for hours, but still managed to go on a night that they were closed.

We loved the completely laid back feel of the island, although I'll admit that we did feel awfully old as it seems that the average tourist is probably under 30. It was extremely hot during our stay, but not unexpected as it was June in the tropics. That being said, ladies, leave your makeup and curling irons, etc... at home. There is absolutely no point to doing any of that when you'll be a sweaty mess within five minutes of leaving your room, and nobody else is going to do it anyway!

Sorry so long...too much to tell! If anyone has questions, I'll do my best to reply.

ee

JENSEN BEACH
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1. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

Not too long at all! Thanks for taking time to post as not much info on TA for Utila. I've copied your report for our visit as you did a fantastic job of the restaurant reviews. I would so appreciate it if your husband could give you the name of the boat/captain he fished with and also price if he remembers.

"handlining" in the Islands is fun. We alway bring along a few rods and tackle since we never know when we'll come across a good spot. We are 51 so I guess we'll feel ancient ;-) but that's ok! We'll also be going w/ Capt Vern so it was nice to read about your experience w/ him as well.

Dover, Ohio
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365 posts
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2. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

If I recall, Hubby met the boat at 5am and was home between 10 and 11am. The capt. asked for $50, but I think he gave $70 as they stayed out so long. He'd have stayed out longer, but the heat was pretty intense, even on the water. After two completely non-productive trips on Roatan, he was really happy to have caught some fish, and enjoyed the handlining. We have no room in our bags for recreational items beyond swimsuits, unfortunately.

ee

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

Hello!

I'll be visiting Utila in July and am looking for more tips! I've heard that the sand flies can get bad, what is the best way to avoid/prepare for them? Also what is the average price for a meal (somewhat budget traveler but not overly so)?

Dover, Ohio
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4. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

Our morning ritual is to spray ourselves down with some form of insect repellant as soon as we've dried off from our morning shower. Off! works well, and this year I tried a new product that I liked called Bullfrog that had a 30spf sunscreen along with a non-deet repellant. It seemed to do well on both fronts, although I did get a few bites...nothing troublesome though. Just be sure to reapply if you've been in the water or have been sweating a lot.

There are a wide variety of restaurants in Utila Town. Our most expensive (and least favorite) meal was at La Picola's, and with a bottle of wine, appetizer and two entrees, we spent about $40 with tip. Most meals were a good bit less expensive. For the full breakfast plate at Cafe Mariposa (eggs, bacon, beans, toast, fruit and avocado), I think it was 100 lps, just over $5, and she usually had a couple of different lunch plate options for around $5. The bbq at RJ's was a generous meal for a reasonable price, as well.

As a rule of thumb, Utila seems to be more expensive than the mainland, but less expensive than Roatan.

I hope you enjoy it...we did! I'll try to help with any other questions you may have.

ee

salsa savant
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5. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

Cactus Juice (packaged product) is also a good way to avoid being bitten by those miserable little flies :0)

Dover, Ohio
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365 posts
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6. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

Interestingly, we didn't have as much problem with the sand flies on Utila as we did on Roatan. I realize that part of that is because in Utila Town, there's just not much beach per se, more docks. Also we stayed in a hotel that was away from the waterfront. I was more likely to be bitten by something that looked kind of like a wood fly than a sand fly. Within minutes of my arrival on Roatan, I had several sand fly bites though. I'm sure if you are out on the beach areas of Utila there will be more sand flies.

ee

Utila, Honduras
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for Utila
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7. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

go to the "let me tell you about the island of utila" forum post for ideas of beautiful places that most tourists don't see.

Brooklyn, New York
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8. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

Thanks for all the info on Utila. Apparently Cafe Mariposa has two lovely apartments above it overlooking the sea which the owner rents out. I noticed you stayed at the Jade Seahorse which I have heard is lovely. As a single traveler who has never been to the island, which accommodation would you recommend. The apartment overlooking the ocean, or the mystical jade seahorse? Any insight you have would be immensely appreciated. Best...

Utila, Honduras
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for Utila
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9. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

jade sea horse is very creatively decorated and its treetanic bar is fun (can be noisy at night if you're trying to sleep) but no ocean view. mariposa will put you right on the water (in town) and when you want to check out the art of the jade sea horse or party at the treetanic bar, its just a 5 min walk away.

10. Re: Trip Report-June 1-6

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