Diving the Utila Cays

When traveling to Utila, many tourists stay in Utila Town.  It makes sense, it is where the ferry and the taxis from the airport drop you off.  There are plenty of  accommodations, dive shops, restaurants, and bars.  And people.  The streets are bustling with activity from local construction, to commuting school kids, to buzzing around on a moto for a joyride (estimate 70% of traffic from this favorite pastime).

Aerial view of the Pigeon and Suc-suc Cays with the South Shore in the background.

Aerial view of the Pigeon and Suc-Suc Cays with the South Shore in the background.

If you want to get away for a breather, whether you live in Utila or are passing through, a trip to the Cays is always tranquilo.  Head to Water Cay, an uninhabited Cay approximately 100 meters/yards long, for the day or even better stay overnight on one of the other privately owned Cays, Little Cay or Sandy Cay.  These both rent for $160 per night and sleep up to 10 guests.  If you want a fisherman village feel, rent a room at Hotel Kayla on Jewel Cay.  Basic accommodation for around $10 per night.  There is a/c available for those that like it cold,  but with the ripping east wind you will not usually need it.  More luxurious accommodation is available across from the Cays.

Hotel Kayla is base camp for Utila Cays Diving.

Hotel Kayla is base camp for Utila Cays Diving.

Wherever you choose to stay, dive operator Utila Cays Diving will accommodate.  Based out of Hotel Kayla, Utila Cays is run by couple Bogdan and Katherine who have lived on the Cays for years.  Professional and fun, they are able to visit the Northside of the Island daily as it is much closer than town.  Groups are small and personal.  I was impressed with the level of service for a backpacker hotel. Myself and one other guest boarded the Miss Cay in the morning.  We picked up 2 guests from Treasure Beach and were on our way.  Heading around the island we dived two incredible, yet totally different, sites,  Duppy Waters and Raggedy Cay.  Both sites were abundant with more fish than I remember seeing in Utila in the past.  Bodgan pointed out several  tiny critters as well as 3 spotted eagle rays gliding by that might have gone unnoticed as we were so focused on the reef!

Katherine of Utila Cays Diving shows us how to do it!

Katherine of Utila Cays Diving shows us how to do it!

If diving is not your thing, or you are looking for a new adventure,  you might want to try stand up paddleboarding (SUP) which is a great alternative to kayaking (free kayaks at the hotel).  Utila Cays Diving rents paddleboards and offers guided trips upon request.  Katherine is also a certified yoga instructor and loves to practice on the dock in the early morning or late evenings as the sun is on the horizon.   Utila Cays Diving will arrange all transport and activities to and from the Cays and can put you in touch with the right accommodation for your needs and budget.

Overall a great experience that I plan to do again in the very near future-for much longer than one night!

For more information about Utila Cays Diving and/or staying near the Cays, contact Katherine and Bogdan at http://www.utilacaysdiving.com.

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