Snorkeling around Utila, Honduras

I’m now writing from a hostel in Leon, Nicaragua. I had a hell of a time getting here but I now understand why people like Nicaragua so much: things are cheap and the people are very friendly, helpful, and ready to joke around.

I was on Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras for about a week. I spent most of the time chilling, gathering my thoughts, and finally writing my Stranger in a Strange Land Newsletter for March. I summarized all I’d done so far in Guatemala and Honduras and then talked about safety in Latin America, including my own personal experience being mugged on my last trip.

Then the next day I went to a tiny island, “the Water Cay“, one of the many Cays around Utila. I did a little snorkeling around Tela but this was the real thing. I wish I could have taken underwater photos for you all to see. It’s just another world.

We’ve all seen those amazing photos and videos of coral of all shapes, sizes, and colors with fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors darting around, all in perfectly clear water. Well, it’s real. I couldn’t believe it.

At the same time, I don’t know if I’ll be going snorkeling again any time soon. I got so much salt water in my mouth I got sick. If you’re not careful you can end up surrounded by coral in very shallow water with nowhere to go. You can avoid that I but I was new and didn’t understand you had to follow certain paths.

“Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.” -Jerry Seinfeld

You have to walk along the sea floor covered in sand or soft vegetation and then cut over to the area where the sea floor drops down dramatically and is covered in coral. It’s amazing how much you can see around the coral in shallow water (you don’t even realize how many fish are swimming around you until you take a peak with your goggles) but it’s so much more when there’s room for the fish to swim.

Someone saw an eagle ray before I went to the same spot. I saw many tiny fish and a bunch of big green fish going from one spot to the other putting rocks in their mouth and then spitting them out. Then I saw hundreds or thousands of tiny, silvery, glittering fish moving together in a few separate schools. At one point I was completely surrounded by them. You realize that if they were of the carnivorous sort they could totally gobble me up!

It was a lot of fun being in Utila: it’s chill there and the locals speak an accent that sounds like a mix of Jamaican and Irish accent to me. But I’m really happy to be in a whole new country: it really is the case that every country is different in so many ways. I was planning on just sticking around Guatemala but it’s looking like I’ll see most of the Central American countries on this trip! I’ll keep you posted: I won’t leave you hangin’!

Eli Climbing Palm Tree on the Water Cay near Utila, Honduras.

Eli Gerzon Climbing Palm Tree on the Water Cay near Utila, Honduras.

More photos per the commenter’s request!:

Sun setting and a pelican flying at the end of my day on the Water Cay in Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras.

Sun setting and a pelican flying at the end of my day on the Water Cay in Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras.

Local Utilian boys posing after playing in the sand at the public beach in Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras.

Local Utilian boys posing after playing in the sand at the public beach in Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras.

A small white octopus they found hiding out in a plastic bottle on the beach.

A small white octopus they found hiding out in a plastic bottle on the beach (the black spot is his eye, he's upside down, most of what you see is his head: some people couldn't see it when I showed them this photo!).

Hustle and bustle of the Utila dock as the boat from La Ceiba, from the mainland of Honduras arrives.

Hustle and bustle of the Utila dock as the boat from La Ceiba, from the mainland of Honduras arrives.

There are tons of dive shops on Utila and you get swarmed by a bunch of fellow foreigners when you get off the boat in Utila. One such sales pitch after the crowd has disipated.

There are tons of dive shops on Utila and you get swarmed by a bunch of fellow foreigners when you get off the boat in Utila. One such sales pitch after the crowd has disipated.

The streets of this chill small tropical island are surprisingly fully of motorcycles and four wheelers like this one.

The streets of this chill small tropical island are surprisingly fully of motorcycles and four wheelers like this one.

Eli Gerzon right before he got on the 6:20am boat from Utila to La Ceiba on the mainland of Honduras on Friday, April 3rd, 2009 .

Eli Gerzon right before he got on the 6:20am boat from Utila to La Ceiba on the mainland of Honduras on Friday, April 3rd, 2009 . (Photo by "Frank the Tank")

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Snorkeling around Utila, Honduras

  1. Carman

    Your photo reminds me of climbing toy I had as kid… it was a bear with two strings. This one is a little different, just one string:
    traditional climbing toy
    Sadly if you sold this one you site I would totally buy it– the “Climbing Eli.”

  2. Nkonyezi

    Neat! Post more pictures whenever possible!

    • worldschooler

      You know you would Carman!

      And more photos Nkonyezi! You got it! Yeah, I should have posted more before but there are a few now!

  3. Carman

    Just trying to motivate myself to finish the audio piece… I think I’m finally ready to return to it. Great photo of the octopus and also the last one. Nice angle!

    Safe travels Eli!

  4. i am so envious! that tiny octopus is so cool. great photos!

    • I’m glad you all like the octopus one: I guess you can see it’s an octopus! Thanks Jessie.

      And thanks Carman: you know I’d love to hear the completed interview. I think you were already really far along with that first version. I’d be proud to link to it on your blog from here. Take care.

  5. Thank you for the news of your trip. Super photos!

  6. selvin

    Hey great post..I’m from San pedro sula, Honduras
    But live in LA.
    Great pictures it reminded me again of Honduras haha
    Very nice pictures!

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