A Tribute to Útila Island

A Selection of Memories

Shuyi Chua

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One of the many beautiful beaches on Utila island

When I was told that Útila is a small island popular with backpackers and scuba divers, I thought that perhaps this island is not for me. I never identified myself with backpackers, and I did not particularly enjoy scuba diving. But one fine January afternoon in 2020, I found myself on Útila Island of Honduras, a country in Central America. What was meant to be a short visit turned into a three-month stay before I left the island reluctantly, compelled to do so only because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Útila is the first of a series of peaks of an underwater mountain range in the Caribbean Sea. The other two peaks are the more developed Roatan and the less explored Guanaja. Together with other islands, they form the Bay Islands of Honduras or Isla de la Bahia. Útila can be reached one hour by ferry or 5 minutes by flight from the Honduran mainland. It is about 13 km in length and 5 km in breadth — one can ride around the developed Eastern part of the island on a motorcycle in less than an hour.

Map created by Kimberly Jackson

Útila is known for its dive sites and biodiversity, boasting animals like the endemic iguanas (locally known as the wish willies), whale sharks, and…

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Shuyi Chua

Lover of books and writing. Curious about life and people. Writes devotionals for the weary soul. shuyiwrites.com