Be prepared. As soon as you exit the ferry on Utila there will be a swarm of people begging to take you around to the hostals and dive shops and offer whatever they can to get you to their place. They are pretty harmless and if you want someone to take you around, it’s not a bad option to just follow along.
We were lucky to have been shown Bird of Paradise by one of the locals. It is a charming guesthouse located right behind Captain Morgan’s Dive Shop going inland straight down from the ferry dock. It is a welcome difference from the other dive shop accommodations. Instead of bare bones barrack style dorms, it consists of eight rooms in an old house with two huge shared bathrooms and one private bathroom upstairs. In the basement there is a big, clean shared kitchen and living area with a television and wifi. We shared a three person bedroom with a fellow tramper and paid $20usd/400 lemps all together, and if you’re dive shop offers accommodation reimbursement like Parrots, you will only be paying about $2.50usd for the days you’re diving.
The rooms are bright with large windows, high ceilings and a fan for every person in the room. The beds are clean and comfortable and even have matching, attractive sheets in each room. Everything is extremely clean and the showers are impeccable – big tile shower stalls with hot water and steady pressure. The woman running the hotel is always running around with her adorable son and is more than willing to help out with any problems or if you need new sheets or a fresh towel.
It’s in a great location, right in the middle of town – an even walk one way or the other for food, diving, swimming, shopping, or internet café. There is a brand new bank right next door as well, so you won’t have to go far to find a functioning ATM (the blue ATM down the road is usually working as well, but it charges a fee whereas the Banco Atlantida ATM does not charge a fee).
At Birds of Paradise you might pay a couple bucks more, but the comforts are well worth it. A perfect place if you have someone to share the room with. Check out the video below! Take me back to UTILA