One of my favorite places on the planet is Cayos Cochinos. We've been visiting The Hog Islands (their name in english) for years! Here's a picture of our youngest, about 6-7 years ago, saying how much she loved Cayos Cochinos!
The journey is incredible because you can encounter incredible marine life like whale sharks, dolphins, pilot whales & I've even seen a sperm whale along the way! The views from Utila to Cayos Cochinos are stunning with the backdrop of the mountain range of mainland Honduras. It's about a 26 mile ride, and on the Miss Trinity boat, the trip takes about an hour and a half. You can't always make the trip due to the weather. The seas need to be fairly calm, and the wind needs to be low, around 6 knots is decent.
The scuba diving just outside of the cays, at Roatan Banks is probably some of the best diving you'll ever do! There are tons and tons of fish, all darting about in schools. You will NOT be disappointed! Check out my youtube video I just posted today about the three main spots to visit on your Cayos Cochinos tour: Cayo Menor, Cayo Grande, and Chachahuate.
You make your check-in at the Cayos Cochinos/Hog Islands Marine Reserve on Cayo Menor. The cost is just $12/foreigners and $3/locals. The navy patrols the area by boat, and rules in the reserve are strictly enforced. That's what makes the area so wonderful. It's been a marine reserve since 1993.
A must-see for your bucket list, is to visit the charming, and culturally rich village of Chachahuate, an authentic Garifuna community living on a tiny little cay. You can sit and have lunch while overlooking the most stunning views of turquoise blue waters atop the sandy shores of Chachahuate. It really looks like a screen saver, it's hard to believe how gorgeous it is. And to imagine, this is part of our life! If I was living in Canada, I'd probably go to the mall, but living on the island of Utila, I probably go to the mall about once a month, on average! But don't worry, I make up for it whenever I go to the U.S. and I do a monster shopping for the family! LOL!
Anyhow, as always, I digress... Visit Chachahuate is my point!
And while you're there, make sure you get a "Coco Loco"! It's a fresh-cut coconut, mixed with a touch of rum (usually Flor de Caña, and you'll probably have to bring it yourself), a twist of lime , and you'll be set to sit in a hammock, or the white sand! You can stare out at the scenery for hours. I've snorkeled out the front of Chachahuate, and there's no reef out front, but seeing the drone footage of our visit last week, makes me think that the snorkelin on the back side would be awesome! I'll have to check it out next week when we go again!
I guess my New Year's resolution would be to get out here much more often! Maybe you want to join us. Just let us know!
#utilaremaxagent #islandlife #utila
See this Youtube video below that Mark shared while educating me from the awesome Facebook Page called the Entomology Group. You can post a picture from anywhere in the world, and the members help identify the creature: The Entomology Group.
I guess just like: Whale Shark, that's not a whale. Orca Whale that's actually a dolphin. And my favorite example is: Sea Horse, which isn't really a horse. Haha!
only in #utila
I just did some last minute research today when looking for a link to an Emotional Support Animal Registry, and I discovered that there is no registry. In the same way I got shafted for the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) for my husband who is German. all the websites registering support animals are not necessary.
I paid $140 to some company that I thought was the official provider for the ESTA authorization. AND they didn't even get back to me with a number, in time for my flight (which was 2 days later)! Thank goodness for the amazing American Airlines Employee that told me to bring my laptop to the desk and he showed me how to get the ESTA instantly. I think it was $14!!!
Christina's Story bringing her small dog for a visit from Canada: I showed Immigration Canada his Canadian International Health Certificate that shows all his current shots -- RABIES being the most important.
So be careful, you may be just spending your retirement dollars for nothing?!
When I show this property, everyone falls in love immediately. I wonder why?! LOL.
We ran late after taking a survey of a piece of property. Mother Nature blessed us with a fiery orange sun settling down for the night over the Caribbean Sea, placing gratitude in our hearts for being able to live in a paradise like Utila... and I was working!
#utila #iloveutila #utilaremaxagent
Thanks to all the sponsors and donors who supported the IAU - Instituto Adventista Utila School! We just got back from taking the "Banda de Guerra", or the school Marching Band to Roatan for a competition. All four bands looked and sounded great. The host band did not compete on this day, but eventually won the title for the best marching band in Roatan. A pretty impressive feat! I think if they competed, we still would have won! LOL.
Now, I know this is going to sound arrogant and biased, but you know, this is my blog, and not theirs. But our band is far and above any other marching band I have seen. I think it's due to the very heart and soul of each member of the team. These band players do not just recite their notes, or just strut their moves, they FEEL it and they SHOW it! There is so much energy and pride in their performance that it shows through.
Their timing and their unison is incredible, but it's the energy and pride, and the hours of practice of course, that made these kids winners!
Congratulations to the IA Utila Band! You made me so proud I got goosebumps when you played and I cried when you won!
Arriving home as champions! Next up, Tela at the end of November! The band has proved themselves worthy of competition, so let's show them how it's done!
The entire competition was shown on HQTV when we returned. I will make a Youtube video as soon as I get a chance, and will post it for all to see and enjoy!
Thanks again to all our supporters. We could not have done it without you!
Here are some other methods to prevent yourself from getting bitten. Normally September is mosquito season here in Utila. They seem to have arrived a few weeks early. Let's hope that means they'll leave earlier as well!
I find the best natural repellent for mosquitoes was an Off! product that had eucalyptus and citronella on it. It was called Off! Botanicals and it was amazing. Sadly they don't make it anymore. It's probably too natural.
OFF! products work well if you like DEET, which I don't. I like Avon's Skin So Soft mixed with a couple of drops of citronella oil. That works wonders as a nice smelling repellent. Here is a link that some researchers have advised of for repelling mosquitoes.
I hope you find this post as useful as I did! Happy hunting!
Paula and her family are tired of living up the in the U.S. are planning on moving to Utila. We have been chatting for quite awhile and after seeing the previous post with Chuck's Q&As, she suggested I post all her questions on a blogpost, so here we go:
Q1: How do we get there?
A: Getting to Honduras is easy. Getting to Utila requires a little extra effort. Consider it a test! Like 'how badly do you really want to visit Utila?" Haha. There are a few Travel Agencies that will be happy to help. Just contact any one of them, and they'd be happy to help.
Q2: I just came across some blogs and videos about Utila being a party island. Would you describe it as that?
Q4: What would you change, or something you don't like about the island?
A: The education system. I would love to have a very focused, child-oriented educational facility here. And secondly, I would limit or control the Tuk Tuks (the island version of taxis). There are way too many on the island, and some drivers are just plain idiots. Pardon my french. I am working on something in that regard right now.
Q5: On an island, it must be expensive to build. How much does it cost to build?
A: There are several quotes you may receive starting from about $65/sq. ft to $90/sq. foot. The $90 range will supply you the main appliances, and a key to walk in your door, ready to move in!
There are also a few lumber yards and hardware stores where you can get construction materials. The rates are quite reasonable. More specialized items will require a trip to La Ceiba.
Q6: How bad is the rainy season?
A: What rainy season? LOL. Our rainy season is not often rainy. And if it is, the downpours usually occur at night. In almost two decades of rainy seasons, I have only experienced one where it was icky for about a month. Unfortunately that was when my sister was visiting for that month! If the weather is overcast and rainy, it often doesn't last longer than a week.
However, when it rains, it pours. Some say that an hour of our downpours can significantly fill their water cisterns.
Q7: Will we have to pay cash or is there financing in Utila?
A: Utila is still a cash market. That's good for buyer's as it means prices are still low, because not many people have cash on hand for land purchases. However, some sellers are willing to finance. You just have to ask and offer, and see what the seller's response is.
Q8: We have a dog and a cat. Will they be okay there?
Q9: What are the cat people like?
A: Um... They're nice people?
Q9: LOL. Cracking up. That is so funny. That was a typo. What are the Cays and the Cay people like?
Q10: My 13 year-old asked if there are any english-speaking TV shows?
Yes there are several english speaking TV stations. We like Netflix at just $8/month. There are no irritating commercials, and the amount of shows are endless. The TV shows are about one season behind, but you'll probably fall behind on your shows when living in Utila!
Q11: Does the internet go out after a bad storm?
A: Often it can go out during a storm due to lightning striking the towers and ruining the equipment. This also happens with electrical equipment. UPSs and surge protectors are highly recommended for your electronics.
Q12: How are the medical services in Utila?
Anything more serious requires a trip to the mainland. However, medical services are so inexpensive when compared with the U.S. My husband had a slew of tests, two MRIs on each knee, orthoscopic surgery and spent a night in the hospital cared for by about 10 attendants and two doctors. That cost about $3500!
There are two clinics here on the island that, like the vet clinic, can take care of general practice issues.
And now the first U.S. medical facility which takes U.S. medical insurance has opened in Roatan.
Q14: Is it better to buy a golf cart or an ATV here or there?
We bought our Yamaha ATV in La Ceiba. We bought our golf cart used on the island. Many people bring in a brand new golf cart, but the customs fees are unknown and can be very hefty. It's not knowing how much it will cost to get the vehicle delivered to your door that makes people very wary of purchasing a new one for import.
I hope you find Paula's Q & A's useful. If there is anything else you'd like answering, feel free to comment below, or send me an email. Take care and happy Thursday!
I just got off the phone with a wonderful couple who are purchasing a home here in Utila. As they are frantically packing up their belongings in the U.S. to make the move to their 'better life' in the Caribbean, they realized they have lots of questions about the move! And I realized I have lots of tips, so I decided to make a post about them. I hope you find them useful. These are only the things we talked about, but as more questions are asked, I'll post more answers and tips.
Some Q&A's about your move:
Obviously there are tons of questions that need to be answered when moving to an island, especially after having a lifetime elsewhere. These are just a few of the questions Chuck and I discussed today. More Q&A's are coming! Leave a comment or email me if you have any Q's that need A's! Take care and I hope your day is bright, even if it can't be sunny!
To better serve retirees & those seeking a slower pace of life in the Caribbean, I became the First and Only Accredited Buyer's Representative in the country of Honduras. This means you can be assured of the best representation of your real estate needs, like no one else can.