Summer may have already come to end, but that doesn’t stop us from planning that next big break. The majority of college students around the world look for summer breaks with breathtaking and unforgettable views, but sometimes experiences of such calibre are expensive and usually come with a post-trip struggle. Before realizing it, you’ll find yourself playing catch up with bills and expenses. After exams week, blowing off steam is crucial to helping you press that mental “reset” button, but you don’t want to settle for the same routinely recess. If you love to discover new cultures, dare to adventure into the wild, feast on local foods – all the while of not spending bucketloads of money – there’s a small island by the name of Utila somewhere near the Caribbean. Most travelers arrive to the isle with a mission: to dive and party.
THE JEWEL OF THE BAY ISLANDS
Utila is located off the coast of Honduras, neighbored by two sister islands, Roatan and Guanaja. What makes Utila unique enough to be labeled a jewel is the freedom, people and nightlife. The friendly environment generates good vibes all across the tiny island, which tends to trigger friendly invites to free drinks, they usually go for fairly cheap starting at even $1.00. Due to the history of the island, the people remain rich with their Caymanian roots. Add a mix of young European and Hispanic travelers and backpackers, and you’ll find yourself mingling upon arrival. At night, walk the strip and visit Utila’s infamous bars. The music is vibrant and it’ll remind you of the on-campus DJ everyone wants at their frats.
DISCOVER UNKNOWN TREASURES
The beauty of the island is not found on top Google searches – which makes it perfect for when you’re chasing a remote getaway experience, without the traffic. Here’s a few landmarks you can visit:
Water Cay – Take a day trip to the uninhabited, and gorgeous Water Cay. It’s home to the yearly summer event: SunJam – hosted by top DJ’s from across the world and labeled to be the best kept secret in Central America.
Price: $20.00 per person
Includes: Hammocks (which are set up upon arrival), and snorkeling gear.
Note: The charter leaves at 11AM and returns at ~430PM + hold on to your seats on the way back :).
Freshwater Caves – There’s a beautiful detour that you can take into the wild to visit the caves and even take a dip inside the fresh water. The road towards the cave site is just as fun, where you’ll see plenty of swamp iguanas, crabs and even snakes (don’t worry they are really small).
Note: You’ll have to rent a club car to get there which ranges from $40.00 – $60.00 per day.
Coral Reefs – Utila is home to the second biggest coral reef system in the world, and with around 50 diving schools within the island, it’s easy to fall in love with the diving sport.
Padi Certificate Price: starting at $200.00 >
Includes: E-learning classes, personal dive instructor, complete diving gear, 2-3 dives included.
These are three very diverse activities that require very little budgeting as you can see. There are very little restrictions on what you can and can’t do within the island, which makes hiking and biking across the island a priceless journey.
DON’T LOSE YOUR ACADEMIC RHYTHM
If you come to Utila, you’ll never want to leave (seriously, there’s a song about it) because of the amount of activities that are available. Returning to the city life can be daunting. Classes and orientations are your focus next, and sharpening your mindset from the paradise-to-city transition can be difficult. If you struggle during this transition with assignments and tasks, then seek online help to write content for you. After spending so little and getting so much in return, you’ll have an additional budget for this. You can plan every summer ahead and feel content while you budget when traveling to paradises like this one!