#53 Utila, Honduras
Population: Just over 3,500
Average Annual Temp: 85°F
Utila is a tiny Caribbean island off the north coast of Honduras. Not far from La Ceiba on the mainland, it’s bordered by the second largest barrier reef on the planet. Approximately 3500 locals and expats host scuba diving tourists from around the world. The island has a party atmosphere of live music festivals, billfish rodeos, beach parties and nightlife.
Utila’s tourist trade yields a vibrant, healthy economy. This is a great spot for expats who desire an authentic Caribbean experience and an off-the-grid lifestyle. The island is accessible by boat, ferry or small aircraft. Dive shops, bars, restaurants and hotels are all locally-owned. The community traverses the island on foot, or by golf cart, quad, scooter or bicycle. The island boasts over 60 dive sites, including caves and shipwrecks, and a research center that studies whale sharks.
HGTV recently featured Utila in its Half-Price Paradise series. Real estate here is a real deal. It’s affordable to purchase raw acreage on the beach and ideal commercial development lands. Utila also offers existing single-family homes with private docks, beachfront and ocean view homes, as well as a variety of rental income properties.