If you were to conjure up the ideal tropical beach paradise, your picture might be something very close to Water Cay. Almost within shouting distance of Pigeon Cay, Water Cay is a patch of sand several hundred meters long, wide at one end and tapering to a point on the other; the only occupants are coconut palms and one small caretaker’s shack. Piercingly blue, warm water and a coral reef just a few meters out ring the cay.
There are no permanent residents on the island. The caretaker (who shows up most days but doesn’t live on the island) collects a US$1.25 entrance fee and also rents hammocks for another US$1 a night, though they’re not the finest quality—better to bring your own, or bring a tent. It’s also possible to catch a ride on frequent water taxis over to nearby Pigeon Cay for a nominal fee.
The best snorkeling is off the south side, though it can be a bit tricky finding an opening in the wall. Water Cay is a popular impromptu party spot for locals and travelers, especially on weekends and on the full moon, which has unfortunately resulted in a bit of trash. Consider taking a plastic bag with you, to carry out a small portion if you can.
To get to Water Cay, check at the Bundu Café, look for any of the brightly painted “charter boat trips” signs around town, ask for Captain Hank next door to Utila Water Sports, or talk to any of the old fishermen hanging out, chatting, or playing dominoes on the stretch of road between Cross Creek and Utila Water Sports.
Every August, Water Cay hosts the Sun Jam festival, bringing DJs and party-goers out for a wild night of dancing fun (www.sunjamutila.com).
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition