Kayak Utila is a guiding service – sorry, but we aren’t doing separate rentals at this time…(all our trips include kayaks rentals as part of the trip though…).
For our trips, we have 4 of our own boats and if we need more, we rent the boats from local venues to use on our trips. This helps support the local economy and spreads a little kayaking love through the community.
There are a variety of spots to rent kayaks on Utila. In most cases these will be sit-on-top boats, but a few folks also have what are called “rec” boats- ones that you sit in, but aren’t the full “expedition style” sea kayaking boats. (We bring in expedition style boats for our extended trips.) See the photo on the right above for the difference in the boats.
Most rental spots will let you rent for either half or full day, but not for overnight. .
Rental Tip #1 Drain and inspect your rental! Be sure to drain the boats before you take them- all boats- even sit on tops, will have a drain plug of sorts. And if its missing the plug and there is just a hole- don’t take it. If there is a lot of water in them when you drain, thats a good sign that they are probably a little bit leaky! You may have to stop along the way in your trip and drain. Also, be aware that some kayaks have been on the island a while, and may not be in the best of condition especially if they are stored in the sun and no one is really maintaining them. So be sure to inspect before you go.
Rental Tip #2: Can you get back into your boat? Make sure you have the ability and strength to get back INTO your rental boat should you flip over. In the mangroves its quite shallow and protected, so you can at least get to the side, but on the open ocean side you need to be sure you can get back into your boat and should PRACTICE before taking off too far.
Rental Tip #3: Don’t be an idiot. While sea kayaking is generally a very mellow and relaxed activity, it still is real. That means winds can pick up, currents can change, accidents can happen. Be sure someone knows where you are going and when you are expected back. Just be smart and you’ll have a great day. Also, remember that these boats belong to someone, and its incredibly difficult to get a boat to Utila. Treat them with respect- don’t drag them over rocks, etc. Be kind to your kayak!
Rental Tip #4: Consider doing a guided trip. Andi, an experienced sea kayak guide and marine naturalist can also take you out for a nominal fee on a selection of guided trips. As part of a guided trip, she will help you inspect your boats and also help you deal with any leaky ones or problems that should come up. Kayak orientation and instruction is included in the guide price, and you’ll have someone carrying radio, cell phone, first aid kit and knowledgeable about Utila’s waters and reefs. We also have 2 nice sit on tops for rent, that we only use with our trips.
Spots to rent kayaks on Utila:
- Coral View Resort in Blue Bayou: Sit on top boats. Good condition as far as floating and lack of leaks- some of the straps are gone and there are no backrests. Ms. Tania or any of her staff can help you out with these. These are located right off the lagoon, so makes for a nice spot to get into the lagoon or you can carry them to the front. Have them help you put them in the water- the dock is fairly high and you don’t want to bang you head going in! They give priority to their guests, but you can call ahead to reserve. $15 usd Single or $20 usd double. Paddles can be a bit heavy, but these boats are generally a good bet.
- Dive Shops: Many of the dive shops including Utila Dive Center and Altons will offer free kayak use to their clients. Check at your center.
- Chepes Beach: These boats have had a lot of use, and may have a leak or 2, but they are fun to play around on right in front of the beach. Check with Leno at the first palapa when you get to the beach. Also, they have a triple which is a nice option.
- Kayak Utila Rental Boats: Kayak Utila does have 4 nice sit-on-tops. Tarpon 120s with full seat backs, all straps, lightweight paddles and also 2 single Ocean Kayaks. These boats are only available with our trips.