Although whale sharks are around Utila all year long, they can only be "spotted" when there isn't any wind. When there isn't any wind, the sea calms quite a bit. When the whale shark feeds, birds will swarm around the area. This is how the boats find the whale sharks. The best time of year to see a whale shark is January-February, however one was sighted in July 2004. The dive (and snorkeling) boats will go on excursions looking for whale sharks in January and February. Be prepared to jump in the water as soon as you are prompted and look around quickly so you can catch a glimpse before it takes off!
We heard great things about Alton's Dive Shop, however we didn't dive with them because they did not have a covered area on their boats where we could be in the shade. They speak many languages - including Dutch! The people there seemed very nice and were accomodating regarding dive sites.
Diving is an absolute must in Utila! The best place we dove with was Utila Dive Center. Beware of confusing it with Utila "Watersports" Dive Center. They are two separate places that are very close to one another. Utila Dive Center has more dive instructors and dive masters. They have a beautiful facility! Very hip! :-)
You can also get a discount at The Mango Inn if you dive with them (see our separate post regarding the Mango).
If you want to see Hummingbirds, go to the Mango Inn's bar in Utila Town (East Harbour). Just about anytime when it is daylight, the feeder hanging from the roof has 3-5 hummingbirds "buzzing" around it. There appeared to be several different species also. VERY cool, especially if you have never seen one before...