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Fly to San Pedro Sula (SAP) or Roatan (RTB)

To get to Utila, most people fly into Honduras via San Pedro Sula (SAP) or Roatan (RTB) and then take a local flight to Utila.  If you are spending more time exploring Honduras, once you get to La Ceiba (LCE) you can then take the daily ferry to Utila.

 From  San Pedro Sula:

Book your international flight to land in San Pedro Sula International Airport (SAP) before 1pm to connect with a short local flight to Utila on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat to Utila at 2:30pm.

 (If you didn’t read this page first before making your international flight and end up coming to SAP on Tues /Thurs/Sun, then you can also take a bus or a local flight from SAP first to La Ceiba (LCE), spend night in LCE and then take the morning 9:30am Utila Princess Ferry to the island. Also, if you leave the SAP airport by 12:30pm, you can probably still make 4pm ferry as it takes about 3 hours by taxi (3.5-4 hours by bus))

From La Ceiba:

Take the short local flight to Utila on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, or an affordable private charter anyday, or  take the Utila Princess Ferry every day at 9:30am and 4pm to Utila.

From Roatan:

Take a private charter any day or join the planned trips on Saturday,

From Belize: 

 Lots of travellers come to the Bay Islands en route to / from Belize.  See our Belize Travel Details for full information.

Much of the existing information on the web on travel to Utila and flights to Utila is very outdated or vague.  Since then we’ve helped hundreds of visitors and residents with travel tips to Utila and are constantly updating our information. Read on~ Read on to find out the actual details of how to make any of the above happen.

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  Quick Links:

Thanks Destination Utila for Sponsoring this Page

Utila Travel Agents
International Flights
Local Airline Flights

Utila Princess Ferry
Roatan Utila Ferry

Hotel and Hostels in San Pedro Sula

Hotel and Hostels  in La Ceiba
Taking a Bus  from San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba
Taxi Service From San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba

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The Details: Really Getting To Utila

1. Lets Start at the Beginning – Where is Utila?

2. Do I Need a Passport to Come To Utila?

3. Where Should I Fly in?

4. What Airlines Fly Internationally to Honduras?

5. What Airlines Fly To Utila Locally?

6. Is There Someone Who Can Help Me With Flights to Utila?

7. Can We Do a Local Plane Charter?

8. What is the Schedule for the Ferry to Utila? 

9. Taxi Service From San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba and Around 

10. Taking A Bus Between San Pedro and La Ceiba

11. Tips on Leaving Utila (How to Catch Your Flight)

12. Luggage and Carry-ons

13. Get a print out of your reservation confirmation.

14. Wow. That Seems Like A Lot- Is it Hard to Travel to Utila?

15. When is the Best Time To Visit Utila? 

 

1. Lets Start at the Beginning – Where is Utila?

The Coast of Honduras with the 3 Bay Islands. Utila is furthest on the Left.

Utila is one of the 3 Bay Islands, off the Northwestern coast of Honduras, in Central America. It is in the Western Caribbean, also known as the Gulf of Honduras.  Of the 3 Bay Islands, Utila is the smallest, and also the closest to the mainland of Honduras, about 18km to La Ceiba.   Here are some more MAPS of Utila and Honduras.

 

2. Do I Need a Passport to Come To Utila?

YES!  To come to Utila, you will be entering the country of Honduras, and to enter Honduras, you must have a valid passport.  USA Citizens should ensure their passport is valid for at least 6 months longer from the date of entry into Honduras. A visa is not required for USA Citizens.

UtilaGuide.com Tip: Apparently this requirement was lowered down to 3 months, however, some airlines still have the information as 6 months, and we have heard from travellers who had under 6 months left on their passport who were denied boarding on the airlines. So play it safe – ensure that your passport is valid for at least the 6 months from date of entry into Honduras to ensure you don’t have problems boarding the plane.

For Citizens of Other Countries:
At last check, only a passport (not a visa) is also needed for citizens of Canada, Italy, and Spain. However, Non-U.S. citizens may be required to  have a valid U.S. visa if traveling to Honduras via the United States.  So be sure to check with your nearest Honduran Consulate for specifics, as it is not possible for us to keep up to date on travel requirements for all countries.

For more information concerning entry / exit requirements:
-Contact the Embassy of Honduras at 3007 Tilden Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008,
-Telephone (202) 966-7702,
-Or contact a Honduran consulate in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Juan or Tampa.
-Honduran Embassy’s e-mail address is embhondu@aol.com and web is http://www.hondurasemb.org/  .

 

3. What Is The Best Way To Get To Utila? / Where Should I Fly in?

International travelers typically arrive via the Honduran city San Pedro Sula (SAP), or the neighboring island of Roatan (RTB).   You can also try to arrive into La Ceiba, which is closer to Utila, but a smaller airport and sometimes doesn’t come up on fare searchers. From these spots, you can then easily connect to Utila via domestic air carriers, private charter, ferry, or catamaran service.

Option #1) Arrive and depart out of La Ceiba (LCE) with Taca Airlines or American Airlines 

•On Monday, Wednesday, or Friday you can then connect with the regularly scheduled SOSA Airlines plane to Utila at 3:30pm.  Note: There used to be a Saturday flight from La Ceiba, but now it is direct nonstop from SAP.  While you can book these flights directly with the airlines, We highly recommend using Alice of Worldwide Travel or Frank with Morgan’s Travel.

On any day, you can then connect with the daily 9:30am or 4pm Utila Princess ferry departure from La Ceiba to Utila.

•Or on any day, you can book a charter flight from La Ceiba to Utila through Captain Celine or Captain Angelo with Guanaja Air. 

Note there are NO regularly scheduled flights from La Ceiba TO Utila on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday, but you can do charter flights.

Option #2) Arrive and depart out of San Pedro Sula (SAP) with American, Continental, Delta, Spirit, or Taca Airlines

•Try to arrive on M,W,F or Sat before 12:30 pm in the afternoon if you want to get to Utila the same day, as the local SOSA airline flight to Utila leaves at 2:30pm. Plan on at least 1.5 hours for immigration and luggage before getting on your local flight; though it generally takes less time.  Note that Atlantic Airlines is no longer in business.

Or, on any day from SAP, you can take a local airlines SOSA or Islena/Taca from SAP to La Ceiba,

• Once in La Ceiba, you can then take a charter with Captain Celine or Captain Angelo to Utila, or take the Utila Princess Ferry, as noted above under “Option 1” above.

•Or, on any day, take a private taxi or bus from San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba (3 hours) to catch the Utila Princess ferry which leaves La Ceiba promptly at 4pm. You can easily catch a taxi at the airport.  It should be  about $125 USD for a car, which will seat 3 people plus luggage; You can arrange in advance for a van which will be a little more.  Bus is $20 usd per person through Hedman Alas.

Note there are NO regularly scheduled flights from SAP to Utila on Tuesday, Thursday, or Sunday.

•Note: San Pedro Sula is a large city; and not a great place in itself to explore. We think La Ceiba is a little easier to navigate and its also less expensive to stay then San Pedro Sula, so if its early enough in the day, it may be  worthwhile to get at least from San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba.

•If you need to spend the night in San Pedro Sula or La Ceiba, we have see our suggested Hotels in San Pedro and Hotels in La Ceiba

Option #3) Arrive and depart out of Roatan with American, Continental, Delta, or Taca Airlines

•You can you can book a charter flight from La Ceiba to Utila through Captain Celine or Captain Angelo with Guanaja Air. Note that there are not longer regularly scheduled commercial carriers flying from Roatan to Utila, but these charters are great options.

You can also connect from Roatan to Utila by the “double ferry thing“- that is take the 2pm Roatan ferry, The Galaxy to La Ceiba, and then connect in time for the 4pm Utila Princess ferry.

 

4. What Airlines Fly Internationally to Honduras?

5. What Airlines Fly from Locally from San Pedro (SAP) or La Ceiba (LCE) to Utila?

6. Is There Someone Who Can Help Me with My Flights to Utila?

Certainly- take a look at our link of Local Travel Agents, they specialize more in local / domestic flights to Utila and will in most cases be much easier than trying to deal with the domestic airlines directly. They also can help you with the booking of the charter flights from Roatan or La Ceiba through Captain Celine or Captain Angelo with Guanaja Air. They may also be able to help you with your international flight.  For international flights, we also suggest using the website www.kayak.com.

7. Is it Easy to Charter a Plane for Group?

Yes- charters can be arranged from Roatan, San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba and can also be an affordable option. We suggest working with one of our recommended travel agents to assist you; either Alice with Worldwide Travel or Frank Morgan’s Travel. These charter flight can only run until sunset (no lights on runway  here), so that’s about 5:30 pm, depending on season. Here are some charter prices to get you started:

Private Charter: Captain Celine Small Plane Charter (up to 3 passengers; but only 2 if lots of luggage)
LCE to Utila: $205 usd for the plane
SAP to Utila: $676 usd for the plane
Roatan to Utila: $365usd for the plane $210 on Saturdays
Book through Frank Morgan with Morgan’s Travel or Alice with Worldwide Travel

•Private Charter: Captain Angelo’s with Guanaja Air now based in Utila!  (up to 9 passengers)
Offering charters between Utila, Guanaja, Roatan, La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula. Capitan Angelo Lagonia is from the USA (Memphis) and operates a twin engine regional commuter aircraft, seats 9. Competetive prices and he will help you put together larger groups.

Prices vary by how many seats are filled, but as a guideline:
LCE to Utila: from $52 usd per person one way
SAP to Utila: $676 usd for the plane one way
Roatan to Utila: from $112 usd per person one way
Belize to Utila: from $285 usd per person round trip
Contacts:
Cell Phone: 504- 9558 8683
Website: http://www.guanajaair.com
You can also book Captain Angelo with Alice with Worldwide Travel or Frank Morgan of Morgan’s Travel 

• Private Charter: Additional Options for Larger Planes- through Frank Morgan at Morgan’s Travel
SAP to Utila: $3500 up to 15 passengers
Roatan to Utila: $760 usd up to 8 passengers

8. What is the Ferry to Utila (Utila Princess) and the Ferry Schedule?

 

A) The Utila Princess is the large commercial passenger ferry servicing Utila from La Ceiba at this time. It costs 400 lempiras lemps or about $21 usd each way, and takes about 45 minutes to travel the 18 miles by sea.

Utila Princess Ferry Schedule:
Utila – La Ceiba:
Departs at 6:20 AM and 2:00 PM
La Ceiba – Utila: Departs at 9:30 A.M. and 4:00 PM

B) As noted above, you can also connect with the Roatan Galaxy Ferry to get from Utila all the way to Roatan.

Schedule From Roatan To La Ceiba on The Galaxy:
Departs at 7am and 2pm (enough time to connect with the Utila Princess Ferry to Utila at 9:30am and 4pm)

Schedule from La Ceiba  to Roatan on The Galaxy:
Departs at 9:30am and 4:30pm (the Utila Princess gets you to La Ceiba in time to catch this)

The Roatan Galaxy Ferry is about a 1.25 hour trip.
Website for Roatan Galaxy: http://www.safewaymaritime.com/
Telephone (504) 445-1795 OR Email at: SAFEWAYS_GALAXY@YAHOO.COM

9. Taxi Service From San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba and Within the Cities

Taxis are very common forms of transportation throughout the cities of Honduras and they are generally very cheap and plentiful in the main cities.  Going from the airport or dock gets a little more expensive, mostly because they know its tourists or business people using those routes, but in general, its quite easy and affordable to get around.

Taxi from San Pedo Sula To La Ceiba~
A private taxi will cost about $125 US dollars from the airport and take about 3 hours. This is for a normal car; it may be about $140 for an SUV or van.  Be SURE to confirm the rate and even better to  arrange ahead of time with one of the drivers we’ve used:

Oscar (San Pedro Sula):  Spanish speaking, but learning a little English. Very reliable (for the 4am pickups!) and friendly.  If you don’t speak Spanish, you can call Alex  La Posada B and B in San Pedro Sula .  Its a great little spot and very affordable -  $40 usd a room, and they will pick you up at airport for about $15usd, and take you to bus station for free Really nice people.  Alex can be reached at laposadasps@gmail.com or Honduras phone 504-566-3312. Tell them UtilaGuide.com sent you!

Ralph Bodden (La Ceiba):  Reliable, english speaking.  RalphBodden@yahoo.com or phone Honduras country code 504-9-955-8156.

Radio Taxi Galaticos: Operate out of San Pedro Sula, and a nice option for calling a cab within the city. They come very quickly, sometimes as fast as hailing a regular cab on the street, and have very clean cars and safe drivers and often time less rates that the street taxis! The cars will say “Galacticos” on top. You can reserve them in advance too – Phone numbers are (504) 551-3996 or 551-6873 – May only speak limited English.

Curtis (La Ceiba) by many of the expats in Utila and Roatan, and can help you with about any errand as well. He charges a bit more, but is fully English speaking, gives excellent service, and his reliable. He has a brother with a larger van as well in San Pedro Sula, you can also arrange transport from San Pedro to La Ceiba in advance as well. Phone number is 9-891-5305 and you can let him know Andi and Brad from Utila sent you.

If you haven’t arranged ahead of time, coming out of the airport, you will see some gentleman at the taxi station; most are from the association COTRALMYH that operates a safe fleet that we have used. Be sure to take a look at their badge to make sure they are with this group. 504-506-1027.

UtilaGuide.com Tip: If you get a taxi from San Pedro Sula before 12:30pm, you can likely still make the 4pm Utila Ferry!

Taxis in and around San Pedro Sula~
You can easily find a taxi at the airport to town; plan on $10-15 usd total (not per person) to town.   Be sure to agree on rate beforehand! Once in the city, taxis are everywhere and its very easy to hail a taxi on the street. Once in town, taxis will generally cost about 40-50 lps per person per ride, which is $1.50-$2.50 usd per person. Bus station to most hotels is about 80 lps.  Agree on the rate before you set off on your journey.

Taxis around La Ceiba~
Also very easy to find one at the airport. Agree ahead of time the rate. If you are looking to save some lempiras you can walk the long entrance out to the street, but in the end, it may just save you $2-$3.

Taxis to town from airport cost about 100 to 150 lps, and to the Utila Princess Ferry dock about 150 lps.

Taxis FROM the dock to town is a standard 50 lempira per person fare to anywhere in town, and they will try and cram 4 of you into the car. Again, agree ahead of time. Around town, it is a standard fare of 20 lempiras per person ($1 usd) within the main downtown. After dark or very early this goes up to 30 lempiras per person. Around town, they usually won’t pick up another passenger, and you can tell them not to if they look like they are going to stop. Just confirm rates always.

UtilaGuide Tip for taxis: Note the number of the cab and write it down- just in case you leave something behind.  Also, if going to the ferry terminal, do not get in if there are other people and tell them you want “directo”.  You are going to “Utila Princess”, or “Muelle” (Mu-el-eh).

10. Taking A Bus Between San Pedro and La Ceiba

See our page, Catching a Bus for full details, schedules, and links to bussing it in Honduras!

 

11. Tips on Leaving Utila (How to Make Sure You Catch your Flight)

Keep In Mind:
• Scheduled SOSA planes leave Utila for La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula ONLY on Tues, Thurs, and Saturday.  This is at the bright hour of 6:20 am, so keep that in mind the night before! The flight lands in La Ceiba and connects to San Pedro Sula, arriving approximately 8:30am.  If you have a later flight, you can also take the Hedman Alas bus from La Ceiba, which is very safe and comfortable, and about $20 for the 3.5 hour ride.

• On any day, you can take also take the 6:20am ferry from Utila to La Ceiba or private charter with Captain Celine or Captain Angelo from Utila to La Ceiba. And then connect from La Ceiba to San Pedro Sula with Sosa or Atlantic or via a 3.5 hour Hedman Alas bus ride.

• Some people also leave the island the day before their international flight, and spend the night in San Pedro Sula or La Ceiba. This is because if you are counting on that 6:20am flight or morning ferry and there is really high winds or other problems, you could get delayed, which may potentially make you miss your international flight. In other words, those of us who have traveled this route before often go one day earlier “just in case” that first and only 6:20am flight or morning ferry from Utila doesn’t go or is delayed.

UtilaGuide Tip:For where to stay in La Ceiba or San Pedro Sula, look at our link: Hotels in La Ceiba and Hotels in San Pedro 

 

12. Luggage and Carryons

Okay, here’s how to make your trip less stressful: Assume your luggage will get lost for a day or two and put what you need in a carryon. Now, this doesn’t always, happen, but if you plan for it and then get everything once you land, it will just be an extra bonus!  The good news is we don’t really know of any cases where the airlines (International or local) actually lost the luggage permanently. But we do know of many cases where the luggage was lost/delayed for a few days, with the guests sometimes retrieving it on their way back home.  So throw a few extra items in your carry on, just to alleviate some stress.

Also, be advised that on Hedman Alas bus, they are very strict with carry on size, and it must be very small (much smaller than the normal airline carryone) or they will make you put it underneath the bus. Same with SOSA- these are small planes, so they may have to put your carry on in luggage hold, which you just pick up at arrival. Its no big deal, but just so you know.

If you loose your luggage, you’ll want to be sure to report it and fill it a claim at the landing airport, and then follow up daily, if not a few times per day.   An added bonus of using one of the local travel agents for domestic flights is they can help navigate you through the delayed luggage maze and make the calls and arrangements for you.

13. GET A PRINT OUT of your reservation confirmation.

Did you hear that? Really – we are not just saying this. Do this even if you are being assisted by a travel agent, as we’ve had guests who have said their reservation got lost at the desk of the airlines. If you use a travel agent, you can generally call them and they will fix things, but in case you can’t reach them, without some type of verification, if the flight is full, you are basically out of luck until the next day or later flight. Play it safe -get the print out and have the numbers of your local travel agent handy.

14. Wow. That Seems Like A Lot- Is it That Hard to Travel to Utila?

Actually, most people find traveling to Utila quite easy. We’ve just outlined the details and common questions for you, and tried to help you avoid some of the common pitfals that we’ve seen people experience.  Just remember you are traveling to a small island that is off the beaten path a bit-  Getting here is all part of it!  Keep your passport and wallet on you,  your medications, a change of clothes, your swimsuit and something warm and you should be ready for anything!

 

15. When is the best time to visit Utila?

Well, it depends!

The answer to this question is not so simple, and depends on several factors and personal preference, as well as what is most important to you as far as weather, prices, bugs, viewing whale sharks, etc. Here are a few things to think about when making your decision:

The Rainy Season:
Generally, the rainy season runs from late September through January and often into the beginning of February.  That said, that doesn’t mean its going to rain the whole time from September to February, but if you want to bet your odds on avoiding rain, we suggest coming at a different time.  Dive boats run year round, and rain doesn’t slow them down (unless accompanied by high winds).  As long as its calm out, the rain doesn’t significantly affect visibility unless its been raining very heavy, or for multiple days, when it can affect visibility.

Whale Sharks:
Even though the whale sharks have been seen year round, planning your trip during the months of March/April/May and August/Sept/Oct will give the best chance to spot one during your stay.  For more on whale sharks, click on our Whale Sharks link.

Bugs
The bugs are generally less prevalent during the steady summer trade winds that last from May to September.   See more on bugs under Frequently Asked Questions

Temperature:
Daytime temperatures really only vary by a few degrees through the year, and usually range in the mid 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round (about 27-29 degrees Celsius).  Nighttime temperatures are a few degrees cooler than daytime, and in the winter average in the low 70’s F and in the summer in the low 80’s F.  The hottest months of the year are generally summer months (May-ish to September-ish) when temperatures can reach low 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  For more specifics on temperature throughout the year, click on our weather link.

Hurricane-Watch Season:
Hurricanes are very rare in the Bay Islands.  However, just for reference, the official hurricane season in the Atlantic is from June 1 to Nov 30, when over 90% of hurricane activity throughout ALL the Atlantic occurs. The Bay Islands are generally considered “below” the hurricane belt, and folks consider our hurricane-watch season to be much shorter, from the middle of September through the beginning of November, with the majority of storm activity in September and October.

Low Season:
Not surprisingly, the rainy season and hurricane-watch season together make up our “low season”, which is generally considered to be Sept 1-Dec 15. The island sees a dip in tourism during this time, primarily due to these weather patterns, but also due to  general patterns of many travelers (i.e, kids back to school, no holiday breaks for families, etc.). The upside of this is that there are often discounts offered during this time. Lots of folks actually like to travel during this low season as they can get better flights, better room rates, and avoid any crowds during travel (not that we have too many here on the island specifically!)

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The above information really covers most of the bases and should be a good start to your planning. PLEASE let us know if you find any outdated or inaccurate information so we can correct it or add new information.  We want to be your best source for travel information to Utila!

Disclaimer: Though we have gathered information from travel agents, airlines, buses and our own experiences  to ensure we have the most accurate information possible, of course we can’t be responsible for any mishaps resulting from the information presented above, nor for any of the carriers and/or travel agents presented.  But please do let us know if you find any of the information to be incorrect and/or if you have updates, and we will adjust the text accordingly.