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See our main Tourist Information page for more Utila Tourist Guides & Information
Utila is located in the Western Caribbean Sea in the Gulf of Honduras off the Northern coast of Honduras
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The smallest of the 3 major Bay Islands, (Roatan, Guanaja and Utila), Utila is located approximately 18 km of the Honduras mainland port of La Ceiba
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Utila is just 11 km long and 4 km at its widest
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The main International Airports in Honduras are located in Tegucigalpa (the national capital), San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Roatán. International flights to/from Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula operate daily to/from USA airports of Miami (American Airlines) and Houston (Continental Airlines) The only airlines that currently offer scheduled flights to Utila are Aerolineas SOSA (via La Ceiba) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. CM Airlines operate flights on Saturday only (from San Pedro Sula and Roatán) and Island Air (based in Utila) operates scheduled flights to/from Roatán on Saturday and to/from La Ceiba on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. All flights to/from Roatán and San Pedro Sula are designed to connect with incoming and outgoing international flights. All flights are operated with small 9-20 passenger seat aircraft.
There are also several charter flights available from San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Roatán airports to and from Utila. Contact Morgan's Travel in Utila for details.
If you or your travel agent has problems booking you flights you can always contact Morgan's Travel or World Wide Travel, two local Utila travel agents with over 50 years combined experience in getting people to and from Utila (English & Spanish spoken).
If you have to stay overnight in San Pedro Sula, I recommend you stay at the Metrotel Express (formerly Microtel Inn & Suites) in San Pedro Sula. It is the closest hotel to the San Pedro Sula airport, it is modern (built in the style of a Holiday Inn and charges similar prices) and it is secure and safe. There is also a reasonably good restaurant (Larsons) next door to the Microtel Inn.
There are no Hotel shuttles at San Pedro Airport. Make sure you take a licensed taxi. They will be in the taxi rank. Do not accept a ride with somebody unless you are sure they are a proper taxi. You may get hassled by people trying to take your bags to get you into their taxi, this is OK as long as it is a licensed taxi. Always agree the taxi fare beforehand, otherwise you may to be overcharged when you reach your destination. If you can speak a little Spanish, then don't be afraid to use it. You're less likely to be overcharged if you behave like you know your way around.
The taxi fare from San Pedro Sula airport to the Microtel Inn is about a 10-15 minute journey and will cost around 250.00 - 400.00 Lempira ($US 13 - 25) per person depending upon the time of day, number of passengers, amount of luggage, etc. Your taxi driver will accept US Dollars, but will make change in Lempira. If you like your taxi driver, you may well be able to arrange with him to pick you up for the return journey back to the airport (at a discounted fare), otherwise arrange a return taxi in advance at the Microtel Reception desk.
If you have to stay overnight in La Ceiba, I recommend you stay at The Rainbow Village across the street from the La Ceiba Airport is reasonable priced, clean and secure. If you do not need to stay near the Airport, ask a taxi driver to take you to a Hotel in La Ceiba centre (El Centro) - a 10-20 minute journey, depending on traffic. I can recommend La Quinta Real at the top of the market, mid-market would be La Quinta, Gran Hotel Paris, Gran Hotel La Ceiba and (for those on a budget) Hotel Iberia and the Banana Republic Guesthouse. You do not normally need a reservation at these Hotels. While most of the taxi drivers do not speak english, they do know the names of the Hotels. The taxi fare from La Ceiba Airport to La Ceiba el centro is 200.00 - 350.00 Lempira ($US 11 - 19) depending upon the time of day, number of passengers, amount of luggage, etc. Your taxi driver will accept US Dollars, but will make change in Lempira. If you go out after dark in La Ceiba (and there is no real reason to, except to eat), I recommend you get a local taxi from your Hotel to the Mega Mall (where there is an Applebee's inside the Mall and several other fast food chains, such as Pizza Hut, Wendys, Quizznos, etc nearby the Mall parking lot. (a taxi fare of around 30.00 Lempiras per person from the Hotels mentioned above). The Mega Mall is secure and there 1 or two restaurants there. Pizza Hut also delivers to Hotel rooms, ask at your Hotel Reception.
Utila Airport is a tarmac landing strip approximately 4,600 feet in length. There is no terminal building (unless you count the hut with the tin roof at the runway gate). There is a local restaurant and bar just by the Airport exit gate. When you arrive at Utila Airport, there are always taxi's waiting there to take passengers in to town. These taxi's may be pick-up trucks or vans. Whatever the vehicle, the fare is the same, for your taxi driver to take you to your accommodations in Utila. (The fare maybe higher for those with a large amount of luggage or those going further out to Blue Bayou).
If you have stayed overnight in La Ceiba and you are not in a rush to get to Utila, I would suggest you consider taking the morning ferry (the Utila Princess) for the final leg of your journey to Utila. If the weather is good (as it is most of the time) it can be a beautiful introduction to the island as the ferry pulls into the Municipal Dock at Utila.
Caution - Advance & confirmed reservations for flights to and from Utila are strongly recommended.
Occasionally, and depending upon weather conditions and number of passengers, Aerolineas SOSA will fly directly between Utila and San Pedro Sula without stopping in La Ceiba. Flights may be cancelled if there are only 1-2 passengers. Flights to/from La Ceiba may be cancelled or re-routed if there is heavy rainstorms in La Ceiba. There is no control tower or landing lights at Utila airport, so aircraft must land/take-off in daylight hours and with favorable weather conditions.
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There is only one ferry service to Utila, the Utila Princess, usually leaving twice daily from the Muelle de Cabotage (the docks/cargo wharf) in La Ceiba. The Muelle de Cabotage is about a 15-20 minute taxi ride from the center of La Ceiba if there are no traffic problems.
See our Utila Princess page for current details on schedules and fares.
Be sure that you are getting on the Utila Princess and not the Galaxy Ferry to Roatan. The Galaxy and Utila Princess terminals are located next to each other. The Utila Princess terminal is the smaller of the two. It should be obvious which terminal you are at when you go to buy tickets.
There was a Catamaran that ran between Roatan and Utila on a daily basis, but this ceased operation in November 2012. See our Roatan-Utila Ferry service page for current details on the options for travelling between Roatan and Utila..
All the taxi drivers in La Ceiba know how to get to the Muelle de Cabotage (the docks) in La Ceiba, where the Utila Princess departs from, just ask them to take you to "Utila Princess".
Plan to leave your Hotel for the dock 1 hour before the Utila Princess is scheduled to depart La Ceiba since there are often long queues at the entrance to the docks should the port police decide to search vehicles entering the docks for drugs. You may also have to show your passport or identity papers to these police. The taxi fare from the centre of La Ceiba to the Utila Princess dock is around 100.00 to 200.00 Lempiras ($US 5 - $10) (depending upon the number of passengers and amount of luggage) Your taxi driver will accept US Dollars, but will make change in Lempira.
Do not be surprised if your taxi driver starts driving out of the center of La Ceiba into the countryside, instead of down towards the sea. The Utila Princess dock is about 15-20 minute taxi ride out of central La Ceiba.
When you arrive at the La Ceiba docks make sure you go to the Utila Princess Ticket Office and not the Galaxy Wave Ticket Office. There are only two passenger ferries that leave from these docks, The Galaxy Wave which goes to Roatan and the Utila Princess. You don't want to end up on the wrong boat.
If you are prone to sea sickness ask at the Utila Princess ticket office for a free sea sickness tablet. For maximum effectiveness, you really should take this tablet at least 30 minutes before the voyage.
When you arrive at the Utila Municipal Dock, there are normally several taxi's waiting outside the entrance to the dock. Taxi's in Utila are usually in the form of 'tuk-tuk's or pick-up trucks, which can be confusing since there will also be a number of pick-up trucks there to get in-bound cargo from the Utila Princess. Ask around for a taxi and do not despair, one will turn up sooner or later (this is the Caribbean).
Most Hotels and accommodations are less than 15 minutes walk from the Utila Municipal Docks and those without a large amount of luggage tend to walk rather than wait or pay for a taxi.
A valid passport with at least 6 months remaining from time of departing Honduras is required for entry into Honduras. There is a $3.00 entry fee into Honduras and a $35.00 departure tax with an additional $2.00 security charge and $3.00 immigration fee if leaving Honduras by air. There are other incidental national airport taxes with connecting local flights usually not exceeding $5.00.
Tourist Visas are normal granted for a duration of 1 month, but can be extended on a month by month basis for a fee of 500.00 Lempira per month at the local Immigration Office in Utila or on the mainland of La Ceiba. Depending upon the mood of the Immigration Officer at your port of entry, you can sometimes pay on entry for an extended tourist visa. A maximum stay of 4 months is permitted after which one must depart the country for a minimum of 3 days, after which you can return and start the process over again.
Don't lose the piece of yellow paper they staple into your passport, you'll need it to exit the country and to extend your stay.
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