Getting to Utila

Old Nov 15, 13, 1:57 pm
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Getting to Utila

So this coming year for vacation I'm determined to get Scuba Certified in preparation for a trip to Australia (and the Great Barrier Reef) in another year or two. From what I've seen, a great place to do that is Utila off the coast of Honduras. Getting in to Honduras isn't the problem, but if anyone can provide suggestions for getting to Utila from San Pedro Sula airport, that would be a huge help. I've been told you can get a short flight to La Ceiba, or take a bus, and then take a ferry to Utila. The only problem with the research I'm doing is that every website I see is in Spanish and doesn't translate too well.

Anyone have any experience or suggestions?
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Old Nov 15, 13, 4:16 pm
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You could fly into Roatan and there are many boats that would take you.
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Old Nov 15, 13, 8:14 pm
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Don't know the frequency of flight to Roatan, but don't believe it's daily.

wikitravel.org/en/Utila

Depending on how much time you have, HeadmanAlas has a very nice bus service to La Ceiba, and from there you can catch a boat. And yes, I've used them a couple of times. IIRC they pick up from San Pedro Sula airport, but not really sure as it's been a while.

Hm, could have sworn they have an English page
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Old Nov 15, 13, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Don't know the frequency of flight to Roatan, but don't believe it's daily.

wikitravel.org/en/Utila

Depending on how much time you have, HeadmanAlas has a very nice bus service to La Ceiba, and from there you can catch a boat. And yes, I've used them a couple of times. IIRC they pick up from San Pedro Sula airport, but not really sure as it's been a while.

Hm, could have sworn they have an English page
I'll be taking AA down, and without having firm dates nailed down, it looks like there are only Saturday flights into Roatan, and a little more regularly into San Pedro Sula.

The bus was recommended by the dive school, with Roatan being a back up. Assuming I fly out of LA on a red-eye on Friday, connect through MIA to Honduras on Saturday, I would then start the class on Sunday and leave Friday the same way I came in. Flights look to be pretty open right now.
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Old Nov 22, 13, 12:08 am
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Originally Posted by TacaCopaFlyer View Post
You could fly into Roatan and there are many boats that would take you.
I total agree with this ideal.
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Old Jan 4, 14, 3:47 pm
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If you fly into SAP on the earlier arrival and hope to make it to Utila the same day, I believe you have two options:

-take a taxi from SAP airport directly to the ferry (cost $100-$120). If you want to do this, ask around in the arrivals hall...likely 3/4 of the people with a backpack will be trying to get to La Ceiba for the ferry.
-take a flight directly to Utilla - you're in luck, CM Airlines appears to have non stop service SAP - Utila on Saturday's only. $135.23. CM is quite reliable. You may want to purchase your ticket on arrival in case AA is late - it won't cost more; however, I don't know how big the risk of them selling out is. Aerolineas Sosa also sells one stop service for about $120. Both depart at 3 p.m. It is very unlikely that Sosa's flight will arrive in 1 hour as scheduled - it will stop in LCE.

If you take any of the bus services to La Ceiba, you will not arrive in time for the afternoon ferry, and you'd have to overnight either in SAP or LCE.

If you fly to La Ceiba, with the intention of switching to the ferry, you will also likely not make the connection, plus it is quite far from the airport to the ferry, and the taxi fare will cost you quite a bit (they like to charge a premium to get to the ferry).

Flying into Roatan is also an option. I'm not familiar with the boat service between the islands, but you should be able to find something. Unfortunately, AA doesn't seem to offer reasonably priced flights to Roatan like UA does (AA and DL have continued to charge a premium for RTB vs UA which sells them often for nearly the same price as SAP). Have you considered getting your certification in RTB? I believe you can find similar prices for the certification there. Being able to fly directly to RTB vs UTI is also an advantage - the time involved in getting to UTI most economically vs the cost of getting their quickly might make RTB cost neutral overall. AA recently started DFW - RTB service, so I believe their frequency to RTB has overall increased - may drive prices down.
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Old Jan 4, 14, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Don't know the frequency of flight to Roatan, but don't believe it's daily.

wikitravel.org/en/Utila

Depending on how much time you have, HeadmanAlas has a very nice bus service to La Ceiba, and from there you can catch a boat. And yes, I've used them a couple of times. IIRC they pick up from San Pedro Sula airport, but not really sure as it's been a while.

Hm, could have sworn they have an English page
Hedman Alas does offer service directly from SAP - you connect and have a bus change at the main San Pedro Bus terminal. A 1:45 p.m. departure arrives La Ceiba between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. Viana is quicker and my preferred way. The disadvantage is that you have to take a taxi to the Bus terminal. Catching their 1:45 p.m. departure (which does not operate on Sundays), arrives La Ceiba between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Depending on your ability to haggle with the taxis, it is similar in cost - perhaps slightly cheaper with 2+ passengers.

Originally Posted by PainCorp View Post
I'll be taking AA down, and without having firm dates nailed down, it looks like there are only Saturday flights into Roatan, and a little more regularly into San Pedro Sula.

The bus was recommended by the dive school, with Roatan being a back up. Assuming I fly out of LA on a red-eye on Friday, connect through MIA to Honduras on Saturday, I would then start the class on Sunday and leave Friday the same way I came in. Flights look to be pretty open right now.
I'm no expert on diving, but do factor in that there is a period of time between when you can fly and diving - I don't recall if this is on both ends or not.
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Old Jan 11, 14, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE View Post
I'm no expert on diving, but do factor in that there is a period of time between when you can fly and diving - I don't recall if this is on both ends or not.
Yeah, I ended up pushing this trip to next year because of this. I think it's 48 hours if I remember correctly. I would probably have that on the incoming, but not the outgoing.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by PainCorp View Post
Yeah, I ended up pushing this trip to next year because of this. I think it's 48 hours if I remember correctly. I would probably have that on the incoming, but not the outgoing.
I just returned from RTB (Roatan) as I was doing my IDC/IE (Instructor Development Course / Instructor Exam). I flew CLT-IAH-RTB.

I would suggest Roatan instead of Utila (Barefoot Divers would be great start as they do take good care of the divers, tell them I sent you.)

In terms of flying. There is no rule for inbound, you can fly and dive as soon as you wish. On the other hand it is 12 hrs for single dive and 18 hrs for multiple dives or multiple day diving.

You can PM me if you want any more info.
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