Utila, the sister island to Roatan, offers much of what Roatan offers visitors, but on a quieter and smaller scale. If the hustle and bustle of Roatan is too much for you, check out neighboring Utila to truly escape the crowds, the cars, and the stress.
Utila offers visitors the same exquisite coral reef system as Roatan, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Its pristine condition grants scuba divers and snorkelers some truly awe-inspiring views. Add to this beautiful reef the fact that whale sharks regularly migrate right by Utila’s shore, and you have a recipe for perfection.
If you’d like to visit Utila, you will either need to travel via the mainland or via Roatan. Getting there isn’t as easy as getting to Roatan, which is partly why it is less crowded. But as long as you can be a little flexible with your schedule, you can get to Utila for lots of fun in the sun. Here are your options on how to visit Utila.
Visit Utila by Plane
Utila can be accessible by plane, though not by direct international flight. International flights land in Roatan or on the Honduran mainland in major cities like San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. From any of those locations, you can take a local domestic flight to reach Utila. Local airlines CM Airlines and SOSA Airlines offer services to Utila from the main transport hubs of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa.
If you fly into Roatan, you can charter a flight to Utila on Island Air. Charter flights are smaller planes and are both weather- and customer-dependent. Try to book your flights in advance if you are on a strict schedule. There are several useful links depending upon your port of entry on www.utilaguide.com.
Visit Utila by Boat
If you’d prefer more regular services to visit Utila, you have a few options to reach the island by boat. First is the Utila Dream ferry leaving La Ceiba twice daily (similar to the Galaxy Wave heading to Roatan). The Utila Dream departs from La Ceiba in the morning and then again in the afternoon. This ferry will run barring bad weather.
The same ferry, Utila Dream, also offers weekend service between Roatan and Utila. Daily trips on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays offer visitors and locals alike the regular opportunity to spend the weekend on the other island. It’s a great way to enjoy the best of both worlds!
Additional charter boat trips are also available. If you are staying for a few days on each island, you can ask your hotel concierge or vacation rental property manager for potential charter options. This is especially useful if you are not traveling over the weekend.
The other option for travel between Roatan and Utila is to do the double-ferry. Take the Galaxy Wave from Roatan to La Ceiba, and then the Utila Dream from La Ceiba to Utila. This does require a day of travel, but can be an option depending on your schedule and budget.
Visiting Utila shows you even more of the beauty of the Bay Islands of Honduras. Take the time to explore both Roatan and Utila for a fantastic island vacation.