Getting to Utila is Easier than You Thought!
As a general rule when it comes to most islands in the World, getting to them can be tricky and difficult. Fortunately for you, getting to Utila is really quite easy!
There are basically three different hubs you need to get to in order to set your plan for getting to Utila: La Ceiba, Roatan or San Pedro Sula. By far, the most used and most affordable alternative is to use La Ceiba as your hub. La Ceiba is actually known as the gateway to the Bay Islands, and it is really quite easy to get to La Ceiba. There is regular bus service from just about anywhere in Honduras to La Ceiba, and then there is also an airport with daily scheduled flights from Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, so this also provides easy affordable access to La Ceiba.
From La Ceiba, there are two different alternatives, you can either take a short five minute flight or you can take one of the two ferry boats that operate regularly. Personally, I believe the best option is the latter, as the boats always leave on time, you do not need to arrive one hour ahead of the departure time and when you get to the island you are already right down town and within walking distance of just about anywhere, whereas when you land you will need to get a taxi as there is a total of 4 km distance between town and the airport.
The airline offering regularly scheduled service to Utila is Sosa Airlines, and you can book your ticket in advance over the net. There are two local charter airlines in Utila that offer services, Island Air and Utila Air. These operate on a charter basis and sometimes you can buy an affordable seat if you accommodate to the time and the date the plane will be flying.
The ferry service is the most reliable form of transportation to the island. There are currently two different ferry boats operating. The Utila Princess, which is the company that has been long established, operates twice a day, with a morning and afternoon departure. The new, Utila Dream offers a state of the art, brand new waterjet catamaran, which is larger and faster than the Utila Princess and does the passage in about 15 minutes less time than the Utila Princess. Both boats are currently operating with a similar schedule: the Utila Princess departs Utila at 6:20 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and departs from La Ceiba at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; the Utila Dream departs Utila for La Ceiba at 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and from La Ceiba to Utila at 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Keep in mind that both ferry services are passenger only, they do not take cars or heavy cargo with them. The Utila Dream is also operating twice a week between Roatan and Utila.
If you opt for the other hubs, you can use San Pedro Sula, where Sosa Airlines and CM Airlines both offer non stop air service between San Pedro Sula and Utila on the weekends. Keep in mind that although comfortable because they connect you directly from the main airport gateway in Honduras, the service does not operate on weekdays. Both previously mentioned local charter airlines also offer charter service from Utila to San Pedro Sula.
Last, but not least is Roatan. Roatan has the advantage of direct international air service. As of March 3rd, 2016, the Utila Dream is offering direct service between Roatan and Utila, departing from the Coconut Tree dock at West End, Roatan. Service at the time will be limited to twice weekly, on Thursday and Saturday, departing Roatan at 2:00 p.m. with a short travel time of only 40 minutes. Service between Utila and Roatan departs at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday and Saturday also. This new alternative offers a great new way of getting to Utila easy and fast! Alternately, you can take the ferry from Roatan to La Ceiba and then change to the ferry from La Ceiba to Utila, the total time will be around 3:30 minutes, or you can always use the charter service mentioned above and have a pilot pick you up at Roatan Airport and provide a quick 10 minute flight if you are willing to charter the plane.