Last Tuesday, I traveled from Mexico City to San Pedro Sula via Aeromexico. The flight is a short 2 hour and 15 minute flight in a comfortable embraer jet. When I booked my flight, I assumed that I would be able to catch the evening Hedman Alas bus from San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba. But alas! When I checked their webpage to confirm the schedule I found that they no longer have the evening departure! This meant that I had only two options. The question: to stay overnight in San Pedro Sula or travel after dark to La Ceiba?
When I stay in San Pedro Sula, I like to stay at Casa del Arbol. Their rooms are comfy, the price is right, plus they usually give me a great deal. Yet, after 10 days away from home, I was longing for my bed. The bottom line was do I stay overnight in San Pedro Sula or travel to La Ceiba after dark? My flight landed a few minutes after 6, so it was 7 by the time I had cleared immigration, customs and had to make a decision. By then, it was already dark!
My lovely wife, Soledad, was with me, and she was in a hurry to get home and see our kids. So she talked me into to negotiating with one of the taxi drivers at the airport.
Under normal circumstances, I do not like being in a car on the road when I do not know what kind of maintenance the vehicle has had. Taxis in Honduras can be old jalopies, or they can be great cars: its a toss up! As a general rule, the airport taxis are all in good shape. So I went on to negotiate. The rate was higher that I wanted to pay, but then the service would be in a new Toyota Van. The driver seemed like a professional fellow, and knew the road well. He had driven to La Ceiba just two days before. It’s always good to have a driver that is familiar with the road. So after some negotiating, we agree on $120 US. During the day, I probably could have gotten the deal for $100. But heck, at night, and for a 120 mile journey, the deal seemed right! (A happy wife is another BIG plus!)
Furthermore, staying overnight would have been more expensive. The transfer from the airport to the hotel. Dinner and spending the night at a hotel, plus breakfast and then the transfer from the hotel to the bus terminal also add up. Finally, the bus fare between San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba. Granted, if you are tourist, you will spend the night at a hotel at either city. In my case, I was coming home. I was happy to have taken the decision. The wife was happy too! Just that is a plus, isn’t it?
If you are facing the same dilemma, you can trust the airport taxi service. They will provide you with a fair price for the transfer. They have good vehicles and are professional drivers. My advice to you is the following: As a general rule, it makes more sense to spend the night in San Pedro Sula. Yet if your vacations are short, and you are only spending the night in San Pedro Sula, you are safe to take an airport cab to Tela and La Ceiba.
If you want to make sure you get a good vehicle waiting for you, contact Mr. Samuel Hernandez. You can send him a whatsapp message to 504 9763-4499. Alternately, you can call him to arrange for a transfer. I found he has a brand new Toyota Hiace van that is reliable and comfortable. He also proved to be a good driver! He is a member of the Cotralmyh taxi cooperative that operates at the San Pedro Sula airport.
Enjoy your travels in Honduras. For me the answer to the question: to stay in San Pedro Sula overnight or travel after dark to La Ceiba was simple: I traveled to La Ceiba. Was happy I did!