Travel Between Roatan and Utila
Travel between Roatan and Utila used to be nuisance. With no regular service scheduled between the islands, you had to travel to La Ceiba and then backtrack to the other island. Fortunately, that is all part of the past in the case of travel between Roatan and Utila. The Utila Dream Ferry Service now operates daily between both islands. The schedule is such that you can even take advantage of the airlift between the US and Roatan and catch the ferry to Utila!
That makes getting to Utila a whole lot easier than ever before! The Utila Dream Ferry is a state of the art water jet catamaran that takes under one hour to do the trip. The departure from Utila every morning takes place at 10:15 putting you in Roatan at around 11:15 a.m. The ferry terminal is in Coxen Hole, which means that you are a short five minute cab ride from the Roatan International Airport. Best of all, you can pay for your ticket with a credit card, which means that you do not have to run and change currency to pay for your ticket. Talk about convenient.
Last week I took advantage of this service when traveling between Roatan and Utila. There were few passengers on the trip, and we departed right on time at 2:00 p.m. The day was a bit windy, and I was afraid we might have a rough ride due to choppy seas. I was surprised that the trip was actually very smooth! The trip was also quite scenic! We sailed just off the coast of Roatan, towards the West End of the island. I was not quite aware of the amount of iron shore along this south coast of Roatan. Iron shore is the result of volcanic rock reaching the ocean. Although beautiful, you do not want to try walking on it barefoot! It provides solid protection to the island from stormy waves, limiting erosion to the minimum.[themify_hr border_width=”1″ width=”1″ color=”light-gray”]
There is no doubt that the West End of Roatan is where most of the development has taken place. There are many beautiful homes above the iron shore that have spectacular views. Not long after we left the protection of Roatan, I could see the small lump of Pumpkin Hill on the horizon directly in front of us. Pumpkin Hill is the highest point in Utila, and is an extinct volcano. It only reaches a height of 84 meters above sea level. The whole southeast shore of Utila is also iron shore. Perhaps the biggest difference between Roatan and Utila is that the first is hilly and affords great views. Utila is quite flat, and thus you do not have an ocean view if you are not on the water.
As we neared Utila Town, clearing the south east point of the island, we could see half a dozen diving boats anchored off the coast. Utila is one of the most popular dive spots in the Western Caribbean. There are many different dive shops in Utila. The Utila Municipal dock serves as the arrival dock for the Utila Dream Ferry. Upon arrival, the sun was in full splendor lighting up the shore of this lovely small island.[themify_hr border_width=”1″ width=”1″ color=”light-gray”]
On the dock, you could see locals waiting to greet the arriving passengers. Those that had already booked a diving package were welcome with a sigh bearing their name. Others, got off and hired a “Tuk tuk” or motorcycle Taxi to take them the hotel where they planned to stay. Still, others, like myself, got off and walked a short distance in town to their hotel.
I walked directly to the Nightline Cabins at the Jade Seahorse. This is my favorite spot on the island. Rooms are funky, clean, and comfortable. The price is right and the service very friendly. At Nightline Cabins in Utila, fantasy is a fact of life!
August 17, 2019 @ 11:31 pm
Very informative! I have been wanting to travel to Utila and now this information makes getting there more easily than I first thought.
August 18, 2019 @ 1:13 pm
Good morning Maureen! Happy to be useful as a tool to help you plan your trip to Utila! Feel free to touch base with us if you need any more info!
September 12, 2019 @ 9:35 pm
Fantastic! Utila is appealing as less touristy (no cruise ship crowds) and better underwater environment including whale sharks! But until the ferry seemed a challenge to get there.
September 14, 2019 @ 3:37 pm
Indeed, Roatan and Utila are very different from each other and both offer different experiences. It is great that it is now much easier to travel between both islands!
October 17, 2019 @ 12:35 am
I’m travelling to Roatan , Nov 25/19 . Need to get from Roatan to Utila to make the 7am ferry to LaCieba to make the 9am Roneey Shuttle tour to Tikal .
Is there a ferry/charter boat that could leave Roatan 530/6 am to make the Utila ferry to LaCieba.?
October 17, 2019 @ 3:35 pm
Good morning Robert! Your best bet to make it to la Ceiba in time to catch the Roneey Shuttle to Tikal is to take the morning Galaxy Wave ferry that departs at 7 am from their Roatan Terminal. It usually takes them about 1 1/5 hours to make the trip. The shuttle is timed to wait for passengers arriving from Roatan, so you will be fine. A second option is to fly either Lanhsa or Aerolineas Sosa from Roatan to La Ceiba. They both have web pages that you use to find schedules and book in advance. enjoy your travels through Honduras!
October 17, 2019 @ 4:35 pm
November 17, 2019 @ 10:16 pm
Hi! I am flying in to Roatan in a few weeks but would like to make a visit to Guanaja while I am there. What are the easiest options to get to Guanaja from Roatan?
November 19, 2019 @ 4:11 pm
Hi Sue! I understand that LANHSA and Sosa Airlines both have a flight to Guanaja from Roatan on the weekends. You can check with them. Otherwise, there are some people that run a boat between Oakridge in Roatan and Guanaja. You might want to check with one of the hotels in Oakridge to find out their contact. I will try to find out myself and get back to you.
Randy and Lenna Whyte
December 28, 2019 @ 12:29 am
Confusion in the internet about direct ferry service between Roatan and Utila.[about what days it runs] I am delighted if the high speed ferry operates more than just Friday to Mondays [4 days]
My wife and I fly in Thursday Feb.27/2020 to Roatan and need to get over to Utila.
We also need to leave Utila for Roatan for our March 5/2020 [one week later] flight back to Montreal Canada.
Much too short this trip! West jet may be the ticket for our next trip!
December 28, 2019 @ 12:45 pm
Good morning Randy and Lenna! Thanks for reaching out to us! Yes the Utila Dream Ferry operates daily between Utila and Roatan. It certainly makes travel between both islands much easier and practical. Enjoy your travel to the islands, and make sure that you consider a quick jump to the Cangrejal River Valley in La Ceiba on one of your trips. It is a perfect complement to your vacation time on the islands and just a short ferry ride from both Utila and Roatan! Feel free to reach out to us if you have any other question, Would be more that happy to help out!
January 1, 2020 @ 6:14 am
Does the ferry from Roatan to Utila make runs all day or what is the last time we can take the ferry across as our flight comes in in late afternoon.
January 3, 2020 @ 4:12 pm
Good morning! There is only one trip a day between Utila and Roatan. Departs Utila bound to Roatan at 10:15 am and departs Roatan at 2:00 p.m. bound to Utila.
February 5, 2020 @ 10:39 pm
HI; I’m flying into Roatan and wish to get to Utila. How early should I plan on arriving in Roatan? thanks
February 9, 2020 @ 12:32 am
Hi Jan! The Utila Dream Ferry departs at 2:00 p.m. from Roatan. Ideally, you should be at the ferry terminal in Coxen Hole one hour before, however 30 minutes should be OK.