Looking for the best way to get from La Ceiba to Roatan?
Most travelers find themselves having to travel to La Ceiba on their way to Roatan. Although Roatan does have nonstop air service from the USA directly to the island, service does not operate on a daily schedule, and therefore limits the opportunity of nonstop flights to once or twice a week at the most. Furthermore, if you are already traveling through Central America, chances are that you will be arriving by land, using the services of the local public transportation services, such as the Hedman Alas bus company. If this is the case, you are definitely looking for the best option to get to La Ceiba, usually in time to connect with the ferry schedule to continue your trip to the island on the same day.
Bay Islanders have long had competitive attitude towards “them Spaniards” (those of us who live on the mainland of Honduras) and will go out of their way to convince you that you should not spend time in mainland Honduras. They are incredibly good going about telling tales of how insecure they feel when they come to the mainland, and how you are putting yourself at risk if you come to La Ceiba. The reality is that if you plan on coming to the mainland, getting drunk and walking the streets during the wee hours of the night, like they like to do, you are in fact asking for trouble.
The truth is that If you are visiting La Ceiba to enjoy its National Parks, and doing activities such as hiking in the rain forest, white water rafting, visiting hot springs or a Garifuna Village, then you are just as safe or safer that on the Bay Islands. The Cangrejal River area offers a variety of services that will fit to all budgets and you should make it a point to visit it during you travel from La Ceiba to Roatan. Crime incidents affecting tourists in La Ceiba are few and far apart, and usually are involved with being out late at night enjoying the night life in town. Invariably, when incidents do happen, those affected had been consuming alcoholic beverages liberally before the incident.
There are two ways to get from La Ceiba to Roatan, one is to fly, the other to take the ferry. There are two airlines that provide service to Roatan from La Ceiba, Aerolineas Sosa and LANHSA. Although the flight is a short 15 minute trip, many people do not like the idea of small airplanes, and I find that the hassle of dealing with security at airports is a pain in the neck! Personally, I much rather use the ferry option. The vessel is a state of the art water jet catamaran, and offers the comfort or air-conditioning; as well an operation that always operates on time.
Keep in mind however that neither of these options is operational on Good Friday during the Easter week holidays or on the 25th of December and the 1st of January. Service simply shuts down, so if you will be traveling from La Ceiba to Roatan during these dates, do take into consideration this shut down of operations! The above applies both to the ferry and the airline services!