La Ceiba to Lake Yojoa - Utila/Roatan/Pico Bonito
Updated: Jul 19
Whether you are coming from Pico Bonito National Park to Lake Yojoa or heading from one of the Bay Islands (Utila and Roatan), La Ceiba is the gateway town. This guide will tell you how to get to La Ceiba from Pico Bonito/Utila/Roatan, and then how to get from La Ceiba to Lake Yojoa using public transport.
Stopping in at Lake Yojoa is a great way to break up the journey from the Bay Islands heading to Nicaragua. It has so much to offer that it's worth spending a few nights exploring!
Table of contents
Getting to La Ceiba
Pico Bonito to La Ceiba
It is possible to get a taxi for L400 (£12.65/$15.80) from Pico Bonito to La Ceiba. For those more adventurous/more on a budget, the chicken bus passes through Pico Bonito at around 7 am, it takes around 45 minutes and costs L30. In order to arrive at Lake Yojoa at a reasonable time, you need to take this 7am bus. The bus doesn’t go to Cristina Transport bus station so you will want to jump off the chicken bus on Call. A Tela at the corner of Calle 13. It’s about a 15-minute walk from here to Cristina Transport bus station where your next bus departs from. A young French couple, who took the same chicken bus as us, paid L40 (£1.25/$1.60) per person for a taxi if you don’t fancy the walk.
Utila to La Ceiba
To make the journey in one day, you need to be catching the morning ferry at 7 am from Utila. The ferry is $35 per person if you buy it at the port, or cheaper if you buy it Utila Dream’s website. The ferry takes roughly 45 minutes to reach the mainland. Upon arrival, you will need to grab a taxi across La Ceiba to the Cristina Transport bus terminal.
Tip: Buying tickets online on the Utila Dream website for the Utila to La Ceiba ferry is cheaper.
Roatan to La Ceiba
To make the journey in one day, you need to be catching the morning ferry at 7 am from Roatan. The ferry is $35 per person. The ferry takes roughly 1 hour to reach the mainland. Upon arrival, you will need to grab a taxi across La Ceiba to the Cristina Transport bus terminal.
Tip: Buying tickets online on the Galaxy Wave website for the Roatan to La Ceiba ferry is cheaper.
La Ceiba to Lake Yojoa
Most people who visit Lake Yojoa end up staying at D&D Brewery, if you are staying with them and travelling on a Monday it may be worth considering their shuttle as it’s pretty reasonable at $15, the only problem is, it only goes on a Monday! If you are travelling there any other day of the week or just fancy being a little more adventurous on a Monday, read on.
La Ceiba to San Pedro Sula
So you’ve got from your respected departure point and made it to Cristina Transport (there are other bus companies that do the route, but we’ve only used this one - for Cristina Transport location click here). Head over to the ticket booth and get a ticket for the 8:30 am bus to San Pedro Sula.
The current bus schedule is:
6:30 am (you wouldn’t make this unless you were staying in La Ceiba)
The bus is comfy and air-conditioned, costs L180 (£5.70/$7.10) & takes about 4 hours (our journey from La Ceiba to SPS was 5h 15m due to lots of traffic) including the 20-minute break halfway where you can buy food from a buffet or snacks.
San Pedro Sula to Lake Yojoa
San Pedro Sula bus station (Metropolitan Grand Central) is pretty big! The air-conditioned coaches, like the Cristina bus, drop you at the upstairs part of the bus station. To get to the Emp Tima ticket stand and the Chicken Bus terminal you need to turn right out of Cristina’s waiting room, walk through the food court and take the escalator downstairs. You walk through the shopping centre for a minute or 2 before seeing the ticket stands for the chicken buses. Go to the Emp Tima stand and ask for a ticket to D&D. IMPORTANT if you are going to D&D Brewery you need to take the El Mochito bus NOT the Lake Yojoa as the latter drops you on the other side of the lake. If you are staying elsewhere, check which side of the lake you need to get to.
Due to the traffic experienced on the way into San Pedro Sula we headed straight to the bus stand, and bought tickets for the 2 pm bus leaving 5 minutes later. Somewhat unsurprisingly, leaving the bus station we hit traffic straight away!
The bus was busy & hot! The bus took 2.5 hours but there are quotes stating it can take 2 so you may be luckier.
Keep an eye on the map after leaving Peña Blanca, this is the last big town before the brewery and where quite a few people left the bus, so it was a bit quieter & easier to grab our bags when we needed to get off.
Cost L70 (£2.20/$2.75) and duration 2.5 hours, chicken bus.
Tip: Try to sit at the back of the bus as there is normally somewhere to put your bags, otherwise you could have an uncomfortable 2 hours or so with it on your knee and no leg-room. Remember chicken buses are old American school buses so not much leg-room is allowed.
The bus journey from La Ceiba to Lake Yojoa (D&D Brewery) is only L250 (£8.25/$10.20) which is much cheaper than the shuttle and absolutely fine. In all honesty, if we were to do the journey again on a Monday I may side with paying the extra $5 for the shuttle just for ease though.
There are reports San Pedro Sula isn’t safe, but you don’t even leave the bus station on this route. You have everything you need at the bus station as it’s connected to a shopping mall with a food court. Keeping your bags with you & you should be fine.
If you take this journey we’d love to hear how you get on, please drop a message in the comments below.