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Utila to Nicaragua

MarcMadness

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  • Added on: February 13th, 2010
I'm currently in Utila and trying to plan a course to Nicaragua, preferably in as little time as possible. It looks to me so far that teh best option is to take the ferry back to La Ceiba, and then a bus to San Pedro Sula, which has 5 am buses that arrive in Managua at 5pm. We were hoping to avoid staying a night in San Pedro Sula or Tegucialpa but that may be impossible.

Also, we really wanted to go to Leon first but it looks like all of the international buses from Tika are directly to Managua, where we have absolutely no intention of staying in or being in after dark. Does anyone know if we got to Managua at 5PM if we would be able to easily make it to Leon shortly thereafter?

Any thoughts on this little leg of my journey would be appreciated. We only have about 8-9 days to work with for Nicaragua so we're trying to save a day whenever we can, and currently we're ticking off extra days in Utila pretty quickly.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: February 15th, 2010
I don't think you'll be able to make it from Utila to Leon in a day by land. If you fly from Utila to Tegucigalpa, it might be possible. I think Islena and Sosa Air both operate that flight, often via San Pedro Sula, for $80-90. That's my hazy recollection, anyway.

There is a bus line called Cristina that goes direct from La Ceiba to Tegus, which would shave a couple of hours off the trip via San Pedro Sula. Continuing to Nicaragua, I don't think the direct TicaBus to Managua goes through Leon, but rather via Esteli and Matagalpa, to the north of Leon. Arriving Managua at 5pm, you should be able to catch one of the last chicken buses or a taxi to Leon. Granada is an even easier bet at that hour, although I prefer Leon to Granada.

Piecar

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  • Added on: February 15th, 2010
I just did it, almost, backwards, a month ago. From Utila....Where I am, incidently, take the 6:20am Princess, head to the bus station and take the Kamaldy bus line, which does NOT go through SPS to Teguz (saves you a half hour). It'll let you out in a very chaotic intersection with a bunch of bus lines all around it. Unfortunately, your bus for the border IS not there. You need to take a cab, or haul ass south down the main drag to the TicaBus office and take a bus headed for Granada. Let 'em know you are getting out at Leon. I cannot remember, exactly, the scenario for Leon. I know it is off the road to Granada, and I know that some transit will meet that bus to take you on in, but it's been a few years since I've actually been in Leon.

Now, there are other bus lines that go to the border, and then you can connect from the border to another line, but it takes time. TicaBus tends to get a little better service when they pass through. And that border is pretty fricking chaotic. Last time I was there, for the first time, there were lines all over the place. I have never seen it like that. Seems like the open border policy has caused more trouble instead of less. So be prepared for that. I could have caught the place on a bad day, and I hope for your sake I did.

Good luck.
D
Good Luck Out There.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: February 16th, 2010
That had to be a grueling day, Piecar. Sounds like the day I made it from Tela, Honduras all the way to La Libertad, El Salvador.

Piecar

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  • Added on: February 16th, 2010
You aren't kidding, Felix....It was an awful day, but I had no interest in staying in Teguz overnight. I don't find very much to be positive about in that town. Your trip to La Libertad sounds gross as well.

By the way. There is this caveat, which you should look into. I did the trip with the border basiocally at the beginning of the day. I cannot remember when that border closes. Since it will be at the back end of your day, it could throw a monkey wrench into things.
Good Luck Out There.



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