By Plane -- Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport, sometimes just called San Pedro Sula International Airport (SAP), sits 15km (9 1/4 miles) east of the city on the road to La Ceiba. It is the country's busiest airport and offers the most international connections. Continental, American Airlines, Delta, TACA, and Spirit fly here directly from points in the U.S. such as Miami, Houston, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale. Regional airlines serving San Pedro include Isleña Airlines (tel. 504/5252-8322), Aerolíneas Sosa (tel. 504/2550-6545; www.aerolineasosahn.com), and CM Airlines (tel. 504/2668-0068; www.cmairlines.com); these airlines fly to Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, Roatán, Puerto Lempira, and other Central American destinations such as San Salvador, San José, Guatemala City, and Managua.

A taxi from the airport to the center of town should run about L260 to L300. There's also a Hedman Alas (tel. 504/2553-1361; www.hedmanalas.com) bus terminal at the airport, with buses that run three times a day to Tela and La Ceiba or six times a day to their main hub in downtown San Pedro for connections to Copán or Tegucigalpa.

By Car -- All roads lead to San Pedro. It is the transportation hub of the country and almost always a necessary point of transfer between any two long-distance points. The best highway in the country and one of the best in all of Central America -- CA 5 -- traverses the distance between San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, and passes through Lago de Yojoa, Siguatepeque, and Comayagua along the way. It can be extremely crowded (semi trucks use this road to haul goods from one coast to the other), and accidents can sometimes drag traffic to a screeching halt; yet if things move smoothly, you can make the 241km (150-mile) trip between the coasts in under 4 hours on this road.

advertisement

If you're coming to San Pedro Sula from Tela, La Ceiba, or elsewhere on the North Coast, take CA 13. If you're driving here from Copán, you have a pretty much straight shot on CA 11 to the town of La Entrada, from where you will continue on CA 4 to downtown.

Most major North American car rental agencies, such as Avis (tel. 504/2668-3164; www.avis.com), Budget (tel. 504/2668-3179; www.budget.hn), Hertz (tel. 504/2668-3156; www.hertz.com), and Thrifty (tel. 504/2668-3154; www.thrifty.com) have counters at the San Pedro airport, as well as offices in town.

By Bus -- For years, there was only talk of a main bus terminal, but when that talk turned to action, few bus companies actually took initiative and moved their terminals there, scattering them across the city. In 2008, after much ado, all bus companies moved into the new terminal outside of town and closed their offices across San Pedro. The city's new station, the Terminal Metropolitana de Autobuses, is 5km (3 miles) south of town, on CA 5 towards Tegucigalpa, a L80 to L100 taxi ride from the center. It's full of restaurants, shops, and tour agencies.

advertisement

Hedman Alas (7 and 8 Av., 3 Calle NO; tel. 504/2553-1361) is the best bus line in Honduras and the most useful for tourists who are sticking to the country's main destinations. It has mostly nonstop, first-class service several times per day to the San Pedro airport (L200; 20 min.), Tela (L325; 1 1/2 hr.), La Ceiba (L418; 3 hr.), Copán Ruínas (L456; 3 hr.), Comayagua (L495; 3 1/2 hr.), and Tegucigalpa (L535; 4 1/2 hr.). The company also offers connecting service in Copán to Guatemala City (L1,140) and Antigua, Guatemala (L1,330).

Other companies that travel from San Pedro Sula to Tegucigalpa include Saenz (tel. 504/2553-4969; L456), which has regular and primera clase, nonstop service six times a day to the capital; and Viana (Av. Circunvalación; tel. 504/2556-9261), which offers Clase Oro/Gold Class service to Tegucigalpa (L600), as well as La Ceiba (L342).

To reach Gracias, try Gracianos (tel. 504/2656-1403; L100) at the main terminal, which has departures until 2pm for the 4 1/2-hour ride that passes through Santa Rosa de Copán and La Entrada. To reach Tela, try Tela Express (9 Av. 9 and 10 Calle; tel. 504/2550-8355; L60), with five daily departures. If you're heading to La Ceiba and Trujillo, check out Diana (tel. 504/2441-6460; L150) or Cotuc (tel. 504/2520-1597), which have nine and five daily trips, respectively, from the main terminal.

advertisement

To reach Managua (L950) or Guatemala City (L1,330), your best choice is TICA (tel. 504/2556-5149), which runs buses daily at 5am from the main terminal. Buses first stop in Tegucigalpa before heading out of the country. For San Salvador, King Quality (tel. 504/2553-4547; www.king-qualityca.com; L874) has a daily service that departs San Pedro Sula at 7am and arrives around 2pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.