5. GETTING PLACES IN BELIZE

1. From the Airport to Belize City

There are no public buses from Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Taxi fare to Belize City is BZ$50.00 (or US$25) per taxi (not per passenger), and takes 15 to 25 minutes depending on traffic. Before exiting the airport, try to find another person to share a taxi and split the cost.

Here’s a link to a shuttle service that offers airport pick-up (I have no experience with this service):
http://www.belizeshuttlesandtransfers.com/Belize-City-Shuttles.php

The cheap option is to walk or taxi from the airport terminal to the Philip Goldson Highway (about 2.5 km) and wait for a bus. Upon reaching the T-intersection with the highway, Belize City will be to the right, so just wait anywhere on the side of the highway. Orange Walk, Corozal and Mexico to the left – if going there, cross to the other side of the highway and wait. When a bus approaches, wave an arm up and down to get it to stop. Express buses will not stop. The fare to Belize City is BZ$1 or $2, and the bus terminates at the bus terminal where you can change to a bus to another destination. The water taxi terminal is 1 km from the bus terminal, and an easy walk on sidewalks along main streets through the City. The Municipal Airport is about 3 km from the bus terminal; a taxi is advisable. Taxis wait in front of the bus terminal.

For a cheap way to get back to the airport, get a bus to the airport turnoff in Ladyville, and either walk the 2.5 km to the terminal, or look around for a taxi. Bus fare from Belize City is BZ$1 or $2, and the taxi probably won’t be more than BZ$10.

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2. To Old Belize or the Belize Zoo

In the Belize City bus terminal, look for a westbound Regular (not Express) bus; the final destination of BENQUE will be displayed in the front window of the bus, but you could take one with a final destination of BELMOPAN. Buses depart half-hourly. Just board the bus, and put luggage in the overhead racks or at the back of the bus. Always keep an eye on your luggage because passengers often use the rear emergency door as an entrance or exit. I like to keep my luggage within arms reach if possible. Let the driver and/or the conductor know where you want to stop. The conductor will collect the fare after the bus gets going. Old Belize is at about Mile 5 (about BZ$1.00 and 10 minutes), and the zoo is at Mile 29 (BZ$4.00 and 45 to 50 minutes from BC). Watch the white mile marker posts along the highway to see how close you’re getting.

After visiting Old Belize or the zoo, walk back to the highway and wait for a bus to your next destination. When you see a bus coming, wave your arm up and down to get it to stop. Express buses won’t stop. If you’re going back to Belize City, the bus will return to the bus terminal where there are taxis waiting outside the terminal.

More information can be found at:
www.oldbelize.com
www.belizezoo.org

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3. To San Ignacio or Benque Viejo del Carmen

In the Belize City bus terminal, look for a westbound bus (ask around and find out if there’s an Express bus); the final destination of BENQUE will be displayed in the front window of the bus. Buses depart half-hourly. Just board the bus, and put luggage in the overhead racks or at the back of the bus. Always keep an eye on your luggage because passengers often use the rear emergency door as an entrance or exit. I like to keep my luggage within arms reach if possible. The conductor will collect the fare after the bus gets going; should be about BZ$7.00. There will be a scheduled stop at Belmopan.

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4. To Orange Walk or Corozal

In the Belize City bus terminal, look for a northbound bus; the final destination of COROZAL or CHETUMAL will be displayed in the front window of the bus (some buses only go as far as Orange Walk). Buses depart hourly and sometimes half hourly. Just board the bus, and put luggage in the overhead racks or at the back of the bus. Always keep an eye on your luggage because passengers often use the rear emergency door as an entrance or exit. I like to keep my luggage within arms reach if possible. The conductor will collect the fare after the bus gets going.

If starting from the airport, it isn’t necessary to go back to Belize City to get a northbound bus. You could just go out to the highway and wait.

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5. To Placencia

From the Belize City bus terminal, there are a few options.

Option 1. The Ritchie’s Express bus departs Monday through Saturday at 3:30 pm. Trip time is 4 hours and the fare is about BZ$20.

Option 2. Get a James Bus Line bus (the final destination of Punta Gorda is displayed in the front window of the bus). This bus goes to Belmopan, Dangriga, then to Independence / Mango Creek, so it doesn’t actually go to Placencia. That part of the trip is about 3.5 hours and costs BZ$10 to $15. Get off at Independence / Mango Creek and get the Hokey Pokey ferry to cross the lagoon to Placencia. On a good map of Belize or Google Earth, the location of Independence can be seen south-west of Placencia. Be sure to reach Independence before the departure of the last ferry.

James schedule: https://www.hickatee.com/belize_bus_times.html
Hokey-Pokey schedule: http://www.aguallos.com/hokeypokey/

Option 3. Get any other westbound bus (the final destination of Benque is displayed in the front window of the bus). After about 1.5 hours, the bus arrives at the Belmopan bus terminal where it’s necessary to change to a southbound bus. There are frequent southbound departures by other bus lines, but I’m not up to date on the recent schedule changes, so the best thing to do is to get to Belmopan as early as possible and ask the bus terminal staff for the best option to continue.

The non-bus options are flight, transfer service, taxi and rental car.

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12 Responses to “5. GETTING PLACES IN BELIZE”

  1. Lacey Says:

    Thanks for all the great information, I love using this site for planning my trip. I am a bit confused as to how I can travel from San Ignacio to Placencia. Is the most fool-proof way to take a bus from San Ignacio to Belmopan or to Dangriga?
    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • belizebus Says:

      Hi Lacey,

      You are correct — first you have to get a bus to Belmopan. At the Belmopan bus terminal, change to a bus to Placencia.

      To get to Placencia, the bus will go to Dangriga first, then either continue to Placencia on the same bus or change to another bus.

      Just be aware that the James Bus Line buses do not go to Placencia. They go to Independence / Mango Creek where you can get a small ferry across the lagoon to Placencia.

  2. Mette Says:

    What is my best option for getting from tulum to San Ignacio? Seems like a really long bus ride. How long is the express? I am arriving in cancun then going to tulum and want to spend a 4-5 days in Belize. Is the bus trip 12 hours all together?

    • belizebus Says:

      It all depends on how you define “best”.

      If you want to go by bus, maybe the best way would be on the ADO overnight express bus to Belize City — the details are in Section 7. Looks like it’s about 6 hours from Tulum to BC. At BC, change to a bus to San Ignacio — that trip is a couple of hours.

      If you don’t like overnight buses, get any bus from Tulum to Chetumal where you have to change to a Belizean bus to BC.

  3. Jessica Says:

    Great blog! Do buses run on a Sunday from Belize City to San Ignacio?! Thanks in advance!

  4. Bill Says:

    Hello…on April 16 I have to be in Dangriga by 5:15PM to catch the last Hopkins Bus. It appears from your posted schedules that starting in CZL the only Express to BC departs to late to make BC to Belmopan to Dangriga by 5:15 possible. Can you suggest my best bet departure time from Corozal to catch the last Dangriga to Hopkins bus?

    On April 19 I know from the info you’ve provided my first bus from Hopkins to Dangriga departs at 7AM. I’ve also decuced that to get to SI from Dangriga I bus through Belmopan. My question…Are there any Bus travel tips you want to share being that April 19 is the day before Easter?

    Many Thanks for your site…I’ve used your site info to help me bus to OW, to CZL, and to Copper Bank.

    Bill

    • belizebus Says:

      I’d leave Corozal at or before 10:00 am.

      I don’t have any specific tips for travelling on the 19th. Buses will be running on their usual Saturday schedule.

      Be aware that there’s a bicycle race on the Western Highway that day. The race starts around 6am in Belize City, goes to San Ignacio and then back to BC finishing around noon, so there will be traffic delays on the highway in the morning.

  5. katie Says:

    Hello,
    I’m going to be taking the Ritchies Bus from Belize City to Placencia on April 19th. Do you have any information as to where the bus drops people off in Placencia?

    Your site is fantastic and incredibly helpful, thank you!

    Katie

    • belizebus Says:

      Even though it’s an express bus, it might drop you anywhere along the road. I don’t know the final stop for the bus. Perhaps you could contact Ritchie’s through their website or Facebook page. If you get an answer, please post back here. Thanks

  6. Flo Says:

    Hello,

    My family and I need to travel by bus between (1) Belize City to Hopkins on a Friday, (2) Hopkins to Belize City on a Saturday and (3) from Belize City to Burrell Boom on a Saturday. If available, (4) Hopkins to Burrell Boom on a Saturday. What would be the best way to get to those three routes by bus?

    • belizebus Says:

      BC to Hopkins — first get a bus to Dangriga. If you can’t get there in time for the afternoon bus, you’ll have to get a taxi from Dangriga to Hopkins. All the bus information is on this site.

      Hopkins to BC — bus to Dangriga. Change to a bus to BC.

      BC to BB — I think there are only a couple of buses per day, but I don’t have a schedule. After arriving at the bus terminal, ask terminal staff. If there isn’t a bus, you’ll have to go by taxi.

      Hopkins to BB — bus to Dangriga. Change to a bus going to BC, but don’t go all the way to BC. About 15 or 16 miles from BC, you will go through the village of Hattieville. Ask the bus driver to stop somewhere where you can get a taxi to BB — that might be at Hattieville or at the roundabout intersection with the Boom Road. From the roundabout, it’s only about 15 km to Burrell Boom, half the distance from Belize City so the taxi fare will be less.

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