1. WELCOME

2019/01/20

This isn’t really a blog. It’s a site containing all the transportation information I’ve gained while living in and travelling around Belize. I try to keep the information up to date (disregard the dates under the titles).

Schedules and fares can change at any time; always confirm times before travel.

Exchange rate: BZ$2 = US$1

The photo above is the bus terminal in Corozal.

Advertisements

2. UPDATES

2019/01/19

4 Sept. 2019 — Changes to Foreign-owned Bus Runs to Belize
From the Channel 7 News report…

“The Government has agreed to limit the amount of foreign-own buses that can conduct business in Belize.

Under threat of a strike, the government caved and the Attorney General said that the Statutory Instrument would be prepared and signed by today. The news tonight is that the Government has followed through as promised.

A press release from the Government says that Transport Minister Edmond Castro signed the SI this morning into law and that it regulates international buses from the neighboring countries which enter Belize.

The release says, quote, “The essence of the agreement reached, as reflected in the new S.I, is that only one regular bus run per day would be allowed from each country entering Belize, and returning to the respective country. Those buses would only be allowed to drop off passengers within the country who travel with them from across the border. And, on their return trip to Guatemala or Mexico, they would only be authorized to pick up passengers heading across the border into those respective countries. In addition, if a Guatemalan Bus wants to transport passengers to Mexico, simply transiting Belize, or vice versa (Mexico to Guatemala), a manifest fully documenting those passengers must be presented at the respective border (western or northern). It was also agreed that there will be a test period between now and October 8, at which time the effects of the new S.I would be evaluated.” End quote.”

http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=50195

>

4 September 2019 — Fuel Prices
Premium gasoline: BZ$11.31 per gallon
Regular gasoline: BZ$10.12 per gallon
Diesel: BZ$10.04 per gallon
These are the prices in Belize City; prices may be higher in the districts due to transportation costs.

>

23 August 2019 — September Celebrations
The 2019 National September Celebrations Calendar is available online.  The calendar has information about events such as the national Queen of the Bay Pageant, the Carnival King and Queen Competition and Carnival Road Marches.

NATIONAL CELEBRATIONS CALENDAR OF EVENTS September 2019

>

22 June 2018 — Driving to Mexico
Third party insurance is now mandatory for drivers entering Mexico.
http://www.reporter.bz/general/driving-to-mexico-insurance-now-mandatory/

>

14 January 2015 – Quintana Roo to Observe EST
Authorities in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico have announced that effective 1 February 2015 at 2:00 am local time, clocks are to be advanced by one hour and the state will observe Eastern Standard Time (the state currently observes CST). QR will remain on EST and not observe daylight saving time.

Belize is in the Central Time Zone which is the same as Central Standard Time (UTC-06:00), so there will be a one hour difference between Belize and the state of Quintana Roo. Travellers should confirm departure times of flights, buses and water taxis from Mexico.

3. BELIZE BUS INFORMATION AND SCHEDULES

2019/01/18

Bus travel is a very common mode of transportation in Belize, with many Belizeans relying on buses for daily commuting to and from work, school or shopping. Therefore, bus service along the main highways is frequent, usually hourly and sometimes half-hourly during peak travel times.

Here’s a website with bus schedules…
https://www.belmopanonline.com/belize-bus-schedules

In Belize City, Belizean and ADO buses arrive at and depart from the Belize City bus terminal (still commonly known as Novelo’s, the name of a former bus company) located on West Collet Canal. Express buses to Guatemala stop at the Marine Terminal near the Swing Bridge in Belize City. Other cities and towns have a bus terminal or a central point where buses stop.

Most of the buses are used Bluebird school buses; not very comfortable, not air-conditioned, and not well equipped to handle luggage, but they are cheap! Air-conditioned buses are used on some Express runs. Buses operate on Sundays and public holidays, sometimes on a less frequent schedule.

Bus companies provide two types of service: “Regular” buses stop for passengers anywhere along the route, and “Express” (or non-stop) buses stop only at main towns. The final destination of a bus is displayed in the front window of the bus.

When boarding a bus at a terminal, just get on and find a seat. Buses tend to be crowded, so try to get to the terminal well before the departure time to be assured of a seat. Luggage can be stored in overhead racks, or at the back of the bus, or wherever the conductor says. 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 reach if possible. Once the bus gets going, a conductor will collect the fares (no fare for children under the age of two years). If you’re on a Regular bus and want to get off, move to the front of the bus and tell the driver or conductor where you want to get off.

If you’re waiting on the side of a road and want an approaching bus to stop, wave an arm up and down (the bus will not stop if it’s an Express, it’s full or the driver doesn’t feel like stopping). After taking a seat, the conductor will collect the fare.

>

All bus providers have been given permits to operate within assigned zones.

1. Northern Zone – Belize City to Corozal (135 km / 84 miles)

The bus companies authorized to operate on the highway in the Northern Zone are Albion’s, Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (BBOC), Cabrera’s, Chell’s, Frazer, Joshua’s, Morales, Tillett’s, T-Line and Valencia. Northbound buses depart from Belize City about every half hour beginning at 5:30 am; last departure at 7:30 pm. Many of the northbound buses continue to Chetumal. Southbound buses depart from Corozal about every half hour beginning at 3:00 am; last departure at 7:15 pm. There is also bus service to the nearby villages.

The bus terminal in Corozal Town is located on the main highway, and about a 2 minute walk from the center of town. Here’s a link to a map of Corozal: http://www.northernbelize.com/map_cortwn.html

On that map, the red line is the main highway. Look for the number 1 in a circle. The bus terminal is on the upper left side of the circled number 1, on the curve in the highway. The buses to the villages wait on the other side of the market near the post office.

A Regular bus from Belize City:
to Orange Walk (87 km / 54 miles) is about 1.5 hours & BZ$5.00,
to Corozal is about 2.5 hours & BZ$9.00.

Schedules: https://www.belmopanonline.com/belize-bus-schedules

Bus service to Bermudian Landing
http://www.belizehowlermonkeys.org/bus-schedules/
http://www.howlermonkeyresort.bz/diytours.html

Bus service to Crooked Tree
Jex and Sons Bus Service provides bus service between Belize City and Crooked Tree.
Buses depart from Belize City Monday to Friday at 10:50 am and 4:45 pm; Saturday at 10:50 am; no bus on Sunday.
Buses depart from Crooked Tree at 6:30 a.m.
Trip time: about 1.25 hours
Fare: BZ$3.50

Here’s an update from a reader (8 January 2016)…
“Here is some info on buses to and from Crooked Tree. Jex & Sons bus service leaves Crooked Tree Mon – Fri at 5am, 6am and 6:30 am. Leaves Belize City at 10:50 am from Bolton Bridge, Regent Street West next to Mike’s Club. Leaves 4:50 pm from Magazine Road close to the Atlantic Bank. Leaves 5:20pm from Pound Yard. On Saturdays: Leaves Crooked Tree at 6:30 am returning at 10:50 am from Bolton Bridge Regent St .West. No runs on Sunday.”

Bus service to Sarteneja
Here’s some information I received from a resident of Sarteneja on 24 June 2010:
Buses depart from the Swing Bridge (NOT the bus terminal) in Belize City on Monday to Friday at 10:30 am, 12:00 noon, 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm. On Saturdays, buses depart at 10:30 am, 12:00 noon, 4:00 pm. No bus on Sundays.
Same bus passes through Orange Walk, stopping across from the St. Christopher Hotel (NOT the bus terminal). Departure time from Orange Walk is about 1.5 hours after departure time from Belize City.
Buses depart Sarteneja on Monday to Friday at 3:30 am, 4:30 am, 5:30 am, 6:30 am. It is a good idea to check at the bus depot the day before to confirm how many buses are leaving the next day.
On Saturday and sometimes during the week and sometimes on Sunday, there is a bus to Chetumal which departs Sarteneja about 6:00 am and returns through Orange Walk (2:30 pm) at 4:30pm.

Bus service to Benque
A Valencia bus departs from Corozal Town daily at 3:00 am and goes to Orange Walk, Belmopan, San Ignacio and Benque (bypassing Belize City). The bus departs from Benque in the afternoon (I don’t have the exact time).

New Bus Run Between Benque & Northern Border (May 2013)
Operated by J&J Bus Line.
Departs from Benque daily at 4:00 am with stops at San Ignacio (4:30 am), Belmopan (5:20 am), Belize City (6:30 am), Orange Walk (8:15 am), Corozal (9:05 am) and Santa Elena border at 9:20 am.
Departs from Santa Elena border daily at 3:30 pm with stops at Corozal (3:45 pm), Orange Walk (4:45 pm), Belize City (6:15 pm), Belmopan (7:25 pm), San Ignacio (8:15 pm) and Benque at 8:45 pm.

Tillett’s Bus

>

2. Western Zone – Belize City to Benque Viejo Del Carmen (130 km / 81 miles)

The bus companies authorized to operate on the highway in the Western Zone are BBOC, D and E, Guerra’s Bus Service, Middleton’s, Shaw Bus Service and Westline. Westbound buses depart from Belize City about every half hour beginning at 5am; last departure at 9:30 pm. There is also bus service to the rural areas. There is a main bus terminal in the central part of Belmopan. In San Ignacio, the buses stop in the central part of town.

A Regular bus from Belize City:
to Belize Zoo (29 miles) is about 45 minutes & BZ$4.00,
to Belmopan (50 miles) is about 1.5 hours & BZ$6.00,
to San Ignacio (73 miles) is about 2 hours & BZ$9.00,
to Benque is about BZ$10.00.

Express bus fares are BZ$1 more than Regular bus fares.

Schedules: https://www.belmopanonline.com/belize-bus-schedules

>

3. Southern Zone – Belize City to Dangriga (169 km / 105 miles) / Placencia (257 km / 160 miles) / Punta Gorda (338 km / 210 miles)

The bus companies authorized to operate on the highway in the Southern Zone are James Bus Line, G-Line Service, Ritchie’s Bus Service and Usher Bus Line. Buses authorized to operate in the rural areas of the Southern Zone are Chen Bus Line, Yascal Bus Line, Smith Bus Line, Richie Bus Line, Martinez Bus Line, Williams Bus Line, Radiance Ritchie Bus Line, and Polanco Bus Line.

A Regular bus from Belize City to Dangriga is about 3 hours & BZ$15.00.
A Regular bus from Dangriga to Placencia, is about 2 hours and BZ$5.00.

Schedules: https://www.belmopanonline.com/belize-bus-schedules

James Bus Line runs between Belize City, Belmopan, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Schedules can be found on several sources (some no longer connect):
Hickatee site: https://www.hickatee.com/transportation-timetable
PGBelize:  http://www.puntagordabelize.com/pg/maps.htm
The Toledo Howler: http://www.belizenews.com/howler/
Placencia Breeze: https://issuu.com/theplacenciabreeze/docs
Placencia Breeze: http://www.placencia.com/
Minor differences exist; I don’t know which one is the most accurate.

Ritchie’s Bus Service runs between Belize City and Placencia.
https://www.facebook.com/Ritchies-bus-service-1916246992021808/?ref=br_rs

Bebb Bus Line runs between Dangriga and Placencia with a stop at Hopkins.
Departs Dangriga at 5:30 am and 8:30 am. Trip time to Placencia: 1.5 hours.
Departs Placencia at 10:30 am and 5:30 pm. Trip time to Dangriga: 1.5 hours.

Buses between Dangriga and Hopkins (updated Oct 2016)
Buses depart from Dangriga Monday through Saturday at 10:30 am and 5:15 pm. On Sunday, only at 5:15 pm.
Buses depart from Hopkins Monday through Saturday at 7 am and 2 pm. On Sunday, only at 2 pm.
Fare: BZ$5 (taxi fare is about BZ$80)

Bus Service to Bocawina
Here’s a link to information about bus service to Bocawina:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g635532-i13461-k9086941-Getting_around_from_Bocawina_Resort-Hopkins_Stann_Creek.html

>

4. Belize City

The bus service providers authorized to operate in Belize City, and the zones in which they are authorized to operate (the routes include the downtown area) are:

Arrow Line or Arrowline — West Landivar area.
Belize Intransit/Metro Bus Service  — West Landivar, Fabers Road, Kings Park areas.
Haylock Bus Service — Belama area.
Lemott Bus Service — Port Loyola Area.
Lopez Bus/Shuttle Service — Lake Independence Area.

Some buses are old Bluebird school buses, but some buses are modern, new looking, 25 to 30 seat mini-bus type vehicles, and appear to be in good condition. The Arrow buses are air-conditioned.

Fares are usually BZ$1 for adults and BZ$0.50 for children and students in school uniform. The fares for Arrow are twice those fares because the buses are air-conditioned.

Here are the links to two news reports with photos of the buses:
http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/47043
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=18752

4. OTHER TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

2019/01/17

Taxi
Taxis in Belize usually don’t have any markings (although this seems to be changing), and I haven’t yet seen one with a meter. They can be identified by a green license plate that displays, in white, the letter “D” followed by four digits. Most are sedan type cars with a maximum capacity of 4 passengers, but there are some van type vehicles with seating for more passengers. The standard fare for short trips in most cities and towns is BZ$5.00 to $7.00 per taxi (not per passenger). Fares for longer distances are sometimes negotiable.

Taxi License Plate

In some towns, shared taxi vans (sometimes called colectivos in other countries) provide transportation to smaller villages. These vans usually wait near bus terminals, and don’t depart until they are nearly full. Fares depend on distance, and are cheaper than taxi fares.

Shared taxi van – this one can can carry 6 passengers.

>

Water Taxi
A water taxi is a boat that provides transportation across water. Seating capacity can be up to 100 passengers depending on the size of the boat. Water taxi trips are sometimes cancelled in rough sea conditions. See websites for schedules & fares.

1. Water taxi between Belize City, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye

a) Ocean Ferry Belize
In Belize City, this service operates from a terminal on North Front Street beside the Swing Bridge.
http://www.oceanferrybelize.com/
https://www.facebook.com/oceanferrybelize

b) San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi
In Belize City, this service operates from the Brown Sugar Market at 111 North Front Street, a few hundred metres from the Swing Bridge.
http://www.belizewatertaxi.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BelizeWaterTaxi

c) Nautilus Express Water Taxi
Nautilus Express is a private water taxi service for people going to Ambergris Caye. A representative meets visitors at the airport and takes them for a 5 minute shuttle ride to the marina. The trip includes snacks.
http://www.nautiluswatertaxi.com/

>

2. Water taxi between Corozal and Ambergris Caye
The “Thunderbolt” water taxi departs daily at 7.00 am from the municipal pier by the Corozal House of Culture in Corozal. In San Pedro, it departs daily at 3:00 pm from the lagoon side of the island near the soccer field. It stops at Sarteneja on each trip. Tickets are purchased at the pier before departure. Try to confirm if the boat is operating because I’ve observed that on some Sundays, it hasn’t made the trip, and departures have been cancelled in the low tourist season.
Fare (January 2017): BZ$50 one way; BZ$90 return.
Trip duration: 2 hours.
https://www.facebook.com/Thunderbolt-Water-Taxi-532625906838707/timeline

Thunderbolt Water Taxi

Thunderbolt Information (click on image to enlarge)

Thunderbolt Information – Nov. 2014
(click on image to enlarge)

>

3. Water taxi between Corozal and Sarteneja
On 26 March 2018, the “Bay Runner” began operation with 4 runs per week.
The service ceased in December 2018, but I’ll leave the link to the website in case they start again.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Sarteneja-Corozal-Express-Water-Taxi-1799250520376715/posts/?ref=page_internal

>

4. Water taxi service between Independence and Placencia
The “Hokey Pokey” operates between Independence (Kingfisher Landing) and Placencia (MnM Hardware/Fuel Dock). Click the link for the schedule.
https://sites.google.com/site/hokeypokeywatertaxi2016/home/schedule

>

5. Water taxi providing service for Ambergris Caye
Coastal Xpress Water Taxi provides water taxi service along the coast of Ambergris Caye.
http://www.coastalxpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/Coastal-Xpress-131574833690378/
Tel: 226-2007, 226-3007
Email: coastalxpress@yahoo.com
Also offers cargo deliveries and private charters

>

6. Water taxi service in Stann Creek
Happy Go Luckie Tours in Hopkins offers water taxi service from Hopkins to Dangriga, Tobacco Caye, Placencia, South Water Caye and Glover’s Reef. It’s not a regular schedule; passengers must prearrange trips.
http://www.hgltours.com/

Examples of one-way fares in 2017:
Dangriga: 2 pax = $90 BZ pp…3-6 pax = $60 pp
Tobacco Caye: 2 pax = $90 BZ pp…3-6 pax = $60 pp
Southwater Caye: 2 pax = $90 BZ pp…3-6 pax = $60 pp
Placencia: 2 pax $120 BZ pp…3-6 pax = $80 pp
Glover’s Reef: 2 pax = $300 BZ pp. 3-6 pax = $200 pp
Contact HGL Tours about other destinations and fares for larger groups.

>

Flight
Here are links to the two Belizean airlines, a private charter company, and a helicopter service:
a) Maya Island Air, http://www.mayaislandair.com/
b) Tropic Air, http://www.tropicair.com/
c) Javier’s Flying Service, http://www.javiersflyingservice.com/
d) Astrum Helicopters, http://www.astrumhelicopters.com/

Here are links to two airlines operating in Central America:
a) Avianca Airlines (has flights to Belize), http://www.avianca.com/en-co/
b) Copa Airlines (has flights to Belize), http://www.copaair.com

>

Car Rental
Check under Automobile Renting in the Yellow Pages of the online Belize telephone directory:
https://www.findyello.com/Belize

Motorcycle Rental
http://www.alternateadventures.com/

Driving in Belize
All the main highways are paved, two-lane and well signposted (visitors might disagree about the signposting). A four-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary unless you plan to get way off the highways. Insurance is mandatory. If entering from a neighbouring country, insurance can be purchased at the border during office hours. Current gasoline prices are in the Updates section above. If coming from Mexico or Guatemala, it might be a good idea to fill up before entering Belize.

The Philip Goldson Highway (formerly called the Northern Highway) is the main highway from Belize City to Orange Walk, Corozal and the northern border. The maximum speed limit is 50 mph (80 kph).

The George Price Highway (formerly called the Western Highway) is the highway from Belize City to Belmopan, San Ignacio, Benque and the western border. The maximum speed limit is 50 mph (80 kph).

The Burrell Boom Road is a highway that connects the Philip Goldson Highway to the George Price Highway. It’s often used as a shorter route to go from the airport to Cayo District.

The Hummingbird Highway is the main highway from Belmopan to Dangriga. The maximum speed limit is 50 mph (80 kph), but with many curves and some one-lane bridges, it’s not safe to drive the maximum speed limit on much of this highway. This is a very scenic route.

The Southern Highway is the highway from the Dangriga turn-off to Punta Gorda. The maximum speed limit is 50 mph (80 kph). There has been some roadwork in recent years, but I think it’s completed now, and the highway is sometimes blocked due to flooding at the Kendall Bridge. The road to Placencia is now paved. The road to Hopkins is in the process of being paved (March 2015).

Maps show another road, the Coastal Highway, that runs from the George Price Highway (about halfway between Belmopan & Belize City) to the Hummingbird Highway near Dangriga. It’s not really a highway — it’s a gravel road through the bush, and there’s nothing to see except trees and dust, and nowhere to stop (no gas available). If travelling from Belize City to Dangriga, this is a shorter distance, but the road is not paved so you won’t be able to drive as fast as on the highway. The Coastal Highway is also used by large trucks that are sometimes reluctant to give way, and the road may be impassable in very wet conditions. If you plan to use this road, try to confirm the condition first. Some rental companies will not allow vehicles on the road. I would not recommend going via that road.

Some general safety tips…
On the highways, be aware of unmarked speed bumps near towns and villages.
Wet pavement can be VERY slippery due to the type of paving material.
Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists walking & riding ON THE HIGHWAY, not on the shoulder. Be careful of that especially at night because lights and reflectors are seldom used.
When turning left off a highway, drivers must give way to both lanes of traffic meaning the driver should pull over to the right side shoulder, wait for clear traffic in both lanes, and then turn.
If driving at night, take more care because road lighting is poor (non-existent).
The highways have white posts that act as mile markers.
And there are some bad drivers in Belize — watch out for speeding buses.

>

Transfer Service
A good option for travelling to some destinations is a transfer service. Here are some companies that offer a transfer/shuttle service:

a) Discounted Belize Shuttles and Tours,
http://www.discountedbelizeshuttlesandtours.com/

b) Belize VIP Transfer Service,
http://www.belizetransfers.com

c) George & Esther Moralez Travel Service,
http://www.gettransfers.com

d) William’s Belize Shuttle,
http://www.williamshuttlebelize.com/index.html

e) Teddy Bear Shuttle, http://www.teddybearshuttle.com/

f) Danielia’s Shuttle,
https://www.facebook.com/Danielias-Shuttle-Belize-Service-211531742275131/

g) Placencia Shuttles,
https://www.placenciashuttles.net/

h) Ron’s Belize Shuttle Service
http://www.ronsbelizetraveladvisory.com/

i) Live Belize Private Transfer Service
http://www.tolivebelize.com/live-belize-private-transfer-services/

j) Breathe Belize Shuttles
https://breathebelizeshuttles.com/

k) Julian Shuttles & Transfers
https://belizing.com/Julian-Transfers/

l) Mayan Heart World
https://www.mayanheartworld.net/

Some tour companies can provide a transfer service:
m) Cayo Adventure Tours, http://www.cayoadventure.com/
n) Mayawalk Tours, http://mayawalk.com/
o) Pacz Tours, http://www.pacztours.net/
p) Roam Belize, http://www.roambelize.com/transfers/

Advantages of a transfer service:
— pick up from almost anywhere, even Cancun airport
— transport directly to destination
— make stops along the way for food, toilet, sightseeing
— comfort; the ones I’ve seen have new looking vans with a/c
— easy; no waiting for buses or negotiating with taxi drivers
— the drivers I’ve seen are courteous and professional
— assistance with the border/immigration procedures
— safety; I’ve never heard of any negative incidents

>

Cruise Ship
Here are links to cruise ship schedules. These are included as information for visitors who want to avoid tourist destinations on the days when cruise ships are here:
http://ports.cruisett.com/schedule/Belize/62-Belize_City/January_2013/

http://www.cruiseportinsider.com/belize.html#.UQBYTfK8559

http://www.cruisetimetables.com/cruises-to-belize-city-belize.html

5. GETTING PLACES IN BELIZE

2019/01/16

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

The cheap option is to walk, hitch 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 is to the right, so wait anywhere on the side of the highway. Orange Walk, Corozal and Mexico are 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$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 Sir Barry Bowen 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 from Belize City to the airport, get on a bus going to Orange Walk or Corozal, and ask the conductor to stop at the airport turnoff in Ladyville; bus fare is BZ$2. After getting off the bus, either walk the 2.5 km to the terminal, or look around for a taxi. Taxi fare shouldn’t be more than BZ$20.

>

2. From International Airport to Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker
There are a few options for travelling from BZE to the cayes.

The quickest and easiest way is by flight with one of the two domestic airlines: Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. After completing Immigration & Customs, walk about 20 metres to the domestic check-in counters. Tickets can be purchased upon arrival, but it’s a good idea to reserve in advance to avoid waiting. Flight time to the cayes is about 15 minutes.

If you buy tickets in advance, aim for a domestic departure time approximately 1 to 1.5 hours after your scheduled landing time at BZE. It has never taken more than about 45 minutes for me to get through Immigration, baggage claim and Customs, but depending on how many planes land at the same time, it could take longer, and I’ve heard that Saturdays are busier days. The domestic airlines are fairly flexible about putting passengers earlier or later flights depending on their arrival time, so don’t worry too much.

For your return flight from Belize, airlines request that passengers check-in at International 3 hours before departure time.

Another flight option is from the smaller Sir Barry Bowen Municipal airport (code: TZA) in Belize City. Flights from Municipal are cheaper, but a taxi is required to travel from BZE to Municipal. Taxi fare is BZ$50, and the taxi ride is about 20 minutes.

Check schedules & fares on the websites of the two domestic airlines…
Maya Island Air, http://www.mayaislandair.com/
Tropic Air, https://www.tropicair.com/

The cheap way to the cayes is by water taxi. From BZE, get a taxi (BZ$50 and about 20 minutes) to one of the two water taxi terminals in Belize City. The water taxi trip is about 50 minutes to CC, and about 1.5 hours to AC. Check the websites for schedules & fares.

a) Ocean Ferry
In Belize City, this service operates from a terminal on North Front Street beside the Swing Bridge.
http://www.oceanferrybelize.com/

b) San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi
In Belize City, this service operates from the Brown Sugar Market at 111 North Front Street, a few hundred metres from the Swing Bridge.
http://www.belizewatertaxi.com/

Another option is a private water taxi (see links in previous section).

>

3. 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 reach if possible. Let the driver and/or the conductor know where you want to get off. The conductor will collect the fare after the bus gets going. Old Belize is at about Mile 5 (BZ$2.00 and about 10 minutes from BC), 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 on the appropriate side of the highway for a bus to your next destination. When a bus approaches, wave an arm up and down to get it to stop. Express buses will not stop. If going back to Belize City, the bus will return to the bus terminal.

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

>

4. To Belmopan, 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 reach if possible. The conductor will collect the fare after the bus gets going (BZ$9.00 to San Ignacio). A scheduled stop is made at Belmopan.

>

5. 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 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 for a bus coming from Belize City.

>

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

Option 1. The Ritchie’s Bus runs between Belize City and Placencia. They don’t have a website anymore, but you can check their information on Facebook. The last time I checked, the bus departed from Belize City 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. Links to James Bus and the ferry are in previous sections.

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.

6. TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE and MEXICO

2019/01/15

Updated: 9 September 2019

1. Express Bus

a) ADO
In September 2011, the Mexican bus company ADO began two new daily services to Belize City – one from Cancún and one from Mérida. The ADO buses are first class with 44 comfortable seats, video, toilet and air conditioning that seems to have only two settings, off and freeze, so dress warmly. In Belize City, buses use the Belize City bus terminal (commonly known as Novelo’s) located on West Collet Canal.

On the Cancún route, stops include Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Bacalar, Corozal and Orange Walk, but passengers are not allowed to use these buses to travel within Belize, for example, from Belize City to Corozal. Passengers can board the bus at Orange Walk or Corozal only if their final destination is in Mexico. On the Belize City to Cancún run, the bus stops at Cancún airport, but on the Cancún to Belize City run, there is no stop at Cancún airport.

On the Mérida route, also known as the Hospital route, stops include the most important hospitals in Mérida. As of January 2014, this bus runs only 4 days per week, departing from Mérida on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. As of January 2019, the Mérida route is no longer on the ADO schedule, but a Chetumal to BC run has been added.

NOTE: EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 2019, ONLY ONE ADO RUN WILL BE ALLOWED TO GO TO BELIZE CITY. IT WILL MAKE A STOP AT ORANGE WALK.

Cancún to Belize City
Departs from ADO terminal daily at (??7:30 am?? TO BE CONFIRMED) and 10:15 pm with stops at Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Bacalar, (??Corozal??) and Orange Walk.
Note: In December 2018, Chetumal was added as a stop on the daytime run.
Fare to BC: MX$892 (January 2019)
Trip time: 8.5 hours

Belize City to Cancún
Departs from BC bus terminal daily at (??11:00 am?? TO BE CONFIRMED) and 7:30 pm with stops at Orange Walk, (??Corozal??), Bacalar, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancún Airport.
Fare: BZ$19 is paid at BC, and the remainder of the fare is paid when the bus stops at Bacalar (as at January 2019).
Note: The Belize City to Bacalar run is not operated by ADO, so it does not appear on the ADO schedule.

Mérida to Belize City
Check the ADO website — the route doesn’t seem to be listed anymore.

ADO website for schedules & fares: https://www.ado.com.mx/

Note 1: On the ADO website, “$” is used to denote pesos (I use MX$ for pesos).
Note 2: ADO express buses have very good air-conditioning; dress warmly.

Telephone numbers for information & ticket sales in Belize:
Belize City: 625-5900
Orange Walk: 624-8200, 302-2240
Corozal: the MCD Art Shop (opposite bus terminal) opens at 8:30 pm to sell tickets; tel: 663-3014.

If dialing from outside Belize, the country code for Belize is 501.

ADO Bus BC to Cancun

ADO Bus from Belize City to Cancun (thank you to Kristyna for the image)

 

b) Marlin Espadas Ltd.
A bus departs from Chetumal daily at 9:30 am and goes to Flores with stops at Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize City, Belmopan, San Ignacio and Benque Viejo.
A bus departs from Flores daily at 7:30 am and goes to Chetumal with stops at Benque, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Belize City, Orange Walk and Corozal.
I’ve been told the buses have a/c and wifi.
NOTE: I HAVE CONFIRMED DIRECTLY WITH THE COMPANY THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE STOPS IN BELIZE.

The Chetumal office is located at (as given to me):
“mz. 375 lot 1
Calle 30 de noviembre y 10 de abril
Avenida Maxuxac Mz.
Colonia Proteritorio.”

The Flores Peten office is at:
“Playa Sur, Flores, Peten, Guatemala”

Contact them directly for clarification…
For reservations: +501-615 9009 / 627 9990
marlinespadasltdbelize@gmail.com
http://marlinespadas.net/?fbclid=IwAR3M_-u_ejb120dy3eePP2qG6EovaDna91AGAb4BLGult25AmFlgbxZc1Dg

https://www.facebook.com/Marlin-Espadas-M%C3%A9xico-SA-de-CV-911522482202854/

c) San Juan Travel Services
The San Juan bus departs from the Chetumal ADO terminal daily at 7:00 am and goes to Flores. Buses operate on Sundays and public holidays. Not all buses are air-conditioned.
Fare: US$10.00 to Belize City and US$35.00 to Flores.

NOTE: WITH THE BUS CHANGES IN SEPTEMBER 2019, IT WAS REPORTED THAT THIS BUS IS NOT ALLOWED TO PICKUP OR DROP OFF PASSENGERS IN BELIZE. I’LL TRY TO CONFIRM THIS.

>

2. Regular Buses Between Corozal and Chetumal
Several Belizean bus companies (BBOC, Chell, Gilharry, Russell, Tillett, T-Line, Venus) provide Regular bus service between Corozal and Chetumal. The buses are mostly used Bluebird school buses; not very comfortable, not air-conditioned and are not well equipped to handle luggage, but they are cheap!

Corozal to Chetumal: buses depart from Corozal bus terminal about every half hour beginning at 7:00 am; last departure about 6 or 7 pm. Most of the buses that go to Chetumal originate from Belize City and Orange Walk. Smaller mini-buses and taxi vans (colectivos) also travel between Corozal and the border — they wait near the bus terminal.

Chetumal to Corozal: buses depart from the Nuevo Mercado Lázaro Cárdenas (New Market) at Chetumal about every half hour. I don’t know the exact departure time of the last bus from Nuevo Mercado, but it’s about 6pm.

Duration and cost: about 45 minutes (mainly due to the time it takes for a bus load of people to get through two immigration points), and about BZ$3.00.

Note: In February 2019, I received information that the first bus to leave Chetumal departs at 10 am. I haven’t confirmed that.

>

3. Water Taxi Between Ambergris Caye and Chetumal
Two water taxi companies provide transportation between San Pedro and Chetumal, and both have connecting services to Caye Caulker. Currently, the companies operate on alternate days so only one boat per day. Check the websites for schedules and fares. Trip time: 90 minutes.

a) San Pedro Water Jets International:
http://www.sanpedrowatertaxi.com/index.html

b) San Pedro – Belize Express:
http://www.belizewatertaxi.com/

In Chetumal, water taxis use the main pier, Muelle Fiscal, which is close to the big Government building, Palacio Gobierno, at the waterfront (visible on Google Earth).

If arriving in Chetumal at the ADO bus terminal, it might be possible to buy a water taxi ticket at the bus terminal, but then you might get pushed into an overpriced taxi. I’d just go outside to get a taxi and go directly to the pier. It’s about 4 km from the ADO terminal to the pier. A taxi takes about 10 minutes, and costs 50 pesos from the bus terminal (if you walk out to the main road and get a taxi, the fare is 30 pesos). The taxi driver might not know about the water taxi, but he/she will know the pier. Write it down if you can’t pronounce it.

Entrance to the Pier in Chetumal (click on image to enlarge)

Water Taxi Offices beside the entrance to the pier (click on image to enlarge)

>

4. Flights Between Belize and Mexico
Tropic Air flies between Belize City Philip Goldson International Airport and Cancún Airport.
Check the Tropic Air website for schedule & fare.

>

5. Renting a Car in Mexico and Driving to Belize
I have no personal experience with this, but here are the names of two car rental companies that have allowed vehicles into Belize:

a) Cancún Rent a Car: http://www.cancunrentacar.com/
b) Europcar: http://www.europcar.com.mx/

Cancún Rent a Car also operates as America Rent a Car and Caribbean Rent a Car. In Chetumal, the Europcar Central office is located at or near Sam’s Club, and I think they have an office at the airport. They have one or two cars that are allowed into Belize.

In a travel forum, a traveller reported that Avant Rent a Car in Mexico allows cars into Belize. I haven’t confirmed this.

In Belize, drivers must have insurance. Insurance can be purchased at the border.

>

6. Chetumal Bus or Taxi then Belizean Bus or Taxi
It is possible to travel from Chetumal to the border with a Chetumal local bus or taxi. It should be noted that there are now two border crossing points; in 2014, a new crossing was opened a few hundred metres west of the original crossing.

Local buses depart about every 30 minutes from a small bus terminal near the library (a few blocks from the Museum of Maya Culture) and cost MX$12 (in 2014).  They terminate at the original crossing point, about 100 metres from the Immigration booth.

A taxi from Chetumal to the border takes about 15 minutes, and you might have to tell the taxi driver which crossing you want to go to. The fare was MX$70 in 2013 (when I did it), but I’ve heard it’s now MX$100 (February 2019). The taxi drops passengers at Immigration and probably won’t drive across the bridge into Belize, so after completing immigration, it’s a short walk over the bridge (not possible at the new crossing because there’s no provision for pedestrians).

On the Belize side of the border, it should be easy to find a Belizean minivan taxi (colectivo) or regular taxi to continue to Corozal (not so easy at night). The minivans wait in front of the casino and usually wait for a few passengers before departing. The fare to Corozal is BZ$2, but the drivers I’ve had all start by quoting a fare of about BZ$20 expecting me to “charter” the van, i.e. not picking up any other passengers. Tell the driver you don’t want to charter the taxi — if you give him BZ$5, he might leave quicker without waiting for more passengers. The fare for a regular taxi to Corozal is about BZ$25 (but possible to negotiate a lower fare).

Chetumal City Bus — this one goes to Calderitas (click on image to enlarge)

7. FROM CANCÚN AIRPORT TO BELIZE AND BACK

2019/01/14

For various reasons, many travellers choose to fly to Cancún and then continue to Belize. Some travellers find cheaper airfares to Cancún while others want to include Mexico as part of the holiday. For travellers without a lot of time, this might not be the best option because of the amount of time required to travel between Cancún and Belize. Border crossing fees also must be considered.

The quickest and easiest way to continue to Belize is by the Tropic Air flight from Cancún Airport to Belize International Airport. Check the Tropic Air website for schedule & fare. Ground travel can be done by bus, rental car or transfer service (private shuttle).

Here’s how I have done the trip from Cancún airport to Belize by bus…

From Cancún airport, ADO airport buses depart every 30 minutes to Playa del Carmen. Tickets are sold at an ADO counter after Customs (inside the airport), and where the buses park. The trip to Playa del Carmen takes about 1 hour and costs 208 pesos (at January 2019). Note: at the airport, tickets can be purchased for any other ADO route.

Playa del Carmen has two ADO bus terminals: the Alterna terminal on 20th Avenue at 12th Street (Calle 12), and the Turistica terminal on 5th Avenue at Av. Benito Juarez. Airport buses might make a brief stop at the Alterna terminal, but they always terminate at the Turistica terminal. The terminals are about 10 blocks apart.

ADO buses to Chetumal depart from the Alterna terminal, so if you arrive at the Turistica terminal, you have to get to the Alterna terminal. It’s an easy walk without luggage, but with luggage, get a taxi. If you know that the airport bus has stopped at the Alterna terminal, and you want to immediately continue to Chetumal, get off the bus at Alterna. Taxis that wait outside the bus terminals charge more. If you want to save some money, walk about 1 block away from the bus terminal and stop a taxi on the street.

Tickets to Chetumal can be purchased at either bus terminal. I like to buy tickets one day before I travel in order to ensure a seat, and to select the seat of my choice. If your Spanish is not good, write the trip details (destination, date, departure time, your name) on a piece of paper to show the ticket seller.

Another bus service called Mayab also has buses to Tulum, Mahahual and Chetumal departing from the 5th Av. terminal.

From the Alterna terminal in Playa del Carmen, buses to Chetumal depart every couple of hours. The trip takes about 4.5 hours and costs about 300 pesos (check the ADO website for exact fare). The bus might make stops at Tulum and Felipe Carrillo Puerto before terminating at the ADO bus terminal in Chetumal.

To complete the trip to Belize, see the options listed in the previous section, TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE and MEXICO.

As mentioned above, there are other options for getting from Cancún airport to Chetumal and Belize. For example, instead of getting a bus from the airport to Playa del Carmen, some travellers prefer to get a bus from the airport to the bus terminal in Cancún where they can get an express bus to Tulum, Chetumal or Belize City. Cancún airport is located about 18 km south of Cancún, and about 50 km north of Playa del Carmen, so this means first travelling north to Cancún, then getting a bus back south, but it avoids the bus terminal change in Playa.

To avoid the stop at Chetumal, get the direct ADO bus from Cancún to Belize City (see previous section).

A transfer service or private shuttle is another option. Here are links to some services:
a) Belize VIP Transfer Service, http://www.belizetransfers.com
b) Moralez Travel Service, http://www.gettransfers.com
c) Cancún Shuttle: http://www.cancunshuttle.com/
d) Cancún Express: http://www.cancun-express.com/
e) Cancún Airport Transfers: http://www.tucankin.com/

>

Here’s how I’ve done the trip from Belize to Cancún airport…

I get a bus to Chetumal (where I usually stay for a few days), and taxi to the ADO bus terminal. ADO buses to Playa del Carmen depart every couple of hours. The trip takes about 4.5 hours, and costs about MX$300 (check the ADO website). The bus might make stops at Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Tulum before stopping at the Alterna terminal on 20th Avenue at Playa del Carmen. From Alterna, airport buses depart every 30 minutes, and make stops at all four airport terminals. The trip takes 1 hour and costs MX$208 (at January 2019). The airport buses originate at the Turistica bus terminal on 5th Avenue, and then go to Alterna, so starting at Turistica terminal is also an option.

There are other options for getting from Belize or Chetumal to Cancún airport. The Tropic Air flight from Belize City is quick and easy. A popular choice is the twice daily ADO bus from Belize City to Cancún because this bus stops at the airport on the way to Cancún (see previous section for details). Another option is the ADO airport bus from Chetumal (check the schedule). And there is a daily water taxi between San Pedro and Chetumal.

Always check the ADO website for up to date schedules and fares. The site is in Spanish, but should be easy to figure out (use Google Translate for help).
ADO website for schedules & fares: https://www.ado.com.mx/ado2/#/

8. IMMIGRATION and BORDER CROSSING

2019/01/13

Each visitor entering Mexico must complete an immigration form (or tourist card) called Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM).

If arriving by air, an FMM should be issued on the plane — carry a pen and complete the form while on the plane. If an FMM is not issued on the plane, forms are available inside Cancún airport — complete it before approaching the Immigration counter. The FMM can also be completed on-line, and then printed so it can be carried with you. Here’s the link to the on-line form (complete it within 30 days of your travel date)…
https://www.inm.gob.mx/fmme/publico/en/solicitud.html

At Cancún airport, hand the completed FMM and your passport to the Immigration Officer. The Officer stamps them and keeps one half of the FMM. The other half is returned and should be kept with your passport because it must be handed back to Immigration upon departure from Mexico. If you lose your half of the FMM, a fee must be paid.

If arriving by air, a Customs form must also be completed (except at Terminal 4 where it is no longer required). The form is usually handed out on the plane; if not, forms are available inside Cancún airport. Customs forms are one form per family living at the same address.

The Customs form can also be completed on-line, and then printed so it can be carried with you. Here’s the link…
https://siat.sat.gob.mx/PTSC/DPE/

It can be completed online within 3 days of your arrival date in Mexico. Print it and bring it with you. One form per family living at the same address. There is no fee to get or complete the form online. If you land at Cancun Terminal 4, you won’t need the Customs form. Be aware that the on-line Customs form has not always been accepted at some airports.

If arriving in Mexico at a land border, FMM forms are available in the Immigration building. The form can also be completed on-line (use the above-mentioned link).

The FMM allows a maximum stay of 180 days, but it depends on the type of travel, i.e. tourist, transit, work, business, student, etc. The Immigration Officer will write in the actual number of days a visitor can stay. Visitors who check the Tourist (Turismo) box on the FMM should get 180 days. Visitors who check the Transit (Tránsito) box might get fewer days. Note: the form has changed from the image below.

Front & back of the FMM (click on image to enlarge)

>

Payment of the DNI Fee
A fee known as Derecho de No Inmigrante (DNI) or Non-Immigrant Right is associated with the FMM, and in some circumstances it must be paid before leaving Mexico. It’s also known as the Mexican Tourist Tax. The tax is currently 558 pesos or approximately US$25 to $30 (February 2019).

According to the Embassy of Mexico in Belize, all foreign nationals who enter Mexico must pay the DNI fee in three different cases:
1. Visitors who enter Mexico and stay more than seven consecutive days.
2. Visitors who enter Mexico and transit through to a third country regardless of the number of days in Mexico.
3. Visitors who enter Mexico with a Forma Migratoria de Visitante Local (FMVL) border card and stay more than three consecutive days.

Visitors who are exempt from paying the fee include:
1. Visitors who enter Mexico, stay for seven days or less, and return to the country of origin.
2. FMVL border card holders who stay less than 3 days.
3. Residence holders (formerly known as FM2 and FM3).

Here’s the link to the Embassy website (currently not working):
http://embamex.sre.gob.mx/belice/index.php/en/activities-a-notices/726

Most visitors who fly to Mexico don’t have to be concerned about the tax because it is collected by the airline and included with the airfare (so nothing to pay at any airport). For proof of payment, get an itemized receipt from the airline and look for the Mexican Tourist Tax listed with a number of other fees & taxes (airport fees, security fees, sales tax, baggage fees, fuel surcharges, etc.). The Tourist Tax is identified with a “UK” code reference. The list of fees & taxes should also show the Mexican International Airport Departure Tax.

The exception is TUI (formerly Thomson), a charter service in the United Kingdom. TUI does not include the Tourist Tax and the International Airport Departure Tax as part of the airfare, so TUI passengers must pay these taxes as a lump sum at the airport upon departure from Mexico. Beginning in May 2019, TUI will include the taxes with the airfare.

Visitors who enter Mexico at a land border, and need to pay the DNI, must pay it sometime before leaving Mexico. It can sometimes be paid at the border when entering Mexico (make sure a receipt is issued), or at a bank in Mexico (in my experience, it’s only possible with another piece of paper showing the amount), or at the airport before checking-in for a flight departing from Mexico. Currently, when entering Mexico from Belize at the land border, the DNI is paid to a cashier (not an Immigration officer), and a receipt is stapled to the FMM. When checking-in for a flight from Mexico, show the receipt proving that the tax has been paid.

Here are two other points from the website:
QUOTE
3. For entries by land or sea of tourists, intransit travelers and businesspersons, when there are no banking institutions or when it is not during regular working hours or days, the payment of fees is made directly to the immigration authority who should issue the form known as “Comprobante” (a receipt) which is proof of payment.
6. The payments does not have to be done exclusively at BANJÉRCITO but it is the only banking institution that has a branch at the points of entry borders.
UNQUOTE

>

CROSSING THE BORDER FROM CHETUMAL TO COROZAL
On the Mexican side of the border, the crossing location known as Subteniente López is located about 12 km from the centre of Chetumal, and there are now two crossing points each with its own Immigration/Customs buildings and bridge. At the original crossing point, the Immigration booth is less than a couple hundred metres from the original bridge over the Hondo River. A bank Banjército is located at the Mexican Customs compound on the opposite side of the road. In May 2014, new Immigration/Customs buildings were opened about 2 km from the original crossing. The new bridge is a few hundred metres west of the original bridge. International buses use the new crossing. Taxis will probably drop passengers at the new crossing unless told otherwise. Chetumal buses stop at the original crossing point. Check Google Earth for satellite images of the crossing points.

Visitors leaving Mexico must first stop at Immigration. Bus passengers get off the bus, without luggage, and present their passports with FMM to the immigration officer. The Officer will keep the FMM, and stamp & return the passport.

Whenever I have crossed, the Immigration officer has always asked for money. Years ago, it was only 100 pesos or US$10, but now it’s 558 pesos. Beware! This could be a scam. If you know that you have already paid the DNI fee, then there is nothing to pay at the border, and here’s where you have to show the receipt from the airline or bank. THERE IS NO DEPARTURE/EXIT FEE — this has been confirmed by the Embassy of Mexico and the Mexican Honorary Consul in Corozal. Visitors who know that the DNI fee has been paid but can’t prove it, can try arguing (sometimes it works), but I just get back on the bus and continue to Belize. For a laugh, try asking for a receipt. Visitors who have not already paid the fee, will have to pay it at the border.

Proceed across the bridge to Belize. With luggage, enter the Immigration & Customs building. Citizens of Canada, USA and many other countries do not pay any fees when entering Belize, and their passports are stamped allowing a maximum stay of 30 days. Citizens of some countries require a visa which sometimes can be arranged at the border. If not, it must be obtained before entering Belize. Continue to Customs, and then exit the building. Turn right to find buses waiting in the parking area. If you need to change money, several money changers wait near the Immigration Building.

Visitors who want to stay in Belize for more than 30 days can get an extension in Belize. On the last working day before the 30 days is up, go to the nearest immigration office (there’s at least one in each District of Belize) and ask for another 30 days. The passport will be stamped again, allowing a stay for another 30 days. There is a fee for the new stamps; I think it’s currently BZ$50 (US$25) per stamp for the first 6 months, and BZ$100 per stamp thereafter. Some visitors have been asked to show a return or onward ticket. After 12 months, you might be told to leave the country, or asked if you intend to apply for permanent residency. Note that each stamp requires a half page of the passport.

>

CROSSING THE BORDER FROM COROZAL TO CHETUMAL
On the Belize side of the border, the crossing location known as Santa Elena is located about 12 km from Corozal. Buses stop in front of the entrance of the Immigration Building. Visitors leaving Belize enter the Immigration building, without their luggage, and present their passports to Belize Immigration. Visitors who have been in Belize for more than 24 hours must pay a fee of BZ$40.00 (US$20.00), payable in BZ$ or US$ (it`s actually the total of 3 separate fees). This website explains the departure fees:
http://www.bmabz.com/

Exit the building, turn right and look for the bus in the parking area. Visitors not returning to Belize should get rid of their Belizean currency because it is difficult to exchange outside Belize — look for the money changers. Passengers re-board the bus and proceed across the bridge over the Hondo River.

The next stop is Mexican Immigration. Visitors get off the bus with their luggage, get an FMM form and complete it. The completed FMM with passport is handed to an immigration officer who stamps them and keeps one half of the FMM. The other half is returned and should be kept with the passport because it must be handed back upon departure from Mexico. Visitors who intend to stay in Mexico for 8 days or more must pay the DNI/Tourist Tax at a separate cashier window — a receipt is issued and stapled to the FMM. After your documents are returned, exit the immigration building, and walk ahead to Customs. After Customs, re-board the bus.

9. TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE AND GUATEMALA

2019/01/12

Updated: 14 September 2019

1. Express Buses

a) Fuente del Norte (FdN) provides express bus service between Flores and Belize City. In Belize City, buses arrive at and depart from the bus terminal, and are not scheduled to stop anywhere else in Belize. I’m trying to confirm if the bus makes a stop at Belmopan. Buses operate on Sundays and public holidays. Not all buses are air-conditioned. The agent in Belize City for Fuente del Norte is Zippy Zappy Mayan Travels (formerly Mundo Maya Travel). See their website for schedules and fares.

Zippy Zappy: http://www.travelmundomaya.com/transportation.html
FDN: https://www.facebook.com/TRANSPORTESFUENTEDELNORTE

Flores – Belize City  (235 km / 146 miles / about 4 to 5 hours)
FdN departs from Flores daily at 6:15 am, and from Santa Elena daily at 6:30 am.
FdN departs from Belize City at 12:30 pm.
Fare: US$25.00

Linea Dorada departs daily at 7:00 am*; US$ 27.00 (not confirmed)
Linea Dorada departs daily at 1:00 pm; US$ 27.00 (not confirmed)

b) Marlin Espadas Ltd.
A bus departs from Chetumal daily at 9:30 am and goes to Flores with stops at Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize City, Belmopan, San Ignacio and Benque Viejo.

A bus departs from Flores daily at 7:30 am and goes to Chetumal with stops at Benque, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Belize City, Orange Walk and Corozal.

I’ve been told the buses have a/c and wifi.
NOTE: I HAVE CONFIRMED DIRECTLY WITH THE COMPANY THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE STOPS IN BELIZE.

The Flores Peten office is at:
“Playa Sur, Flores, Peten, Guatemala”

Contact them directly for clarification…
For reservations: +501-615 9009 / 627 9990
marlinespadasltdbelize@gmail.com
http://marlinespadas.net/?fbclid=IwAR3M_-u_ejb120dy3eePP2qG6EovaDna91AGAb4BLGult25AmFlgbxZc1Dg

https://www.facebook.com/Marlin-Espadas-M%C3%A9xico-SA-de-CV-911522482202854/

c) San Juan Travel Services
A San Juan bus departs from Flores daily at 7:00 am, and goes to Chetumal via Belize City.

A San Juan bus departs from the Chetumal ADO terminal daily at 7:00 am, and goes to Flores via Belize City.

Buses operate on Sundays and public holidays. Not all buses are air-conditioned.
Fare: US$35.00 between Flores and Chetumal.

NOTE: WITH THE BUS CHANGES IN SEPTEMBER 2019, IT WAS REPORTED THAT THIS BUS IS NOT ALLOWED TO PICKUP OR DROP OFF PASSENGERS IN BELIZE. I’LL TRY TO CONFIRM THIS.

>

2. Regular Bus to Guatemala
Get a Belizean bus to Benque Viejo del Carmen, the last town before the border (see Section 3 “Western Zone – Belize City to Benque Viejo Del Carmen” for more details). Regular buses don’t go all the way to the border, and the remaining 2 km can be completed by taxi (shouldn’t be more than BZ$10), or mini-bus/colectivo (shouldn’t be more than BZ$2) or walking.

Proceed to Belize Immigration. Visitors who have been in Belize for more than 24 hours must pay a fee of BZ$40.00 (US$20.00), payable in BZ$ or US$. Cross the border and proceed through Guatemala Immigration and Customs. I don’t know if there is a valid entry fee (I’ve heard various reports of 20 quetzals, 10 quetzals, and no fee), but be prepared to be asked for money. A colectivo to Flores is about 30 quetzals.

The return trip is similar, and there is no exit fee for Guatemala and no entry fee for Belize. After Immigration and Customs, get to Benque where you can get a bus to San Ignacio, Belmopan or Belize City.

>

3. Rental Car
I have no personal experience with this, but some car rental companies allow vehicles into Guatemala. Try Crystal Auto Rental or Thrifty.

>

4. Flights Between Belize City and Guatemala
Tropic Air has daily flights between Belize City International (PGIA) and Flores. At Flores, a connecting flight with Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (TAG) continues to Guatemala City. Check the website for schedules and fares: http://www.tropicair.com/

>

5. Water Taxis Between Punta Gorda and Puerto Barrios
Requeña’s Charter Service operates a water taxi, “Mariestela”, between Punta Gorda and Puerto Barrios.

Departs PG daily at 9 am from the Municipal pier near the Customs & Immigration Office.
Departs Puerto Barrios daily at 2:00 pm from the pier near the Shell gas station.
Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours.
Cost: BZ$50.00 each way.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from Requeña’s office on Front Street (half a block north of the pier), or before departure from the Requena representative in front of the Customs/Immigration Office at the pier.

Website: http://puntagordabelize.com/pg/requena/index.htm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/requenascharterservice

>

Other water taxis:
Pichilingo
Departs Puerto Barrios daily at 10:00 am.
Departs Punta Gorda daily at 2:00 pm.
Duration: 1 hour.
Cost: BZ$50.00 each way.

>

Marisol
Departs Puerto Barrios daily at 1:00 pm.
Departs Punta Gorda daily at 4:00 pm.
Duration: 1 hour.
Cost: BZ$50.00 each way.

>

Asucena
Departs Livingston on Tuesdays & Fridays at 7:00 am.
Departs Punta Gorda on Tuesdays & Fridays at 10:00 am.
Duration: 1 hour.
Cost: ?

Update (1 Feb. 2018): According to this TripAdvisor thread, a water taxi operates daily between PG and Livingston…
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g291980-i9545-k11215713-Punta_G_to_Livingston-Punta_Gorda_Toledo_District.html#89243902

Update (27 June 2018): Another TripAdvisor post with an update…
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g291980-i9545-k9532028-Ferry_from_Livingston_Guatemala_to_PG_Punta_Gorda-Punta_Gorda_Toledo_District.html

More information about water taxis can be found on this site:
https://www.hickatee.com/transportation-timetable

10. TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE & HONDURAS

2019/01/11

1. Water Taxi Between Belize City and Honduras
The Starla water taxi departs from the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi terminal on Fridays at 9:00 am. It stops at Dangriga at 11:00 am and arrives at Puerto Cortes at 2:30 pm.
It departs from Puerto Cortes on Mondays at 11:00 am, stops at Dangriga at 2:30 pm and arrives at BC at 4:30 pm.
Fares to Puerto Cortez: US$80 from BC and US$55 from Dangriga.
https://www.facebook.com/StarlaFerry/

>

2. Water Taxi Between Placencia and Puerto Cortes
The “Pride of Belize” (formerly “D-Express”) departs on Fridays at 9:00 am from a small dock in the middle of town (the same one used by the Hokey Pokey ferry). Be early because the boat sometimes leaves before 9 am. Tickets are purchased at the boat. There is a stop at Big Creek for Immigration, and departure from Big Creek is at 11:00 am. Arrival time at Puerto Cortes, Honduras is about 2:00 p.m.
Fare: BZ$110.00 (US$60.00) plus any exit fees.

Return trip: Departs from Puerto Cortes, Honduras on Mondays at 11:00 am, but be early for immigration processing. Arrives at Placencia about 2 pm.
Fare: 1000 lempiras (US$60.00) plus any exit fees.

Those fares are a few years old.

>

3. Express Bus
a) Transportes Manabre Bus
Departs from Belize City on Saturdays at 6:00 am.
Departs from San Pedro Sula on Tuesdays at 7:00 am.
Cost: US$75.00 one way.
Duration: 12 hours.
Tickets must be purchased from Mundo Maya Travel.
http://www.travelmundomaya.com/index.html

b) Fuente del Norte Bus from Flores
Departs from Flores daily at 5:30 am.
Cost: US$47.00
Duration: 8 hours
http://www.travelmundomaya.com/index.html

>

4. Flight
Tropic Air has flights from Belize City International Airport to Roatan. Check the Tropic Air website for schedules & fares:www.tropicair.com

Also check Avianca Airlines:
http://www.avianca.com

11. EXPRESS BUS — SAN SALVADOR

2019/01/10

Fuente del Norte Bus
Departs from Flores/Santa Elena (Guatemala) at 5:30 am.
Cost: US$47.00
Duration: 8 hours.
Departs from San Salvador daily at 5:45 am (not confirmed)

Information from Mundo Maya Travels, Belize City.
http://www.travelmundomaya.com/index.html

12. DISTANCES

2019/01/09

Distances by road:

Along the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway:
Belize City to Maskall Village: 63 km / 39 miles
Belize City to Orange Walk Town: 87 km / 54 miles
Belize City to Corozal Town: 135 km / 84 miles
Belize City to Santa Elena, Corozal: 150 km / 93 miles
Belize City to Sarteneja: 177 km / 110 miles
Belize City to Chetumal, Mexico: 100 km / 161 miles

>

Along the George Price (Western) Highway:
Belize City to Belize Zoo: 47 km / 29 miles
Belize City to Belmopan: 80 km / 50 miles
Belize City to San Ignacio: 117 km / 73 miles
Belize City to Benque Viejo del Carmen: 130 km / 81 miles
Belmopan to San Ignacio: 37 km / 23 miles
Belmopan to Benque Viejo del Carmen: 50 km / 31 miles
Belmopan to Flores, Guatemala: 235 km / 146 miles

>

Belmopan to Dangriga: 89 km / 55 miles
Dangriga to Placencia: 89 km / 55 miles
Dangriga to Punta Gorda: 172 km / 107 miles

13. MISCELLANEOUS

2019/01/08
Belize City

Map of Belize City (click on image to enlarge)

 

>

Requirements for Permanent Residence in Belize (click on image to enlarge)

14. WEBSITES

2019/01/07

Here are some other websites related to travel in Belize & Mexico.

General Tourism
https://www.travelbelize.org/
http://www.pgiabelize.com/

Accommodation
http://www.travelbelize.org/
http://www.belizeexplorer.com/
http://www.belizehotels.org/

Maps
https://ambergriscaye.com/maps/index.html

Newspapers, Radio & TV
http://belizenews.com/

Weather & Climate
http://www.hydromet.gov.bz/
https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/?atlc

Travel Forums
http://www.belizeforum.com/
http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forum_summary.html

Other forums are on the websites of Fodor’s, Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor. Use them if you wish.