1. WELCOME

2014/11/26

This isn’t really a blog. It’s a site containing all the transportation information I’ve gained while 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.

2. UPDATES

2014/11/26

29 July 2015 — Copa Flights to Belize
http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/116847
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=33222

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Caye Caulker Water Taxi
The website seems to be down right now, so here’s the schedule from their site…

CCWT Schedule (click on image to enlarge)

CCWT Schedule (click on image to enlarge)

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July 2015 — Fuel Prices
Premium gasoline: BZ$9.37 per gallon
Regular gasoline: BZ$9.58 per gallon
Diesel: BZ$7.56 per gallon
These are the prices in Belize City; prices may be higher in the districts due to transportation costs.

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14 March 2015 – Relocation of Corozal Bus Terminal
Beginning Monday March 16th, 2015 until further notice, the Corozal Bus Terminal will be temporarily relocated to the Santa Rita area of Corozal.

This website has complete details including a map of the new bus route through Corozal…
http://quepasacorozal.com/corozal-bus-terminal-to-be-temporarily-relocated-to-santa-elena-road/

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22 January 2015 – Skydiving in Belize

Air Belize Skydiving is currently skydiving in Belize and operates out of the Placencia Airport. There isn’t much on their website yet, so I contacted them for more information.

Participants must be at least 18 years of age (16 with parental consent), and weigh no more than 225lbs. (102 kg). Jumps can be arranged any day subject to weather conditions. Contact Air Belize Skydiving for prices. I have some prices if anyone is interested.

Website: http://www.airbelizeskydiving.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/airbelizeskydiving/timeline

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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.

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17 December 2014 – Visa Requirement Changes
Citizens of the following countries no longer need to apply for visas before entering Belize: Japan, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil and also persons holding US permanent resident cards.
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=31024

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Upcoming Holidays and Events — 2015
Aug. – Tres Pescados Slam Tournament, http://www.belizefly.com
Thursday, September 10 – St. George’s Caye Day
Monday, September 21 – Independence Day
October – Rum Festival at Orange Walk Town
Monday, October 12 – Pan American Day
Thursday, November 19 – Garifuna Settlement Day
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day
Saturday, December 26 – Boxing Day
See Section 13 for a complete list of holidays and events.

3. BELIZE BUS INFORMATION AND SCHEDULES

2014/11/26

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, and Belizeans don’t really need printed schedules. Only one bus company, Ritchie’s Bus Service, has a website.

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 town 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 offer 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 arms reach if possible. Once the bus gets going, a conductor will collect the fares. 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.

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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. All buses are Regular buses; no express buses. 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

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.

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

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.

Also, the Thunderbolt water taxi that runs from Corozal to Ambergris Caye will stop at Sarteneja on request.

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.

3a Bus Schedules Northern Zone 20141109 DSCN1616

Bus Schedules — Northern Zone (click on image to enlarge)

Bus Schedules — Northern Zone (click on image to enlarge)

Bus Schedules — Northern Zone
(click on image to enlarge)

Bus Schedules -- Corozal Villages (click on image to enlarge)

Bus Schedules — Corozal Villages (click on image to enlarge)

Tillett’s Bus

A mini-bus that operates between Corozal and the border

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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$3.00,
to Belmopan (50 miles) is about 1.5 hours & BZ$5.00,
to San Ignacio (73 miles) is about 2 hours & BZ$7.00,
to Benque is about BZ$8.00.

The image below is the bus schedule in 2009. The schedule was reorganized in June 2011, and National Transport Services Limited no longer exists (their runs were taken over by other bus companies). Until I get a copy of the new schedule, I’ll keep the old schedule posted. There should not be much difference in departure times, but the bus companies will be different.

Bus Schedules - Western Zone (click on image to enlarge)

Bus Schedules – Western Zone (click on image to enlarge)

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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 3.5 hours & BZ$15.00.
A Regular bus from Dangriga to Placencia, is about 1.5 hours and BZ$5.00.

Buses between Dangriga and Hopkins (updated August 2014)
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

James Bus Line schedule can be found at 3 sources:
Hickatee site: https://www.hickatee.com/belize_bus_times.html
PGBelize: http://www.pgbelize.com/jamesbusline
The Toledo Howler: http://www.belizenews.com/howler/
Minor differences exist; I don’t know which one is the most accurate.

Ritchie’s Bus Service
Website: http://www.ritchiesbusservice.com/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ritchies-Bus-Service/364472070317324?ref=stream

The image below is the bus schedule posted in the Dangriga bus terminal in 2010. I’ll keep it posted until I get an updated image.

Bus Schedules — Southern Zone — posted in the Dangriga bus terminal — April 2010 (click on image to enlarge)

The image below is the schedule posted in Independence. It was photographed in February 2015 and contributed by Sabine — thank you for the contribution.

Schedule posted in Independence. Click on image to enlarge.

Schedule posted in Independence (click on image to enlarge).

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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

2014/11/26

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 up to about 9 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, there are also shared taxi vans (sometimes called colectivos in other countries) that 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.

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Water Taxi
A water taxi is a boat, with seating for up to about 80 passengers, providing transportation across water. Water taxi trips are sometimes cancelled in rough conditions. See websites for schedules & fares.

1. Water taxi between Belize City, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye
a) Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association
This service operates from the Caye Caulker Water Taxi terminal on North Front Street beside the Swing Bridge in Belize City.
http://ccwatertaxi.com/

b) San Pedro – Belize Express Water Taxi
This service operates from the Brown Sugar Market at 111 North Front Street, a few hundred metres from the CCWT terminal.
http://www.belizewatertaxi.com/#!home/mainPage

c) Tropic Ferry
Tropic Ferry appears to be more of a private service that has to be arranged in advance. Passengers are met at the airport, driven in a private a/c vehicle to the boat (a 3 minute drive to a marina located across the highway from the airport), and transported directly to destinations on Ambergris Caye. The price is higher than a public water taxi.
http://www.tropicferry.com/

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2. Water taxi between Corozal, Sarteneja and Ambergris Caye
The “Thunderbolt” water taxi departs from Corozal daily at 7.00 am, and departs from San Pedro daily at 3:00 pm. It also stops at Sarteneja. Tickets are purchased at the pier before departure. Try to confirm if the boat is operating. I’ve observed that on some Sundays, it hasn’t made the trip, and departures have been cancelled in the low tourist season.
Cost (updated Nov. 2014): BZ$50 one way; BZ$90 return.
Duration: 2 hours.

Thunderbolt Water Taxi

Thunderbolt Information (click on image to enlarge)

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

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3. 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. Telephone number for information: 523-2376 (Owner), 606-1501 or 601-8897.
www.aguallos.com/hokeypokey

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4. Water taxi providing service for Ambergris Caye
Coastal Xpress Water Taxi: http://www.coastalxpress.com
Tel: 226-2007, 226-3007
Email: coastalxpress@yahoo.com
Also offers cargo deliveries and private charters

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5. Water taxi service in Stann Creek
Happy Go Luckie Tours in Hopkins offers water taxi service from Hopkins to Dangriga (BZ$50), Tobacco Caye (BZ$50), Placencia (BZ$100) and other destinations (those prices seem to be per passenger based on groups of 3 to 6 passengers). It’s not a regular schedule; passengers must prearrange trips.
http://www.hgltours.com/

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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 three airlines operating in Central America:
a) Avianca Airlines (has flights to Belize), http://www.avianca.com/en-co/
b) Copa Airlines (no flights to Belize), http://www.copaair.com
c) Veca Airlines (no flights to Belize), http://www.vecaairlines.com/en/sv

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Car Rental
Check under Automobile Renting in the Yellow Pages of the online Belize telephone directory:
http://www.belizetelemedia.net/

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. If driving to Dangriga, 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. In wet conditions, the pavement can get extremely 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. And there are some bad drivers in Belize — watch out for speeding buses. If driving at night, take more care because road lighting is poor (non-existent). The highways have white posts that act as mile markers.

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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://discountedbelizeshuttlesandtours.com/index.html

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) Belize Transportation Services,
http://belizeshuttleservices.sanignaciotown.com/

f) Mayan Heart World http://www.mayanheartworld.net/index.html

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

h) Danielia’s Shuttle, http://www.danieliasshuttle.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Danielias-Shuttle-Belize-Service/211531742275131

i) Belize Shuttles and Transfers,
http://www.belizeshuttlesandtransfers.com/

Some tour companies can provide a transfer service:
j) Cayo Adventure Tours, http://www.cayoadventure.com/
k) Mayawalk Tours, http://mayawalk.com/
l) Pacz Tours, http://www.pacztours.net/
m) 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, toilets, 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

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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

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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 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.

6. TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE and MEXICO

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1. ADO Express Bus
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. These buses do not go to Chetumal in either direction.

On the Cancún route, stops include Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Corozal and Orange Walk, but passengers are not allowed to use these buses to travel within Belize, for example, to travel from Belize City to Corozal. Passengers can board the bus at Orange Walk or Corozal only if their final destinations are 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 Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Cancún to Belize City
Departs from Cancún bus terminal daily at 10:15 pm with stops at Playa del Carmen (11:40 pm), Tulum (12:45 am), Corozal and Orange Walk. Arrives in Belize City about 6:30 am.
Fares to BC (Jan 2013): MX$496 from Cancún; MX$460 from Playa; MX$400 from Tulum.
Update (Nov. 2014): The Cancún to BC fare is MX$576 so the other fares will also be increased.
Trip time: 8:10 hours from Cancún.

Belize City to Cancún
Departs from BC bus terminal daily at 7:30 pm with stops at Orange Walk (9:00 pm), Corozal (10:00 pm), Tulum (4:00 am), Playa del Carmen (5:00 am) and Cancún Airport (6:30 am). Arrives at Cancún bus terminal at 7:00 am.
Fares (2012): BZ$55.00 to Tulum; BZ$63.00 to Playa del Carmen; BZ$79.00 to Cancún.

ADO Bus from Corozal (click on image to enlarge)

ADO Bus from Corozal (click on image to enlarge) Nov. 2014

ADO fares posted in Belize City bus terminal April 2015 (thanks to Vaughn) -- click on image to enlarge

ADO fares posted in Belize City bus terminal April 2015 (thanks to Vaughn) — click on image to enlarge

Mérida to Belize City
Departs from Mérida Thursday through Sunday at 9 pm with stops at Corozal and Orange Walk.
Fare to BC (Jan 2013): MX$496
Trip time: 8:30 hours.

Belize City to Mérida
Departs from BC bus terminal Friday through Monday at 7:00 pm with stops at Orange Walk (8:30 pm), Corozal (9:30 pm), and the most important hospitals in Mérida (ORAM, Juárez, Clínica Mérida, Star Médica). Arrives at Mérida at 6:00 am.
Fare (2012): BZ$79.00 (one way).

Information & ticket sales in Belize:
Belize City: 636-5256, 669-9683
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.

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2. San Juan Travel Services, a Guatemalan company, provides Express bus service between Flores and Chetumal. The bus stops in Belize City.

Currently, the schedule shows a 7 am departure time from the ADO bus terminal in Chetumal, but always try to confirm the time if possible. The agent said the bus is not allowed to pick up passengers in Belize City on the trip to Chetumal (check with agent).

The agent in Belize City is Mundo Maya Travels located on North Front Street, Belize City.
http://www.travelmundomaya.com/index.html

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3. 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! In Chetumal, buses wait at Nuevo Mercado (New Market), about 1 km from the ADO terminal.

Buses to Chetumal depart from Corozal bus terminal about every half hour beginning at 7:00 am; last departure at about 7:00 pm. Most of the buses that go to Chetumal originate from Belize City and Orange Walk. There are also small mini-buses and taxi vans that travel between Corozal and the border.

Buses to Corozal depart from Chetumal about every half hour beginning at 4:00 am. I don’t know the exact departure time of the last bus from Nuevo Mercado, but it’s between 5:45 and 6:30 pm (Belize time).

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.

Map of Chetumal showing the locations of the bus terminals and the water taxi pier (click on image to enlarge)

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4. 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. 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/

Currently, the companies operate on alternate days so only one boat per day.

In Chetumal, water taxis use the main pier, “Muelle Fiscal”, which is close to the big Government building, “Palacio Gobierno”, at the waterfront. Check the map of Chetumal above for the locations of the bus terminals and the pier (also visible on Google Earth).

If arriving at the Chetumal 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, go directly to the pier and get prices from both water taxi companies (their offices are beside each other). It’s about 3.5 km from the ADO terminal to the pier. A taxi should take about 10 minutes, and cost MX$20 to MX$50 (that’s 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.

(updated: 21 November 2014)

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)

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5. Flight Between Belize and Mexico
In March 2013, Tropic Air began flights between Belize City Philip Goldson International Airport and Cancún Airport.
In March 2014, Tropic Air began flights between Belize City Philip Goldson International Airport and Mérida.
Check the Tropic Air website for schedule & fares.

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6. 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 allow vehicles into Belize:

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

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.

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7. Chetumal Bus or Taxi then Belizean Bus or Taxi
It is possible to travel from Chetumal to the border with a Chetumal 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. The Chetumal buses terminate at the original crossing point, about 100 metres from the Immigration booth. You might have to tell a taxi driver which crossing you want to go to.

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).

A taxi from Chetumal city to the border takes about 15 minutes and costs MX$70 (in 2013). 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 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 or $3, 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

2014/11/26

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 option might not be the best 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 to get 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 Riviera airport shuttle buses depart approximately hourly to Playa del Carmen. To find the bus, go out of the airport terminal, turn right and keep going to the other end of the terminal. Tickets are sold at an ADO counter where the bus is parked. The trip to Playa del Carmen takes about 1 hour and costs MX$146, that’s pesos (as at November 2014). Note: tickets for any other ADO route can be purchased at the ADO airport ticket counter. Also if possible, I like to buy tickets one or two days before I travel in order to ensure a seat, and to pick the seat of my choice.

Playa del Carmen has two bus terminals. The airport shuttle buses terminate at the bus terminal at the corner of Quinta Avenida and Avenida Juarez (5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue). Sometimes, the bus stops at the other bus terminal first, then goes to the 5th Av. terminal.

If continuing to Chetumal, ADO express buses depart from the other bus terminal (known as Terminal Alterna) at Avenida 20 and Calle 12. It’s about 10 blocks from the 5th Av. terminal to Terminal Alterna – an easy walk without luggage, but with luggage, get a taxi for about 50 pesos. Note that other buses, for example Mayab, might go to Tulum, Mahahual and Chetumal from the 5th Av. terminal. If getting a bus from Terminal Alterna, tickets can be purchased at either terminal. I usually buy tickets at the 5th Av. terminal because there’s a better chance of English-speaking terminal staff.

Here’s a link to a map of Playa del Carmen showing the locations of the two bus terminals:
http://www.travelyucatan.com/playa_del_carmen_mexico_hotel_map-a.php

From Terminal Alterna in Playa del Carmen, ADO express buses depart every couple of hours to Chetumal. The trip takes about 4.5 hours and costs MX$294 (as at November 2014). 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 City where they can get an express bus to Tulum, Chetumal or Belize City. Cancún airport is located about 18 km south of Cancún City, 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, and it might be cheaper. A popular choice is the daily overnight express bus from Cancún bus terminal to Belize City.

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 Express: http://www.cancun-express.com/
d) Cancún Airport Transfers: http://www.tucankin.com/
e) Cancún Airport Transportation:
http://www.cancunairporttransportations.com/

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

First, I get a bus to Chetumal. Other options are taxi, water taxi, transfer service and overnight ADO bus direct to Cancún airport. From the Chetumal bus terminal, ADO express buses depart every couple of hours to Playa del Carmen. The trip takes about 4.5 hours and costs MX$294 (as at November 2014). The bus might make stops at Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Tulum before stopping at Playa del Carmen.

The bus arrives in Playa del Carmen at the bus terminal at Avenida 20 and Calle 12 (known as Terminal Alterna). If continuing immediately to Cancún airport, get a taxi (about 50 pesos) or walk (10 blocks) to the other bus terminal at Quinta Avenida and Avenida Juarez (5th Avenue and Juarez Avenue), and get the ADO Riviera airport shuttle bus to Cancún airport. The shuttle bus trip takes 1 hour and costs MX$146 (as at November 2014).

There are other options for getting from Belize or Chetumal to Cancún airport. The Tropic Air flight is quick and easy. A popular choice is the daily ADO overnight express bus from Belize City to Cancún City because this bus stops at the airport on the way to Cancún (see previous section for details). Another option is the ADO airport express bus from Chetumal. Buses depart daily from the Chetumal ADO bus terminal. Check the ADO website for schedule & fare.

Always check the ADO or ticketbus website for up to date schedules and fares. The ADO site is in Spanish, but the ticketbus site has an English language option.
http://www.ado.com.mx/ado/index.jsp
http://www.ticketbus.com.mx/wtbkd/I18n.tb?language=en&region=US

Note 1: MX$ is Mexican pesos. On the Mexican bus websites, just the dollar sign is used to represent pesos.
Note 2: ADO express buses have very good air-conditioning; dress warmly.

8. IMMIGRATION and BORDER CROSSING

2014/11/26

Visitors entering Mexico must complete an immigration form called Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM). If arriving by air, many airlines issue the form on the plane; if a form is not issued on the plane, forms are available in the airport. If arriving at a land border, the form is obtained at the Immigration building. Fill in the form and hand it and your passport to the Immigration Officer. The Officer will keep one half of the form and return the other half which should be kept with your passport and handed in when you leave Mexico. I’ve never been asked to pay any money when entering Mexico.

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., and the Immigration Officer will write in the actual number of days a visitor can stay. Visitors who check the Tourist (Turismo) box on the form should get 180 days. Visitors who check the Transit (Tránsito) box might get fewer days. Note: I think the form has recently changed from the image below.

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

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Payment of the DNI Fee
A fee known as Derecho de No Migrante (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 Mexican Tourist Fee/tax and is identified on airline ticket receipts with the code “UK”. As of November 2014, the fee is MX$306 (that’s pesos), but the airline receipt will probably show an equivalent amount in your own currency.

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. FM3 and FM2 holders.

Here’s the link to the Embassy website:
http://embamex.sre.gob.mx/belice/index.php/en/activities-a-notices/726

Many airlines collect the fee as part of the ticket price, so visitors who fly to Mexico should ask the airline for an itemized receipt to ascertain whether or not the fee has been included in the ticket price. Look for the UK code payment and if it’s there, keep a copy of the receipt with your passport in case you need to show it when leaving Mexico. There is nothing more to pay in Mexico, either at a bank or at a border point. If you can’t prove that the fee has been paid, you might be asked to pay the fee at some border crossings when you leave Mexico.

Visitors who enter Mexico at a land border will have to pay the fee sometime before leaving Mexico, and the immigration officer should attach another piece of paper (see image) showing the amount to pay. The DNI can be paid in pesos at any bank in Mexico (in my experience, only possible with that other piece of paper showing the amount), or at a Banjército at border crossing points. Banks will issue a receipt which should be kept with the FMM, and presented to Immigration when leaving Mexico. The fee can also be paid at Cancún airport before checking in.

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, tha 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

This is the form that the immigration officer should attach to the FMM when you enter Mexico. It shows the amount to be paid (if payment is required). Click on image to enlarge.

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CROSSING THE BORDER FROM CHETUMAL TO COROZAL
On the Mexican side, the border crossing, 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. The original crossing point is less than a couple hundred metres from the original bridge over the Hondo River. When leaving Mexico, the Immigration Building is a small booth (a larger Immigration building for incoming visitors is further along on the opposite side of the road). 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, he has always asked (in Spanish) for money. Years ago, it was only 100 pesos or US$10, but now it’s 300 pesos. Beware! This could be a scam. If the DNI fee has already been paid, there is nothing to pay at the border, and here’s where you might 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 it’s likely that some money will have to be paid before leaving Mexico. For a laugh, try asking for a receipt. Visitors who have not already paid the fee, will have to pay it at the border or return to Chetumal to pay it.

Next, proceed across the bridge to Belize Immigration & Customs. Visitors, with luggage, enter the Immigration building. Citizens of Canada, USA and many other countries do not pay any fees when entering Belize — you will get a stamp in your passport allowing a stay of 30 days. Citizens of some countries require a visa which must be obtained before entering Belize. Then proceed through Customs, and 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. Look for them on the left before you enter the building, or after you exit.

Visitors who want to stay in Belize for more than 30 days can get an extension. 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 an extension. 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.

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CROSSING THE BORDER FROM COROZAL TO CHETUMAL
On the Belizean side, the border crossing, 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$37.50 (US$18.75), payable in BZ$ or US$. This website explains the departure fees:
http://www.bmabz.com/

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

Next stop is Mexican Immigration. Visitors, with luggage, should first obtain an FMM and complete it. Then present the completed FMM with passport to an immigration officer. After your documents are returned, exit the immigration building, and walk ahead to Customs. After Customs, re-board the bus. The DNI fee will have to be paid before leaving Mexico.

9. TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE AND GUATEMALA

2014/11/26

1. Fuente del Norte and Linea Dorada provide Express bus service between Flores and Belize City. In Belize City, buses arrive at and depart from the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Terminal on North Front Street near the Swing Bridge, and are not scheduled to stop anywhere else in Belize. Buses operate on Sundays and public holidays. Not all buses are air-conditioned. The agent in Belize City for these bus lines is Mundo Maya Travels — schedule and fares are on their website.

Mundo Maya Travels: http://www.travelmundomaya.com/
Fuente del Norte: http://grupofuentedelnorte.com/index.php/itinerarios
Linea Dorada: http://lineadorada.info/

Flores  to  Belize City  (235 km / 146 miles / about 4 to 5 hours)
Fuente del Norte departs daily at 5:00 am; US$25.00
San Juan Bus to Chetumal departs daily at 7:00 am (not sure if this bus stops at Belize City)
Linea Dorada departs daily at 7:00 am*; US$ 27.00
* Departure of the Linea Dorada bus is sometimes delayed because it waits for a connecting bus from Guatemala City.

Belize City  to  Flores  (235 km / 146 miles / about 4 to 5 hours)
Fuente del Norte departs daily at 10:00 am; US$25.00
Linea Dorada departs daily at 1:00 pm; US$ 27.00
San Juan Bus (??)

(updated: 21 November 2014)

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2. Regular Bus to Guatemala

Get a Belizean bus to Benque Viejo del Carmen, the last town before the border. Most of the westbound buses from the Belize City bus terminal will go to Belmopan, San Ignacio and terminate at Benque. You can board a Regular bus anywhere along the route; the final destination of BENQUE will be displayed in the front window of the bus. See Section 3 “Western Zone – Belize City to Benque Viejo Del Carmen” for more details.

The Regular buses don’t go all the way to the border, so it’s necessary to take a taxi (shouldn’t be more than BZ$10) or mini-bus/colectivo (shouldn’t be more than BZ$2) for the remaining 2 km.

Proceed through Belize Immigration. For visitors who have been in Belize for more than 24 hours, there is a fee of BZ$37.50 (US$18.75), payable in BZ$ or US$. Cross the border, proceed through Guatemala Customs & Immigration, and get a bus or taxi to your destination. Regarding an entry fee, I’ve heard various reports that there is a fee of 20 quetzals, 10 quetzals, and no fee.

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

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3. Rental Car

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

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4. Flights Between Belize City and Guatemala

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

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5. Water Taxis Between Punta Gorda and Puerto Barrios

Requeña’s Charter Service & Watertaxi operates a watertaxi, “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$40.00 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.

Contact: Requeña’s Charter Service & Watertaxi, 12 Front Street, Punta Gorda.
Tel: (501) 722-2070.
Email: watertaxi@btl.net
Website: http://www.belizenet.com/requena/

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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 (plus any exit fees).
(Updated: May 2014)

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Sharkboy
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 (plus any exit fees).
(Updated: May 2014)

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Tek-Dat
Departs Punta Gorda daily at 1:00 pm.
Departs Puerto Barrios daily at 3:00 pm.
Duration: 1 hour.
Cost: ?
(Updated: May 2014)

More information about water taxis can be found on these sites:
https://www.hickatee.com/punta-gorda-water-taxi.html

The Toledo Howler publication:
http://belizenews.com/howler/

10. TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE & HONDURAS

2014/11/26

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 around 10:30 am and arrives at Puerto Cortes at 2:30 pm.
It departs from Puerto Cortes on Mondays at 11:00 am.
Fares: US$50 to Dangriga; US$75 to Puerto Cortes.
http://www.starlaferry.com/
http://www.belizewatertaxi.com/#!internationaltickets/c15gv

I’ve heard that the Pride of Belize water taxi is no longer operating.
Contact details from the telephone directory: Tel: 203-1050, email: info@prideofbelize.com
http://www.prideofbelize.com/

(updated: November 2014)

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2. Water Taxi Between Placencia and Puerto Cortes
The “D-Express” departs from the dock by the Shell gas station on Fridays at 9:00 am. There is a stop at Big Creek. Departure from Big Creek at 11:00 am. Arrives at Puerto Cortes, Honduras about 2:00 p.m.

Cost: BZ$110.00 (US$60.00) plus any exit fees.
Return trip: Departs Puerto Cortes, Honduras on Mondays at 11:00 am, but be early for immigration processing. Arrives at Placencia about 2 pm. Cost: 1000 lempiras (US$60.00) plus any exit fees.

Tickets available at the Placencia Tourism Center. Tel: 202-4506 or 523-4045. Email: placencia@btl.net

Check the website for updates and information about charters:
http://www.belizeferry.com

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3. Express Bus

1. Transportes Manabre Bus
Departs Belize City on Saturdays at 6:00 am.
Departs San Pedro Sula on Tuesdays at 7:00 am.
Cost: US$70.00 one way.
Duration: 12 hours.
Tickets must be purchased from Mundo Maya Travel.

2. Fuente del Norte Bus from Flores
Departs Flores daily at 5:30 am.
Cost: US$45.00
Duration: 8 hours

Information from Mundo Maya Travels, Belize City.
(updated: November 2014)

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4. Flights

On 12 March 2012, Tropic Air began flights between Belize City International Airport and San Pedro Sula, Honduras. In November 2013, Tropic Air added a Belize City – Roatan route.

Flights can be booked through the website, www.tropicair.com, by e-mail at reservations@tropicair.com or by telephone at 226-2012.

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

11. EXPRESS BUS — SAN SALVADOR

2014/11/26

Fuente del Norte Bus
Departs Flores/Santa Elena (Guatemala) at 5:30 am.
Cost: US$45.00
Duration: 8 hours.

Departs San Salvador daily at 5:45 am (not confirmed)

Information from Mundo Maya Travels, Belize City.

(updated: November 2014)

12. DISTANCES

2014/11/26

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

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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

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

13. MISCELLANEOUS

2014/11/26
Belize City

Map of Belize City (click on image to enlarge)

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Holidays and Events in 2015
Thursday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
March 6 to 9 – La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
Monday, March 9 – National Heroes and Benefactors Day
Sunday, March 22 – Maya Day Celebration, Blue Creek Village, Toledo District
http://www.patrickjonesbelize.com/2015/02/23/maya-day-planning-underway/

Saturday, March 28 – Band Fest
Friday, April 3 – Good Friday
Saturday, April 4 – Holy Saturday. Bicycle race.
Saturday, April 4 — Hopkins Parranda Fest
Sunday, April 5 – Easter Sunday
Monday, April 6 – Easter Monday
Friday, May 1 – Labour Day
May 1 to 3 – National Agriculture and Trade Show, Belmopan
May ? to ? – Cashew Festival at Crooked Tree
May 22 to 25 – Chocolate Festival of Belize, Punta Gorda
http://chocolatefestivalofbelize.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BelizeChocolateFestival
Monday, May 25 – Sovereign’s Day / Commonwealth Day (in lieu of May 24)
June 5 to 14 — Belize International Jazz Festival, various locations
June 14 to 20 – San Pedro Lobster Festival
https://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Pedro-Lobster-Festival/172811686113460
June 19 to 21 – Placencia Lobsterfest
https://www.facebook.com/PlacenciaLobsterfestBelize
June 26 to 28 – Caye Caulker Lobster Fest
https://www.facebook.com/cayecaulkerlobsterfest
July 17 to 19 — Belize Film Festival
Aug. ? – ? – Tres Pescados Slam Tournament, http://www.belizefly.com
Thursday, September 10 – St. George’s Caye Day
Monday, September 21 – Independence Day
October – Rum Festival at Orange Walk Town
Monday, October 12 – Pan American Day
Thursday, November 19 – Garifuna Settlement Day
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day
Saturday, December 26 – Boxing Day
Some holidays are observed on a different day than the date they actually fall on.

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

14. WEBSITES

2014/11/26

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

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General tourism:

http://www.travelbelize.org/

http://www.pgiabelize.com/1.html

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Accommodation:

http://www.travelbelize.org/index.php?option=com_accommodations&Itemid=315

http://www.belizeexplorer.com/

http://www.belizehotels.org/

http://www.chetumalhoteles.com/hoteles.html

http://www.allmexicohotels.com/quintana-roo/chetumal/

http://www.travelyucatan.com/playa_del_carmen_mexico_hotel_map-a.php

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Maps

http://ambergriscaye.com/maps/

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Newspapers, radio stations & TV stations

http://belizenews.com/

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Weather & Climate

http://www.hydromet.gov.bz/

http://www.belizenet.com/weather/climate.html

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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Travel Forums

http://www.belizeforum.com/

http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forum_summary.html

There is another forum on Lonely Planet, but I no longer provide the link because they do not treat all members equally.


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