5. GETTING PLACES IN BELIZE

1. From the Airport to Belize City

There are no public buses from Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA). 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 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 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$10.

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2. From International Airport to Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker

The quickest and easiest way to get to the cayes is by flight with one of the two domestic airlines: Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. Flights depart from the International airport and from the Municipal airport in Belize City. Flights from Municipal are cheaper, but a taxi is required to get to Municipal. Schedules & fares are on their websites (see links in previous section).

The cheaper option is with one of the water taxi services from Belize City, but this requires a taxi ride to BC. Water taxi schedules are in the previous section.

The third option is by a private water taxi (see links in previous section).

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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

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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.

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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.

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6. To Placencia

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

Option 1. [Note: as at January 2017, the website links no longer work for Ritchie’s; I don’t know the reason] 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. 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.

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6 Responses to “5. GETTING PLACES IN BELIZE”

  1. Mette Says:

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

    • belizebus Says:

      It all depends on how you define “best”.

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

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

  2. peetcrow Says:

    I need to get from Dangriga,Belize to Flores,Guatemala on 31 December 2017.I can only leave Dangriga at 4pm.Is this possible at all?Please help!

    • belizebus Says:

      It’s possible. You might need to use taxis if buses don’t fit into your schedule.

  3. itsnoelv Says:

    whats the best way to get to the international airport from San Ignacio?

    • belizebus Says:

      How do you define “best”? What’s best for one traveller might not be best for another traveller.

      If money is not an issue, you can fly from San Ignacio to BC.

      A slightly less expensive option — arrange to be picked up by one of the transfer services and driven directly to the airport. A list of transfer services is on this site — I’d suggest William’s, Discounted or Teddy Bear. Contact them for prices. Try to find another person also going to the airport and split the cost.

      If you want to do the trip cheaply, get a bus to Belize City (about BZ$8 or $9), then taxi (BZ$50) to the airport.

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