4. OTHER TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

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.

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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) 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/#!home/mainPage

b) 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

c) Tropic Ferry
Tropic Ferry is a private water taxi 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/

d) Nautilus Express Water Taxi
Nautilus Express is another 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/

(Updated: January 2017)

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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 also stops at Sarteneja on each trip. 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.
Fare (updated 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)

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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.
http://hokeypokey.aguallos.com/

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4. 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

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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), https://www.vecaairlines.com/en/

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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. 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://belizeshuttles.com/

j) http://www.belize-airport-transfers.com/

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

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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

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4 Responses to “4. OTHER TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS”

  1. Facundo Says:

    Hi. I arrive to Phillip Goldson Int Airport and my final destination is Tulum. I’ve read that I have to take a local bus to Chetumal, and then the ADO to Tulum, but I want to know the schedules of the local bus.
    Thanks!

    • belizebus Says:

      Hi,

      Buses leave from Belize City every 30 to 45 minutes. They all go past the airport on the way to Corozal, and most (maybe all) continue to Chetumal. See the schedule in Section 3 Northern Zone (WordPress doesn’t allow a larger image).

      You could simply walk, hitch or taxi from the airport to the highway (2.5 km) and wait on the side of the highway for a bus, or go all the way back to Belize City bus terminal to board the bus.

      There is another option. ADO run 2 daily express buses from BC to Cancun with a stop at Tulum. The first bus leaves BC in the morning but I don’t know the exact time, and the second bus departs at 7:30 pm. It’s about 6.5 hours to Tulum on this bus. You can board this bus at Belize City bus terminal or Orange Walk bus terminal.

  2. Andrew C. Says:

    I am trying to get from Belize City to Tikal for a few nigts, then down to Hopkins for a week or less and back to belize city for a flight home.
    Any thoughts as to the best route/mode of transpot?

    • belizebus Says:

      Your options are bus, transfer service, rental car and flight. Each has pros & cons, and I can’t say what is “best” for you without knowing what your priorities are: cost, promptness, comfort, ease, etc.

      If you’re a lower budget traveller, a good option might be one of the express buses from BC to Flores. You can get off near El Remate and other transportation to Tikal. The bus is US$25 or $27 depending on the bus line.

      If you have a higher budget, fly with Tropic Air. For more freedom, rent a car from Crystal Car Rental. For a stress-free trip, use a transfer service (private shuttle). More details are on this site.

      For getting back to Hopkins, I’d suggest the Marlin Espadas bus from Flores to Belize City. Maybe you can get picked up at El Remate (check with them) so you don’t have to go back to Flores. The other advantage of Espadas is that the bus makes a stop at Belmopan where you have to get a bus to Dangriga. At Dangriga, change to the Hopkins bus. Details are on this site.

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