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.
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.
Bus service to Bermudian Landing
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
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.
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.
Here are the schedules posted in the Belmopan bus terminal (thank you to Steve I. for the contribution). Click on an image to enlarge, then view in full screen.
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.
James Bus Line runs between Belize City, Belmopan, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Schedules can be found on several sources:
Hickatee site: http://www.hickatee.com/james-bus-timetable
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.
As at January 2017, these links are not working.
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:
The schedules below are posted in the Belmopan bus terminal (thank you to Steve I. for the contribution). Click on an image and view in full screen.
The schedule below was posted in the Dangriga bus terminal in November 2015 (thank you to Carolin for the contribution).
The schedule below was posted in Independence in February 2015 (thank you to Sabine for the contribution).
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.