Archive for February, 2018

1. WELCOME

2018/02/23

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.

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2. UPDATES

2018/02/22

30 October 2018 — Fuel Prices
Premium gasoline: BZ$11.75 per gallon
Regular gasoline: BZ$10.63 per gallon
Diesel: BZ$10.76 per gallon
These are the prices in Belize City; prices may be higher in the districts due to transportation costs.

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25 October 2018 — Flights Between San Ignacio & Placencia
Beginning January 1, 2019, Tropic Air will commence a new, one time weekly, seasonal, non-stop flight between San Ignacio and Placencia. Departure from San Ignacio on Tuesdays at 10:00 am. No schedule yet for a return trip. Check the Tropic Air website.

https://www.tropicair.com/tropic-air-announces-new-san-ignacio-to-placencia-flight/?fbclid=IwAR2pPaqluGmSFQVzBggw7id3wwYXuaAce_usBac7sF41KrkyO9066ETApA8

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Resumption of Flights to Caye Caulker
Tropic Air resumed flights to Caye Caulker on September 11, 2018.

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22 August 2018 — Buses to Chetumal
Be prepared for a disruption of bus service to Chetumal. Here’s the report from Belize Channel 7 TV News…

Quote
Fewer Belizeans are traveling to Chetumal – and it’s because of a bus situation which has emerged ever since a Mexican bus driver for ADO was arrested in Belize earlier this month.

As a result of that, since last Wednesday, Belizean buses have no longer been allowed into Chetumal without insurance coverage from a Mexican insurance company. None of them have that, so no bus has been able to take Belizean passengers directly into Chetumal.

Those travelling to Chetumal by bus must now disembark in the Free Zone area, and hire a taxi into Chetumal. It’s a frustrating and costly process which has discouraged Belizeans from the travelling. And it has begun to show in the numbers.

CTV-3 News quoutes Belize’s Honorary Consul to Quintana Roo, Luis Montero Maldonado, as saying that there has been a 30% decrease in the number of Belizean visitors to Chetumal, and he says this is the direct result of the buses not being allowed into Chetumal.

In comments to the press in Chetumal, Maldonado called it a shakedown of Belizeans, and said that the move will hurt tourism and relations between the two countries.

All this comes after the arrest of Eider Tun, the ADO driver, who was driving an ADO bus that did not have Belizean insurance. Tun was held at the Police Station for an overnight and charged for driving a motor vehicle without insurance. He pleaded guilty and was fined $105 dollars. This seems to have angered Mexican authorities who are now saying Belizean buses now need to comply with their rules.
Unquote

Here’s the report about the ADO driver…
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=45897

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14 August 2018 — Aeromexico Flights to Belize
Aeromexico will begin flights to Belize on November 17, 2018. Flights will be scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays, and will continue until April 28, 2019. If passenger numbers are sufficient, flights will continue through the low season.
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=45847

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

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29 July 2017 — Buses to Mexico
Belizean buses now use the old ADO bus terminal on Av. Insurgentes on the north side of the city.

http://amandala.com.bz/news/relocation-belize-buses-ado-terminal-putting-hurt-vendors-lazaro-cardinez-market/

The new ADO terminal is located on Av. Insugentes at Calle Palermo (closer to Plaza Las Americas).

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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.

3. BELIZE BUS INFORMATION AND SCHEDULES

2018/02/21

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

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

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

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

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

When boarding a bus at a terminal, just get on and find a seat. Buses tend to be crowded, so try to get to the terminal well before the departure time to be assured of a seat. Luggage can be stored in overhead racks, or at the back of the bus, or wherever the conductor says. Always keep an eye on your luggage because passengers often use the rear emergency door as an entrance or exit. I like to keep my luggage within reach if possible. Once the bus gets going, a conductor will collect the fares (no fare for children under the age of two years). If you’re on a Regular bus and want to get off, move to the front of the bus and tell the driver or conductor where you want to get off.

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

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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. There is also bus service to the nearby villages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tillett’s Bus

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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$4.00,
to Belmopan (50 miles) is about 1.5 hours & BZ$6.00,
to San Ignacio (73 miles) is about 2 hours & BZ$9.00,
to Benque is about BZ$10.00.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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