6. TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE and MEXICO

1. Express Bus

a) ADO
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. Remember the time change when crossing the border — Quintana Roo is on Eastern Time (no daylight saving), and Belize is on Central Time (no daylight saving).

On the Cancún route, stops include Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Bacalar, Corozal and Orange Walk, but passengers are not allowed to use these buses to travel within Belize, for example, from Belize City to Corozal. Passengers can board the bus at Orange Walk or Corozal only if their final destination is 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. The Mérida run is no longer on the ADO schedule.

Cancún to Belize City
The bus departs from the ADO terminal daily at 11:15 pm, and stops at Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Bacalar, Chetumal, Corozal and Orange Walk.
Fare to BC: MX$960 (in January 2020)
Trip time: 9.5 hours

Belize City to Cancún
The bus departs from BC bus terminal daily at 7:30 pm, and stops at Orange Walk, Corozal, Bacalar, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancún Airport.
Fare: BZ$19 is paid at BC, and the remainder of the fare is paid when the bus stops at Bacalar (in September 2019).
Note: The Belize City to Bacalar run does not appear on the ADO website because it is not operated by ADO.

ADO website for schedules & fares: https://www.ado.com.mx/

Note 1: On the ADO website, “$” is used to denote pesos.
Note 2: ADO buses have very good air-conditioning; dress warmly.

Telephone numbers for information & ticket sales in Belize:
Belize City: 625-5900
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.

ADO Bus BC to Cancun

ADO Bus from Belize City to Cancun (thank you to Kristyna for the image)

 

b) Marlin Espadas Ltd.
A bus departs from Chetumal daily at 9:30 am and goes to Flores with stops at Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize City, Belmopan, San Ignacio and Benque Viejo.
A bus departs from Flores daily at 7:30 am and goes to Chetumal with stops at Benque, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Belize City, Orange Walk and Corozal.
I’ve been told the buses have a/c and wifi.

The Chetumal office is located at (as given to me):
“mz. 375 lot 1
Calle 30 de noviembre y 10 de abril
Avenida Maxuxac Mz.
Colonia Proteritorio.”

The Flores Peten office is at:
“Playa Sur, Flores, Peten, Guatemala”

Contact them directly for clarification…
For reservations: +501-615 9009 / 627 9990
marlinespadasltdbelize@gmail.com
http://marlinespadas.net/?fbclid=IwAR3M_-u_ejb120dy3eePP2qG6EovaDna91AGAb4BLGult25AmFlgbxZc1Dg

https://www.facebook.com/Marlin-Espadas-M%C3%A9xico-SA-de-CV-911522482202854/

c) San Juan Travel Services
The San Juan bus departs from the Chetumal ADO terminal daily at 7:00 am and goes to Flores. Buses operate on Sundays and public holidays. Not all buses are air-conditioned.
Fare: US$10.00 to Belize City and US$35.00 to Flores.

NOTE: WITH THE BUS CHANGES IN SEPTEMBER 2019, IT WAS REPORTED THAT THIS BUS IS NOT ALLOWED TO PICKUP OR DROP OFF PASSENGERS IN BELIZE. I’LL TRY TO CONFIRM THIS.

>

2. 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!

Corozal to Chetumal: buses depart from Corozal bus terminal about every half hour beginning at 7:00 am; last departure about 6 or 7 pm. Most of the buses that go to Chetumal originate from Belize City and Orange Walk. Smaller mini-buses and taxi vans (colectivos) also travel between Corozal and the border — they wait near the bus terminal.

Chetumal to Corozal: buses depart from the Nuevo Mercado Lázaro Cárdenas (New Market) at Chetumal about every half hour. I don’t know the exact departure time of the last bus from Nuevo Mercado, but it’s about 6pm.

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.

Note: In February 2019, I received information that the first bus to leave Chetumal departs at 10 am. I haven’t confirmed that.

>

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

In Chetumal, water taxis use the main pier, Muelle Fiscal, which is close to the big Government building, Palacio Gobierno, at the waterfront (visible on Google Earth).

If arriving in Chetumal at the 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 and go directly to the pier. It’s about 4 km from the ADO terminal to the pier. A taxi takes about 10 minutes, and costs 50 pesos from the bus terminal (if you walk out to the main road and get a taxi, the fare is 30 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.

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)

>

4. Flights Between Belize and Mexico
Tropic Air flies between Belize City Philip Goldson International Airport and Cancún Airport. Check the Tropic Air website for schedule & fare.

>

5. 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 have allowed vehicles into Belize:

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

Cancún Rent a Car also operates as America Rent a Car and Caribbean Rent a Car. 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.

>

6. Chetumal Bus or Taxi then Belizean Bus or Taxi
It is possible to travel from Chetumal to the border with a Chetumal local 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.

Local 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).  They terminate at the original crossing point, about 100 metres from the Immigration booth.

A taxi from Chetumal to the border takes about 15 minutes, and you might have to tell the taxi driver which crossing you want to go to. The fare was MX$70 in 2013 (when I did it), but I’ve heard it’s now MX$100 (February 2019). 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 (colectivo) 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, 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)

11 Responses to “6. TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN BELIZE and MEXICO”

  1. Vicky Says:

    Hi can you please tell me how much bus or texi fare form chetumal to Belmopan

    Thankyou

    • belizebus Says:

      Bus…
      Chetumal to Belize City — about BZ$12.
      Change bus at BC.
      BC to Belmopan — about BZ$5.

      Taxi…
      Mexican taxi from Chetumal to the border — about 70 pesos
      Belizean taxi from the border to Belmopan — taxis don’t have meters here, so I’d guess the fare would be about BZ$300.

  2. Noel Says:

    Can you please tell me if there is a bus from Chetumal to Mahaual if it is scheduled daily and how much it would cost? And can you please tell me if there is a bus that would take me from Chetumal to Playa del Carmen?

    • belizebus Says:

      Here’s some bus info I got last year while in Chetumal…
      Caribe Bus departs daily at 05:40, 12:40 & 16:10. Fare: 65 pesos.
      ADO bus departs daily at 19:10. Fare: 94 pesos.
      These buses depart from the bus terminal beside the Museum of Maya Culture.

      When I travel between Mahahual & Chetumal, I use the combie vans that seat about 9 passengers. These depart from the main ADO bus terminal, and cost 80 pesos each way. Departure times: 06:00, 07:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00, 17:00 & 18:00. Trip time is about 1.5 hours.

      ADO and Mayab operate buses between Chetumal and Play del Carmen. They run about every two hours and the last fare I have is MX$240 (that’s pesos).

      ADO also runs one bus per day between Mahaual and Playa.

      Check the ADO website for all schedules & fares.

  3. Mary McClelland Says:

    Thanks for the great info. We had a bad experience with the transfer service hawked by the San Pedro Waterjets international on their water taxi from San Pedro to Chetumal. They sold it as better than taking the bus because it was direct from the water taxi pier to your hotel in Tulum or Playa and would leave as soon as passengers got through customs and immigration. The van was old, air conditioning poor, a couple had to be dropped at a very out of the way place in Tulum (driver had to ask directions 4 times to find it), we had to get gas before leaving Chetumal (and pick up some coolant), and made 2 other stops. We got to Playa 1 hour after the ADO bus would have arrived. Stick with the bus.

  4. Rens Says:

    Hey everyone,

    First of all, thanks for the great website, it has been very helpful in crossing from Chetumal to Belize. I wanted to share some information on the experience we had travelling from Bacalar to Belize City via Chetumal yesterday, the 15th of October.
    In Bacalar, we bought bus tickets at the ADO station to Chetumal. I just told the attendant we wanted two tickets to Chetumal and not specifically mentioned ADO, so she sold us two tickets of a company called Caribe. They were 45 pesos each as opposed to the 77 pesos ADO charges, and it was an airconditioned van, I’d guess around 18-20 seater. It did pick up people along the way so it wasn’t the fastest but still bearable for the duration of the trip.
    So, then we arrived to Chetumal. We took a cab asking for the bus station with buses to Belize City, the cab driver took us to the Mercado Lazaro bus station, where several Blue Bird buses were waiting. Each of them had a paper behind the window that displayed the time of departure, as we later found out *its in Belizean timing*! We chose the 2:45 pm bus because we thought we wouldn’t make the 1:00 pm one, but then it was 3 pm and after asking the bus driver told us about the Belizean timing thing… so in hindsight we could’ve been in time for the 1:00 pm one (2:00 pm Mexican timing). The Blue Bird was a bargain at 13 Belizean dollars, around 6 US dollars. The bus driver accepted US dollars and I think pesos as well, but was only able to give change in BZ dollars. It took 4 hours from Chetumal to Belize City, including the border crossing. We only booked a one way flight into Cancun so our plane ticket did not include the departure tax yet, this meant we had to pay a fee of 558 Mexican pesos each as a departure tax. Getting into Belize was a breeze, only needed to fill in some personal details about the purpose of our stay, no bag checks et cetera. This is with a Dutch passport by the way.
    The bus ride was bearable but picked up and dropped off people every couple mins, so not the most comfortable. Only if you’re in for a more unique experience! It was a much more interesting ride than the ADO buses we took in Mexico. When we were close to arriving to BC the bus driver approached us if we already had a place to stay and told us where to take a taxi. We planned to walk around in Belize City a bit the next day, before taking the water taxi to Caye Caulker. However when experiencing the city we decided to skip the morning walk.. the taxi driver told us that the city was crime ridden, and at night the police goes home and doesn’t care about tourists, and ‘in the southern part of the city everyone is out to get your dollar, they don’t care who you are’. After that he quickly tried to put things into perspective telling us that crime is everywhere, but our guest house had razor wire on all the fences so not the most comforting idea..
    the next morning we walked to the water taxi terminal (200m from our guest house) and collected our tickets. We ordered them online, after ordering we received an email asking for personal data like date of birth and nationality. To collect them you need to show the PayPal receipt that you received in your email. Luggage check in (two large backpacks) was swift, boat ride to Caye Caulker took around 50 minutes and also went well. Now writing this from a hammock under a palm tree! We’ve spent two hours on the island and already decided we want to stay three nights instead of two, great relaxed vibe.

    Hope our experiences can be of help to some of you!

    • belizebus Says:

      For the benefit of other readers, I have to mention Mexico does NOT have a Departure Tax, so you were scammed at the border.

      Mexico has a Tourist Tax known as the DNI (I have explained it in this website), and all airlines include the tax with the airfare (even one-way tickets), so you already paid. When leaving Mexico, there is nothing to pay unless you entered Mexico at a land border and didn’t pay upon entry.

      • Rens Says:

        Hmm we flew with Evelop Air which is a budget airline, they specifically mention on their website: “ THE DEPARTURE TAX IS APPROXIMATELY EUR 60 (MXN 1,100) AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. THIS TAX CANNOT BE PAID BY CREDIT CARD OR IN US DOLLARS OR EUROS. IT MAY VARY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, BUT TENDS TO GO UP IN THE MONTH OF JANUARY.”
        They state that is isn’t included in the ticket price and needs to be paid separately… does this then correspond with the fee we paid at the border or did we still double-pay somehow?

  5. belizebus Says:

    There are in fact two separate taxes as I’ve explained. With a one-way ticket, you would not have paid the International Airport Departure Tax, but I don’t know of any airlines that do not include the DNI (Mexican Tourist Tax) — that’s the 558 pesos fee. The only way to know for sure is to get an itemized receipt from the airline.

  6. Biel B. Says:

    Boa noite, estou indo de Belize para Bacalar no dia 23/3, gostaria de saber se tem ônibus direto ,se está tendo problema a entrada de Brasileiros por lá e se tenho que pagar alguma taxa de entrada. Aguardo, obrigado

    Good night, I’m going from Belize to Bacalar on March 23rd, I would like to know if there is a direct bus, if there are problems with the entry of Brazilians there and if I have to pay any entrance fee. I wait, thanks

    • belizebus Says:

      See Section 6 of this site. An ADO bus departs from BC bus terminal daily at 7:30 pm with stops at Orange Walk, Corozal, Bacalar, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancún Airport.

      Fare: BZ$19 is paid at BC, and the remainder of the fare is paid when the bus stops at Bacalar (in September 2019). In 2019, the bus added a stop at Chetumal.

      Note: The Belize City to Bacalar run does not appear on the ADO website because it is not operated by ADO.

      I don’t know immigration details for Brazilians, but according to this site, Brazilians do not need a visa to enter Mexico…
      https://airportcancun.travel/countries-that-dont-need-a-visa/

      You should confirm that from an official source.

      When you leave Belize, the departure fees amount to BZ$40 (or US$20) per person.

      When you enter Mexico, you must complete an FMM immigration card and pay the Tourist Tax (575 pesos) at a cashier window in the Immigration Building. A receipt will be stapled to your half of the FMM, and you have to keep this to hand in when you leave Mexico. You should be allowed to stay in Mexico for a maximum of 180 days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: