Belize is only six hours from north to south driving. Moving around is not difficult if you know what the locals know.
There are a few ways to get around: public bus, taxis, ferry boats, small planes, car rentals, and sometimes by foot. Knowing a few tricks can save you from tourist traps that cost you time and money.
All services recommended are listed in alphabetical order to prevent biases.
Most towns and cities are accessible through a bus system that operates hourly. Buses are available during the day only; there are no night buses.
There are two type of buses that run throughout Belize:
- Regular Bus - Public buses that go from one location to another but stop at every village along the way to the destination.
- Express Bus - Public buses that go directly from one location to the destination without stopping at every village to pickup or drop off passengers.
Both buses are often labeled with a sign beside the destination name.
Example: Express Belmopan
- Be very patient - Schedules are rarely on time. Most buses are very old and experience mechanical problems.
- Always choose express buses - If you know your exact destination, take an express bus which is faster than regular buses.
- Avoid regular buses - they often take twice as long because they stop at every village along the way dropping and picking up passengers.
- Pay on the bus - bus fares are normally paid in route to destination and collected in cash (US Dollars or Belize Dollars)
- Check if you need tickets - some official bus stops require bus tickets to be purchased prior to boarding.
- Bus fare is predictable - in general, bus fare is $5.00 BZD ($2.50 USD) for every hour of travel.
- Take morning and evening buses - early morning and late evening buses are fastest and most reliable because they transport office workers.
- Avoid traveling on weekends - Weekend bus schedules are extremely unreliable especially on Sundays and on holidays.
Bus schedules will be posted here soon, but you can reference Belize Bus blog in the meantime.
Taxis are easily spotted by their green license plates. Sadly most don't have any signs that identify them as taxis otherwise. The standard fare within town/city limits are $2.50 USD to $3.50 USD. There are also shared taxi vans in some regions that charge a bit less. These are known as colectivos in other countries. There is no Uber service in Belize!
Transportation by ferry or boat is locally called the water taxi service. These services connect inland locations to the islands and most run on a daily basis.
Belize Water Taxi - has daily trips from Belize City to Caye Caulker Village and San Pedro Town. They also offer trips to Chetumal, Mexico.
Thunderbolt Water Taxi - offers daily trips from Corozal Town to Sarteneja Village, San Pedro Town, and Caye Caulker Village.
Belize Sea Shuttle - offers daily trips from Belize City to Sarteneja Village which is a large fishing village in northern Belize.
If you're pressed for time, traveling by plane can help. These companies take you to the main islands and most major cities within the country.
Tropic Air Belize - offers flights within Belize and even international flights to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
Maya Island Air - only offers flights within Belize.
Shuttle services are lot more expensive than public transport but can be useful if you're on a tight schedule. Here are some recommendations.
Renting a car in Belize is expensive compared to other countries in Central America.
High gas prices and import duty play a factor into the high rental prices. Car rental can range between $35 USD and $75 USD per day excluding the deposit fee.
Despite the high rental rates, having a car in Belize offers a massive advantage though since you can travel to natural reserves and explore hard to reach places. Public transportation doesn't have routes to many remote villages as yet.
Below are the two largest car rental companies in Belize.
- ADO Belize - this is a Mexican bus service that operates in Belize. Tickets can be bought at the Novelo's bus station in Belize City.
- Fuente del Norte - this service is found at Melchor, El Petén in Guatemala which is just 30 minutes away from San Ignacio Town in Belize.
Pride of Belize - water taxi departing once a week from Mango Creek, Independence in Placencia, Belize to Puerto Cortés, Honduras.
Tropic Air Belize - offers flights from Belize City to Roatán, Honduras.