Boat / Ferry, Belize City
I came to Belize city as part of a cruise, so that's the only place I got to visit (albeit briefly) of all Belize. Getting to the city from the boat takes a lot of time, as it is a tender port and the boat stops quite far away from the shore. It took us over 15 minutes by tender to get to the terminal and - obviously - we were not the first to board the first tenders, as those are reserved for people who have bougt an excursion.
If you, like me, are part of a cruise, your passport will not get stamped – unless you ask for it and you go to the right place. The right place is a small hut at the other side of terminal 4, where you’ll find the appointed person who, as he stamps your passport, will move the stamps pad to reveal a few US banknotes. The word “present” or “money” was not uttered, but it was evident that a gift was appreciated. He did the whole procedure with such a charm that he really earned himself a few dollars.
There are many boats you can rent in Belize. You can either rent them alone or you can share with other passengers for your choice of destination.
The boats can take you to Caulker, San Pedro, Chetumal, Mexico.
You can see them at the seaport terminal, close to the Terminal Mall. Make sure to haggle the price and ask around. Don't just take what they tell you.
If you're arriving from Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker, you can either fly into Belize City or take the water taxi. The water taxi is cheaper and more colorful, in that you're much more likely to be sharing your ride with locals as well as other travelers. It's run by the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association and is located right next to the swing bridge, on the north side. Fares are $20BZ one way, $35BZ round-trip. Don't worry, if one boat fills up, they'll take another one too, so everyone gets on. Their website below has their time schedules.
Restroom tip - if you want to use the restroom in the water taxi terminal, have 50 cents ready for the woman at the restroom entrance. She has the toilet paper!
Tube riding is excellent but you are required to arrange a guide to go with you.
there are tons of tubes to rent at the entrance of the Caves Branch. 8 km from the main road . the main western highway that goes from Belize to san ignacio.
price of tube riding around $45 usd
If you get a tour to pick you up from your hotel in belize or from san ignacio is around $65
IF YOU LOOKING TO GOTO THE CAYES THEN TOURISTS USUALLY COME TO BELIZE CITY TO THE BOAT TERMINAL TO TAKE THEM THERE. UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVEN'T GOT ANY INFO ON THIS BUT I KNOW YOU CATCH A BOAT SOMEWHERE NEAR THE SWINGBRIDGE.
I KNOW IT SOUNDS POINTLESS BUT JUST MAKING PEOPLE AWARE OF IT.
There is a cheaper water taxi service on the other side of the harbour in Belize City (I forgot the name unfortunately) that was not mentioned in my Lonely Planet guidebook (Belize/Guatemala). Instead of crossing the Swing Bridge to get to Front Street, stay on the the other side of the harbour and head right down Regent Street from Albert Street. The taxi terminal will come up on your left. A fellow traveller gave us this tip. If you're out there, we thank you!
When we first arrived in Belize, a last-minute change in our airline connections forced us to take a small airplane internal flight directly from the International Airport (several miles outside the city) to pre-booked accommodations on Caye Caulker. As a result, our first experience with Belize City was six days later when we arrived back from the northern Cayes via a Water Taxi. This is a fun way to travel, and the distances are not so great that it takes a large amount of time - US$10 for the 45 minute trip to Caye Caulker. The boats hold quite a few people (~20-30) and move along quite nicely with their typical 3 x 200 HP outboard engines. They run between 8 AM and 4 PM, departing roughly every hour. This photo shows a typical white boat, with a cabin for shelter if it happens to be raining, tied up in front of the Water Taxi Terminal on Haulover Creek. The second photo shows the numerous anchored boats in the creek as our water taxi was pulling in from the islands. We were in the city for only a few minutes, as we quickly grabbed a mini-van taxi at the chaotic water taxi terminal and headed for the International Airport for our pre-arranged rental vehicle pickup.
Getting to the Cayes is very easy, there are taxis every hour (almost), it only takes 30 minutes to get to Caye Caulker and about an hour to Ambergris, but you don’t want to bother going there anyway. If you want to get off at any of the other cayes you just have to ask the captain.
From a cruise ship you will be tendered into Belize City. This can be a bit scary, but you will survive the long, bumpy ride. Remember to get your tender tickets from the location designated on board the ship as early as possible.
Since we arrived in Belize City via cruise ship, we had to tender into the city itself on a very small boat. This is due to Belize's large barrier reef. Although this was time consuming, it was a beautiful voyage on a lovely boat!
Belize City is quickly becoming a popular spot for people to visit on Western Caribbean Cruises. During our Dec. 2004 cruise, we stopped in for a whole day, which was perfect for many different excursion possibilities. Although we chose cave tubing, others visited the zoo, Mayan ruins, or took a fan boat out into the water to see wildlife and foilage.
The're severall compagnies offering a place on their boats to the cayes. The biggest has a terminal just over the bridge (comming from the center). A one way trip will cost you around $7,5. If you by a round trip you'll get reduction.
The trip itself is also very nice passing many other cayes and the mainland at the horizon.