Almost 2 weeks later, at the end of our trip, we returned to Belize City for one night. This photo shows the mini-van shuttle that brought us from San Ignacio, 72 miles away on the Guatemala border. We had spent a week there, based at a great lodgings called the Trek Stop, and they had a planned run into the city for an airport pickup, allowing us to tag along for US$15 each. This was a great deal because we had planned to take the Express bus, which would have been much slower and would have cost US$6 each. The shuttle dropped us off directly at our Seaside Guesthouse accommodations.
Mini-vans similar to this are quite often used as taxis in the city, and we used them twice for in-city rides and twice more to get to the International Airport in Ladyville (once to pick up our rental SUV and again on our final day in Belize). We had a great driver for our final ride to the airport (the standard US$25 rate for the two of us) - the same guy who had picked us up in town the day before. He had given us his card to call him for our drive to the airport and waived the $3 charge for our in-town ride. Give him a try if you get the chance (see below).
Not sure you will find a bus company based in Belize offering services on the net, although there are loads of forums that will point out the best on, there are excursions that go from San Ignacio into Guatemala.
We had trouble trying to find out about public transport, we had to just go to the relevant bus depot and ask.
good luck and hope you have fun.
Bus travel in Belize leaves much to be desired. The buses are of the old school bus variety. They are very uncomfortable and crowded. About the best that can be said for them is that they do run their routes frequently enough that there is little trouble in getting from point to point. They also quite affordable to use. Part of the problem here is that the roads in Belize are not up to international standards hence are very bumpy. Another problem I had was people often bring along all kinds of personal items with them on the bus. I nearly crushed some fellows large banana tree well getting off one bus. Finally, the buses are in a sad state of repair. One bus I road on blew a tire and we had to stop while it was changed. I did meet plenty of local traveling this way but on a whole there is alot of room for improvement here.
Busses usually leave from one end to the country (e.g. Belize City to Punta Gorda, or San Ignacio to Belize City, and stop in every main city, and other places, depending if U ride the express or regular bus). Since I was pregnant and wanted to travel only on paved road s we took the Express (with A/C, TV) bus from “downtown” San Ignacio to Belmopan @ 7.20 AM with Belize/National Bus Company (other regular busses leave @ 4, 5.15, 6.45, 7.30, 8 AM). The bus cost 2.50 USD per person.
Then with a 10 minute break we got on the 8.30 AM regular bus (also with National/Belize transport) from Belmopan to Mango Creek/Independence. This regular bus cost 7 USD per person. (We took the bus only to Mango Creek/Independence, since the roads are paved there, but from Independence to Placencia the (dirt) roads are very bad, and bumpy we heard)
We asked the bus driver and he dropped us off @ the Hokey Pokey Ferry (which would have been a 5-10 Minute walk from the bus stop) in Mango Creek/Independence. The regular bus (leaving from Belmopan @ 8.30 AM) arrived at Mango Creek/Independence around 11.30 AM, where we had an immediate connection to Placencia. The boat ride from Mango Creek/Independence to Placencia was only 15-20 Min, and cost about 5 USD per person.
At the end of our trip our Hotel (Seaspray) helped us reserve our air ticket. We took Maya Air (Ph#: 501.223.1140 nicer, has better records than Tropic Air Ph#: 501.226.2012) flight from Placencia to Belize City International Airport for $81 USD per person (one way in April 2007). U have to check with the domestic airlines (Maya, Tropic Air), since their website is still not updated with their current schedules and fees.
Before our trip, our host, and the Placencia Tourism Center (Ph#: 501.523.4045, M-F 8.30-5, Sat 8.30-11.30 AM) was very helpful getting transportation information.
If you are travelling to Corozal from Belize City, you can either get two flights going via Ambergris Caye, cost around $130, or you can catch the bus to Chetumal, Mexico, which departs from the bus station downtown. The bus only costs $6 although it takes about 2 hours, they have a 10 min stop in Orange Walk where vendors come on and sell drinks and fruits. Certainly not first class travel, yet with all the windows open who needs air conditioning?
Deux types de bus:
-Les omnibus, anciens bus scolaires reaffectés au transport des gens
-Des bus plus modernes, climatisés et rapides, confortables et pas chers
BC-SI 10 dollars belize...
Two types of buses:
-the cheap, old bus school...
-More modernes and AC buses, faster and more confortable a little more expansives 10$ BC-SI;..
Busing in Belize is popular, due to the fact that it is the cheapest way to get around and no other public transport is available, besides Taxi's (there were never any rail tracks laid in Belize)
Sometimes it may be confusing as to which bus to catch as the bus service officials are hard to notice and seem vague, your best bet if unsure is to ask the locals, also it may be a fight to get your seat, even if you have been given a seat number you may not always be able to sit in it.
Keep an eye on your luggage as they load it and unload it at the bus stops, it has been known to go missing.
The cost to travel from Belize City to Belmopan on the express (better bus and quicker, usually) will cost you 7.50 BZ Dollars each (remember the exchange rate to the US Dollar is 2 to 1).
Many people think the only option to get to Tikal and Guatemala from Mexico is by flying. It is possible to take a bus. There are regular buses from Cancun and Tulum that go to Chetumal where it is possible to get a bus to Belize city. At the boarder in Santa Elena you will have to pay a still $50 Conservation Fee, but there are few hastles. Once in Belize City take a bus to Belmopan, the very tiny capital. From here you can grab a bus to San Ignacio in the Cayo district and then a short bus ride to the boarder Benque Viejo del Carmen. Go through customs and walk across the bridge into Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala and grab a bus to Flores, Guatemala. Ask the driver to drop you off at El Cruce, "The Cross", where you need to head north to El Remate by walking or by a mini taxi (they are quite frequent). From El Remate "the dead end" you can stay the night and then take the noon bus to Tikal two and half hour drive north. In Tikal stay at the Jaguar Inn or the other two hotels. You can get a bus back to El Remate or even Flores if you would like to continue to head south to Guatemala City or just to El Cruce and head back into Belize.
If you don't want the expense of car rental and high fuel cost, but hate the idea of a all day trip fron Belize City to one of the southern areas check out the (new) express bus service. I'm not sure of the cost I think I was told its about 30 -40 US$ You get a LOT of local flavor on a bus but in the pass it was just to long a trip.
if you come from Punta Gorda by boat you propably will take the James Bus Line to Belize city. The're several busses daily doing the 8hrs during journey over rough unpaved roads. Fortunately foreign nations are sponsering the paving of the whole road and so in a few years the gruyere-roads will be history.
It might be a long trip in a not realy comfortable bus, it will not be boring! In those 8hrs you'll pass many typical villages and you'll have great views over the Belizean hills. It's worth it...
Getting there is mostly by airplane. The international airport is just outside of Belize City. You may also enter by highway from Mexico, Guatemala, or Honduras. But, rental cars cannot cross the border. So, you will have to take the bus.
Getting around is mostly by a tiny airplane or bus. The planes are fast, but will run two to ten times the cost of ground transportation. The islands and atolls may be accessed by water taxi, which is reasonable. On the mainland the bus system is pretty good and inexpensive. It may take a few hours though.
Most travelers will arrive in Belize City by air, but if you are like me, you can arrive to Belize by bus from either Guatemala or Mexico. Another option is by boat in which case you could be arriving from any Carribean destination, including the Bay Islands in Utila!
Chicken buses will take you everywhere. For the islands though, you will have to take a boat. You can get a boat ride to Caye Caulker from Belize City. The cost is around $5 USD for a speedboat that takes 1 hour.
On Caye Caulker you use your feet to get around because there aren't any paved roads. Locals use golf carts and their feet. We had to travel across the country to San Ignacio and needed to find the cheepest way (you can fly across, but it didn't fit our budget). We ended up taking the local bus.....that was an adventure in itself. For two and a half hours we rode with four people in a school bus type of seat. We did meet a lot of frinedly people because many were leaving the cayes because of a possible hurricane. once in San Ignacio the place we stayed at took care of our transportation.
To the left--a resturant that we passed on the way to San Ignacio the first day we were there. I remember it was in the middle of nowhere, but I desperately needed that soda, I was so thirsty!!
To get to Belize, there are daily flights to Belize City from Miami, Florida. Not a terribly long flight, either. The airport is fairly small, and there isn't much there to do. Nice change from our bustling airports, honestly!!
We took private transport mostly (trucks are an essential)!! To get to and from Belize City so that we could go to the Cayes, we went by bus. That was interesting. There were chickens and everything else on the bus with us. You know what, though, it was cheap and we got to be with all sorts of Belizeans, and they are some of the sweetest people.