Hitch hike, Belize
It was Day 12 of our Belize trip by the time we arrived in the San Ignacio area. We had finished up with our very enjoyable two days of bird-watching in the watery world of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and were fortunate to link up with a couple of American tourists who were also enjoying the sights there.
Hubie and Marie are from Springfield, Massachusetts and, in the course of a morning discussion with Hubie, I found out that they were leaving for San Ignacio the next morning (as we were) in a rental vehicle. Since we had not yet finalized exactly how we were getting from Crooked Tree to San Ignacio ourselves, I asked him if they would mind taking us along for the ride, saving us the bother of either catching a couple of different local busses or using the expensive lodge shuttle service. It was no problem for them, so away we went the next morning with our backpacks and their suitcases thrown into the box of his rental Ford Ranger, while Sue and I crammed into the 'jump-seats' in the cab.
It was an interesting ride as we drove along the Western Highway laughing at various life stories and taking in the countryside. I paid for gasoline in Roaring Creek as we briefly stopped there and our new-found buddies actually drove us straight through San Ignacio to drop us off at our Trek Stop lodgings about 6 miles short of the Guatemala border. Meeting people like this is one of the great joys of travelling!
Unlike Guatemala, Belize is pretty safe place for bus transport and hitch hiking (in the country only). Chicken buses are cheap but reek of asbestos and have 0 tread left on their tires but this is more of a concern in mountainous regions in CA, not Belize. I recommend the express ‘luxury’ buses as they are fast and don’t cost a whole lot more. As a bonus, there will be no fish dripping on you, animals to share your seat with, or the possibility of having someone make off with your bags.
Hitch hiking is fast and cheap. But be sure to offer a tip as a token of your appreciation and do so only in the country. The path to Xunantinich includes a hand cranked ferry which is a nice touch.