Getting Around in Belize
There are a number of ways to get around Belize, with options that vary depending on your budget, timeframe, and expected level of comfort. Domestic flights are a fantastic option for travelers with a limited amount of time, and there are carriers that service destinations across the country. Shuttles are one of the most popular options, as they provide comfort and convenience and are still fairly affordable. Rental cars are a good choice for independently minded travelers, and there are always buses for those who want a cheap and authentic way to get around in Belize.
Belize is well connected by domestic flights. Getting around the country by air is quick and easy, and can save you a sizeable chunk of time. The quality of the airstrips varies significantly – everything from paved runways to mowed grass landing strips is found here – but all are suitable for the purposes of these short, in-country trips.
Flights depart Belize City for Caye Caulker, Punta Gorda, San Pedro, Placencia, and Dangriga, as well as a number of other small destinations throughout Belize. It’s common for domestic flights to combine multiple destinations on one route, so you may have to stop somewhere while traveling to your final destination.
Flying in Belize will also allow you to see large swaths of the country, as most planes fly low and travel slow, providing you with panoramic views of forests and the coast.
Shuttles are an easy and efficient way to travel in Belize. There are private and shared options available, both of which will pick you up at a hotel in your original destination and drop your off at a hotel in your final destination. Private shuttles take you anywhere you want to go, and are entirely on your schedule. Shared shuttles usually transport 7–10 travelers, and include an hour of wait time, thereby allowing you to stop and get a snack or take photos. The majority of shuttles are midsize passenger vans — these vehicles are comfortable and usually air-conditioned. The drivers are friendly and safe.
By Rental Car
Exploring Belize by car can be a fantastic way to get off the beaten path and see the country. With a rental car you’ll have the independence to decide where (and when) you go. However, renting a car in Belize can also be pretty expensive, and the roads often have obstacles (people and animals) that can make them dangerous. Needless to say, driving defensively is very important. Be aware that you’ll also probably hit at least one police checkpoint during your road trip — the officers will make sure you are wearing your seatbelt, check your driver’s license and car papers, and have a dog sniff your belongings for drugs.
It’s easy to rent a car in Belize — you can choose between small cars, midsize sedans, vans, and 4WD vehicles. If you’re interested in renting a car, just let us know. We’re happy to help.
If you’re not on a strict timeline, traveling by bus can be a wonderful way to see the country and interact with locals. The bus system in Belize is fairly reliable. Most buses are on time and are not nearly as packed as the “chicken buses” that you find in other Central American countries. The buses come in various levels of comfort — there’s everything from old school buses to air-conditioned motor coaches on the road. The buses do make many stops, so be prepared for this.