Getting to Belize

The easiest way for most travelers to get to Belize is by air. Flying into Belize can be more expensive than flying into other countries in Central America. For this reason, it’s smart to plan your trip well in advance and take into consideration peak travel times around holidays and during the high season. An alternate option is to fly into Mexico, Guatemala, or Honduras and travel to Belize by bus, car, or boat.

Obtaining entry into Belize is fairly simple and straightforward, especially for travelers from the United States and many European countries. Little more than a valid passport, proof of sufficient travel funds, and proof of onward travel is required.

Belize is a country that's wonderful to visit almost any time of year. However, the driest and perhaps "best time to visit Belize" is from November to April. Not only is it a lovely time to be at the beach, you'll be able to enjoy almost any activity you choose, which is not always the case during the rainy season — especially if you wish to go jungle trekking.

By Air

A sizeable number of major airlines fly into and out of Belize. The only international airport in Belize is the Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), which is located 9 miles (15 km) outside of Belize City. This midsized airport is named after Philip Goldson, a Belizean politician and activist. The airport has a number of services, including currency exchange, restaurants, and gift shops.

You can fly directly to Caye Caulker or San Pedro from here. If you’re heading into town and don’t have a pre-planned method of transportation, you can hire a taxi outside the airport — the ride into Belize City usually costs about US$25. Rental car agencies are available at the airport as well.

By Land

Flying into Cancún is often cheaper than flying into Belize City, so many travelers choose to fly to Cancún and then drive or take a bus into Belize. Cancún is about 230 miles (369 km) from the border with Belize.

Bus routes often stop in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, which can be a cool place to visit for a day or two. Alternatively, you can hop a bus all the way down to the border at Chetumal. The bus ride to Chetumal typically takes about 6 hours. You can then take public buses into Belize.

It’s also possible to rent a car in Cancún and drive south into Belize. This, however, can be a hassle, since most corporate international car rental companies won’t let you take their car into a different country. Some Mexican rental agencies can accommodate this, however.

It’s also possible to drive your car from the United States to Belize. From Brownsville, Texas to the Belizean border, it’s about 1,400 miles (2,253 km). The trip usually takes 3–5 days. When crossing into Belize from Mexico, you’ll need to have a letter of permission from the car’s owner. You also must have your vehicle sprayed with insecticide before crossing into Belize (which can be done near the border in Mexico) and you will need to purchase insurance once you’re in Belize.

By Sea

It’s possible to enter Belize by boat from either Guatemala or Honduras. There are daily boats to Punta Gorda from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala and Puerto Cortés, Honduras. It’s also possible to get to Belize on a cruise ship, although the heavy passenger traffic from these ships can have damaging effects on both the environment and infrastructure in Belize.

Upon Arrival

When you get to Belize, you'll have plenty of options for getting around the country quickly or slowly. Domestic flights are great, shuttles are very popular, renting a car offers independence (but you should be comfortable with defensive driving), and buses are a great way to affordably take the scenic route. To learn more about your transportation options when you arrive in Belize, please read our helpful "Belize Transport Guide: Getting Around Belize."