Getting Around Belize

Overview of Getting Around Belize

Most people fly into Belize via plane and arrive at Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA), or Belize City’s Municipal Airport (TZA), both are near Belize City. Another option is to fly to Cancun, Mexico and take a bus to Belize City, which is about an eight hour trip. Once in Belize, you’ll go through immigration and customs, and then you’re free to go to your destination, but how do you get there?

Flights around Belize
You’ll find most cities in Belize have airports and there are local airlines you can take to reach them. Tropic Air and Maya Island Air both fly to all the major cities in Belize, including: San Pedro, Corozal, Caye Caulker, San Ignacio, Placencia, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Orange Walk, and Belmopan. It’s highly recommended to fly if you are pressed for time. Locals call these planes “puddle jumpers”, but there are other options for getting around Belize on the mainland.

Driving in Belize
If you’re going to drive a rental car, book it while you’re booking your flight. You’ll find all the major car rental agencies are in Belize. Once you’ve reached Belize City and have your car, you can go anywhere in Belize within a 30 day period without a visa. Since Belize is only 70 miles wide and 250 miles long, renting a car is an excellent way to see the countryside. There are four main roads for you to travel on: Northern, Southern, Western, and Hummingbird highway. If your plans are to go to Mountain Pine Ridge, the Gallon Jug, Lamanai, or the Cayo District, you’ll need a four wheel drive. Also, be sure you have auto insurance for any rental in Belize.

Taxis and Buses
Taxis are the best way to get around on land if you aren’t driving yourself. Taxis will gladly provide you with transportation within the main towns, and buses will get you to and from those towns. For instance, it’s about 2-1/2 hours from Belize City to Corozal, up in the northern part of Belize.

Water taxis
To get from the mainland to one of the islands, you can take a water taxi. This can be an adventure unto itself. Just relax and realize that it’s not going to be as quick as if you were taking a plane. Water taxis or high speed launches are available from the mainland to the islands, such as: Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, St. George’s Caye, and Caye Chapel. If you’re staying in a resort or hotel, they may have their own transportation, or help you with the arrangements.

Belize City is now one of the top destinations for several top cruise lines, especially from the United States. Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, Costa, and Norwegian all include Belize City on their Western Caribbean itinerary. Passengers embark at the port, usually early in the morning and will have all day to explore some of Belize’s more significant attractions. Belize is known for its beautiful beaches, rain forests, and Maya ruins. Depending on your level of adventure, you can go zip-lining; take a boat ride up one of the rivers, go cave tubing, kayaking, and horseback riding or visit the internationally famous zoo. Of course you can always tour Belize City by bus or taxi. Enjoy the local shops, eat at a local restaurant, and take in the beautiful scenery if you want to explore a little bit of this gorgeous country.

Another option for viewing Belize is by helicopter. Although a little more expensive than a bus or car, you’ll be able to see much more in a shorter amount of time. You’ll see what others on land are never able to see. Helicopter excursions are often offered from cruise lines or from some of the resort hotels in Belize. Sites that are usually on the agenda are: The Blue Hole, waterfalls and rain forests, the barrier reef, temples, and where people swim with sharks and stingrays.

If you really want to see the islands, consider taking a catamaran or sailboat. You’ll be able to see Belize’s famous barrier reef first-hand. This is an especially fun trip if you are a snorkeler or a diver. Maybe you’d like to visit the bird sanctuary on Man O’ War Caye? Both Sapodilla Cayes and Half Moon Caye are not as well known, but have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You’ll also see some beautiful underwater life and sea turtles.

Enjoy visiting this paradise called Belize. As it becomes more well-known, it will become more crowded, and maybe not as easy to get around. The people are very friendly and welcome you into their country anytime!

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