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Driving and Public Transport

Belize - Driving and Public Transport


There are many options available to visitors wanting to travel around Belize. Plane and bus journeys make light work of long distances, while for more local travel you could use a bike, a taxi, a ferry or you could hire a car. There is a mode of transport for every journey in Belize, no matter how far or how much time it will take.

For speed and convenience, planes would be your first choice, but if you are on a budget, travelling by bus is highly recommended, as they offer very low prices for long-distance journeys.

For short distances around town, bicycles are used however it is common to get a flat tyre due to the uneven road surfaces. Car rentals can be very pricey, but on the other hand taxis are quick and fairly inexpensive. For a lovely glimpse of the Caribbean you can opt for a ferry or water taxi.

Buses in Belize run every hour from Belize City to the major towns in the North and West, as well as to Chetumal, in Mexico. Bus services on a Sunday are curtailed on most routes. Prices are very reasonable, for example the longest journey, from Belize City to Punta Gorda, only costs about $10.

Although the bus service is cheap and reliable the actual buses leave much to be desired. Some of the buses are old American school buses, meaning that adults have to squeeze into kiddie-sized seats, with very little leg room and the assorted poultry on roof racks overhead. There are Greyhound type buses on the Northern routes. All bus companies offer reserved seats in advance; it is recommended that you find one near the front of the bus, as these are generally more comfortable.

For an average of $10 per person or less you can catch a boat from Belize City to Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel and Ambergris. You may ask the boat operator to drop you off at an island along the way but pick up is not guaranteed. There is also a daily service between Dangriga and Tobacco Caye which is fairly reliable, as well as a weekly service to Glover's Reef.

Two different driving experiences exist in Belize, firstly, the Northern and Western highways, including sections of the Hummingbird and Southern highways. And secondly, you have everywhere else. The main route from Belize City to the Mexican and Guatemalan borders consist of two lanes and they are entirely paved. The Northern Highway is almost completely flat and the Western Highway has some gentle ascensions. However, everywhere else in Belize the roads are generally narrow, bumpy and quite challenging to the driver.

Expats who have qualified on the retirement programme are able to import a car with little or no duty to pay provided the car is less than 3 years old, though the cost of transporting a vehicle to Belize would probably outweigh the benefits and it may be cheaper to purchase a vehicle when you arrive.


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