Belize Information

Transportation Options in Belize (2019) Is there Uber? - What to Expect

By Angela Wu 2/25/2019 8 minutes

It’s your first time in Belize and you’d like to explore the towns and go to different restaurants or landmarks. Okay, to make your life so much easier, here is a comprehensive list of ways to get around in Belize. I promise you, after checking out this Belize transportation guide, your visit in Belize will be much more enjoyable.

Is there Uber in Belize? To break the news to you nicely, there are no Ubers in Belize; however, there are several transportation options and sometimes everything is close enough that you may not even need a car. But, if you really need some wheels (or wings), below are some Belize transportation services that are rather easy to access.

There are several transportation options when it comes to getting around in Belize. Your options include:

Private and Shared Shuttle

Shuttles are great modes of transportation in Belize, especially for getting directly to a specific destination from the airport. Depending on where you would like to go, you can book private shuttles or shared shuttles. Popular destinations for shuttle service on the mainland include the BZE International Airport, TZA Municipal Airport, Belize City (including the Water Taxi Terminal), San Ignacio Town, Hopkins, Dangriga, Placencia, Belmopan, Orange Walk Town, and Corozal Town.

A private shuttle will offer transporation between any two locations in Belize. Most shuttle companies only offer private shuttle for door to door service, which is very convenient and less costly than a rental car.

Should you book your shuttle service in advance? Yes, you should book your belize airport shuttle in advance of your travel date for two reasons:
  1. There is limited availability, so you want to confirm your seats and not get stuck at the airport.
  2. Shuttle companies are not allowed to take on the spot bookings at the airport, since this is airport taxi territory (which tends to be much more expensive).
 

Tip: Belizing.com has the largest selection of shuttles for transportation between all major destinations in Belize,  including airport shuttle service.

Private Shuttles

You can select and book a private shuttle or car service for yourself or your group to your desired location. Most shuttle operators offer "private" shuttle options by default. However, you can also contact them about sharing options if you're looking for a discounted belize shuttle service. They will usually try to fit you in if they already have a scheduled run that conincides with your travel dates and destinations. This is a great tip, especially if you are a solo traveler to Belize.

Popular Shuttle Companies

View and book your private shuttle here on Belizing.com and never pay a booking fee. Some well known shuttle companies in Belize are Belize Ground ShuttleRon’s Belize Shuttle, G&W Enterprise, Valdez Taxi, William Belize Shuttle, San Ignacio Shuttles, ROAM Belize Shuttle, Discounted Belize Shuttles, Teddy Bear Shuttles, BZ Shuttles, Julian Transfers, Premium Rentals, and Get To Know Belize Adventures. Compare prices on Belizing.com before booking your ride.

Hotel/Resort Shuttle

Note that most hotels also offer private shuttle service, but they are generally more expensive and you end up getting the same service. If you hotel is in a remote location, then it may make sense to take their private shuttle service. You can always contact a provider on Belizing.com to compare prices.


Tip: Some shuttle providers on Belizing.com will give you a discount for multiple bookings or multiple passengers. Don't hesitate to contact them using the message button on their Belizing.com listing to send a direct message to the company representative.


The most popular private shuttle routes are the following:

*Other routes are available, including custom itineraries. You can contact various shuttle companies directly through Belizing.com

Tip: Use the Filter options when searching Belizing.com to find shuttle service between your specific destinations.


Airport shuttle service and transfers in Belize is available for all airlines that fly into the BZE Interntional Airport. Currently, regular flights into Belize are available from the following airlines: United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, and WestJet.

Shared Airport Shuttles

If you would like to travel between the International Airport or Belize City and San Ignacio town, but don’t want to pay the private shuttle price, then you can reserve your seat with Belize Ground Shuttle, the only truly shared shuttle service in Belize.

They offer scheduled daily runs between San Ignacio and the Philip Goldson International Airport at an affordable price starting at $35. Note that service directly to your hotel is an additional fee. Sometimes it's worth the extra, and sometimes you can get off at their downtown drop off and walk to your hotel.

Check out their schedule here. You may need to wait a while at the airport, but you'll save a few dollars in the process. Unlike most shuttle services in Belize, they have brand new comfortable and spacious vans as shown in the pictures below.


Public Bus

Buses in Belize run on a daily basis. The schedule and price varies depending on whether it is a regular or express bus, to and from where you’re going, and the day of the week.

Note: Express buses cost more than regular buses and they do not stop until they have arrived at the destination.

According to the Belize Department of Transport in Belmopan, Belize’s bus schedules are split into these categories:
Tip: You can identify where the bus is heading by a sign that is placed in the windshield of the bus.

If you would like to contact a bus company in Belize, here are the local phone numbers for some of the belize bus lines:

Westline Bus Co. Ltd.: (+501)8242620
James Bus Line: (+501)6709652
Valencia's Bus Line: (+501)6212581


Rentals/Charters

Rentals offer the most flexibility, but are often also the most costly. It certainly makes sense if you are traveling as a group. If you are traveling in a large group, you can also charter buses or boats/water taxis. There are several options for rentals/charters depending on where you are and what your preference is.

Can you use your drivers license in Belize? Yes, you are allowed to use a foreign driver license in Belize for up to three months. Don't forget your drivers license. You'll need it to get your rental, and you'll also need it for the various check points you may encounter along the road.

Tip: Book from a non-airport provider and ask them you meet you at the airport with the vehicle. You may be able to save a few dollars by doing this.

Here are the different rental categories:

Vehicles

Depending on the size of your group, you have options from large passenger vans to SUVs. Crytal Auto Rentals are the most well known and most reliable vehicle rental company. You can also find the brand name chains at the airport such as Budget rentals, AVIS, Hertz, Dollar / Thrifty, and other.

If you rent a vehicle from the airport, you will pick up your vehicle in the rental services building in the parking lot just across the arrivals exit door. You can also rent vehicles in each major town from local rental providers. Don't expect brand new shiny vehicles for your rentals. Most rentals will be older used vehicles, so it's not uncommon to have your rental break down....keep the rental company's phone number handy.

If you want to drive your vehicle into Guatemala to visit Tikal, you will need some additional paperwork. Check with your rental company first if this will be allowed. One of the few companies that we know to allow this is Crystal Auto Rentals

Golf Carts

If you are in Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker, then renting a golf cart to get around the island is your best option. Check out the golf cart rental options here.

Tip: Book your golf cart rental before you arrival to ensure your cart is reserved for you. Ask them to meet you with the cart at the airstrip or boat dock as you arrive.

Motorcycles

On the mainland, if you are a solo traveler or traveling with a partner and would prefer getting around in motorcycles, you can do so as well.

Bikes

For backpackers, there are bike rentals available in Belize. For getting around town or the village, is an affordable option for yourself or your group.

Note: Be on the lookout for potholes, speed bumps, pedestrian crossings, roundabouts. Roadways in Belize are notorious for speed bumps (without sufficient road signage). Many of the roads are also unpaved. You must always stay on the right-hand side of the road. Drive safely and cautiously.

Here are the different charter options:

Boat Charters

To charter a boat, you and your group will be taken to your destination by a designated driver. You can charter a water taxi from San Pedro Belize Express, Ocean Ferry or other companies in Belize.

Bus Charters

Similarly to chartering a boat, chartering a bus is the same, except on land. You can contact bus companies such as Westline, BBOC, Valencia’s, Morales, or other bus companies.

You can easily find and book your rentals/charters on Belizing.com. We have a wide range of options for you to choose from.


Domestic Flights

Domestic flights, sometimes called hopper planes or puddle jumpers, are popular modes of transportation, especially for traveling between the international airport and the islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker. In Belize, domestic flights are offered by Maya Island Air and Tropic Air.

Ticket prices vary depending on the provider, departure and landing location and one-way or round-trip reservations. Prices are also usually cheaper in the summer months. Most things are cheaper in Belize during the summer months when demand is low.

Destinations include at least one airstrip in each district of Belize. Two of the most popular places that people book flights to are San Pedro and Caye Caulker – it only takes about 10-15 minutes from Belize City! Other destinations for domestic flights are the Placencia airstrip, Maya Flats airstrip near San Ignacio, and the Dangriga Airstrip. 

Tip: If you're going to Hopkins village from the International Airport, you can take a flight to Dangriga and book a private shuttle with Julian Transfers for your 20-minute drive to your Hopkins area resort.


Water Taxi

Water taxis travel from the mainland to the islands. The main departure is from Belize City, near the Fort Street Tourism Village. The main water taxi operators are San Pedro Belize Express (Belize Water Taxi) and Ocean Ferry. Prices and schedules are similar. The terminals are located within walking distance of each other in the Fort George Tourism Center, so it usually comes down to who has a boat leaving next. Sometimes one or both companies will be running specials on one way or round trip tickets. 

San Pedro Belize Express

They are the largest water taxi operator in Belize, offering regularly scheduled boat rides to Caye Caulker and San Pedro from Belize City and vice versa. Check out their schedule at www.belizewatertaxi.com/schedule.

Tip: They also offer rides to Chetumal from Caye Caulker and San Pedro and from Chetumal to Caye Caulker and San Pedro.

Watch this YouTube Video to see what the experience is like.

Ocean Ferry Belize

Ocean Ferry is the second largest water taxi operator in the country. They also offer boat rides to Caye Caulker and San Pedro from Belize City and vice versa. You can contact them here.

Thunderbolt Water Taxi

This water taxi company offers boat rides to San Pedro from Corozal and Corozal to San Pedro. Find them on facebook to ask about price and availability.

Nautilus Express Water Taxi

Nautilus Water Taxi offer exclusive meet-and-greets and pick-ups from the Philip Goldson International Airport to your desired island.

Coastal Express

Coastal Express is a water taxi company that offers boat rides up and down the coast of Ambergris Caye, mainly to resort docks. Some of these resorts they service include Grand Caribe, Belizean Shores, and Mata Chica.


Taxi Cabs

Taxi cabs are convenient modes of transportation in Belize, especially within town or city limits. However, don't expect a  brand new car or a smooth ride...or even A/C all the time. Taxi rides are also shared, so don't be surprised if your driver stops along the way to pick up more passengers. It's a fun way to meet new people in Belize.
How much does taxi cost? Taxi fares vary depending on the distance of the trip and the taxi association. The fare schedules are typically set by the taxi association in each jurisdiction. Ask for the fare before getting in....there are no fare meters. For instance, in Belize City, the average price for a taxi ride is about $10 BZD while in the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena in the Cayo District, the average price would be $5 BZD.

Note: Some taxi organizations charge per passenger, usually $2 to $4 BZD, while others charge a set price per drop or group. For example, a taxi fare from the International Airport to Belize City is a per-group charge of USD$25.

You can find taxi cabs parked at specific areas of the town or city – usually there would be a sign marking the taxi association, and you'll notice the cars lined up with green license plates. You can also catch a taxi that’s passing by on the side of the road. In the towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, there are over 900 licensed taxis.

Tip: All taxi cabs have green license plates.


*Ride Sharing App

While Belize does not have Uber or Lyft, there is a new ride sharing app called MiDriVa launched in early 2019. The app can now be downloaded from the app stores for Apple and Android devices, but currently only works with a Belize-registered SIM card.

MiDriva will eventually enable you to easily find and request a taxi cab anywhere in Belize using your mobile phone. If you're familiar with Uber, think of this as the Belize-Uber. The app works exactly the same. We have not tested the service yet, but you can find more information and links to download the app at https://midriva.com

Good O’l Fashion Walking

One of the perks of being in Belize is that almost everything is in walking distance, especially in the towns or villages. You can get to grocery stores, restaurants, cafes or farmers’ markets easily from your Airbnb rental, hotel, hostel, or guesthouse.


Well, this is the comprehensive guide to transportation in Belize. In general, ground transporation options for travel between towns and major destinations in the mainland consist of Public Bus, Private or Shared Shuttle, and Rental Cars. The cheapest option is to take the public bus (aka chicken bus), which is an adventure all on its own.

The most expensive option is renting a car, but it's also the most convenient and flexible option. Booking a shuttle is a good compromise between cost and convenience. Besides, once you get to your destination you can use local taxi service or just walk to where you need to go. In many cases, you'll find that a rental car is overkill. 

Lastly, you should know that fuel prices in Belize are usually high. On average, expect to pay between $9 to $12 Belize dollars per gallon, or a little over $5 US dollars per gallon. This is one of the main reasons why you will find that some transportation options are a bit expensive, especially if you need to travel a long distance. 

As you  now know, although Uber, Lyft, or other ride sharing apps have not made it into Belize yet, we have plenty of other options to get around. We hope that getting out and about in Belize is easier with knowledge of the different options. You can choose and refuse from the various transportation options for your next Belize Trip. #letsgobelizing


How early should I book a shuttle or rental car for my Belize trip?
Generally, we recommend booking as early as possible. This is especially true if you are traveling between November and March.
Can I find a shuttle after I land at the airport?
Shuttle companies are not allowed to take bookings on the spot at the airport. The taxi drivers are are very territorial when it comes to this. Only taxi cabs can take on-demand riders, but they are much more expensive for rides beyond Belize City.
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Tours/Activities
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$
25
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Type of Vehicle:
Full Size Van
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Philip S.W Goldson International Airport to San Ignacio One Way Shuttle from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) to San Ignacio Town.... more
Shuttle departs promptly from the airport arrivals terminal and arrives at Hode's Place in San Ignacio Town.
Schedule of Airport Departures:

12:00 pm

2:45 pm

4:30 pm

5:30 pm

*This departure schedule is fluid. We may leave early as soon as all passengers are onboard. Sometimes we may wait for passengers who may be delayed. We don't normally take walk-on passengers, so it is always possible to leave earlier than scheduled.

Don't worry, we won't leave without you if your flight is delayed or arrives very close to the departure time. We try to accommodate all passengers and ask for some consideration if we need to wait a few minutes for other passengers. If you have a significant delay, we may switch you to the next departure if one is scheduled. The day's last departure will wait until all passengers are accounted for.

An optional hotel drop off service is available to hotels and destination within town limits of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Please select the appropriate add-on options when submitting your booking request. If you are not sure whether your hotel is within town limits, you may contact us to inquire or you may book the regular rate and book the additional service with the driver.

Hotels within our drop off zone include, but are not limited to:

Ka'ana Resort

San Ignacio Resort Hotel

Cahal Pech Village Resort

Maya Mountain Lodge

Casa del Caballo Blanco

Western Guest House

Midas Resort

Western Guest House

Bellas Backpackers

D's Hostel

Aliana's Airbnb

Lucina's Airbnb

Homehill Apartments

Casia Hill Resort

Rumor's Resort

Rolson's Hotel

If you are staying at Hode's Hotel, you do not need to pay the additional hotel drop off fee since all drop off's are at Hode's Place. This is a nice outdoor restaurant to relax, grab some food, and wait for your in-town transport or local taxi.

*Drivers cannot accept cash payments but can process credit card payments for additional service arranged before departure.
$
75
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Equipment Type:
Vehicle
Provider:
All but a few SUVs are designed to carry at least five passengers. Most subcompacts and compacts provide enough rear legroom for full-size adults, with several offering fore/aft seat ... moreadjustments to extend either passenger space or cargo capacity. The same goes for larger SUVs, but these wider vehicles are more likely to accommodate three-across seating. Most larger SUVs offer a third-row seat for additional passenger capacity. Such seats are generally best suited for kids, but several have third-row seats that can comfortably fit adults.
Cargo Space

Every sport-utility allows you to fold or remove the rear seats for more cargo capacity. When the rear seat is folded, compact SUVs can provide as much as 70 cubic feet of capacity, while midsize SUVs can expand to as much as 100 cubic feet. Full-size models offer cargo areas in excess of 100 cubic feet.
2WD/4WD/AWD

Two-wheel drive (2WD) means that only the front or rear wheels provide power to the vehicle. Four-wheel-drive vehicles allow the driver to select either two- or four-wheel drive, and the four-wheel-drive (4WD) system sometimes features dual-range gearing for even more traction and mobility while off-roading. All-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles automatically distribute power in varying degrees to the wheels with the most traction, and they are typically best suited to all-weather driving rather than pure off-roading. All-wheel drive generally weighs far less than a 4WD system, but in most cases there is still an impact on fuel efficiency. Part-time 4WD and AWD systems attempt to minimize fuel-efficiency compromises by permitting two-wheel drive.
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Provider:
Our Belize City terminal is located immediately beside the land mark "Belize Swing Bridge" at #10 North Front Street. This is the departure location traveling to Caye Caulker, Caye ... moreChapel and San Pedro.

In our terminal, you can purchase snacks, drinks (both hard and soft!), basic beach wear and equipment and more! There is an ATM machine in our location which accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover Cards for cash withdrawals. What customers love, in addition to all of this.....FREE WIFI at Ocean Ferry Belize.

The boat ride is only 1 hour 15 minutes to San Pedro on the beautiful Caribbean Sea!

San Pedro is full of life and caters to everyone!
Equipment Type:
Golf Cart
Provider:
F & S Golf Cart Rental & Dealer Pescador Drive, San Pedro Town, A.C., Belize 
Equipment Type:
Golf Cart
Golf Cart Rentals at Caribbean Adventures 4 Seater Rate
$
25
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$
98
/ Person
Type of Vehicle:
Mini Van
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International or municipal Airport pickup or drop off, to and from San Ignacio Town. We can drop you off at your hotel in San Ignacio Town or surrounding areas.... more

2 hours travel time.
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Angela Wu

THANK YOU!!! This information is extremely beneficial. for my plans to visit Belize for five weeks Nov/Dec./19. As a solo woman, I'm looking for all ways to see as much as possible but on a strict budget. Hope to check out expats and places to possibly retire next year, so traveling to areas off the beaten track is a high priority. Will be using your links for sure. So grateful you took the time to ... more post this info.!
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