Bus, driving, shuttles, or cruising? Find out the best way to get around the beautiful little country of Belize in Central America.
Renting A Car
If you’re traveling around Belize to more than one city on the mainland, I recommend renting an SUV – check out how to do that without getting scammed. You’re going to want an SUV or 4×4 because the roads get rough – do not attempt to rent a sedan.
Note that gas prices are EXPENSIVE in Belize, so think about that before renting.
Do I Need A License?
To drive in Belize, just present your home country’s driver’s license. You can drive for up to 3 months on what is basically a tourist’s driver’s license.
Hiring A Private Driver or Shuttle
If you’re afraid to drive the Belizean roads, which can get a bit crazy, consider hiring a private driver or shuttle. We recommend booking these through the Belize Tourism Board here.
These can be hired for daily driving, city-to-city, to and from the airport, and really anywhere you want to go. We recommend booking these private drivers in advance.
What About Uber and Lyft?
Uber and Lyft haven’t made their way to Belize just yet, but in early 2019 a ride-sharing app called MiDriVa was launched. This app will basically haul you a taxi from wherever you are but note that as of now it only works on phones with a Belizean SIM card.
All taxis have green license plates, so keep an eye out for them and be sure to ask the fare before you get in as there are no meters. Fares will vary by location and distance. Some taxi companies charge per passenger while others charge a set price.
Taxis are usually parked at specific areas in the city, look for signs and cars with green license plates lined up. San Ignacio and its twin city Santa Elena has over 900 licensed taxis.
Buses run daily in Belize and you can tell where it’s going based on the sign in its window. Belize’s bus schedules are split into these categories:
- Northern Belize
- Western Belize
- Southern Belize
- Sunday’s Only
- Foreign Bus Operators (en route to Mexico)
Honestly, I would not recommend taking the bus as it’s loud, hot, and crowded. If you have the means, just rent a car or private driver.
Renting Golf Carts
If you’re on the islands of San Pedro or Caye Caulker you may want to rent a golf cart. For those going to Caye Caulker, I don’t recommend this because the island is only 1 mile wide and easy to walk or bike around. If you’re headed to San Pedro it might make more sense since it’s a bigger island.
This is especially great for groups of disabled people, elderly people, families with young kids, and anyone who doesn’t want to walk/bike around.
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Domestic “Hopper” Flights
When we visited Caye Caulker, we took a 10-minute flight from Belize City. Our flight from Maya Island Air left almost an hour late and it seemed like a pretty common occurrence, so remember that you’re on island time.
Travel hack: we couldn’t afford the helicopter tour ($300+ per person) over the Blue Hole, so we decided to opt for the flight instead ($70 per person). It was cheaper and just as cool!
Traveling Via Boat
Essentially the public bus on the water, water taxis are cheap ($15+ one way) and available at various ports such as Belize City, San Pedro, Caye Caulker, and even Chetumal in Mexico.
We don’t recommend booking these ahead of time as there are a few companies who run them, and chances are you won’t make whatever time you booked it for. Just show up at the port and try to get on the next taxi out. Unfortunately, these taxis tend to be hot and crowded, but it’s a cheap way to get around.
Chartering A Boat
You can charter a boat if you’re cruising around the islands, but it’s going to be expensive. Check out some options here.
What Option Is Best For You?
If you’re going to be traveling around mainland Belize often, it’s probably the best option to just rent your own car. If you’re afraid of driving in Belize, hire a shuttle.
To get around town you can probably just use a combination of bikes, taxis, and of course your legs!