Getting around Belize by public bus is so easy. It’s only 2 hrs 30 minutes across from Benque on the Guatemalan border to Belize City and 5 hours up from Punta Gorda in the south to Belize City, to the north. There aren’t many roads in Belize as you can see from the map below from belize.com, so you can’t really go wrong, at least I didn’t and that’s saying something. I’ve marked the places I mention, pretty hey?
Belize buses are big sturdy things, with high ceilings and plenty of space. They’re mostly ex-US school buses repainted but with the yet original signage for school kids inside. The buses in Belize are crazy cheap – there’s definitely no need for a taxi or expensive tourist bus.
Routes I rode
- Punta Gorda to Belize City via Belmopan, Dangriga and Placencia $20 / £6.37
- Belize City to Belize City Zoo and back $3 each way / 95p
- Belize City to Benque via Belmopan and San Ignacio and back $9 each way / £2.86
How to travel by Belize buses
Once you’ve established you’ve found the right bus get on and make yourself at home. You can either leave your luggage in the back, on the racks if they have them or keep them with you in the seat. Keep in mind that you’ll need to budge up to fit two people on if your route is busy. The conductor will come round and collect your money in good time, so no need to faff around trying to get your money out for the driver.
On the Punta Gorda to Belize bus I used the James Line bus service. The bus driver played classic love songs – think Eric Clapton and Celine Dion – loud over the stereo. Thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a great way to see Belize on my first day from the comfort of the bus. No such luck on any future buses though.
Top tips for the Belize buses
- When you stop at stations people will get on and try and sell you stuff – drinks, nuts, sandwiches, tamales, sweets and cakes. No pressure, take it or leave it.
- If you’re unsure when to get off, like I was when I went to Belize City Zoo, just tell the conductor where you want to go and they’ll make sure you’re at the right stop.
- When it comes to hailing the bus just stand by a blue bus sign on the side of the road that goes in the direction you want and stick your arm out. The bus will pick up people from different places but I’d say to be sure stand by one of the signs. They’re every50 metres in Belize City, more in the countryside.
- Bus conductors do have change but sometimes it’s easier to keep small bits so you have the right amount.
Let me know if you need any more help with the thought of using the buses in Belize, definitely a more enjoyable experience than in England anyway!