Belize City is the largest city in Belize and the former capital. It is the transportation hub in the country and home to the only international airport in Belize.
The connecting hub from Mexico to Belize is Chetumal, Quintana Roo, which connects to the San Pedro Belize Express (water taxi) to San Pedro and further to Caye Caulker and Belize City. The water taxi departs daily at 3:30 p.m. from Muelle Fiscal (Municipal Pier) in Chetumal and the single fare is US$30*. Once in San Pedro , catch the water taxi to Belize City from Ambergris Caye. Fares are US$15 one way. Tickets can be reserved online here.
The cheapest way to travel between Mexico and Belize City is by bus to Chetumal and then by water taxi to San Pedro and another boat to Belize City. Flying will save time but to get a decent fare the only option is to fly to Chetumal and continue by boat to Belize City.
Flights from Mexico to Belize City
Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) is the only international airport in Belize. It is located northwest of Belize City and is the 12th busiest airport in Central America (by passengers). It’s not a hub for any airline and it receives direct flights from USA (Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Newark and Charlotte), El Salvador and also handles domestic flights.
If you want to fly from Mexico, there isn’t any direct flight. If you need to fly out of Mexico City, connections are available via San Salvador but the travel time is about 23 hours and the fares start at US$508 on TACA. It’s cheaper, from US$366 on American Airlines, but takes much longer – about 66 hours, to fly from Cancun to Belize City via Miami.
So, instead of wasting so much time and money on these connecting flights, the option is to fly to Chetumal and then connect to the water taxi. The flight from Mexico City is operated by Interjet and takes 1h 45 min. The fare is US$135.42 one way. Once in Chetumal , take the water taxi to San Pedro and then further to Belize City.
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Buses from Mexico to Belize City
Just like in the case of flights, you need to get from whichever Mexican city you are visiting to Chetumal, Quintana Roo. ADO Buses offer direct links to Tulum, Merida, Playa del Carmen Mahahual and Mexico City.
Buses from Tulum to Chetumal leave very often during the day and the first one leaves at 8:20 a.m.. The travel time is about 3 ½ h and fare is 194.00 Mexican Pesos one way (about US$8).
There are several departures per day from Merida, with the first bus leaving at 7:30 a.m. The travel time is 6 h and the fare is 348.00 Mexican Pesos one way (about US$25).
Buses from Playa del Carmen depart almost every hour, every day. The first bus leaves at 6:20 a.m. The travel time is about 4 ½ h and the fare is 240.00 Mexican Pesos one way (about US$17).
Buses from Mexico City take about 19 ½ h to get to Chetumal. There are several departures per day, the first being at 8:30 a.m. The fare is 1,194.00 Mexican Pesos one way (about US$86).
Once in Chetumal, catch the water taxi to San Pedro and then the connecting boat to Belize City.
Driving from Mexico to Belize City
You can rent a car in Mexico and drive all the way to Belize City. For example, from Mexico City you’ll need to cover 1474 km (or 16 ½ h driving hours). Make sure to ask the rental company whether you can take the car across the border and also plan to make some stops along the way.
From Cancun (see map below) you’ll need to drive 523 km in about 6 ½ h.
Note: *prices valid at the time the article was written