If you’re interested in catching local transportation in Belize, riding the bus is one of the cheapest ways of getting around. It is also a great way to get a bit more authentic in your travels because it’s how most locals travel.
Buses usually only travel on the major highways and pass every ½ hour. You can wait for the bus at any corner of the main roads but its recommended that you go to the bus terminal.
Before you get on a bus, ask a local what the cost will be for where you’re going and make sure you’re carrying lose change so that the conductor doesn’t overcharge you – this will be the guy that walks around the bus asking for fares.
But wait…if you are interesting in using the public transit in Belize, there are a few things you must know before you come. And these things all revolve around the fact that the comfort levels are pretty bad. I’m not trying to deter anyone from riding the bus but I want to make sure that you know what you’re signing up for when you do so.
The buses are always crowded. If you’re waiting for the bus at a terminal, sometimes you have to fight your way onto the bus. This is because there is no ticketing system so everyone rushes into the bus. This also makes it a concern if you’re waiting for the bus on the side of the road, the bus might not stop for you if it’s overcrowded.
The last time I rode the bus was when I was in Belize (January 2015) and the first thing I noticed was that the seats were noticeably uncomfortable. After an hour of sitting in my cramped spot (I have long legs), my butt started to hurt. I think its because the seat cushions are super old and are now worn out – well that makes sense since the buses that are in Belize are those old school buses that come to ‘retire’ there. Haha.
Another thing that might concern some folks is that the rides take super long. This is because there aren’t designated bus stops and when people are ready to get off, they just get up and shout “right here” – once the bus hits highway villages, this tends to happen every few blocks.
When I lived in Belize, what made me hate riding the bus the most was during the summer months when it would get super hot and extremely humid. The buses are always crowded and there’s no A/C. To make matters worst, if a rainstorm would come they would have to roll up the windows and the bus would turn into a hot steamy mess. Haha.