Riding the Bus in Belize

Belize bus with travelers
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If you’re interested in using local transportation in Belize, riding the bus is one of the cheapest ways to get to Belize and to get around the country. It is also a great way to get a more authentic travel experience since it’s how most Belizeans travel. However, depending on your comfort levels, riding the bus in Belize can be an inconvenient experience. Here’s the breakdown:

See also: Backpacking in Belize; Top Hostels in Belize

The bus system in Belize

Buses in Belize typically travel on the major highways on ½ hour intervals. To catch a bus you can wait along the highways but to ensure that you have a spot to sit, it’s best to go to the bus terminals, which are only located in major towns.

Before you get on a bus, ask a local what the cost will be to your destination and make sure you’re carrying coins and small bills so that the conductor doesn’t overcharge you. The conductor will be the guy walking around the bus asking for fares. Typically, they don’t wear uniforms.

What’s it like to ride a bus in Belize?

crowded bus in belize

1. Buses are typically crowded

Even if you’re waiting for the bus at a terminal, you may have to fight your way onto the bus. This happens because often there isn’t a ticketing system, therefore, everyone rushes into the bus trying to get a seat. This also means that if you’re waiting for the bus along a highway, the bus might not stop for you if it’s overcrowded.

2. It can get uncomfortable

The last time I rode the bus in Belize was January 2016 and the first thing I noticed when I sat down was that the seats were noticeably uncomfortable. After an hour of sitting in my cramped-up spot (I have long legs), my butt started to hurt. I think it was because the seat cushions were very old and worn out – this, of course, makes sense since the buses that are in Belize are often old school buses that come to ‘retire’ in Belize.

3. Trips can take super long

The primary reasons why bus trips take a long time in Belize is because the roads are not modern and sophisticated – beware of the meandering roads and sharp turns. Another reason is that Belize doesn’t have designated bus stops and therefore when people are ready to get off the bus, they just get up and shout: right here! Once the bus hits a stretch of many villages along a highway, the ‘shouting’ tends to happen every few blocks. 

4. It can get stinky

When I lived in Belize, what made me hate riding the bus the most was that during the summer months, inside the bus would get hot and extremely humid since buses do not have A/C and are always crowded. To make matters worse, if there’s a rainstorm, the conductor rolls up the windows and the bus becomes hot and steamy.

So, should I catch buses in Belize?

It’s up to you! By writing this post my intention is not to deter anyone from using the bus system in Belize. Riding the bus, in fact, is an interesting experience to have while vacationing in Belize. I’m just sharing this information to ensure that if you do hop on a bus, you know what you’re signing up for.



Reader Interactions


  1. Floralia Ltd says

    Hi Everyone,
    Floralia is a bus company in Belize that allows commuters to travel in the best Belize has to offer. Our new buses are comfortable, safe and reliable. Prices are extremely affordable for Belizeans and Tourist. Visit our website at Floralia.bz

  2. Aretha Crawford says

    I rather use the bus to get around whenever I visit home. Give me a chance to see part of Belize I never knew and of course it way cheaper to get on a bus instead of renting a car and buy gas for it….

  3. Caroline Paton says

    Just had a bus experience Feb 26/15 Punta Gorda to Placencia. Very economical ($9 Belizean) and a little uncomfortable in the seating dept. however it was rich in experiencing the local comings and goings. We noticed lunch deliveries for school children, multiple stops for people getting on and off at every little habitation area package deliveries. These bus routes clearly keep locals connected in so many ( endearing) ways. #lovebelize

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