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A Guide To Belize: Transportation

Traveling TO Belize and AROUND Belize can be a bit of a decision. 
No matter where you are going, there's always at least two options to get there. 

This trip happened very organically for us. We mentioned wanting to take a trip and casually browsed to see where Southwest flew (direct from Austin/Houston) internationally. Originally we were pretty set on Jamaica but after seeing that we could fly from Texas to Belize on a direct flight for not a lot of money, we researched further and fell in love. 

From there, it was a lot of logistics on where to go and how to get there. 
Here's our guide to Belizean transportation. 

International Travel:
Southwest has always been one of my favorite airlines and it's pretty much all Eddie K flies. We were thrilled to see that they provide inexpensive international travel. We booked direct flights from Houston-Hobby Airport to the international airport in Belize City. Both airports were on the smaller side which lead to easy security and custom stations!

The only issue with our flights this time involved delays. Southwest is usually really great about arriving on time however, this trip we had about an hour delay leaving Houston. This wouldn't have been a huge deal if we were staying in Belize City. But because we needed to catch a water taxi over to Caye Caulker when we arrived, it became quite the pain.

Don't Forget!: It will cost you a bit more than just a plane ticket, Like al international flights, you will be charged a fee to enter the foreign country and then charged another fee to enter back into the states. 

But first, an airport selfie!  @Houston-Hobby International Airport
Island Travel: Golf Cart
If you read "A Guide To Belize: Where To Stay", you already know just how small Caye Caulker really is. It's one mile wide by five miles long. Aka super tiny. Before arriving in Belize, we were in contact with the manager of the house we were renting for the week multiple times. He was the one who let us know about the transportation options on the island and actually had a golf cart waiting for us at our house when we arrived just in case we decided to go that route.

Ice cream cones on the back of our cart! 
We ultimately decided to rent the golf cart for a week. It's $300 (US dollars) for 7 days PLUS a $50 deposit. You are responsible for gas during the week plus required to fill it up prior to drop-off. There's a small "gas station" on the island where gas is $11 (Belize dollars) per gallon. Total, you're looking at about a $400 expense that isn't really needed. The island is so small we walked everywhere. I recommend getting to the island and spending the first day walking around. You will realize quickly that the cart is not needed. However, if you still think this is the route you want to take, look up J & Sons on Caye Caulker and let them know we referred you! They are both friendly AND helpful.

Island Travel: Bike
A secondary option to get around Caye Caulker is by bike. Bikes are actually very cheap to rent on the island. I'm not 100% certain but I believe it was like $10 (US dollars) per day. It's the way all the locals get around so you'll fit right in. Again, not needed but would definitely be a little easier than walking if you're looking for that option!

I think when we go back, we might rent bikes for a couple of days just for fun. Otherwise, we will probably juts stick to getting around Caye Caulker on foot. After all, the island motto is "Go Slow" so we might as well walk around and soak it all in at a little slower pace.

TIP: Bikes run the roads so watch out! People will fly by you and give themselves just enough room to miss hitting you. STAY ALERT! Ha! 

Traveling From Belize City to Caye Caulker: Water Taxi
This was our only form of transportation to and from the island while on our trip. We were on a water taxi a total of four times. Spoiler alert: all four times were nothing short of lackluster. We commuted back and forth from Belize City and Caye Caulker by purchasing water taxi tickets (in person or online) from Ocean Ferry Belize. It's a 45 minute (+/-) ride and it's extremely bumpy so be prepared. It costs $22.50 (US dollars) per person for a round trip ticket. If you book online there is an additional transaction fee also. To avoid this fee, book upon arrival in Caye Caulker or Belize City.

HOWEVER, if you are flying into Belize City in the afternoon and need a water taxi to get to Caye Caulker, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking ahead of time. Our flight was delayed and we were late for our water taxi (this LAST ONE FOR THE NIGHT). Because we booked ahead of time, we were able to call and have them hold the boat for us. This is a nice leverage to have because you never know when you might run into an issue at the airport.

Now, let's talk about the ride and overall water taxi experience. It wasn't the most enjoyable thing I've ever done, but it also wasn't the worst. It was a straight down the middle 5-out-of-10 experience. 

Here's what we learned:
- The ride is bumpy. If you're older, bring a pillow. YIKES. 
- Do NOT sit at the front of the boat. HORRIBLE.
- Be prepared to not sit next to the person you are boarding with. 
- Take medication if you feel the least bit sick. (This was me multiple times.)
- Make friends/share stories with the people around you. 
- Get there early for loading of luggage.
- Personal items must be able to be held in your lap. 

Don't be afraid to make friends with the locals!

Traveling From Belize City to Caye Caulker: Tropic Air 
There's not a lot I can tell you about this option since it wasn't something we took part in. Tropic Air offers one-way and round-trip flights from Belize City to Caye Caulker via small plane. The price varies slightly but for the most part, a round-trip ticket will set you back between $150-$200 (US dollars). It's WAYYYY more expensive than a 45 minute water taxi ride, but 10 minutes flying over the beautiful blue water of Belize might make the price a little more appealing. 

Traveling Around Belize City: Taxi + Taxi Drivers
Best advice I can give you in regards to taxis and taxi drivers in Belize City: GOOD LUCK. It's a weird/scary/wild/fast paced/blurry experience. Prepare yourself for lots of drivers doing everything but picking you up and putting you in their car. They want your business and they are aggressive about it. And once you are in the car, HOLD ON TIGHT. It's a wild and FAST ride. Lots of passing and honking and yelling and speeding and yeah. Just hold on tight. 

A taxi will run you $10 (US dollars) per ride. Make sure you know a price BEFORE you get in!

Final Winners:
International Flights: Southwest Airlines
Bike vs Walking vs Golf Cart: Walking. Caye Caulker is so small, nothing else is needed. 
Water Taxi vs Tropic Air: Water Taxi for first timers. 

Going to Belize? Have more questions? I'm your girl.