If Mexico is your go-to spot for a tropical getaway, but you’d like to see what Belize is all about, there are plenty of day trip options from Cancun to San Pedro. Belize, specifically San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, is not a place you want to miss, especially when getting there can be so simple and affordable!
It’s a well-known fact that flying to Cancun is cheaper than flying to Belize City, so this can also be a guide to avoiding expensive travel costs. There are simply more direct flights to Cancun, and it gets a lot of traffic. Try flying there first, then making your way to Belize using one of the following methods:
This airport strictly belongs to Belize, but you can hop on a flight from Cancun over to San Pedro for about $400 USD. This is not the cheapest option, but it is the fastest. The quickness is what you’re paying for anyway, right?
You can fly into Cancun and then take a couple of bus rides to get to Belize. If you take this route, you’ll likely want to stay overnight in Mexico, since the overall trip will last about 9 hours. A lot of travelers who choose this route like to stay at Playa del Carmen for a night or two, which is just across from Cozumel on the mainland. It’s a large city with nice hotels, shopping, and restaurants.
The bus from the airport in Cancun down to Playa del Carmen is only $10 USD. That’s a one-hour trip, and you can pick up and travel from there down to Belize when you’re ready. You can find a decent hotel in Playa del Carmen for $40-$60 USD. You’ll just have to purchase another bus ticket (this one will cost you about $17) and continue your trip. The second bus ride will have a couple of stops in Mexico, where you can enjoy authentic food in non-touristy towns. This bus ride will take you to Chetumal, Mexico.
From there, you can have a taxi from Belize pick you up at the bus station to take you to the Corozal air strip in Belize, where you can grab a flight on Tropic Air to San Pedro. This flight will cost about $60 USD each way.
This bus ride clearly isn’t the most direct route, but it’s good for those who aren’t in a huge hurry and would like to do some sightseeing along the way.
There is a water taxi that runs from Chetumal, Mexico, to San Pedro, Belize, and then to Caye Caulker, Belize. There are two water taxi companies: San Pedro Belize Express ($40 USD) and San Pedro Water Jets ($50 USD). The boat ride takes about 2 hours, but it could be longer if the water is particularly choppy. If you choose to take a water taxi from Mexico into Belize, though, you have to be prepared to go through customs for both countries. It’s best to arrive 30 minutes early to the Chetumal dock.
Choose your route from Cancun to San Pedro based on your own schedule and needs, but once you’re there, make sure you have some time to truly enjoy what Belize has to offer. San Pedro is the small, yet quickly growing, town on Ambergris Caye, and it’s full of inviting restaurants and markets. Most of the people of the island travel via golf cart, and you’ll realize quickly that life slows down a lot once you step foot on Ambergris Caye.
There is a relatively high expat population, and the people are all very friendly. The beaches aren’t too crowded, and the Blue Hole barrier reef is right off the shore, which makes for some promising snorkeling and diving expeditions. The island is home to some very accommodating resorts for a truly relaxing experience. You can go shallow or deep sea fishing, and you’ll love the pristine beaches and clear water. You can even stay in a cabana up close to the shore, since the waves break on the barrier reef.
A trip to San Pedro from Cancun would be well worth the extra day (or couple days, depending on how you do it) of traveling. Head that way to kick back, relax, and truly appreciate island time.
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/belize-city-port-architecture-1327714/