Getting to Belize by Plane

Arrangement by Luciana - photo by Senneker

Arrangement by Luciana – photo by Senneker

UPDATE 2016 WEST JET AIRLINE OUT OF TORONTO HAS ANNOUNCED IT IS OFFERING DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM TORONTO YYZ TO BELIZE BZE COMMENCING OCTOBER 29 TILL APRIL 29 WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY DEPART TORONTO 9.15 ARRIVE BELIZE 12 NOON. GREAT NEWS. CHECK IT OUT

How do you get to Belize by plane and how much does it cost? That’s what I want to talk about in this blog.

My frame of reference is south-west Ontario, Canada, so if you are not looking at Belize from this perspective you will have to make some adjustments.

I am always looking at a better and cheaper way to fly to Belize and will keep you up to-date on my findings. If you have discovered  other ways to fly to Belize than the ones presented in this post, please let me know and I’ll pass the info on. For example, I keep hearing that there is a direct flight from T.O. to Belize City and that it is much cheaper than the regular airlines. I can’t find any trace of it but the rumour persists.

We once flew Air Canada from T.O. to Cancun, Mexico. That was good. But we couldn’t make a plane or bus connection till the next day, had to stay overnight in Cancun and arrived in Belize a day later and most of our savings eaten up with hotel, bus (5 hrs.to the border + another 2 to Belize City)) and food costs. If I could find a way to land in Cancun and get a flight out the same day to Belize, if the price was right I would grab it. But I haven’t found it yet.

Getting to and from Belize is easy once you realize that the major international airlines fly there after a stop-over somewhere in the U.S.A. We have flown Continental Airlines www.continental.com, American Airlines www.aa.com and Delta www.delta.com  to fly us in and out, but you can check on USAir as well. Whatever the case, you’ll end up in Houston, Miami, Atlanta or Charlotte where you will catch a flight to Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE).

We have friends who say they have saved $200-300 by flying out of Buffalo, but mind you, they live in Hamilton which is very near by. (Check out www.islandexpeditions.com/ie-welcome-flights and www.flightcenter.ca )

Depending when you can fly will dictate how long it will take and how many stops you will have to make en-route.  There being no direct flight to Belize out of Toronto International (YYZ ) , you can fly to their hub on an 8-8:30 morning flight and with about an hour and a half stay-over fly out of the hub, arriving in Belize at the Belize International Airport  around 3:30- 4:00 p.m.

Lately we have flown Delta, flying out of Toronto at around 6. We have stayed at the Alt Boutique Hotel mere metres or yards from the Pearson International Airport rail link which will quickly take you to the Departure area where your adventure begins. There we caught a 6 or 6:30 flight to Belize, arriving around 2 p.m.

Outside the Belize International Airport

Outside the Belize International Airport

When you arrive in Belize is important. It gets dark around 6 p.m. If you wanted to take the last water-taxi to Caye Caulker or San Pedro, for example, to get the last water-taxi (5:30) out of Belize City  you’d have to get through Customs, grab a cab, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Whereas, if you left T.O. earlier, you would arrive in Belize earlier and easily make the water-taxi to the cayes.

It all depends on where you want to go after you land in Belize. Comprende?

Coming back, there are afternoon flights out of Belize with a stop over at the hub and a flight back to Toronto, landing about 11:00-12:00 p.m.

For the flight part of the trip, you can accumulate a lot of information by going on-line to get a frame of reference, but you are well advised to book through a travel agent of your choice. Of course, if you want to use air-miles you will have to follow the terms of the plan.

If your schedule doesn’t allow you much flexibility, you may have to spend a night in Houston or Miami or Atlanta. We’ve stayed over on our return a couple times in Houston, flying with Continental.  It gives you time to catch your breath and get ready for re-entry.  (There are dozens of hotels nearby any airport but you’ll have to grab a cab.  Try www.choicehotels.ca.)

This year, we deliberately planned our return to arrive in Atlanta in the evening, stay overnight in a hotel, and arrive back home in Toronto in the late morning. Reason? So our friends or family don’t have to pick us up at midnight as they have year after year.

The fares usually run from $700.00 to $900.U.S. per person return, Toronto-Belize in the high season from Dec. to April. Expect lower fares from May to November. This year we booked in October with Delta and got flights at $630 each.

After you’ve landed at the Belize International and cleared customs (as a Canadian you do not need a visa), you’ll have several options to take you to your next destination.

Travellers arriving in Belize City

Travellers arriving in Belize City

If you plan to use Belize City as a home base or a one or two-night stand before moving on, make sure you have reservations at a reputable hotel.  The cab fare will be $25.00 U.S. or more for this seven-mile trip, but suck it up, no one’s trying to rip you off.  Gas is very expensive in Belize and the fare is regulated.
If your time is precious, and if you are only visiting for a week/10 days, you can book a flight with a local airline to get you to San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Dangriga (Hopkins Village), Placencia and Punta Gorda. Your host will make arrangements or contact Tropic Air or Maya Island Air yourself. Fares range from $65 to 120 usd one way, depending where you are going. It’s a 15 minute flight from the International Airport to Caye Caulker. But remember it starts getting dark around 6 pm and there are no night flights.
The least expensive way to travel from town to town is by bus. The bus stations are relatively well kept up and running pretty much on schedule. The bus costs about 20 cents a mile compared to the price of flying or taking a cab from town to town at about $3.00 a mile. But it takes longer to get there. You pays your money and you makes your choice.
Car Rental is an option. It’s expensive but it puts you in control without reference to bus stations and schedules. The main roads are pretty good but the side roads can be dodgy. Check with your hotel host or check out www.budget-belize.com or www.thrifty.com.
If you are still hungry after this full-course meal, check out the A La Carte Menu and order the Things To Do appetizer.
Somewhere a magical place like this awaits

Somewhere a magical place like this awaits

About briansbelize

I have vacationed in Belize for more than 13 years and have come to love this country. I have traveled up and down and all around, and have a lot of information that might help you on your travels. View all posts by briansbelize

2 responses to “Getting to Belize by Plane

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