Let’s say you have landed at the Belize International Airport and have cleared customs. Where do you want to go? Land or Sea? And how long do you plan to stay?
In the posts that follow I will be serving up well-seasoned and hearty In-Land Adventures (2) and Coastal Adventures (3) for a 7-10 day or a two-week(or longer) visit.
INLAND OPTION 1: SAN IGNACIO, How To Get There
When you land at the international airport outside of Belize City you have to decide how best to get from the airport to San Ignacio.
You can arrange to be picked up by the hotel you are going to. It’s $90-100 usd for two but it takes the guessing out of how to get there and it gets you there the fastest, about an hour and a half. If you are vacationing on borrowed time, that’s significant. Try to plan your trip so that you land in Belize between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. That way you will be checking into your hotel before nightfall and looking foreword to supper. This is an option I resisted for years, preferring instead to taxi into Belize City and stay at a hotel and get an early bus in the morning. Much cheaper but you lose a day getting to your destination. Now that I have capitulated to common-sense (and my favourite hotel has shut down) we always arrange to be picked up at the airport by our host or someone our host has recommended.
You can rent a car, make the pick-up, and, as long as you are driving in day-light, head west on the George Price Highway (formerly the Western Hgwy). It’s a fairly easy drive and you’ll get there in a couple hours. Ask your host for directions. I’ve never rented a car in Belize, being more of a bus guy, and apparently it is fairly expensive, but if you want to be independent and day-trip on your own, it is a good choice.
You can hire a taxi, but it is prohibitively expensive, at least by for me.
You can arrange with your host to be picked up at the airport or arrange for your own shuttle service by contacting Tosh and Danielia at http://www.cayoshuttle.com Either option will cost you between $100-110 usd for two.
You can catch a bus, the cheapest way to travel, but you will have to take a taxi from the airport to Belize City, $25.00 usd. , have the taxi take you to the main bus station, and get a bus to San Ignacio. It will cost you about $5.00 usd per person and it will take between 2 and 3 hours or more but you really have to get to the bus station before 5 p.m. and you will get into San Ignacio at night.
If you take the bus, ask at the bus station what bus goes to San Ignacio. Sometime the San Ignacio bus is marked Benque Viejo, which is the end of the line after San Ignacio. That’s the one you want. (You will have to stop at Belmopan, the capital of Belize. You may have to change buses. Beware the taxi driver who tells you you’ve missed the last bus to San Ignacio but he will take you there for $50.00 or $60.00 usd.. Check the schedules at the bus station and ask around before you make a rash choice.) Take the bus right into San Ignacio and get a taxi to take you to your hotel if you are not staying downtown. The fare should be between $3 and $4 usd.
At some point you will be comfortably ensconced in a hotel room or a cabana in or around San Ignacio and your inland adventure will begin.
In my next post, I will introduce you to our favourite hotel in the area, the Aguada Hotel www.aguadabelize.com and I will further describe San Ignacio and suggest some activities that should challenge you and fill your vacation days. In the meantime, you can do some home-cooking on the internet on your own and check out hotels and activities in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area.