Located in the Cayo district is the capital city of Belmopan. Unlike most of the notable popular destinations in Belize, Belmopan is located inland, which means that those interested in watersports will have to do a bit of travel. Typically, visitors here are on business, but tourists looking to explore Mayan ruins, jungle habitats, and are interested in history and government might find this town to be a good home base. Transportation to and around the area is, as you might expect, a land-locked affair.
There are several ways to get to Belmopan in a round-about way, including flying, cruising, and sailing yourself. To get directly to the city without stopping in any other city you'll have to drive, though the trip is such a long one the odds of you not stopping are slim.
Rental cars and taxis are the best way to get around Belmopan, but if you plan to travel between other areas of Belize you should take the time to learn about the bus system and ferry services.
Although there is a small airport located in Belmopan, it is so rarely used that domestic airlines don't even have regular services available. Instead, tourists will fly from Miami, New Orleans, Raleigh, or Houston to the Belize City and drive for an hour to get to their final vacation destination. The other option would be to hire a certified charter to fly you to Belmopan from , at a fee that most agree is not worth the short amount of travel time it saves. Click here to learn more about flying to Belmopan.near
Without direct access to a port, sailing your own personal or chartered yacht to Belmopan simply is not an option. That doesn't mean tourists can't sale to another port in Belize and make their way to Belmopan should they desire to do so. If you're a seafaring tourist, you can sail into Belize City, San Pedro on San Pedro, Big Creek, and Punta Gorda, all of which are official ports of entry. To get as close as possible to Belmopan, you'll find Punta Gorda to be your best option.
You have 24 hours after entering Belize waters to meet with customs, and there are officials patrolling the waters to enforce the rule. When you meet with a customs official, you will have to present four copies of your crew list, the ship's stores list, and the official paperwork for your boat. After the official has approved your entry to the country, you may sail through local waters for up to 90 days.
Like sailing, cruising is not the most ideal way to get to Belmopan, but it is a possibility. During the height of tourism between November and May it is not uncommon to see five or six cruise ships sail into port each week. The Belize City Cruise Port is located in Belize City. When passengers get off the ship, they will either head out on excursions hosted by the cruise line, or explore the area on their own. A trip to Belmopan takes an hour by car and up to two hours by bus, which makes a quick jaunt to the area an option.
A road trip to Belize is an endeavor that could take several days if not a week or more depending on how far away you're driving from and how often you stop. From the United States/Mexico border it takes a full 24 hours of driving. You'll likely cross the border close to Belize City, and from there you can take the Western Highway to Hummingbird Highway, which will lead you to Belmopan in about an hour.
Before crossing the border, you'll need to purchase Belize Liability Insurance as well as a one month importation permit, and register your vehicle in your passport. If you'll be staying for longer than a month, stop in Belize City on the way to Belmopan and visit the Customs Department to extend your permit.
...well-planned roads make it easy ...
A rental car is a great way to explore your vacation destination, but in Belize tourists are often discouraged from getting behind the wheel because of the poor road conditions. Belmopan is a different story. Here, the well-planned roads make it easy for tourists to get around without getting lost and without encountering pot holes and muddy roads that can leave you stranded for hours. Most tourists will rent a car at the international airport before driving to Belmopan for between $60 and $120(USD) a day, including the cost of insurance. If you're thinking of renting a vehicle during your stay in Belmopan, click here to learn how to go about doing so, plus details about driving in the area.
When you need a taxi in Belmopan you'll find them mainly milling around the central market and oddly, by the bus station. It may be hard to tell the taxi from other vehicles on the road because they are just like any other regular car on the street. The way you'll be able to identify taxis is by checking for the green license plates.
You can see some additional information on Belmopan taxis by clicking here.
Belmopan does not have its very own public transportation option, so you'll have to stick to rental cars and taxis when you want to get around. Buses do exist throughout Belize, however, as a means of transportation from city to city. This means you can travel from the airport to Belmopan and save some money, or you can use this as a way to see some other nearby towns. Find out how the process works by clicking here.
If you desire a day or two on one of the cays of Belize, you can take a ferry for between $7.50 and $10(USD) per person. Ferries are not available direct from Belmopan, but it is possible to travel from town to Belize City where you'll find a collection of ferry services available to Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, and St. George's Caye. Each boat can carry about 40 passengers with two pieces of luggage each, and are equipped with life jackets. Be warned that these ferries are open air, so on a particularly windy day you're likely to get wet.
Knowing all of your options as you begin to plan your trip to Belmopan will make the entire process easier, as most agree trip planning should be. With this information in mind, you can go forward knowing you are completely prepared to make the right decisions with regards to transportation.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.