Transportation Options for Chetumal

Make your travel arrangements well in advance to maximize your stay in Chetumal

Just north of the border that Mexico shares with Belize, Chetumal has a little something for everyone whether you enjoy exploring ancient ruins and natural sites, or you prefer to spend your days sailing and shopping. In order to truly enjoy your getaway, it is best to make all of your travel arrangements in advance so you have nothing to worry about during your stay.

Getting There

Of the four ways most people consider when planning their trip to Chetumal, three of them are water-based: sailing a private yacht, cruising aboard a luxury ship, and taking the ferry over from Belize. Sailing is a great choice for those who have the know-how or the means to pay someone who does, cruising is a less appealing choice simply because the nearest port is too far away to make a day trip sensible, and the ferry will only work for those who are planning to spend time in both Belize and Mexico. For these reasons, air travel typically wins out as the method of choice for getting to Chetumal.

Getting Around

For transportation within the city limits of Chetumal, renting a car tends to win out. Public transportation in the form of taxis and buses are available, but they are not as abundant as other locations in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Air Travel

Tourists planning to fly to Chetumal have a bit of work to do deciding exactly how they'll get to this town. Three different airports have ways to get the Chetumal, beginning with the local international airport. Most people will actually fly to Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) in Mexico City which is the busiest airport in the country, then take a domestic flight to Chetumal International Airport or fly to Cancun International Airport (CUN) then drive. Learn more about each option by clicking here


The port of entry near Chetumal is about two and a half hours away on land in Majahaul. This will be your first stop when you enter local waters, stopping to clear customs by signing an Import Form and having each person aboard your boat present their passport and tourist card. From there, you can sail to Chetumal and find a place to dock for the duration of your stay.  Find out more about the process by clicking sailing & boating.


Although the Yucatan Peninsula is an incredibly popular destination for cruise lines that frequent the Caribbean, however, there is not a cruise port near enough to make visiting this town worth the risk of missing the boat before it leaves port. If cruising is your desired transportation method of choice, it is recommended that you choose a different destination to sail to.

Rental Cars

Chetumal is one of the locations in the Mexican Caribbean where it is actually recommended that you rent a car. Most visitors will rent from the airport in Cancun and drive to town, but there are several locations to choose from at the airport in Chetumal and at local resorts as well. Costs range from $20 to $150(USD), which is due to a number of different variables. Read all about them, as well as information on driving in this town by clicking here.


Taxis in Chetumal stand out thanks to their appearance. They are small white hatchbacks with an orange line along the side and a four digit number stamped on the side. They only carry three to four passengers at one time, so if you're traveling with a large party, you may consider calling and arranging for several taxis to pick you up. Learn more about taxis in Chetumal by clicking here.


The buses that pass through Chetumal are generally used to move people to and from Cancun with the local bus line ADO. Another option that doesn't exist in all cities in the Mexican Caribbean is the option to take a bus across the border to Belize and even continues on to Guatemala. One important thing to note about taking a bus to Belize is that Mexican bus lines are not allowed to pick up passengers and bring them back across the border, so you'll have to ride back aboard a Belizean bus. click here for more details.


If you're making a stop in Belize before heading to Chetumal, or want to visit the neighboring country after your time in Mexico, one option is to take the San Pedro Belize Express between the two destinations. The boat, which is air conditioned and quite comfortable, leaves from Caye Caulker in Belize at 7:00 a.m. daily (or every other day in the off-season), stops in San Pedro, the continues on to Chetumal. The boat then returns from Chetumal at 3:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30(USD) one way, or you can purchase a round trip ticket for $5(USD) off. The one way trip takes about 90 minutes.

With each option for transportation comes a host of pros and cons that you have to consider as you plan your Chetumal getaway. It may seem tedious, but taking the time to do it all well in advance of your trip will pay off in the end when you've made all of your decisions and don't have to worry about any of them when you arrive.


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