Named for the orange groves that once lined the New River, Orange Walk is mid-sized town in Belize with about 15,000 permanent residents. The town, while it does host a small number of cultural activities, is primarily visited for the outdoor attractions, like the rainforest, river, and ruins. To see all that there is to see here, you'll want to plan all of your transportation needs in advance.
Most tourists travel to Orange Walk by flying, but it isn't the only choice you have. Those who have the know-how can sail to Belize, cruising to a nearby port is a possibility, and those who are looking to see several countrysides can drive the whole way.
Once you've arrived in Orange Walk, you'll find yourself to be slightly land-locked, so a ferry transport, a popular way to get around the country, is not going to help you get around the town. Renting a car will probably be your best choice, though taxis are available, and buses can help you travel to some of the other popular spots in Belize.
Traveling to Orange Walk by plane is the fastest and most convenient option for most tourists, but there are a few steps you'll need to take to get there. First, you'll have to book a flight out of Raleigh, North Carolina; Miami, Florida; Houston, Texas; or New Orleans, Louisiana. These hubs all offer direct flights to Belize, so unless you want to make a stop in Guatemala or El Salvador, you'll want to connect at one of these locations. Next, you'll fly into the Belize City. From there, you'll need to hire a driver, take the bus, or rent a car to get you to Orange Walk, as there is no regular air service to the airstrip in Orange Walk. Click here to elaborate on the process, learn prices, and get contact information for the airlines known for flying to Belize.in Ladyville, which is just outside of
While it is not possible to sail directly to Orange Walk, you can make plans to charter or sail your private yacht to Belize then make other arrangements to get to the town. If you do decide to sail, you'll have to dock at an official port of entry within the first 24 hours of arriving in local waters and meat with a customs official to gain entry into the country. Ports of entry here include Belize City, San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Port of Big Creek, and Punta Gorda. It is possible to dock elsewhere and have an official meet you, but you will be responsible for their travel expenses. In order to clear customs you'll need to present four copies each of your crew list, the ship's stores, and all of the ship's official paperwork. Once approved, you're allowed to sail through Belize's waters for up to 90 days.
Cruising is a great option for tourists who want to see as many destinations in the Caribbean as possible in one short trip. Belize is a popular port of call, with up to six stops a week in Belize during the height of tourist season. The country's one and only port is located in Belize City, which means if you want to see Orange Walk you'll have to rent a car or take the bus to get there during your day on shore.
Belize is unique as a Caribbean destination because it is one of only two countries you can drive to from North and South America. If you're driving from the United States or Canada, you'll find the drive from the United States/Mexico border takes 24 hours without stops. When you get to the border of Belize you'll have to provide proof of your vehicle's ownership, register the vehicle to your passport, and purchase both a one month importation permit and Belize Liability Insurance. From there, you'll take the Northern Highway for about 90 minutes, and you'll cross right through Orange Walk. Orange Walk is the site of the county's only tollbooth, so be prepared to pay $0.50(USD) per car.
...get behind the wheel...
Most tourists will rent their car before leaving the airport and make the drive to Orange Walk. On average, you'll spend under $140(USD) a day to rent, including the suggested and recommended insurance, and once you get behind the wheel you'll find local laws to be similar to those in the United States. Driving here can be hit or miss, with some roads being paved and well cared for, while others are dirt or gravel and are known for being rained out.
With little discernible markings on the outside of the vehicle, taxis in Orange Walk are set apart by their green license plates. If someone tries to give you a ride and does not have this special license plate you can be sure that the vehicle is not legal or licensed. This shouldn't be too much of an issue in Orange Walk, where taxis are not available in overwhelming amounts. Most tourists find that the best option for them is to call ahead and have a driver pick them up.
One local company you can call is, who can be reached at (501) 322-2050.
The cost of riding in a taxi here will vary depending on your driver. Rates are no pre-set, and there are no meters to measure distance in time. Instead, you'll have to discuss the fare with your driver before departing. Tips are not the norm here, but that should not discourage you from offering an extra dollar or two as a show of appreciation.
If you're hoping to use the bus to get around on a day-to-day basis during your time in Orange Walk you may want to reconsider. The buses in Belize are used primarily for city-to-city travel, allowing you to visit some of the other major destinations in the country at a low rate. As far as getting around town, it is not a possibility.
Learn more about it by reading our guide to Buses in Orange Walk.
There's a lot to think about as you plan your trip to Orange Walk, including both how you'll get there and how you'll get around when you arrive. You probably have an inkling of the methods you'd like to use, but learning more about each option can only help you be better prepared to make your final decision when the time comes.
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