How to Reach Placencia by Airplane

Local flights to Placencia arrive on a continuous basis

Placencia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize, which is why many people find the sparse airport in this town to be out of place. Still, there are no plans to expand the property and the current air strip seems to do the trick.

...largest and busiest airport in the country...

 

Flying to Placencia from the US

Before you can fly to Placencia, your first stop in Belize will be in Belize City. Non-stop flights from the United States originate in Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Raleigh, North Carolina about American Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. If you can't arrange to begin your journey from one of these four cities, you'll likely end up booking a flight that connects with one, Guatemala, or El Salvador. Neither Canada nor Europe have direct flights to Belize, so these countries will also connect in one of these locales.

When you arrive in Belize, your plane will be directed to the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE), which is the only international airport in Belize. Because of this it is the largest and busiest airport in the country as well. The airport is currently undergoing an expansion project that is expected to be complete in 2015, but until then, it remains a relatively small facility when compared to the massive hubs of the United States.

Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport U.S. Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Los Angeles, CA, USA LAX American Airlines
Miami, FL, USA MIA American Airlines

There are shops and restaurants in the main terminal, a bank rests in the departure terminal, and there is a tourist information booth in the baggage claim area. A small collection of rental car agencies are located across the main parking lot for tourists who want to explore the Belizean countryside on the three and a half hour drive to Placencia, and taxis are always at the ready for those who need a quick trip to Belize City from the airport's location in Ladyville. The drive takes about a half an hour and cost between $25 and $30(USD).

Flying to Placencia from Europe

Don't expect flying to Belize from Europe to be a cake walk; with no direct flights from any European city, travelers will first need to fly into the United States or other regional hub like San Juan. Even then there are a limited number of flights coming into Belize.

Take a look at the chart below to see some of the airlines you might use, as well as their contact information.

Airlines Contact Information for Europe
AirlinePhone Number
Maya Island Air (501) 223-1140
American Airlines (844) 499-7300
United Airlines (845) 607-6760
Delta Airlines (871) 221-1222

Flying to Placencia from the Caribbean

Belize City Municipal Airport is the hub of domestic air travel in Belize. Not only is this airport the headquarters of local favorite Maya Island Air, but flights with the other Belizean AirlineTropic Air almost always originate here as well. The airport is much smaller than Goldson International, featuring just one restaurant, one bar, and a 1,825 foot long runway. While it wouldn't make much sense for tourists who are flying internationally and want to get to Placencia as quickly as possible, if you're arriving in Belize City by other means or you're planning to stay in the city for a night or two, it is a good idea to book your flight to Placencia from here to save money.

After arriving Belize City, your next step will be to transfer airlines to either Maya Island Air or Tropic Air. Both offer continuous daily flights to Placencia from the municipal airport and Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport. In fact, all flights will originate from the municipal airport, stop at the international airport to pick up any passengers also heading to Placencia, then continue on, stopping once more in Dangriga when there is need.

Check below for air service from airports in the Caribbean region. Even if you can't take a flight directly from your preferred airport, taking a connecting flight from another Caribbean airport might be a fine option.

Independence Aiport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Belize City TZA Maya Island Air
Belize BZE Maya Island Air
Caye Caulker, Belize CUK Maya Island Air
Corozal, Belize CZH Maya Island Air
Dangriga, Belize DGA Maya Island Air
Placencia, Belize PLJ Maya Island Air
Punta Gorda, Belize PND Maya Island Air
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye SPR Maya Island Air
Placencia Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Belize City TZA Maya Island Air
Belize BZE Maya Island Air, Tropic Air
Belize INB Maya Island Air
Caye Caulker, Belize CUK Maya Island Air
Corozal, Belize CZH Maya Island Air
Dangriga, Belize DGA Maya Island Air, Tropic Air
Punta Gorda, Belize PND Maya Island Air
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye SPR Maya Island Air
Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Belize City TZA Maya Island Air
Belize INB Maya Island Air
Belmopan, Belize BCV Tropic Air
Cancun, Mexico CUN Maya Island Air
Caye Caulker, Belize CUK Maya Island Air, Tropic Air
Corozal, Belize CZH Maya Island Air
Dangriga, Belize DGA Maya Island Air, Tropic Air
Placencia, Belize PLJ Maya Island Air, Tropic Air
Punta Gorda, Belize PND Maya Island Air
San Ignacio, Belize SQS Tropic Air
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye SPR Maya Island Air, Tropic Air

With Maya Island Air, the first flight leaves the municipal airport at 8:00 a.m., arrives at the international airport at 8:10 a.m., then takes about 50 minutes to get to Placencia. Departing flights continue to be available at regular intervals throughout the day, usually every 90 minutes or less, until 5:00 p.m. The cost to fly from the municipal airport is $72(USD), while it is an extra $10(USD) to fly from the international airport.

Tropic Air operates on a similar schedule, with flights that also originate in the municipal airport, and make stops at the international airport and at times in Dangriga. These flights are available throughout the day between the hours of 7:25 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The cost is $72(USD) from Belize City Municipal Airport and $86(USD) from the international airport.

While the most direct route is to simply fly into Placencia Airport, you could also conceivably fly into Independence Aiport. You will need to devote more time to driving after landing, but it would allow you to see more of Belize, and to incorporate a ferry into your trip.

When you arrive in Placencia, you will be touching down on a 1,900 by 25 foot paved runway at the Placencia Airport. This airport is located north of town, with the airstrip stretching across the gateway from east to west. Although small, with little more than an air traffic control building on property, it is well maintained.

Many hotels in Placencia will offer to pick up guests from the airport as part of their stay, but if this is not true of your accommodations, you can take a taxi into the village for $3(USD) for one person and $1.50(USD) per person if there are more than two people riding. Some rental car agencies will also be willing to meet renters at the airport.

It may take a few steps to get to Placencia, but most agree that a stay in the village is worth the trouble. Take the time to plan well in advance of your trip, and it shouldn't be a stressful process in the least.

The following table indicates how to contact one of the regional air charter services.

Charter Operators
Name Phone Location
Javier's Flying Services (501) 824-0460 Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport - 8.8 mi. (14.1 km) West-Northwest of Belize City Belize
Tropic Air (800) 422-3435 San Pedro Airport - San Pedro Ambergris Caye
 

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