Flying to Punta Gorda

Flying to Punta Gorda means an international and a domestic flight

Despite being one of the southernmost towns in Belize, Punta Gorda is one of the most popular tourist destinations. It's location along the Caribbean Sea is a huge draw, but it does take some work to get there. As you begin planning your getaway, you'll quickly learn that although there is an airstrip in Punta Gorda, it is not capable of handling large commercial jets, so you'll have to switch planes at least once along the way.

...tourism continues to grow...

 

To get to Belize, you'll have to fly with American Airlines, United Airlines, or US Airways. Each offers direct flights from Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Miami, Florida; and Raleigh, North Carolina. If an initial flight from one of these cities is not a possibility, you'll have to book a connecting flight with one of them or to Guatemala or El Salvador. Direct flights to Belize are not available from Canada or Europe, which means people traveling from these countries will also have to connect in these areas.

Within city limits, tourists will find the Belize City Municipal Airport. Only domestic flights arrive and depart on this airport, which features a 1,825 foot long concrete runway, one restaurant, and one bar. If you're already in Belize, or traveling to Belize by car before flying to Punta Gorda, you may want to plan on flying from this airport since flights tend to be cheaper.

Flying to Punta Gorda from the US

Daily flights from the United States and other areas touch down at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE). Located about a half an hour away from the center of Belize in Ladyville, this airport is the largest and busiest airport in the country thanks to the fact that it is the only international airport available. Renovations are underway to expand the property as tourism continues to grow, but they are not expected to be completed until 2015. Until then, the airport has shops, restaurants, a bank, a tourism information booth, baggage claim, and a number of rental car agencies. If you'll be staying inBelize for a few days before continuing on toPunta Gorda, it will cost $25 to $30(USD) to take a taxi into town.

Within city limits, tourists will find the Belize City Municipal Airport. Only domestic flights arrive and depart on this airport, which features a 1,825 foot long concrete runway, one restaurant, and one bar. If you're already in Belize, or traveling to Belize by car before flying to Punta Gorda, you may want to plan on flying from this airport since flights tend to be cheaper.

Flying to Punta Gorda from Europe

Punta Gorda only receives direct flights from within the nation of Belize. As such, travellers from Europe, like any international travelers, will need to first find a flight into Belize, most likely into Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport.

Unfortunately, even this airport is absent of European flights. Instead, European travelers will need to make a transfer in the United States with American Airlines or some other major airliner. As an alternative, those who do not mind flying out of London can take a Virgin Airlines flight into Cancun, where they can transfer onto a Maya Island Air flight to Belize City. No matter what method you choose though, some work is required.

See the chart for contact information of some airlines you might use.

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 Punta Gorda from the Caribbean

When you arrive at Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, you'll have to switch planes and board a domestic flight aboard Maya Island Air or Tropic Air to Punta Gorda. Both airlines offer several flights a day to the village which originate from the Belize City Municipal Airport, stop to pick up passengers from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, then continue on to Punta Gorda making stops in Dangriga and Placencia along the way. Because of these stops, the total trip from the municipal airport to Punta Gorda takes about 90 minutes.

Check the following table for a complete list of air service from regional airports. If you can't take a flight from a local airport, taking a connecting flight from another regional airport could be your best option.

Punta Gorda Airport Caribbean Flights
To/From Airport Code Airlines
Belize City TZA Maya Island Air
Belize BZE Maya Island 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
Placencia, Belize PLJ Maya Island Air
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye SPR Maya Island Air

The following table indicates how to reach the regional air charter operators.

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

When you arrive at Punta Gorda, you'll be flying into the Punta Gorda Airport (PND), a public airstrip often used by the Belize Defense Forces. The runway measures 2,297 feet long and it made of asphalt. 

Maya Island Air offers four daily flights to Punta Gorda, leaving from the municipal airport at 8:10 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. They will arrive at the international airport between 10 and 15 minutes later. The fare is $91 from the municipal airport or $107(USD) from the international airport. Return flights leave from Punta Gorda at 6:45 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. 

Tropic Air, meanwhile, has five flights to Punta Gorda. They leave the municipal airport at 8:15 a.m., 10:20 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 2:20 p.m, and 5:00 p.m., and cost $93 from the municipal airport but $109(USD) from the international airport. Return flights depart from Punta Gorda at 6:50 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. 

If your plans to Punta Gorda involve taking flight, you'll have to switch planes at least once along the way, but this is only a small inconvenience when you think of the amount of time you've saved compared to driving, especially when the cost of renting a car plus gas to fuel it is comparable to the flight from Belize. Even so, it is best to take the time to do your homework and see which option is best for you. For most people, it will most definitely be to fly.

 

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