Transportation Options for San Ignacio

Choose your transportation in San Ignacio before moving on to other planning

Photo credit: © Ian Mackenzie

There is a little bit of everything in San Ignacio. Not only is it the business center of the Cayo District, but the town is also home to numerous Mayan ruins, a dense plot of forest, a system of rivers, and a collection of cattle ranches. This area of the country caters to adventurers and eco-tourists, an attribute that may have an effect on tourists' chosen means of transportation.

Getting There

As a land-locked town along the Guatemalan border, your options for transportation to San Ignacio are a little different than the coastal communities. This shouldn't deter you in the slightest, because you can still fly, drive, sail, and cruise as close to town as possible, then make other plans for a journey inland.

Getting Around

Despite its agricultural leanings, San Ignacio is more like a city than most other locals in Belize, which means local transportation is more plentiful. You can easily rent a car or hail a cab, and if you want to visit other towns in the country, the bus system can help you get there.

Air Travel

Although there is a small airstrip in San Ignacio, it is generally only open during whale watching season. This means tourists will have to fly into the nearest airport and drive the rest of the way. That airport just happens to be the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, which is just outside of Belize City. It takes about 90 minutes to make the drive, so it is not completely unreasonable. Some hotels offer airport transfers, so make sure to check before signing any rental agreements. Click here to learn about flying to Belize City.


Belize is a known destination for expert sailors, and the conditions make it so that novices might want to consider hiring a crew to help them make the journey. Whether you captain your own private vessel or hire a charter and a crew, when you arrive you'll have to do so at an official port of entry. They are located in Belize City, San Pedro, Punta Gorda, and Port of Big Creek. Belize also allows you to check in with customs elsewhere around the country, but you will be in charge of paying for transporting the official to where you are.

When you meet with the official, you'll be required to present four copies each of your ships official documentation, a list of the crew, and a list of the ship's stores. Once approved, you're welcome to sail local waters for up to 90 days. You won't be able to sail directly to San Ignacio, given that is located in the interior, but you can dock and drive into town.


Although the only cruise port in Belize is located about 71 miles northeast of San Ignacio in Belize City, it is possible to visit the town by cruise ship – though not directly. Five to six ships cruise to Belize each week during the high season, so it shouldn't be too hard. When you arrive, you can participate in an excursion to San Ignacio hosted by the cruise line if one is available, or you can use this guide to help you choose another form of transportation to get there.


Perhaps not the most popular form of transportation to San Ignacio, driving remains an option for anyone who has a a car and a lot of time to spend on the road. From the United States/Mexico border it takes a full 24 hours to get to the Belize border where you'll be asked to present your passport and proof of vehicle ownership. You will also need to purchase Belize Liability Insurance and a one month importation permit in order to drive you car in the country, on top of registering your vehicle in your passport. From the border it takes about three hours to get to San Ignacio. You'll take Western Highway, which runs straight through town.

Rental Cars

...ask for a vehicle with four-wheel drive...


Tourists flying into Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Ladyville often opt to rent a car and drive into San Ignacio on the day that they arrive. These people will be able to pick up a rental car right at the airport and get on their way. Others will prefer to let a local do the driving and wait until they get into San Ignacio to pick up their rental vehicle. Those who will be driving around San Ignacio will want to make sure to ask for a vehicle with four-wheel drive because of the poor condition of the roads, and always ask for the insurance. Get more tips not only about renting a vehicle in San Ignacio, but about driving there as well by clicking here.


You should have no problems finding taxis in San Ignacio. However, its distance from other cities means that you should limit use to traveling in the immediate area. Otherwise you can expect to see your costs rise. Take a look at our taxi guide for San Ignacio to learn more.


San Ignacio connects to Belize City via a bus that departs about every half hour from the main bus station in town between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., returning every half an hour between the hours of 5:00 a.m. And 8:00 p.m. The trip takes about two and a half hours and costs $5(USD). This is a great way to travel between the two towns inexpensively, but it comes at the price of comfort. Most buses are old, lack air conditioning, and are very crowded.

Whether by air, land, or sea, the transportation options in Belize are plentiful. The same is true for San Ignacio, though your options here become slightly more limited as you move inland. Take the time to learn about each form of transport before booking your trip so that you know exactly what it will take to get there and to get around when you arrive.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.