Best Way to get to Belize and Ambergris Caye
Best Way to get to Belize and Ambergris Caye
(Beach in front of Captain Morgan's Resort)Why Belize? To tell you the truth, I don't remember why I chose Belize. I do remember this. I wanted to go somewhere that all my friends and family had NOT been to. I remember I loved the name of the country…”Bayleeeze”. I wonder now if I would even own property within a mile or so of three waterfalls had the name of the country still been British Honduras.
It all started when I promised my partner that when she kicked cancer’s butt that I would take her on a vacation she would never forget. Well, by the time we left I knew more about Belize than anyplace that I had already travelled to. This leads to my first tip. Google Flights! I have spent hours upon hours using every travel service on the web trying to save every last dollar. None of them compare to the simplicity and flexibility of Google Flights. When flying from Indiana it is almost impossible to get a direct flight. So our trips start with a very early morning flight from Indianapolis to one of the gateway airports. Houston Hobby seems to be where we end up most times. Usually the layover is over 2 hours but this does not bother me as I am always paranoid about missing my connecting flight. From Hobby we fly directly into Philip Goldson International Airport.
This airport is comparable to a smaller market airport in America but it is the largest and, to my knowledge only International Airport in Belize. The first thing you will love if you have travelled internationally is the fact that getting through customs does not take long simply because you will not be in a long line typically associated with a larger country. Get your passport stamped and head out the front door where there will be plenty of taxi cabs waiting to take you to your next stop which is usually Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye is the main tourist destination in Belize. It is an Island that lies one and a half hours west of Belize City. You can get there using the water taxi which takes around one and a half hours. Or ,if you cannot wait to get there, you can hop on one of the two airlines that hop all around this country that is smaller than my home state Indiana. Tropic Air and Maya Island Air have flights that leave right from the main airport. As of this writing Maya Island Air had a slight price advantage at $73.50 including various taxes and fees. Tropic Air was $89.75. Both have several flights a day so you will not have a long layover. If you opt for the water taxi, be prepared to hop a land taxi to the port. That is going to set you back $25.00. A round trip on the water taxi costs only $28.00. If you arrive hungry there are many places to grab a quick bite before your boat leaves. Buying the tickets is a bit goofy because you buy your tickets and then take two steps over and get your pass to get on the boat. . It get it because not everyone who buys a ticket is leaving on the next boat, but it can confuse simple-minded people like myself. The boarding process is fairly quick and they do pack as many people as they can on each ferry but it is not too uncomfortable and the view of the water and passing Cayes (pronounced keys) takes your mind off of the hard seats and crowded conditions. I have also had some great conversations with some very interesting locals. This is probably my favorite reason for taking the water taxi over flying. The other is obviously the huge savings compared to flying to the Island. I usually reserve that for going home when I am in a much more somber mood because I am leaving paradise and just want the trip to be over so I can start planning my next trip to Belize! No matter how you get to the Island you will be deposited right into the heart of San Pedro Town. If your hotel has not already made arrangements with you to pick you up at the dock (this is a common practice in Belize and most do not charge) you can catch a cab to about anywhere in town for $5.00 Belize. But do not worry about exchanging your dollars. The US dollar is accepted everywhere and conversion could not be easier. I am no financial expert but the Belizean dollar is tied to the American dollar at an exact two to one ratio meaning $1.00 US is worth $2.00 Belize. Most prices you see in Belize are Belize dollars but there are a few exceptions. So, if you want to make sure you get the best value, when in doubt, always assume Belize dollars. Example. If someone tells you it is $20.00, hand them a $10.00 US bill. Make them tell you if the price is American dollars. If you hand the cashier a $20.00 bill you may have to ask for change. Belize is a great country filled with great people but like anywhere, some people are out to make a quick dollar at your expense if they can. Once you get there, tell Coconut Leo that we said hi! Learn about him and the other legendary people of Ambergris Caye by checking out our travel guides to Ambergris and Caye Caulker. Enjoy!