How To Travel From Caye Caulker To Belize City: All Transport 2024

After your time to paradise has come to an end it is time to continue your adventures by heading to the mainland.

In this article, I will let you know everything there is about traveling from Caye Caulker to Belize City. This includes travel times, how to book tickets, what is the best transport method, and more!


Yes, I said it you can’t stay on the idyllic islands of Belize forever. So when the time comes, you will need to figure out how to travel from Caye Caulker to Belize City. Thankfully this is pretty damn easy, perfect for a stress-free travel day.

Now if you are like me and Caye Caulker happens to be your final island before heading on, you have no doubt had a great time here.

From the incredible sunsets, unique wildlife encounters (swimming with manatees anyone?!), and living on an island essentially designed for backpackers. What more could you want?

Now when I say travel from Caye Caulker to Belize City I am not saying the latter is your final destination of the day, no not at all.

If I am being honest Belize City itself isn’t really a popular destination for travelers to stay overnight. Instead, it is simply used as a transiting hub. Whether you are wanting to travel to Guatemala or Mexico, you will find plenty of options.

Luckily for you, it is incredibly easy to travel from Caye Caulker to Belize City, though you only have two transport options, either boat or plane. These are both pretty fast journeys with incredible views, but which one is best?

Don’t worry because I will let you know the costs, times, and more for each of these options. That way you can book the best option for your adventures!

MethodTimeCostHighlight
Ferry45 Minutes$21Cheaper Option
Fly20 Minutesfrom $60.00Quick Journey


🚗 How I Book Ferries & Shuttles In Belize: GuateGo


Caye Caulker To Belize City Distance

The distance between Caye Caulker and Belize City is about 32 kilometers or 20 miles, depending on the route and the mode of transportation. As you can see they are pretty damn close together so no matter what type of transport you decide, it won’t be a long journey.

A person walking down a wooden pier near a beach in Caye Caulker.
walking down the pier at caye caulker
A group of bicycles parked on a beach in Caye Caulker, Belize.
bicycles parked up alongside the beach in caye caulker

Caye Caulker To Belize City Travel Time

Another factor to consider when traveling from Caye Caulker to Belize City is the travel time for different transport methods. Here are the average travel times for some of the most popular transport methods:

Ferry: The ferry ride takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the weather and the number of stops. This is no doubt the most popular way to travel from Caye Caulker to Belize City.

Plane: This is the fastest and most convenient option. you can fly from Caye Caulker Airport (CUK) to either Belize City Municipal Airport (TZA) or Belize City Goldson Intl Apt (BZE). The flight time is about 10 minutes to TZA and 20 minutes to BZE. However one thing to remember this is only the air time, you will need to still account for check-in time, and go through security.

As you can see, the travel time varies depending on the transport method you choose. You should weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide which one suits your budget, time, and preference.


Can I Get Onwards Travel Out Of Belize City On The Same Day

Now honestly Belize City is not a common place for backpackers to stay overnight. Therefore where exactly are they going when they travel Caye Caulker to Belize City?

Well, you may be surprised at the amount of options available!

Personally, I have traveled both the San Ignacio at the Guatemala border, and over to Mexico in an easy few-hour journey from Belize City. Catching one of the early ferries out leaves you with more than enough time to continue your travels on the same day. You will just need to make sure there is enough time between transport options.

I even had a friend who traveled from Caye Caulker to Cancun all in one day. Now it was a crazy huge travel day where he was stuck on a bus for the majority of the time. But it is possible.

If you are more of a sane person then I recommend the following options depending on what you are interested in:

Mexico: The best places to arrive from Belize City in Mexico are either Chetumal or Bacalar. You will be able to have a relaxing afternoon as it isn’t a super long journey. However, the border process to actually get into Mexico can be quite painful.

Guatemala: Depending on your travel preferences you could spend a couple of days in the border town of San Ignacio. Otherwise just head straight into Guatemala by going to Flores, the gateway to the impressive Tikal Ruins.

If you are interested in more details about onward travel I recommend reaching out to Mohammad on Whats App at +501 652 6565 who works for Alanata Express. They operate out of the San Pedro Express Water Taxi Belize terminal, perfect if you are coming to or from the islands. I used them quite a few times including crossing from Belize to Mexico and it was all straightforward enough.

A scenic view of the water while traveling from Caye Caulker to Belize City by boat.
driving past a wharf when on the ferry in belize
A hammock on the beach in Caye Caulker, Belize, with palm trees in the background.
relaxing at the beach in a hammock

Ferry From Caye Caulker To Belize City

Taking a ferry from Caye Caulker to Belize City is a convenient and scenic way to travel between the two destinations. As I said before, Caye Caulker is only about 32 km away from Belize City, and you can easily reach it by taking one of the many ferries that operate daily.

The ferry service runs several times per day from Caye Caulker to Belize City, with an average journey time of about an hour. The ferry tickets cost between $21 and $65, depending on the operator and the time of departure.

The ferry ride offers a chance to enjoy the views of the Caribbean Sea and the Belize Barrier Reef, as well as to spot dolphins, manatees, and other marine life. The ferry terminal in Caye Caulker is located near the main pier, while the terminal in Belize City is inside the Belize Marine Terminal. From there, travelers can easily access taxis, buses, or flights to other parts of Belize or beyond.


How To Book Tickets

There are two main ferry companies that operate this route: San Pedro Express and Ocean Ferry. They both offer several departures per day from Caye Caulker to Belize City, with different prices and durations.

However, I will say San Pedro Express is your best option being the most reliable and having the best transport connections on the other end. This is who I traveled with and it was a hassle-free experience.

The first departure is at 6:00 am and the last departure is at 5:30 pm. The ferry runs every hour or every two hours depending on the time of the day.

At Caye Caulker the office is undercover and has fans blowing around the warm air so you can hang here until your ferry departs.

There is no need to book your tickets in advance, especially if you want to keep your travel plans open. Just rock up to the terminal 40 minutes or so prior to your desired departure time and you will be fine.

The San Pedro Express departs at the following times from Caye Caulker to Belize City:

Departure Caye CaulkerArrival Belize CityJourney Time
06.30 am07:30 am1 Hour
07:30 am08:30 am1 Hour
09:00 am10:00 am1 Hour
10:30 am11:30 am1 Hour
12:00 pm1:00 pm1 Hour
1:30 pm2:30 pm1 Hour
3:30 pm4:30 pm1 Hour
5:00 pm6:00 pm1 Hour

Where Does The Ferry Drop You Off

The San Pedro Belize Express terminal is located at 111 North Front Street, near the Swing Bridge and the Tourism Village.

Personally, I traveled the country with Atlanta Express Shuttle Service which operates out of the San Pedro Express Water Taxi Belize terminal, perfect if you are coming to or from the islands. I used them quite a few times including crossing from Belize to Mexico and it was all straightforward enough.

If you are interested in using Atlanta Express message Mohammad on Whats App at +501 652 6565. I originally got their details when I was in Mexico, and once I arrived in Belize it turned out to be one of the most popular transport operators for tourists.

A group of people standing on the side of a boat, travelling from Caye Caulker to Belize City.
arriving from caye caulker to belize city on the ferry with belize water taxi express
The scenic view of the ocean from the back of a boat sailing from Caye Caulker to Belize City.
view from the front of the ferry when traveling from caye caulker to belize city

My Experience Taking The Ferry Caye Caulker To Belize City

After experiencing a slow pace of life on Caye Caulker for the past couple of days it was time to head back to the mainland to continue my travels. Following the natural backpacking Belize itinerary I would then head towards Guatemala. But not before visiting the border town of San Ignacio.

I had booked my shuttle in advance with Alanata Express which operates from the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi Terminal and that would be departing at 12.30 pm. This meant I had to time my water taxi appropriately so that I didn’t miss my shuttle. Though I was told in advance if I took at 10.30 am ferry this would give me plenty of time.

Day of I checked out of my hostel at 10 am and wandered down through the sandy streets carrying my luggage to the ferry pier. I was visiting over Easter Weekend and Caye Caulker was crazy busy. Luckily it seemed everyone was sleeping off their hangover as things were still pretty quiet.

Nevertheless, luckily I was easily able to book tickets on the spot at the ferry terminal and spot a couple of friends I had actually traveled with from Mexico to Belize a week or so ago. We have a quick catch-up before our ferry arrives and it’s time to say goodbye to island life for a while.

Being Easter the crowds started arriving at the pier to take everyone back to the mainland and the ferries seemed constant to keep up with demand. I snag myself a seat as they squeeze the crowds in and I try to shove my big backpack under my seat.

It soon takes off and we are flying across the ocean. Honestly, the journey from Caye Caulker to Belize City is a little bit average. Sure you still have the incredible ocean views, but it’s more open and can be a little rocky. Unfortunately, you don’t really pass by any deserted island vibes like you would see when traveling from San Pedro to Caye Caulker.

Soon enough we are arriving in the city. There is a cruise ship at the port and large concrete buildings welcoming us to the mainland. It’s a far cry from the paradise spot of Caye Caulker, but unfortunately, it’s time to continue our travels.

I grab my bags and head towards the dedicated meeting point at Alanata Express for my journey from Belize City to San Ignacio. I would be spending the next couple of days making new friends, exploring some epic caves, and discovering incredible Mayan ruins.

A view of a boat on the water with palm trees in the background, capturing the tranquil beauty of Caye Caulker.
saying goodbye to caye caulker as we take the ferry to belize city
A group of people sitting on a boat traveling from Caye Caulker to Belize City with a captain.
our driver when taking the ferry from caye caulker to belize city

Flying From Caye Caulker To Belize City

Flying from Caye Caulker to Belize City is a quick and convenient way to travel between the two destinations. There are several flights available from Caye Caulker to Belize City, operated by Maya Island Air and Tropic Air.

The flight time is only about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the airport you choose. You can fly to either Belize City Municipal Airport (TZA) or Belize City Philip S.W.Goldson International Airport (BZE). The former is closer to the city center, while the latter is the main international airport in Belize.

The flights are scenic and offer a stunning view of the Caribbean Sea and the Belize Barrier Reef. The cost of the flight varies depending on the season and availability, but it is usually around $60.00 to $80.00 one way.

A breathtaking view of the ocean during a flight from Caye Caulker to Belize City.
just going over the mainland as we fly into belize city

🚗 How I Book Ferries & Shuttles In Belize: GuateGo


FAQs About Traveling from Caye Caulker To Belize City

How Far In Advance Do I Need To Book Tickets?

It is recommended you book tickets in advance to ensure you can travel with a reputable, clean, and safe company. You should try for at least a week in advance to be safe. Though if you are not worried about this then book at least 48 hours in advance.

If you decide not to book a ticket you can just turn up for the ferry and wait until there is room on the boat.

How Long Is The Ferry From Caye Caulker To Belize?

The ferry ride from Caye Caulker To Belize City takes 45 minutes to 1 hour and is direct with no other stops.

How Much Is A Water Taxi From Caye Caulker To Belize City?

A water taxi from Caye Caulker to Belize City will cost you about $21.00 for a standard ticket

How Much Is A Flight From Belize City To Caye Caulker?

A flight one way from Belize City to Caye Caulker will cost you between $60.00 to $80.00. For the best prices, you will need to book in advance.

Can You Swim In Caye Caulker Belize?

Yes, you can swim in Caye Caulker, but there are very few beaches on the island. Most of which are covered with seagrass and debris. The water is also very shallow and calm, so it’s not ideal for swimming.

The best place to swim in Caye Caulker is at the Split, which is a narrow channel that divides the island into two parts. The water there is clear, deep, and free of seagrass.

Is Caye Caulker A Party Island?

Caye Caulker is not a typical party island, but it has some fun places to enjoy the Caribbean vibe. You can chill at the Split, sip cocktails at Sip and Dip, dance at Sports Bar, or listen to reggae at I and I.

Caye Caulker is more suited for backpackers who want to relax and explore the reef. If you want bigger clubs and resorts, you might prefer San Pedro.


Where To Go From Belize City?

Belize City is a great place to continue your adventures in Central America. Here are some suggestions for where to travel to after Belize City:

If you prefer the jungle and the wildlife, you can go to San Ignacio, a town in the Cayo District that offers access to many natural and cultural attractions. You can explore the ancient Maya ruins of Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, or venture into the mysterious ATM cave, where you can see skeletons and pottery left by the Maya.

Why not check out Belize’s coastal villages, you can visit Hopkins and Placencia, two of the most visited seaside destinations in the country. Both have beautiful beaches and unique cultural attractions, such as the Garifuna drumming and dancing in Hopkins and the colorful street art and handicrafts in Placencia.

If you want to go to Mexico, you can take a bus or drive to the border town of Chetumal, which is about 3 hours away from Belize City. From there, you can continue to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, or other places on the Yucatan Peninsula.

For Guatemala, you can take a bus or drive to the border town of Melchor de Mencos, which is about 2 hours away from Belize City. From there, you can continue to Flores, which is the gateway to the Tikal National Park, where you can see the impressive Maya temples and pyramids.

Lastly, we have Honduras where, you can take a bus or drive to the border town of Santa Elena, which is about 5 hours away from Belize City. From there, you can continue to San Pedro Sula, which is the second-largest city in Honduras and a hub for transportation and commerce.


Any Questions? Let me know in the comments!


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After your time to paradise has come to an end it is time to continue your adventures by heading to the mainland. In this article, I will let you know everything there is about traveling from Caye Caulker to Belize City. This includes travel times, how to book tickets, what is the best transport method, and more!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.


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