Flores To Belize City: Bus, Shuttle, Or Flight? (2024)

Check out how to travel from Flores to Belize City as we cross the border from Guatemala to Belize. I will let you know the transport options, travel times, how to book, and more!


After your adventure exploring the incredible country of Guatemala has ended, and it is time to move on to your next destination, you may consider Belize a good option. Luckily, there is a well-traveled route from Flores to Belize City, which many travelers make daily.

However, planning a journey from Flores to Belize City can feel daunting, with factors like transportation options, border crossings, and travel logistics.

Luckily for you, this is a journey I have done before and I am here to share my recommendations and tips. Having traveled Guatemala and Belize, I can tell you about transportation methods, border procedures, and local attractions.

So whether you are a solo traveler, venturing around with your family, a backpacker, or on your honeymoon, you can find the best option for you.

Anyway, let’s get into absolutely everything you may need to know about traveling from Flores to Belize City and crossing the border from Guatemala to Belize. From travel times, bus schedules, and flights, to doing it DIY style or booking a tourist shuttle, there is so much to figure out, so let’s delve in!



🚗 How I Book Ferries & Shuttles In Belize & Guatemala: GuateGo


Flores To Belize City Distance

Flores in Guatemala is a popular starting point for travelers heading to Belize City. Located in the Petén region, Flores sits on an island on Lake Petén Itzá and is known for its picturesque charm and proximity to the Tikal National Park.

The journey from Flores to Belize City covers a distance of approximately 170 miles / 274 kilometers. Which if you have traveled all around Guatemala you will no doubt deeply appreciate a shorter travel day for once.

Once you have arrived in Belize City you can choose to spend the night there or travel towards islands like Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye.

A quiet cobblestone street in Flores, lined with colorful houses and tangled overhead wires. The scene captures the rustic charm and tranquility of this small town.
cobblestone streets in flores
The shore of a body of water in Flores, with lush greenery and houses on the hillside under a partly cloudy sky. This serene waterfront scene highlights the natural beauty of Flores.
looking across to the mainland from flores

Flores To Belize City Travel Time

The travel time it takes to get from Flores to Belize City can vary significantly in duration depending on the mode of transportation and border crossing efficiency.

Typically, the most common method is by road, with many travelers opting for buses or shuttle services. These services usually take around 6 hours to cover the route, including the time spent at the border crossing at Melchor de Mencos.

The border crossing can sometimes add delays, as it involves customs and immigration procedures for both Guatemala and Belize.

A long stretch of highway seen from a car's windshield, with a clear blue sky and green landscape on either side. This image illustrates the road trip aspect of traveling from Flores to Belize City, emphasizing the open and scenic routes encountered.
car windscreen on the car as we leave the border and head into belize
A view from a car driving up a hilly street in Flores, lined with colorful buildings and trees under a clear blue sky. The uphill road symbolizes the start of a journey from Flores to Belize City.
driving through san ignacio on the way to belize city

Fly From Flores To Belize City

Flying from Flores to Belize City involves a journey with at least one stopover, as there are no direct flights between these two locations.

Travelers typically find themselves taking a connecting flight through Guatemala City, which serves as the primary hub for this route. The combined travel time, including layovers, can be around 3 to 4 hours. However, you will also need to arrive at the airport early as it is an international flight.

Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (TAG) frequently operate on these routes, providing regular service between Flores’ Mundo Maya International Airport and Belize City’s Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport.

TAG Airlines only operates one flight a day, departing Flores at 7.20 am, where you will need to connect from Domestic to International at Guatemala Airport.

The cost of flights from Flores to Belize City can be relatively high with prices for a one-way ticket ranging from approximately $250 to $360.

If you decide this is your best option make sure to book in advance to secure the best rates and ensure availability, especially during peak travel seasons.

A welcoming sign at an airport in Belize City reads "welcome to belize" in colorful letters. The modern architecture of the airport terminal is partially visible, highlighting the end of the journey from Flores to Belize City.
arriving at belize city airport

🚗 How I Book Ferries & Shuttles In Belize & Guatemala: GuateGo


Public Bus From Flores To Belize City

Next up we have public bus Flores to Belize City. This is a popular and affordable option for travelers looking to journey between these two destinations.

The most common service for this route is provided by Transportes Fuente del Norte, which operates a daily bus that departs from the Santa Elena Bus Terminal at 6 AM. This bus ride typically takes around 6 hours, including the border crossing at Melchor de Mencos.

Upon arrival in Belize City, the bus stops near the San Pedro Water Taxi Terminal, making it convenient for those planning to continue their travels to the islands.

The journey begins in Santa Elena, not directly on the island of Flores where most tourists stay. To reach the bus terminal, travelers can either walk approximately 2 kilometers or take a short tuk-tuk or taxi ride. This minor inconvenience is offset by the affordable ticket price of around $18.75.

It is important to have all travel documents ready for the border crossing, as passengers will need to go through customs and immigration procedures on both the Guatemalan and Belizean sides.

While the ride is generally comfortable, it is advisable to carry snacks and water, as there may be limited stops along the way.

The Fuente del Norte buses are known for their punctuality and reliability, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers. Booking tickets in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel seasons, to ensure availability and secure the best rates.

For those looking to explore Belize upon arrival, the bus’s drop-off point at the water taxi terminal is particularly advantageous. From here, travelers can easily catch a ferry to popular destinations like Caye Caulker or San Pedro.

Another view of Flores, this time showing a different cobblestone street with a few shops and houses under a clear blue sky. The wires crisscrossing above add a touch of everyday life.
the beautiful island township of flores in guatemala

Local Bus To Belize City From Flores

For those on a super duper budget, another option is to take a series of local buses and colectivos (shared vans).

This involves taking a bus from Flores to the Melchor de Mencos border, which costs about 40 Quetzales and leaves every 15 to 30 minutes.

After crossing the border on foot, you can take a taxi or walk 3 kilometers to Benque Viejo del Carmen, where you can catch a local bus to Belize City.

This method is slightly more complex and can involve more waiting, but it is an even cheaper alternative, with the entire journey costing around $17 USD​​.

The buses in Belize are typically older “chicken buses” that are brightly painted and full of character, adding a unique element to the trip.

It’s advisable to bring snacks and water for the journey, as well as to be prepared for the occasional delay due to border checks or road conditions​.


Shared Shuttle From Flores To Belize City

Traveling from Flores to Belize City by shared shuttle is a popular choice for many travelers due to its convenience and comfort.

Shared shuttles provide a door-to-door service, often picking up passengers from their accommodations in Flores and dropping them off at central locations in Belize City, such as the water taxi terminal.

Companies like Gekko Trails and Marlin Espadas are well-known for their reliable service on this route. The journey typically takes about 6 hours, including the border crossing at Melchor de Mencos.

The shuttles are usually minibusses with seating for about 14 passengers, but sometimes larger buses or even sedan vehicles may be used. The ride is smooth and air-conditioned, which is a relief given the tropical climate of the region.

The first major stop is at the Melchor de Mencos border crossing, where passengers must disembark to complete immigration procedures. The process can take some time depending on the queues, but shuttle services often provide assistance to make this part of the journey as smooth as possible. There are no border taxes when entering Belize, but an exit fee of $20 applies when leaving the country.

After completing the border formalities, passengers re-board the shuttle to continue their journey to Belize City. The shuttle typically drops passengers off at central locations like the water taxi terminal, which is convenient for those planning to continue their travels to the islands such as Caye Caulker or San Pedro.


Booking and Costs Of A Shared Shuttle

Booking a shared shuttle in advance is highly recommended, especially during peak travel seasons. The cost for a one-way trip ranges from $25 to $50, depending on the company and the specific service.

For instance, Gekko Trails offers a daily service with departures at 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM from Flores, arriving in Belize City around midday.

A storefront in Flores with signs for "Grupo King Express" and "Agroveterinaria San Jose," indicating shipping services and veterinary supplies. This everyday street scene provides a glimpse into the local businesses of Flores before heading to Belize City.
passing by a small town in guatemala on the way to the border
Inside a vehicle, cows are seen walking across the road ahead. This image depicts a common sight during road travel from Flores to Belize City, highlighting the journey's rural and natural aspects.
cow traffic jam on the roads

Melchor Border Crossing

The Melchor de Mencos border crossing between Guatemala and Belize is a well-trodden route for travelers and it is known for being relatively straightforward but can involve a few steps that travelers should be prepared for.

Upon arrival at the Melchor de Mencos border, you will need to go through Guatemalan immigration first. Here, you will present your passport to get an exit stamp. It’s important to note that there are no official exit fees for Guatemala, but be wary of potential scams where unofficial personnel might try to charge you fees.

After clearing Guatemalan immigration, you will walk a short distance to the Belizean side of the border.

At Belize immigration, you will present your passport again to receive an entry stamp. Belize has an exit fee of $20 USD, but there are no entry fees when coming into the country. The process usually involves answering a few questions about your travel plans and duration of stay.

Once you have cleared immigration on both sides, you can re-board your shuttle or find onward transportation. If you are using a shuttle service, they will assist you throughout the border crossing and ensure you get back on the same vehicle to continue your journey to Belize City.

For those traveling by local transport, you will need to take a taxi or walk approximately 3 kilometers to Benque Viejo del Carmen to catch a bus to Belize City.


Tips for a Smooth Crossing

  • To make your border crossing as smooth as possible, ensure you have all necessary travel documents readily accessible.
  • Carry some small denominations of both Guatemalan Quetzales and Belizean Dollars or US Dollars for any small expenses or taxis.
  • Be cautious of any unofficial fees and stick to the official procedures to avoid scams.
  • It’s also a good idea to have some snacks and water, as the crossing process and subsequent travel can be lengthy.

The Melchor de Mencos border crossing, while busy, is generally efficient and a key transit point for travelers exploring the rich cultural landscapes of both Guatemala and Belize.

A narrow street in Flores, showcasing tightly packed houses with balconies and motorbikes parked along the sides. This scene represents the bustling yet charming streets of Flores.
walking down one of the side roads in flores
A coastal road in Flores, featuring a small red vehicle with the number 220 parked beside a lamppost and palm trees. The image captures the relaxed coastal vibe, typical of Flores.
transport options around flores, though you cant take a tuk tuk from flores to belize city

Belize City Travel Tips

Now you have made it from Flores to Belize City let’s get into what you may need to know about traveling Belize and where exactly you should head next.


🚗 How I Book Ferries & Shuttles In Belize & Guatemala: GuateGo


Where To Stay In Belize

Belize offers a diverse array of attractions, from pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs to lush jungles and ancient Mayan ruins. Here are some highlights and tips on how to get there from Belize City:

Caye Caulker: Caye Caulker is known for its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. The island’s famous Split is a must-visit spot for swimming and enjoying local bars.

From Belize City, take a water taxi from the Belize City Water Taxi Terminal. The journey takes about 45 minutes and costs around $20 one way.

Ambergris Caye: Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and home to the vibrant town of San Pedro. It’s a popular destination for diving and snorkeling, particularly at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.

Similar to Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye can be reached by water taxi from Belize City, taking about 1.5 hours and costing around $25 USD one way. Alternatively, flights are available from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport to San Pedro.

San Ignacio: Located in the Cayo District, San Ignacio is the gateway to exploring Belize’s western jungles, caves, and Mayan ruins such as Xunantunich and Caracol. The town itself offers a charming mix of local markets, eateries, and cultural experiences.

Buses from Belize City’s main bus terminal to San Ignacio run regularly and take about 2-3 hours. Tickets cost around $5-10.

Placencia: Placencia is a picturesque peninsula known for its long sandy beaches, excellent fishing, and laid-back vibe. It’s also a great spot for exploring nearby cayes and marine reserves.

From Belize City, you can take a domestic flight to Placencia, which takes about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can travel by bus, which takes around 4 hours and costs about $10-15.

bellas backpackers

Bellas Backpackers Caye Caulker

The most popular hostel on the islands. Rooms start from $14.00 for a dorm and make sure to upgrade if you want air-con.

BOOK NOW
blue wave guesthouse

Blue Wave Guesthouse Caye Caulker

An excellent choice if you are wanting a bit more privacy. Fan-cooled rooms here start from $30.00 per night.

BOOK NOW
sandbar beachfront hostel

Sandbar Beachfront Hostel San Pedro

A comfortable and modern hostel that has a pool. Air-conditioned dorms start from $20.00 per night.

BOOK NOW
ambergris sunset hotel

Ambergris Sunset Hotel San Pedro

An affordable choice with a pool to relax in. Rooms here start from $50.00 per night.

BOOK NOW

Things To Do In Belize

Here’s a list of ultimate things to do in Belize, highlighting the best of what the country has to offer

Explore the Great Blue Hole: Dive into this world-famous underwater sinkhole, part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, renowned for its deep blue waters and diverse marine life.

Snorkel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve: Located near Ambergris Caye, this marine reserve offers incredible snorkeling opportunities, especially at Shark Ray Alley.

Visit the Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich: Explore this ancient Mayan archaeological site, accessible by a hand-cranked ferry across the Mopan River.

Relax on the Beaches of Caye Caulker: Enjoy the laid-back vibe, sandy beaches, and the famous Split for swimming and sunbathing.

Canoe Through Barton Creek Cave: Paddle through this ancient Mayan cave, adorned with stalactites and ancient pottery

Hike in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is known for its jaguar population and diverse wildlife, along with numerous hiking trails and waterfalls.

Explore Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave: Discover this cave, famous for its Mayan artifacts and skeletal remains, including the Crystal Maiden.

Dive the Belize Barrier Reef: As the second-largest barrier reef in the world, it offers unparalleled diving experiences with diverse marine ecosystems.


FAQs About Traveling To Belize City From Flores

How to get to Belize City from Flores?

To get from Flores to Belize City, you can take a shared shuttle or a local bus. Shared shuttles depart daily and take about 6 hours, while local buses require a transfer at the border and take a bit longer. Booking in advance is recommended.

Can you fly from Flores to Belize?

While there are no direct flights from Flores to Belize you can travel from Flores to Belize City with a transfer in Guatemala City. This route typically takes 4 hours, so not much quicker than traveling overland.

How long is the bus from Belize City to Flores?

The bus journey from Belize City to Flores typically takes around 6 hours, including the time needed to cross the border at Melchor de Mencos.


Wrap Up: How To Travel From Flores To Belize City

Traveling from Flores to Belize City is relatively straightforward and now, after reading you should know the best option for you.

Whether you decide on shared shuttles for a convenient and comfortable journey, or local buses and collectives if you are on more of a budget.

No matter the chosen method, planning ahead and understanding the border crossing process at Melchor de Mencos can help ensure a smooth trip. Make sure to have all necessary travel documents ready, be prepared for potential waiting times at immigration, and carry some local currency for small expenses.


Any Questions? Let Me Know In The Comments!


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Check out how to travel from Flores to Belize City as we cross the border from Guatemala to Belize. I will let you know the transport options, travel times, how to book, and more!

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