Roatan To Belize: The ULTIMATE Scenic Flight For A Passenger Plane

If you are an ocean lover and perhaps are thinking of taking a scenic flight, then I can’t recommend taking a flight from Roatan to Belize enough! This is just a typical passenger flight but the views out the window are mind-blowing. So come find out all you need to know about flying from Roatan to Belize.


Now one of the highlights of my Central America trip was a flight from Roatan to Belize. Now this was just meant to be a regular travel day, but honestly, it turned into one of the best things I did.

Roatan in Honduras and Belize have stunning coral reef that surrounds the island and forms part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. This is actually the second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef.

The reef is home to over 500 species of fish, 65 species of coral, and countless other creatures like turtles, rays, sharks, dolphins, and whales. No wonder the flights are so incredible!

Nevertheless, this was one of the best $100.00 I spent during my travels. It was a mixture of a scenic flight and your typical flight from point A to point b.

Having previously been in Ambergris Caye I saw the constant stream of scenic flights taking off and landing with people experiencing the incredible Mesoamerican Reef System from the sky. This is the perfect combo of both options and is a must for ocean lovers.

Though I don’t think many people know this, nor the fact you can actually fly from Roatan to Belize. After learning how to scuba dive in Roatan, I knew I had to go back to Belize and experience it there! I mean they had the best snorkeling I have ever done, so of course the scuba diving was going to be pretty epic as well.

Get ready as I let you know why you should fly from Roatan to Belize, how to book tickets, transport to and from the airport, what you can see, and more! This is the best travel day I have ever had, and there is a good reason why!


Snorkel The Blue Channel In Roatan: All You Need To Know

the 1 by 3 configuration on the small plane from roatan to belize
the 1 by 3 configuration on the small plane from roatan to belize

🚗 How I Book Ferries & Shuttles In Belize: GuateGo


Why Fly From Roatan To Belize

Now there are numerous reasons why you should fly from Roatan to Belize. Though we will start with why I personally decided to make this flight. Honestly, the main reason was I couldn’t really stomach the ferry back to the mainland.

The boat from La Ceiba to Roatan was the perfect situation for sea sickness, so much so that all the locals seemed preprepared for this. Thankfully I didn’t vomit but plenty of people around me did, and I certainly put off organising any further plans in an attempt to build up courage for the journey back.

Luckily I ended up falling in love with scuba diving and had heard about flights between Belize and Roatan thanks to some travelers I met in Mexico.

Though there were also some other things that made this a stand-out, unexpected experience:

The Caribbean Sea: This is a tropical sea that covers an area of about 1,063,000 square miles. It is part of the Atlantic Ocean and is bounded by Central America, South America, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles.

It has an average depth of 8,200 feet and a maximum depth of 22,788 feet. It is home to diverse marine life, including coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, and sharks.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef: is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It stretches for 625 miles along the coast of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico.

It contains over 60 types of hard corals and over 500 species of fish. It also attracts one of the world’s largest congregations of whale sharks, which can grow up to 40 feet long and weigh up to 20 tons.

The coastal landscapes: of Honduras and Belize are diverse and beautiful. They include beaches and dunes, coastal wetlands, lagoons, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. They provide a habitat for many animals and plants, such as crocodiles, sea turtles, manatees, shorebirds, and orchids.

a mixture of mangroves and reef systems when flying from roatan to belize
a mixture of mangroves and reef systems when flying from roatan to belize
different contrast of water depending on the depth looking out the window when flying roatan to belize
different contrast of water depending on the depth looking out the window when flying roatan to belize

Booking Your Roatan To Belize Flight

Belize has a lot to offer, from the vibrant city of Belize City to the laid-back islands of Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Placencia. Most flights and connections are available to Belize City, including from Roatan, which is a good option for travelers who want to explore different parts of the country.

The only airline that flies directly from Roatan to Belize is Tropic Air, which is part of the OneWorld alliance. This means travelers can earn miles and enjoy benefits with other partner airlines.

Tropic Air has flights from Roatan to Belize City on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, which depart at 8.30 am. The flight time is only one hour, which is convenient for travelers.

Typically these flights cost $200.00 one way. I also purchased my flights about a week prior, and the price was still the same as if I was booking a couple of months out.

The easiest and most convenient way to book the flight is directly with Tropic Air on their website. Travelers need to enter their personal and payment details and pay with their credit card. They will receive a confirmation email with their booking reference and itinerary.

They also need to download the Belize Health App on their phone, which is required for entering Belize. They need to fill out the necessary information and upload their negative COVID-19 test result. Alternatively, they can also show proof of vaccination if they’re fully vaccinated.

flying over the hills of roatan with tropic air
flying over the hills of roatan with tropic air
looking down on small buildings and jungle on a large island in belize
looking down on small buildings and jungle on a large island in belize

🚗 How I Book Ferries & Shuttles In Belize: GuateGo


Getting To The Airport In Roatan

Getting to the airport in Roatan is not difficult, as it is conveniently located near the popular West Bay and West End areas. You shouldn’t have any issues traveling to or from there.

By taxi: You can take a taxi from anywhere on the island to the airport, which is also known as the Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport, or by its code RTB.

The taxi fare will depend on the distance and the number of passengers, but you can expect to pay around $25 from West End or $20 from West Bay. I always recommend negotiating the price with the driver so you know what you will pay in advance.

Even though Roatan is on the touristy side I did find that some drivers spoke limited English, and instead, we communicated in Spanish.

By shuttle: You can book a shuttle service from your hotel or resort to the airport, which will usually cost less than a taxi and offer more comfort and convenience. Some hotels and resorts offer free shuttle service for their guests, while others charge a fee.

Personally, we took a taxi and it was straightforward enough. We even managed to find one at 6.00 am in the morning when most of the island is still sleeping. We just walked down to the main roundabout and there was one waiting.

a quick airport selfie in roatan, probably should have kept my mask on as i tested positive for covid 4 days after this // heading onto the tarmac to board our plane
a quick airport selfie in roatan, probably should have kept my mask on as i tested positive for covid 4 days after this // heading onto the tarmac to board our plane
saying goodbye to roatan out the plane window as we head off
saying goodbye to roatan out the plane window as we head off

Belize Airport To The Ferry Terminal

The main way to get from Belize Airport to the Ferry Terminal is by taxi. This will take about 20-25 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions.

Taking a taxi is the fastest and most convenient way to get from Belize Airport to the Ferry Terminal. You can find taxis available at the airport 24/7, in front of the main terminal, as you exit the arrivals hall. We pre-booked in advance with a local travel agency and were charged $25.00.

The advantage of taking a taxi is that you don’t have to wait for other passengers or make any stops along the way. You can also enjoy a private and comfortable ride with a professional driver.

Just be aware to make sure to leave enough time to catch your ferry to the islands. The last ferry departs at 5:30 pm, so you should aim to be at the Ferry Terminal by 5:00 pm at the latest.

view out the window of our small plane as we go to land in belize city
view out the window of our small plane as we go to land in belize city
houses lined up along the coast as we go to land in belize
houses lined up along the coast as we go to land in belize

What You Can See

One of the highlights of flying from Roatan to Belize is the incredible scenery out the window. This may be a commercial flight, but it is one of the most scenic I have ever taken.


Reef System

As you soar above the Caribbean Sea, you might catch a glimpse of a dazzling underwater world. Below the turquoise surface lies the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest barrier reef system in the world.

Stretching from Mexico to Honduras, this reef is home to a rich diversity of marine life, including endangered species like sea turtles, manatees, and crocodiles.

Roatan’s coral reefs are among the most pristine and diverse in the region, with over 500 species of fish and 65 species of coral.

On the southwest side of the island, you can find Cordelia Banks, a site of wildlife importance that hosts one of the last healthy patches of staghorn coral, a keystone species that provides shelter and food for many other reef animals.

As you fly further south, you will reach Belize, where the reef system becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can marvel at the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which consists of seven protected areas that showcase the evolutionary history and beauty of the reef.

small grassy island closer to belize // a small private island surrounded by sandbars
small grassy island closer to belize // a small private island surrounded by sandbars

🚗 How I Book Ferries & Shuttles In Belize: GuateGo


Islands

As you leave Roatan behind, you might wonder what other islands lie in the Caribbean Sea. The answer is many! Some of them are part of the Bay Islands of Honduras, a group of eight islands and 53 small cays that are scattered along the southern edge of the Mesoamerican Reef.

These islands are known for their natural beauty, diverse culture, and amazing diving opportunities.

One of the islands you may pass over is Utila, the smallest and westernmost of the three main Bay Islands. Utila is a popular destination for backpackers and budget travelers who want to experience laid-back island life and explore the underwater world.

Utila is home to the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center, where you can learn about these gentle giants and even swim with them.

Another island you may see is Guanaja, the easternmost and most mountainous of the Bay Islands. Guanaja is also called the Island of Pines, because of its dense pine forests that cover most of its surface.

Guanaja is less developed than Roatan and Utila, but it offers stunning scenery, pristine beaches, and secluded coves.

As you approach Belize, you will notice that the reef system becomes wider and more complex, forming a series of atolls, cays, and lagoons. These are part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. Some of the islands you may pass over are:

  • Turneffe Atoll is the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean. Turneffe Atoll has over 200 mangrove islands, numerous creeks, lagoons, and flats that provide habitat for a variety of marine life, including dolphins, turtles, crocodiles, manatees, and hundreds of fish species.
  • Lighthouse Reef Atoll is the furthest atoll from the mainland and the most spectacular. Lighthouse Reef Atoll has six cays, two natural monuments, and a marine reserve.
  • Glover’s Reef Atoll is the southernmost atoll in Belize and one of the most pristine. Glover’s Reef Atoll has five cays, a marine reserve, and a research station. The atoll is surrounded by a nearly continuous coral wall that drops to over 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) in some places. The wall is punctuated by over 700 patch reefs that host a dazzling array of corals, sponges, and fish.

The islands you may see from above are only a glimpse of the wonders that await you in the Caribbean Sea. Each island has its own charm, history, and culture that invite you to discover more.

flying over some of the islands near belize, no doubt this was a highlight of the journey
flying over some of the islands near belize, no doubt this was a highlight of the journey

Sargassum

You may spot sargassum when flying from Roatan to Belize depending on the time of year. Sargassum is a type of brown seaweed that floats on the surface of the ocean and forms large mats or rafts.

Sargassum is not a new phenomenon, as it has been observed for centuries in the North Atlantic, where it forms the Sargasso Sea, a unique ecosystem that supports many marine species.

However, in recent years, sargassum has been invading the Caribbean Sea, reaching unprecedented levels and affecting the coasts of many countries, including Honduras and Belize.

Honduras and Belize are among the countries that have been affected by the sargassum influx. In Honduras, sargassum has been reported on the beaches of Roatan, Utila, and Guanaja, as well as on the mainland coast.

In Belize, sargassum has been affecting the islands of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Placencia Peninsula, among others.

Both countries have been taking measures to deal with the sargassum issue, such as installing barriers or booms offshore to prevent or reduce the amount of sargassum reaching the shore, hiring workers or volunteers to collect and remove the sargassum from the beaches, and providing tax relief or financial assistance to affected properties.


The Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is one of the most iconic natural attractions in Belize and the Caribbean. It is a giant marine sinkhole that measures 300 meters (984 feet) across and 125 meters (410 feet) deep.

It is located near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the mainland and Belize City.

If you are flying from Roatan to Belize, you might have a chance to see the Blue Hole from above, depending on your flight route and weather conditions. The Blue Hole is located about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Roatan, so you would have to fly over Lighthouse Reef Atoll to see it.

The Blue Hole is easily recognizable from the air, as it appears as a dark blue circle surrounded by a ring of lighter blue water and coral reefs. The contrast between the colors makes it a stunning sight that attracts many aerial photographers and tourists.

However, seeing the Blue Hole from above is not guaranteed, as there are many factors that can affect your visibility. For example, if there are clouds or fog over the area, you might not be able to see it clearly. Also, if your flight is not directly over Lighthouse Reef Atoll, you might miss it or only see it from a distance.

Personally, we didn’t see the Blue Hole from our flight. You may have a better chance of sitting on the right-hand side of the plane, whereas I was on the left. Though I would say the flight path would keep a bit of distance from the Blue Hole since it is so popular with scenic flights, having another plane in the area could be a safety concern.


My Experience Flying From Roatan To Belize

Now as I said earlier I booked my flight from Roatan to Belize about a week prior after coming up with some new travel plans. I would basically be heading back to Belize and Mexico to explore life underwater now I was scuba certified.

Having packed up the night prior ready for an early start it was out the door at 5.30 am. You are meant to be at the airport 3 hours before departure for an international flight so the early start seemed normal. We wandered down the sleepy streets in half moon bay until we stumbled upon a taxi.

$20.00 cost us for the 20 or so-minute drive to the airport, the price didn’t seem that bad.

Arriving with the taxi we grab our luggage and head inside. There are quite a few travelers around surprisingly, considering the time, though there are a couple of international flights heading out at a similar time as us.

Though they were with different airlines and we were flying Tropic Air. I try to spot a check-in counter, and right in the corner there is a small one tucked away but no one checking anyone in.

After waiting a while on some nearby seats it doesn’t appear anything is happening, so I decided to start my own line and just wait. Surprisingly enough someone pops up from around the back in regular clothing and checks us in. The first step is complete.

We pass through immigration and security pretty easily and soon enough there is an hour and a half before boarding. The airport itself is small with a few shops and a couple of boarding gates. We grab some food and take a seat.

As time passes another plane boards and another, soon enough we are seemingly the only ones left in departures and is 15 minutes past our boarding time. We move up to the front and wait patiently. There is no call over the speakers, instead, a staff member grabs us and walks us out to the plane.

For some reason, I had an actual commercial plane in mind, but this one is tiny. Just like the plane we took from Jomsom to Pokhara through the mountains of Nepal. There are about 12 seats, but only 4 passengers. We spread out and all get a great window view.

Taking off down the runway it’s amazing how small this plane is, and how roomy we all feel. Our bags were just chucked on one of the neighboring seats, so no wonder we didn’t need much time to board.

Flying off above Roatan we are lucky because it is such a beautiful day and you can easily admire the surrounding reef system.

The next part of the flight, for about 20 minutes or so was just out over open water. There were patches of sargassum that looked like islands, but this was just a reminder about what we were about to start diving in Belize.

Closer to Belize the different atolls start appearing, and seriously in that moment, you could’ve told me we were in the Maldives and I would have believed you. This was no doubt a tropical paradise.

You have crystal-clear water, lush islands, and turquoise-colored reefs. We all enjoy the views out of the windows and even the pilots take a moment to chuck on autopilot, have a stretch, and take a few photos. Not something you really want to see mid-air, but they are professionals.

Heading more towards Belize City the small atolls or islands are starting to have small buildings sitting on top of them. Whether these are hotels, private islands, or businesses, no doubt this is where those with a lot more money than me stay.

Landing in Belize it is quite uneventful. As soon as the plane lands we grab our luggage from the back and jump off. This is on par with one of the quietest airports I have ever been in (the first is Mandalay in Myanmar). We walk through the ghost town until we finally reach immigration and enjoy the fact that there are no lines for once.

Outside we find our taxi driver whom we prebooked with a local tourist agency who takes us to the ferry terminal ready to head on our next adventure.

having the closest moment i will ever have to a private plane // looking out the back window where the stairs fold up
having the closest moment i will ever have to a private plane // looking out the back window where the stairs fold up
flying over the reef in roatan // enjoying a spacious plane where my partner wanted to sit up by the pilots
flying over the reef in roatan // enjoying a spacious plane where my partner wanted to sit up by the pilots
the intricately shaped islands in the belize reef system
the intricately shaped islands in the belize reef system

Where To Stay In Belize?

Once you are in Belize City your best bet will be taking a ferry to either Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker. These are both paradise islands that are well worth visiting during your stay.

Ambergris Caye: Ambergris Caye is the largest and most popular island in Belize, located in the Caribbean Sea near the Belize Barrier Reef. The island’s main town is San Pedro, which offers a variety of restaurants, bars, shops, and activities for visitors.

Ambergris Caye is a paradise for water lovers, as it has many options for snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing, kayaking, and parasailing.

Some of the attractions on or near the island include the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where you can swim with sharks and rays, the Mexico Rocks, where you can see colorful corals and fish, and the Great Blue Hole, a spectacular sinkhole that is one of the world’s top diving sites.

Caye Caulker: Caye Caulker is a small island in Belize, located about 32 kilometers northeast of Belize City and 8 kilometers south of Ambergris Caye. The island’s motto is “Go Slow”, which reflects its relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The main mode of transportation on the island is by bicycle, golf cart, or foot. The island’s main village is Caye Caulker Village, which has many restaurants, bars, shops, and accommodations for visitors.

Caye Caulker is a paradise for water lovers, as it has easy access to the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that hosts a variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, turtles, and fish.

shark hostel

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
349961108

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
284786751

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
210506555

Ambergris Sunset Hotel San Pedro

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

BOOK NOW

Any Questions? Let me know in the comments!


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If you are an ocean lover and perhaps are thinking of taking a scenic flight, then I can't recommend taking a flight from Roatan to Belize enough! This is just a typical passenger flight but the views out the window are mind-blowing. So come find out all you need to know about flying from Roatan to Belize. 

Want more Honduras Inspiration? Check out….


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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