San Pedro, Belize to Cancun Airport: You’ve Got Options, Almost Too Many

Summary:

  1. Trip hours:  29
  2. McDonald’s Calories consumed:  2100
  3. Large Coffees drunk:  8
  4. Hours of Sleep:  6 in 2 parts
  5. Approximate US$ saved:  $400US minus (I subtracted the $99US for the Kindle ordered)

About a month or so ago, I booked a trip to the states for a visit.  After the Chocolate Festival in Punta Gorda, before the three lobster festivals in Belize (Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Placencia), the first few weeks of June were the perfect time slot.   And, as usual, the flights departing from Cancun were SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than those out of Belize International Airport.  $300US vs. $800US cheaper.  It was an easy choice.  And I’d done it quite a few times before…

About 400 miles.  Not far at all.


I’ve taken the very cheapest route – the ADO overnight bus/iced meat locker from Belize City to Cancun Airport.  The bus drops you off at the aeropuerto at about 4:30am.  HATED IT.

IMG_1867-2 (1)I’ve taken the easiest direct route – the beautiful Tropic Air flight from Cancun Airport to Belize City.  Bliss but definitely more pricey.

I swore to myself I would NEVER get on that overnight bus from Belize City again.  So a friend suggested a way to mix things up.  A way to break things up that sounded much more appealing.

Here is how I left San Pedro at 3pm Thursday and arrived in Providence, Rhode Island at 10pm Friday.  Just that time span probably just gave many of you goosebumps (or in Belize – da cold seed) but it wasn’t that bad.  REALLY.

1.  3pm.  The Thunderbolt Water Taxi from San Pedro to Corozal, Belize.  2hrs.  $50bzd.

Daily service.  Departs from the lagoon side of the caye, just south of the new Water Taxi Terminals.

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After 1.5 hours, we stopped in the smaller village of Sartaneja and about half the boat exited…

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and then Corozal.  Easy.

2.  Corozal Bus to the Belize Mexico Border.  $2bzd.

The local bus comes every 30 minutes and drives you to the Belize Immigrations and Customs building at the border.  You really can’t beat the price.  The exit fee for non-Belize citizens and residents is $37.50bzd.

3.  Walk Across the Border to Mexico (about a 10-15 minute walk over the Rio Hondo Bridge)

You can grab a Mexican taxi about halfway into your walk…as soon as you are technically in no man’s land.  I just walked on through.  Throughout this trip, I was glad that I packed lightly.

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Mexican military boats patrolling the river.

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And the other side, “Welcome to Mexico”.  Why thank you.

IMG_6529Something about walking across international borders makes me feel bad ass.  I like it.

Go through Mexican immigration and the red light/green light game of Mexican customs, and grab a taxi at the other side.  No fee here.  And I’ve picked up an hour.  It’s about 6pm in Chetumal.

4.  Grab a border taxi to The Chetumal Mall – Las Americas  $70 peso (about $6US/$12bzd)

The bus to Cancun leaves about every hour.  But I’m taking the midnight bus so I can sleep and arrive in Cancun at dawn.  I’ve got about 5 hours to fill so…to the mall!

I think we all know what goes on there…

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A Latte.

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Some food courting.IMG_6531

The mall closes at 10pm…unless you’ve found an appropriately timed subtitled movie (which I did not).  I headed over to the ADO bus station.  Taxi $30 pesos.

5.  ADO Bus from Chetumal to Cancun, Midnight, 5.5 hours, $360 pesos ($30US/$60BZD)

Adios Chicken buses, adios Chetumal bus station Mary, ADO has proper HUGE buses with comfy seats and CRAZY COLD air conditioning.  Why so cold ADO?  Why?

10341718_725300410844829_2841737475359666555_n

…fall into a frozen bus coma.  Comfortable seating but with socks, pants, a long sleeved shirt and light jacket and a huge cashmere scarf, I woke up 3 or 4 times bleary eyed and FA-REEZING.

5:30am.  Wake up on the emptying bus at the station in a “where am I-middle of the night panic”, FORGET BELOVED KINDLE FIRE on the bus.  Bah.

6am.  After finishing bus station latte, figure out what I’ve done and re-enter panic mode.

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Get information desk to call your bus driver.  Kindle gone.  A stale sugar donut and a short but concentrated pity party.  Consider loss a casualty of crazy sleepless bus scheme.

Eat more McDonald’s.

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6.  8am.  ADO Aeropuerto Bus from Cancun Downtown Bus Station to Airport $60 pesos ($5US/$10bzd)

45 minute bus trip to my airport terminal.  Check in with United.  Pay no exit fees since I just arrived in Mexico the evening before.  No additional fees since I am all carry-on.

Now the Kindle-less wait for my 1.40pm plane…this is, BY FAR, the worst part of my trip.  No airport Jimmy Buffett’s MargaritaVille or Bubba Gump’s Shrimpery is going to cheer me up.

Flights depart…I am right on time for a run through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.   Again, carry-on becomes essential…

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And then I am off…over Lake Michigan…to Rhode Island.

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Would I do it again?  Sure.  Honestly…not that bad.  Though on the  way back, I think I’ll stop for the night somewhere in Mexico.  Get a good night’s sleep…save myself another technology loss.

You are probably thinking I’m crazy.  In fact, I can see that look on your face right now.

I’m in the states for about 10 days now.  Gawking over fresh cherries and the HUGE selection at CVS…

And good news for me, after last weekend’s serious computer melt-down, it seems to be back in working order.  I’ll be blogging.  I STILL haven’t finished up my Chocolate-fest posts.

 

 

 

 





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  • Richard Duke

    I have made that trip a couple times , but without the mall side trip. I have thought about using the amount saved to make one of those Cancun tourist over night trips.

  • Fred

    Belize City to Charlotte, 2hours 58min. Priceless

    • sanpedroscoop

      You have got a point. But if I can justify it by saying that I can use this money to do THIS trip all over again in the fall? Then…it’s worth it. Plus, three days later, I’ve already forgotten the madness! Selective memory.

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  • Carbunkle Trumpet

    We love the Cancun Airport, I agree though as it is easier to break up the trip with a day in Playa or Cancun before the meat locker bus.

    • Belize Blog

      Yes…night in Playa or Tulum or Cancun is the way to go. Going back next week, I land in Cancun at 12:35pm…so it’s definitely an overnight somewhere. Real sleep that won’t involve me losing a piece of tech. Fingers crossed.

  • jkguinn

    Sounds perfectly rational and sensible to me. Save the money and use it for another adventure!

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