Arriving at the airport in Belize is the start of a magical, exciting vacation. Once you’re there, however, you need to know how to get from the airport to your next destination.
Philip Goldson International Airport
You will more than likely arrive at Philip Goldson, Belize’s only international airport. The airport’s abbreviations are BZE and PGIA. It’s located in the village of Ladyville, about 10 miles from Belize City.
Airlines that fly directly into PGIA include:
In addition, flights enter the airport from major carriers in nearby countries including Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama.
Before You Leave the Airport
Before you get off your arriving airplane, flight attendants will give you immigration paperwork to fill out. When you get off the plane, you will go through Customs and Immigration. You will need your paperwork and a valid passport. Your passport entitles you to stay in Belize for up to 30 days.
There is no entry fee to enter Belize, but there is a departure tax of around $35 US dollars.
The layout of PGIA is similar to what you’re used to in the US, Canada, and European airports. There are two terminals, a duty-free zone, ATMs, currency exchange offices and various dining options.
Getting Around Belize: Local Airlines
The fastest way to get around Belize is to take one of our local airlines. These small airplanes make daily flights to municipal airports in Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Corozal, Dangriga, and Placencia. Look for the Maya Island Air and Tropic Air terminals to get on one of these flights.
Keep in mind that these are small “puddle jumper” airplanes. Don’t expect a luxurious experience. They are fast, however, getting to most locations in about 15 minutes, and they’re piloted by skilled pilots with experience landing on small airstrips.
If you’re traveling to San Pedro or Caye Caulker, this is a fast, scenic way to get to your destination. You must buy your ticket ahead of time. Take a cab or a bus to the water taxi station (San Pedro Belize Express or Ocean Ferry) in Belize City, which is a few miles from the airport.
There are many shuttle services operating in Belize. Some are shared shuttles, but you might be better off hiring a private shuttle or transfer service, especially if you’re traveling as a group. A van or shuttle (Belize Ground Shuttle) will typically have air-conditioning and room for all your luggage. Drivers are experienced at driving on Belize’s roads, which can be difficult for a newcomer to handle.
If you’re on a budget, you can use local buses to travel all over Belize. However, the buses get crowded, so get a schedule and get to your stop as early as possible. Most bus lines run every 30 minutes. Read more about bus transportation in our blog.
Taxis are plentiful in Belize, and you’ll find many at the airport, but this can be an expensive way to travel. Only take taxis that have a green, government-issued license plate.
Once you arrive in Belize, there are several safe, enjoyable transportation options to get to your hotel or other destination. Pick the option that best suits you and your vacation will be off to a great start.
Written by Larry Waight