Flying Around Belize: How to Get Where You’re Going

by Larry Waight

Belize is a small country, but its main tourist destinations are spread out far away from each other. Once you arrive here, you may wonder what the best way to get around is. Many people discover that driving is out of the question: renting a car is expensive, and taking a bus may be inexpensive, but it could also mean a full day of travel. So, what is your best option? The answer is flying. Belize’s domestic airlines offer fast, friendly service to key destinations across the country.

Airports in Belize: Belize International

PGIA airport belize

The Philip Goldson International Airport is Belize’s one and only international air entry point. Image via Unsplash

Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE), located ten miles from Belize City, is Belize’s largest airport. It is a modern, fully equipped airport and the only airport in Belize equipped to receive large, international jets. It’s just about the same size as a regional U.S. or Canadian airport.

All major cities in the U.S. and Canada have direct flights to Belize City. Planes arrive daily from Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and Miami. Direct flights also come from Orlando and Toronto. Internationally, flights arrive directly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Mexico as well.

The PGIA’s central location makes it an ideal starting point for most travelers. People going to other parts of Belize’s mainland can catch connecting domestic flights to the rest of the country. In Belize City, visitors can also catch a ferry or flight to the offshore islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.

What You Need to Know About the International Airport

belize airport empty

The Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE).

  • Hours: The airport is open every day of the week from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Amenities: The Philip Goldson International Airport, known locally as PGIA, offers many amenities. You can find restaurants, duty-free shops, and departure lounges in the airport. There are also currency exchanges, but it’s not necessary to convert U.S. dollars. Belize operates on a simple exchange system. One U.S. dollar is worth approximately two Belize dollars. It’s is common, however, to pay with American money and receive Belizean money as change.
  • Arrival Process: When you arrive in Belize, you must go through customs and immigration first. Once you clear customs and immigration, you can go to baggage claim to get your luggage.

Domestic Flights Make It Easy to Get Around

Maya Island Air

Image Via Maya Island Air

Small, domestic airlines like Maya Island Air make it easy to get around Belize. Instead of a four-hour drive or a long ferry trip, hop on a clean, modern airplane and take a flight that gives you a fantastic view of the Maya Mountains, the Belize Barrier Reef, and acres of tropical jungle. It’s also affordable to fly. The cost of a flight is often less than the cost of taking a taxi or a shuttle to the same location.

The only downside to flying is that the airplanes are small and fill up quickly. If you want to be sure you get a seat, book early.

Local Airports

Image via Maya Island Air

The following locations have their own airstrips. Flights arrive daily from Belize City to:

  • Belmopan, the capital of Belize (BCV)
  • Caye Caulker (CUK)
  • Caye Chapel (CYC)
  • Corozal Town (CZH)
  • Dangriga (DGA)
  • Independence and Mango Creek (INB)
  • Maya Flats, which serves San Ignacio and Benque Viejo (MYF)
  • Orange Walk (ORZ)
  • Placencia (PLJ)
  • Punta Gorda (ORZ)
  • Savannah (SVH)
  •  San Pedro, Ambergris Caye (SVH)

How Long Do Inland Flights Take?

How long will your flight take? Here are your flying times from Belize City.

  • Caye Caulker: 10 minutes
  • Ambergris Caye: 15 minutes
  • Corozal Town: 35 minutes
  • Dangriga: 20 minutes
  • Placencia Village: 40 minutes
  • Punta Gorda: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Savannah: 50 minutes

Fly Domestic with Maya Island Air

Maya Island Air is Belize’s premiere provider of local air transportation services. With decades of experience, they have the knowledge you can rely on to get around Belize efficiently and safely. They make daily flights to all major destinations in Belize. They also fly to Belize’s inland towns, private islands, and seaside resorts. Count on Maya Island Air to take you wherever you need to go in Belize.

Featured Image by Maya Island Air

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