The Segmental Info System
Living like a local may not be easy, but traveling like a local certainly can be. Nearly all of Belize's residents travel via buses, which offer cheap and reliable service around the country.
Due to the road conditions, you'll find it easiest to catch a bus on the Northern and Western Highways. Service along the smaller highways - Hummingbird, Manatee, and Southern Highway - is still consistent, but less frequent. Along other roads and in smaller towns, however, be aware that bus services might not run more than once day. To catch a bus, hail it on the side of the road and tell the driver where you'd like to go.
Within Belize City and other large cities you'll likely find that these are the only bus services available. However, they are also home to terminals where bus tickets can be pre-bought instead of catching the bus in the usual manner. If you are catching a bus at a terminal, remember to arrive a half an hour before the bus is expected to leave.
One of the reasons buses are so popular is that they are extremely affordable. Trips usually range from $2.50(USD) to $11(USD). This is also the same form of transit used by most of Belize's residents, meaning your journey will be a cultural one, and you'll be paying the same as the locals for your transportation. This also means that those who are traveling on a tighter budget can get to many different locations around the country.
People are most likely to find old, out-of-commission Greyhound and U.S. school buses as their mode of transportation in Belize. However, those who want a little more luxury may be able to find it on the Northern and Western highways. These express buses are a little newer and have air conditioning. Bear in mind that you'll also pay a few dollars more for the priveledge.
You may also want to consider the option of a shuttle van. These can be much more expensive than a bus ($36(USD) per trip), but will take you directly to many cities throughout the country. Look for Discovery Expeditions as the main company offering this service.
In recent years there have been mergers and changes in the bus companies in Belize. For this reason, there are two dominant companies at the moment, and they are both a part of the same company now. Look for buses by Novelo's or Southern Transport. They tend to have the most options of any bus company, and are the current heavyweights in the field.
Belizean buses are a great system for cross-country transportation, but they also work for travel between nearby cities. Don't be afraid to get out there and hail a bus.
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