Taking the Flores- Belize Shuttle
After visiting the incredible ruins of Tikal, our next stop was a slice of Caribbean living in Caye Caulker, Belize. I researched how to travel independently from Flores (the gateway town to Tikal) to Belize City. But after learning it would take several hours longer and only save us a dollar or two, this independent traveller sold out and booked the Belize shuttle. Here’s how to go independently or via shuttle…
Getting from Flores to Belize Independently
Travelling from the town of Flores involves several different modes of transport. Firstly, you must get to the bus station in Santa Elena, a five minute auto-rickshaw ride from Flores. There, you can board a bus to the Belize border, cross the border on foot, and board an onward bus to Belize City. If, like us, you are trying to get the ferry to Caye Caulker, you must take a taxi from the bus station to the ferry port (it’s a short distance, but not a safe area).
While the chicken buses to and from the border may be cheaper than the Belize shuttle, the added taxi journeys to and from the bus stations would have bumped the expense up. We had been told that doing the journey independently can cost US$20 overall, just a fraction cheaper than the Belize shuttle. So, all in all, going independently just didn’t seem worth it!
Taking the Belize Shuttle
The Belize shuttle leaves Flores at either 5 or 7 am. We booked the 5am shuttle, in order to beat the queues at the border (though it didn’t leave until 5:30!). The shuttle picks passengers up throughout Flores, before heading to Belize. Several companies offer shuttles, and ours cost Q160 (US$21).
When we reached the border, a man got on the shuttle to change money. He offered good rates, so we changed the last of our Quetzals. I’m glad we did, as there didn’t seem to be a place to change money after we crossed into Belize.
The border crossing was very straightforward. We got stamped out of Guatemala and then into Belize in no time at all! We waited a few minutes for our bus to pick us up on the other side of the border (and grabbed some burritos from a nearby stall).
The shuttle dropped us at the ferry port to Caye Caulker (you can also request to be dropped elsewhere in the city). The entire journey took just five hours overall, and we were able to get the 11am ferry to Caye Caulker. Before we knew it, we were relaxing in our new destination!
Summary of the Belize Shuttle
Overall, I’d definitely recommend taking the shuttle from Flores to Belize, rather than going independently. The Belize shuttle is hassle free, picks you up and drops you off wherever you choose, and takes just five hours. And at US$21, it’s just a teeny bit more than the overall cost of the independent trip. Definitely the way to go!
Looking for information about visiting Tikal? Click here for a guide.