Many of you know that I just started using this message board about a month ago while I was gathering information on Belize. The primary reason for making my short trip (Aug. 8-12) was a concern that real estate prices were rising and I wanted to learn more about the area and country before things got out of my price range. I didn't know if I would even like the place and certainly wasn't going to make any kind of a purchase on this trip if I did. I am VERY thankful for all of the information that I received on this and other message boards and hope that this report might help other readers that have similar interests.
I went the cheap scenic route and purchased a Suntrips flight out of Oakland to Cancun ($484). That was more desirable for me at the time because I initially thought I might get to see some of the area in Mexico called Costa Maya. I learned after booking that the logistics of time would not allow me to see that area (which is over on the coast South of the biosphere to Xcalak). Anyway, it had been a long time since I had gone to the bus station in Cancun so when were arrived at terminal 1 (which I had never been to) I had to take the shuttle over to terminal 2 just to familiarize myself with things (at this point I knew it was going to be a long trip). My flight left Oakland at 11:50 pm (11:25 scheduled) and arrive in Cancun at 7:20 am. By the time I got through customs, immigration, received my luggage (which was carry on size, but I had to check it because the charter would only allow you to take one bag on), and arranged my travel to the bus terminal it was 8:20 (already behind). They do have buses that leave for Playa del Carmen (PDC), but the next one wasn't leaving until 10:30 and I think they wanted $32. I got a ride from one of the vans for $20 (which was under the table) the normal fee for a direct ride was $40, but you can take one of the shuttles for $9. The only catch is that you have to wait until everyone else is dropped of at the hotel zone because you are the last stop and that could have easily added an hour. I arrived at the bus terminal at 8:45 and bought at ticket for the 9:30 Chetumal departure for $160 pesos (about $17 US). The bus was air conditioned and we watched three American movies on the way (two had subtitles and one was dubbed). We made three stops on the way and arrived in Chetumal at 3:25 pm. I had been thinking all along that the last flight out to San Pedro was at 4:30 Belize time (which is 1 hour behind Cancun at this time of year). By the time I paid my $15 pesos for the bus, caught the next bus, got through immigration and customs for Mexico and Belize (yes I did get a double stamp so I wouldn't have to pay extra later), and arrived at the Corozal bus station it was 4:34. I wasn't too happy and thought that I might be spending the night in Corozal (when I had paid for a room in San Pedro). I knew the last boat had left at 3 pm and figured I would get a cab to the airport just to see. To my surprise the ride was only 6 minutes and 5 Belizian dollars. When I arrived I found out that the last plane for San Pedro (Maya airlines) didn't leave until 5 pm and Tropic Air had one that left at 5:30 pm. The plane was a little late, but that didn't bother me. Neither did the fact that this was the smallest plane that I had ever been on (there was the captain, a passenger up front, me in the back, and one empty seat left). It was a small Cesna that was going to give me a great view of the countryside and some islands. NOTE: When travelling, remember that these planes don't fly during bad whether. So if there is storm coming in and you have a connection, it might be wise to leave on an earlier flight or you might miss that connection. The flight was $65 US RT.
We landed safely in San Pedro about 5:45 (the flight was about 25 min.)
The reason for all of this detail is so that people not only know that the ride from Cancun to Chetumal is not only 5 1/2 to 6 hours, but you also have the connections, customs, and everything else to deal with. For me, there were things that I wanted to see and experience along the way, but if my flight had landed later than 8 am, I probably would have had to spend the night in Corozal or Chetumal (just so you know
Ooops, I lost track of time and have to go to the gym. I'll make this part 1 and continue later.
[This message has been edited by CMNate (edited 08-17-2002).]