Notes on traveling from Cancun to San Pedro

Maya Island Air will start flying to Cancun, Guatemala City, and Honduras next month. The airline announced that it is going regional on July 8th. That’s when the airline will begin flying two return trips to Cancun daily and daily roundtrips to San Pedro Sula Honduras and Guatemala City.

There is a new boat between San Pedro (Ambergris Diver’s Dock) and Chetumal (Chetumal Municipal Pier) started Oct 30 2009. It leaves San Pedro at 8:30 for Chetumal and returns at 3pm. It is run by San Pedro Belize Express price US$20 one way. For more information call Belize 226-3535 or 223-2225.

Comparing rates to Belize City or Cancun can save hundreds of dollars. The downside is that you usually lose a day in traveling, but as one traveler says “When we are two, or more, we allow an extra day, on each end, to fly by way of Cancun, and get a taste of Mexico, while still saving money”

Cancun – Playa del Carmen – Chetumal – Belize Border - Corozal – San Pedro

Arriving in Cancun:
When you land in Cancun, after immigration and customs, you will be besieged by private transport vendors, anxious to transport you, at high prices. Brush them off, and ask to be pointed to the ADO bus stop (about 150 feet from the door). ADO leaves every half hour, to Playa, for about U$7.50/person, for Playa del Carmen. Six or more people can negotiate a private van (door to door), for about the same price.

Depending on your arrival time or a decision to take the bus during the night, you decide to either stay overnight in Playa, or continue your trip to Belize. You can choose to sleep on the bus and go on to Chetumal and overnight there.

You can now catch the first-class, brand new, reserved seating bus to points south, directly from the airport. It leaves about every hour, and costs about U$16, all the way to Chetumal (border w/ Belize).

Currently, no ADO from Cancun Airport to Chetumal. Still a great deal, but you go from Airport, to South station in Playa, and must cab over to North station, for bus to Chet. May be there is an ADO to Cancun, to get on Chetumal bus, but seems to me that will take an extra hour, or two.

Rumor has it, that ADO will have a bus from Playa, and Cancun, to Belize City, w/in the month. NOT YET. I presume that one could disembark in Corozal, although the first class (movies/reserved seats) rides to Belize City would certainly outclass the deficient Belizean bus system.

If you chose to overnight in Playa:
You can take a bus (about $3us) to Playa del Carmen (much nicer than Cancun), where Hotel Jungla Caribe is recommended.

There are two bus stations in Playa, each about the same distance from the Jungla Caribe.

The south one is at about First and La Avenida Quinta (about a block north of the ferry (to Cozumel) landing. It’s an easy, colorful, straight north jaunt along the cobblestones to Eighth and La Avenida Quinta (S/E corner). If you’re exhausted, overloaded, or don’t have wheeled luggage, hire a front loader bicycle, for a couple of bucks at the station, and walk w/ him to the hotel.

I think that’s the station you’ll come in to, although they keep changing their ADO priorities.

Since you’re only there one night, you might as well go to the ticket counter on the North end of the lobby, and select your bus and seats for the morning. Let yourself sleep in, and have breakfast (10:50 a.m. will get you to Chetumal in time). Belize is one hour earlier, or the same time, since Mexico does daylight savings.

Your bus may come in to the North station (which is no doubt where you’ll leave from in the a.m.). It’s obvious which one you’re in (no tourists, cobblestone street, shops all around).

If you arrive at North station, just grab the next cab out front, to the Junla Caribe Hotel at 8th and Quinta.

The bus from Playa to Chetumal takes about 4 and 1/2 hours, and is actually faster than driving (nice restrooms on bus). .

Making arrangements to cross the border:
From Cancun, Playa, or Chetumal, phone George & Esther Morales ((011-501-422-2485; 011-501-422-3511). To set a time and place to meet in Chetumal, If you need a phone in Playa, call from the internet cafe across the street from the Jungla restaurant, while they fix your killer Caesar salad, and capriccio w/ cantaloupe. Esther can also make your flight reservations from Corozal to San Pedro. George Morales will come over the border, pick you up, and take you across the Belize border to Corozal, where you can decide to take a ferry boat or plane to San Pedro. (NEW UPDATE: Mexican cab union is prohibiting them from bus station…they may have you take a local cab to McDonalds).

The Morales family (and all Belizean taxis) are still fighting, over access to the Chetumal bus station. According to Esther, a call to identify bus from Mexico, and they will meet you on the Mexican side of the bridge, while you check out of Mexico, after you take a Chetumal/Mexican cab, to the Mexican emigration shack, is the easiest for all.

You can probably save a few bucks by taking a local Chetumal taxi to the Belize border and a Corozal taxi from there to the Corozal ferry or airport, but it sure is nice having someone to hold your hand through the border.

Arriving in Chetumal:
If your arrival time means that you would get to Chetumal after 6 p.m., I definitely recommend a night in Playa, followed by an early bus out, so that you don’t get stuck at the border. If you do choose to go on to Chetumal direct from Cancun or Playa, and have to overnight in Chetumal, try Los Cocos Hotel in Chetumal.

If you decide to cross the Belize border, and stay in Corozal (Recommend the Hol Kol Kin Hotel, and ask for waterfront room (about U$50 for single).

Traveling to San Pedro from Corozal:
The plane from Corozal to San Pedro is 18 minutes. The Water Taxi to San Pedro
Takes about 2 hours.

Tropic Air (422-0356) leaves Corozal to San Pedro every two hours on the half hour. Morning flights start at 7:30am, with the last flight at 5:30pm.

Maya Air in Corozal (422-2333) has two morning flights, 7:30am & 10:30am, and two afternoon flights, 3:30pm & 5:00pm

Both Tropic Air and Maya Air flight price is $95bz one way, or $181bz round trip.

Presently Maya Air is offering a cash discount of $72bz one way, and $146bz round trip.

The San Pedro Water Taxi (226-2194) leaves Corozal to San Pedro at 7:00am & 3:00pm. Cost is $45bz.

Thunderbolt Water Taxi Email: Contact number: 501 610 4475. also travels from Corozal to San Pedro, but the time and cost was not available for this printing.

Here is an excellent post by SanPedroScoop: A Guide: Travelling from Cancun, Mexico to Belize for Many Budgets

  1. There is a new boat between San Pedro (Ambergris Diver’s Dock) and Chetumal (Chetumal Municipal Pier) started Oct 30 2009. It leaves San Pedro at 8:30 for Chetumal and returns at 3pm. It is run by San Pedro Belize Express price US$20 one way. For more information call Belize 226-3535 or 223-2225.

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