Latest update: 22 February 2023
I want to travel from Bacalar in Mexico to Corozal in Belize. There are about 50 kilometers in between, but getting there is quite an undertaking. The information on how to travel best is confusing, to say the least.
From Bacalar to Corozal
Moving from one place to another, I always use local transport during my backpacking trip. Sometimes a bus, sometimes a ferry, then a colectivo (shared taxi), and also with a regular cab. The Mexico-Belize border is also suitable for local transport. At the time of writing, an ADO bus goes from Bacalar to Corozal and one of the more distant places once a day. However, the people I ask in Bacalar advise me to cut the journey up and use colectivos and taxis. I doubt if this is the best solution. So please ask around before you book the trip.
This is how I tackle the 3-hour border crossing journey:
- Colectivo from the square in Bacalar to Chetumal – 40 pesos
- Taxi in Chetumal to the bus station – 20 pesos
- Local bus to Corozal (final destination Orange Walk) – 100 pesos, or 200 pesos to Corozal airport
Passport controls at the Mexico – Belize border
Someone will accompany you in the bus to help you through passport controls. They point out the correct counter and ensure everyone is back on the bus before it continues. First, you have to go through Mexican control. Here I hand in my Entry Immigration Form (which you will receive upon arrival in Mexico) and pay 533 pesos (price 2018) in exit fee (or 30 dollars, but with the current exchange rate, I save a euro). I’m trying to get out of it by showing that I will fly again from Cancún, but rules are rules. If I return by land later, says the customs officer, and only stay for 7 more days, I don’t have to pay an entrance fee. Unfortunately, that’s of no use to me.
At the Belizean border control, I must go through customs with all my luggage. I fill out a form about my stay in Belize, including my first address, and answer the endless questions of an unfriendly customs officer. Crossing the border is quite a lot of effort and paperwork in Belize; it’s not like I want a residence permit people!
Tip! You can also cross the border by sea. Check: How do you get from A to B in Belize by boat?
Import of toilet paper
The bus is a local bus, an old school bus. There are a few tourists and Belizeans who have done some shopping in Chetumal. It’s a lot cheaper there. Belize is one of the most expensive countries in Central America. I am amazed at the amount of toilet paper people take with them. I don’t think you can save that much money on toilet paper, now can you? My curiosity wins, and I ask someone. According to him, toilet paper in Mexico dissolves better in the water, so you won’t have problems with your sewage system. He undertakes this toilet paper trip monthly.
Travel by bus between Mexico and Belize
A local bus ride to cross the border is for sure quite an experience. People sell candies. Others take whole plates of food on the bus. A Belizean lady finds out halfway through that she has left a bag of groceries at customs. The bus driver gives her five minutes to pick it up. She walks to the bus exit, almost wanting to get off, and then changes her mind. She’s never going to make it. On the way, we drive past a collision. The bus reacts frantically: people shout and get up. Some people take a picture. After a few minutes, peace returns. Now, this is an exciting bus ride.
My final destination is Corozal. Whether that is the best choice, you can read in this blog.
More Belize travel inspiration?
Useful links for your Belize trip
- Travel guides. I love the practical guidebooks by Lonely Planet. You can buy them at Bol.com and Amazon.
- Flights. Compare all your options! For sure check Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
- Bus. Book buses in Belize through Busbud, Omio, or 12Go.
- Accommodation. All-time favorite is Booking.com. Book hostels via Hostelworld.
- Money. Your bank cards may not get accepted everywhere. You could opt for a Revolut card as an additional card when you travel.
- Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator.
- Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers.
- Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
- Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? Not many Dutch travel companies offer trips to Belize: try Sawadee or Shoestring.
Or, book a lovely yoga retreat in Belize!
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, I might receive a small commission.
First published: February 2018 Updated since.