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GtB Driving on the Costal Higway (Manatee Road) in Belize





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On the Road in Belize



When drive with a car trough Belize, you can plan, take as much time as you want, and return when you're ready. No waiting on buses or scheduling flights, and no worrying about making change for a taxi driver. Many of Belize natural wonders and man-made attractions are easily accessible by car.


GtB Roundabout in the Belize Capitol Belmopan
Click any Pictures to enlarge
Driving by Car in Belize is best way to feel the magic, stop on every site you like and shoot exciting photo from mountain vistas, scenic rivers, waterfalls and small villages.

On the other side, you need to take caution for the unusual local traffic customs, and bicyclists often ride contrary to traffic or carrying heavy loads or passengers, including balancing small children on their laps or across the handlebars. Many vehicles on the road do not have functioning safety equipment such as turn signals, flashers, or brake lights.

Drive with your Car to Belize
Rent a Car in Belize
Gas Stations
Current Road Situation
Taxis in Belize Bikes and Bicycles
Traffic Rules Highways and Roads



Drive with your Car to Belize



If you are planning on driving your own vehicle to Belize, you will be required to purchase a Belize Liability Insurance for the duration of your stay and a one-month importation permit at the border. The car will be registered in your passport.

GtB Driving over the border to Belize
For the permit you need a proof of car ownership or rental documents and for the insurance there are insurance agents at the border. If you stay over one month, e permit extension can be obtained by applying to the Customs Department  in Belize City, call +501 227 70 92.


Rent a Car in Belize



In Belize, rental prices are high a in Europa, but for a group of 3-4 people a rental car in Belize is inexpensive a way to visit a Maya site or nature park compared to a tour operator. To save a bit of money, you can online reserve a car before you reach Belize.

GtB Car Rental in San Pedro on Ambergris Cayes
If you stay in the rainy season from June to November or you like to visit remote locations a all-terrain vehicles or SUV would be the best choice. The best deals you get usually on weekly rentals. To rent a car in Belize you should be over 21 years old and paying the extra money for the insurance. Based on our experience we can recommend Avis and Crystal Rental.

While you stay in San Pedro or Caye Caulker, the only car you can rent, are electric or gas Club Golf Cart. Be sure you get a lock when you rent one.
Company
Pick up / Drop off
Phone
Avis Rent A Car International Airport
Belize City
+501 205 26 29

Belize Car Rentals
International Airport
Belize City
+501 621 97 45
Budget Belize
Belize City
other places on request
+501 223 24 35
Cayo Auto Rentals
San Ignacio

+501 824 22 22
Crystal Auto Rental
International Airport
Belize City
+501 223 16 00
Jabiru Auto Rental
International Airport
Belize City
+501 224 46 80
Pancho's Auto Rental
International Airport
Belize City
+501 224 55 54
Vista Auto Rentals

International Airport +501 225 22 92
Check the rental car for any scratches or dents or any other previous damages and write them in your rental contract. Also check that there is enough air in your tires and ensure that there is a spare tire and a jack. Be sure that there is engine coolant, oil and windshield washer fluid. Ask what will happen if you have a break-down somewhere in the busch, and carry a cell phone with you.



Gas Stations



Every town has one or more gas stations. Esso, Shell and Texaco are operating all over Belize 50 plus gas stations. If you are using a Highway, then you will find at least every 50 Mile (80 km) a gas station. Belize Gas stations, in accepting cash in Belize or U.S. dollars.

GtB A Belize Gas Station in San Ignacio
If there is access to a phone line then the gas station mostly also accept credit cards, but don’t bet on it and keep always 50 Belize dollars for gas in your wallet. The most gas stations have a small shop with snacks and drinks and basic maintenance goods. There is always a mechanics around a gas station for minor service jobs like oil changes and tire repairs.


Current Road Situation



We always try to keep you up to date with the road conditions here in Belize. If the road isn't paved, it can be slippery and danger in the rainy season and very bumpy in the dry season.
Last Update: 15. September 2009

Placencia



If you leave the Southern Highway, there is a bumpy road with construction from Santa Cruz till Maya Beach. From Maya Beach, the Road is paved all the way down to Placencia.

GtB Road construction in Belize, between Southern Highway and Placencia

Kendal Bridge



The Kendal Bridge on the Southern Highway was swept away by powerful flash floods following the passage of Arthur in 2008. Now there is a low level bridge but uf there is massive flooding, the waiting time to cross is between 24 to 36 hours. In new Kendal Bridge is expectet by the end of 2011.

GtB This temporary bridge replaces the Kendal Bridge in Belize

Southern Highway



In the area of Nim Li Punit, between Golden Stream and Indian Creek, there is still a 5 mile part of the road under construction and will be paved soon. On the Southern Highway you will have a beautiful view of the Maya Mountains.

GtB Havy road work on the southern highway in Belize


Taxis



One inexpensive way to get around in Belize is by taxi. Taxis are widely available, even on the country side. The only way to identify a taxi for sure is the green number plate. Because taxis in Belize never have a meter, negotiate the fare before the ride.


GtB Taxiplate from Dangriga in Belize City
Some minibus taxis stop many times on the way to pick up more passengers. Mostly every town has there own taxi association and taxis are regulated by the traffic department of each town.


Bikes and Bicycles



In Belize, bicycles are becoming increasingly popular. The most used model is the Beachcruiser an old-fashioned 1-speed bike with pedal brakes and no rear-view mirror and no lights. Bikes are easy to find in San Pedro, Cay Caulker, Placencia and San Ignacio.

GtB With the Bike on Ambergris Caye in Belize
The rate for renting a bike for a week is around 40 Belize Dollars. Bikes are a great way to have fun and stay in shape while seeing Belize.


Traffic Rules



In Belize, driving is done on the right hand side of the roads. Seatbelts for drivers and front-seat passengers are mandatory, but child car seats are not required. Driving while intoxicated is punishable by a fine; if an alcohol-related accident results in a fatality, the driver may face manslaughter charges.

GtB Stop sign at the Placencia airport in Belize
The speed limit in Belize is 55 miles per hour on most highways and 25 miles per hour on most other roads, but they are seldom obeyed or even posted.


Highways and Roads



Before striking out on a journey, it's wise to inquire about current road conditions, especially in the rainy season, when heavy rains create problems and flooding.  Mostly, only Highway and Town center are currently paved. Only a few streets have lane markings or reflectors. There a none road signs, except for directions and sometimes for speed, speed bumps and narrow parts.

Northern Highway



The Northern Highway stretches 85 miles from Belize City over Orange Walk Town to Corozal Town and then a few miles to the border with Mexico at Chetumal. The Northern Highway has two-lane paved and is a smooth ride. Watch out for slow farming trucks in the harvest Season.

GtB The Northern Highway in Belize

Old Northern Highway



The Old Northern Highway, between Sand Hill and Orange Walk Town, carries with it a great deal of history. The narrow, paved road is in dire need of repair; it's riddled with many potholes and washed out in many sections. Along this Road are the Mayan Sites Altun Ha, Colha and Kichpanha.

GtB The Old Northern Highway in Belize

Western Highway



The Western Highway takes you 78 miles from Belize City to the San Ignacio. On the way you pas Hattieville, the Belize Zoo, Belmopan, Santa Elena. From here you can take the Benque road to the Guatemala border. The Western Highway has two-lane paved is in pretty good condition.

GtB Havy traffic on the Western Highway in Belize

Hummingbird Highway



The 56 miles long Hummingbird Highway starts from Belmopan down south to Dangriga. Some of the Bridges are old Railway Bridges and have just only a single lane. Gas is only available in Belmopan and Dangriga.

GtB The Hummingbird Highway in Belize

Costal Highway or Manatee Road



The Manatee Road (Costal Highway) leading from a intersection at Mile 30 (close to Belize Zoo), on the Western Highway passes Gales Point to Dangriga. The Manatee Road, is unpaved, easily flooded after storms and without services. Gales Point is well known for Manatee Watching.

GtB The Costal Highway or Manatee Road in Belize

Southern Highway



The over 100 miles long Southern Highway runs from Dangriga, down south to Punta Gorda. Only a 5 mile part of the two line road is not paved. Gas stations in Dangriga, Independence, Big Falls and around Punta Gorda.

GtB The Southern Highway in Belize

Roads



Overall, the roads in Belize are getting better and better. Bridges are often mostly single lanes. Always top off the gas, before going to remote areas. Speed bumps, the Belizean call them “sleeping policemen”, may appear unexpectedly on roads near towns and schools.

GtB Road in the Maya Mountains in Belize


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