Landing in Belize City
Figuring out your flights to Belize can be complicated from some destinations. The reason is there really aren’t that many options. Only five airlines fly into Belize going out of only five cities in the US and Canada, and the vast majority of them have only one flight per day. A few of these flights are offered only one or two days a week, which do not match our adventure trip schedule. And one of the airlines flies out of an airport in Houston most other airlines don’t use, which may necessitate a cross-town bus or taxi if you can’t use that airline to get to Houston to begin with. We list all of the options to fly to Belize on our website, but basically, the only any-day-every-day options are United out of Houston IAH, Southwest out of Houston HOU, American out of Miami, and Delta out of Atlanta.
First of all… I don’t recommend you contact a travel agent. They are less motivated than you are to hunt around for the best plan, as they make very, very little off of flights. It’s simply not worth their time to investigate the options for you. You definitely should do this yourself.
We highly recommend you arrive one day early for our adventure trips, taking advantage of the extra time in the country by touring Lamanai, a Mayan ruin fairly close to Belize City. If you cannot make your flights work out to arrive the day you want, you could alternately overnight in your gateway city, which is usually Houston or Miami, but could also be Dallas or Atlanta. So instead of being a day early in Belize, you are a day early at your last connection, which eliminates most potential delays. Usually during the US and Canadian winters, delays are caused by snow slowing the whole system down, but if you are already in Houston, that won’t be an issue. This is a strategy I often use myself.
The sites I use in searching for flights:
Depending on where you fly from, there may be more than one airport you could start from, and also more than one trip date you are considering. Other things to think about are how long are the layovers would be and how many there are (layovers of less than 2 hours increase your chance to miss your flight if there is a small problem). Finally, you might have friends or relatives in one city which would make you favor an overnight layover there as opposed to another option.
So if I am trying to figure out a bunch of options at the same time I usually make a chart to print out and fill in as I do searches to help me get the whole picture of what my best option might be. So let’s say I am trying to figure out whether to drive to Grand Junction, CO and fly to Belize, or drive to Montrose, CO instead. Also, I am not sure if I want to go on the December 8 or the December 15 trips, and do I want to arrive a day early or not? In all cases, I am planning to leave Belize City at the end of the trip on the earliest date I can. Here is a sample chart, it’s complicated because I am trying out so many different possibilities.
So what did I learn? That I cannot arrive in Belize a day early for our island trip like we recommend if coming from these cities. For some weird reason, if I fly on Thursday, I arrive Friday, and if I fly Friday, I arrive Friday (except in two cases, when I would arrive Saturday, which is a day late). Flying out of Montrose gains nothing for me, and it is about an hour further from Moab than Grand Junction is. And finally, there is no advantage to going on the December 8th trip or the December 15 trip, because at this point they both cost the same (that will likely change as the dates get closer.)