belize airport map

I am often asked which Belize City airport to use. There are two: the Belize International Airport (called Phillip Goldson) (BZE) and Belize Municipal (TZA), both located in Belize City. Both are usually listed on travel sites and it confuses people, because from major international gateway cities you can only fly into one of them, but both are often mentioned.

Let’s say you are going to Caye Caulker before joining our Belize Adventure Week trip. Is it better to use Belize International or Belize Municipal?

When you fly into Belize from another country, you always land at BZE. So if you plan to fly elsewhere directly upon arrival in the country, you should fly from International, there’s no point in taking a cab to Municipal to then fly to your destination. However, if you are already in the country and flying to another location in Belize, it makes more sense to use TZA.

The reason that the Municipal airport is preferred for in-country arrival is that flights are cheaper, and taxis are cheaper to get to the airport as well. International is a much bigger airport and landing fees are higher, so those tickets are always more expensive. And the government has given cab drivers permission to charge more for cab rides to or from International. So, a cab ride from International to the Biltmore (where our groups stay) is about $35, but from Municipal to the Biltmore, it is about $10. It is further in distance from the Biltmore to International, but feels closer because of the traffic encountered getting to Municipal.

Also, all flights begin or end in Belize City. You can’t fly from San Pedro to Dangriga for instance, you have to go through Belize City. If staying in the country for while, you will save money flying through Municipal as much as you can.

Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE)
Arriving in Belize

Just in the last 2 weeks fares have really been dropping for January travel dates to Belize. We do have a Belize package on sale that coincides with the great fares we are finding. We track air rates to Belize in 29 US and Canadian cities, but the Canada fares are really impressive!

Calgary(YYC) – Belize City (BZE)$706$534$556$664

Departure City
Three Weeks Ago
Two Weeks Ago
Last Week
This Week
Montreal(YUL) – BZE $679 $517 $512 $501
Toronto(YYZ) – BZE $672 $516 $510 $500
Vancouver(YVR) – BZE $728 $532 $525 $540

 

You can find of list of all of the Belize fares we track on our website.

Fly to Belize and stay in this beach cabana
Fly to Belize and stay in this beach cabana!

In doing my weekly update for our Belize flights webpage I was happy to see that fares dropped in just one week in 18 of the 29 cities we track. If you fly from New York City, the fares dropped 28% and if you fly from Anchorage they dropped 25%! Here are a few sample Belize fares:

Departure City
Two Weeks Ago
Last Week
This Week
Baltimore (BWI) – BZE $718 $718 $627
Denver (DEN) – BZE $669 $798 $615
Tampa (TPA) – BZE $601 $601 $498
Anchorage (ANC) – BZE $1043 $1043 $799
New York City (NYC) – BZE $575 $701 $508
Washington, DC (DCA) – BZE $575 $581 $574

To view the complete list of current Belize fares, visit our website.

Photo by Mike Anderson

This post is about my ongoing obsession, ie; how do you figure out the airline companies and their pricing structure? I talk to people all day, all week, all month, about travel to Belize. Everyone asks “When should I get my ticket? Should I wait, or get it now? Are they going to get less or more expensive as the trip gets closer?” Good questions!

Two weeks ago I did my weekly check of Belize flights and was stunned to see that they had dropped across the board. We track 26 cities for our Belize fares web page, and the least any fare had dropped over the course of that week was 11%. One route dropped by over 50%!

I blogged about it and sent a mass email to our list of 20,000 telling everyone to buy air tickets to Belize right away. I know some of you took my advice because we heard from many of you. At that time I predicted these fares wouldn’t last long, and they didn’t. A week later some of the routes were creeping up, and now, two weeks later, they are back up to the neighborhood of where they started.

I know this does not answer my question “What is the rhyme or reason of Belize fares?” but somehow it makes me feel better putting it out there for everyone to see.

Departure City June 29 July 5 July 13 July 20
Atlanta (ATL)- Belize City (BZE) $554 $463 $463 $625
Baltimore (BWI)- (BZE) $669 $505 $505 $632
Boston (BOS) – BZE $700 $505 $505 $649
Calgary (YYC) – BZE $694 $591 $591 $694
Charlotte (CLT) – BZE $750 $488 $488 $673
Chicago (CHI) – BZE $555 $493 $621 $640
Dallas (DFW) – BZE $556 $463 $556 $569
Denver (DEN) – BZE $720 $493 $655 $690
Detroit (DTT) – BZE $672 $470 $470 $638
Houston (IAH) – BZE $666 $509 $690 $644
Indianapolis (IND) – BZE $631 $470 $505 $641
Las Vegas (LAS) – BZE $579 $514 $524 $638
Los Angeles (LAX) – BZE $631 $465 $510 $595
Manchester, NH (MHT) – BZE $1223 $632 $632 $646
Miami (MIA) – BZE $516 $436 $516 $516
Minneapolis (MSP) – BZE $669 $470 $470 $659
Montreal (YUL) – BZE $670 $558 $557 $692
NYC (NYC) – BZE $650 $479 $505 $574
Philadelphia (PHL) – BZE $670 $490 $670 $667
Phoenix (PHX) – BZE $677 $493 $659 $677
Salt Lake City (SLC) – BZE $627 $502 $524 $663
San Francisco (SFO) – BZE $697 $493 $667 $670
Seattle (SEA)- BZE $579 $496 $524 $641
St. Louis (STL) – BZE $678 $496 $646 $683
Toronto (YYZ) – BZE $670 $558 $557 $663
Washington, DC (DCA) – BZE $670 $490 $626 $640

Those of us who work in the Belize travel industry have been pedal to the metal for months now. Peak season for travel to Belize is mid-December – early-April. The weather is good into May or sometimes even June, but most people want to go south when it’s cold in the US and Canada. If you can go in April, you will enjoy peak perfect weather but you won’t be traveling with everyone else, and you should be able to find great deals on air.

I just figured out rates from 26 US and Canadian cities to Belize for a late-April trip. Our Adventure Island at Glover’s Reef Full Week trip starting on April 20 and returning home April 29 has plenty of room and flights are much cheaper than I have seen in a while.

If you fly from Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, or Toronto, the rates are especially good right now. Visit our Belize flights web page for specific rates for each city.

Belize beach hutMany people inquire about combining our all-inclusive island package with a short stay at Caye Caulker on their own. This is easy, but you wouldn’t go from one directly to the other. In a nutshell, all roads in Belize lead to Belize City.

No one would travel from Glovers Reef to Caye Caulker, or visa versa unless you chartered a boat, and that would be expensive (my best guess: about $1200-1500 US). You would return to Belize City from one to catch transport to the other.

We have a private boat that goes between Belize City and our island 2x a week, and the price for this transfer is included in all of our island packages. Caye Caulker is well out of the way, and we would run out of gas if we wanted to ‘swing by’ Caye Caulker on the way. (Not to mention that all of the other guests not going to Caye Caulker would not appreciate the extra hour in the boat).

Because Caye Caulker is a big island with lots of hotels and other rental properties, they have regularly scheduled flights (http://www.tropicair.com/ or http://www.mayaregional.com/) and water taxis (http://www.gocayecaulker.com/members/ccwta.html) that are affordable (flight: $40 one way, water taxi: $10 one way).

So, for example if you wanted to do our 5-day Adventure Island at Glover’s Reef trip first, then go to Caye Caulker, here is how that would look in an itinerary:

Fri: fly into Belize City, take a taxi to the Biltmore and check in. Your guide will then meet you at the Biltmore at 5:30 pm. Dinner and overnight included in package.
Sat: After (included) breakfast, walk to our dock 1 block from hotel (luggage is driven). Get on boat no later than 8:30 am, probably more like 8 am. Out to island by about 11-11:30 am. Tour of island, lunch. After lunch sport activities start.
Sun: Island activities all day.
Mon: Island activities all day.
Tue: Island activities all day.
Wed: Island activities all morning. Lunch on island. Boat leaves after lunch and gets back to Belize City by about 3 pm. Take a cab to either the municipal airport or the water taxi terminal to catch next transport to Caye Caulker. It’s a 20 minute flight and 45 minute boat ride. (Last water taxi AND last flight from Belize City leaves at 5:30 pm.) Dinner and overnight at Caye Caulker. (One note: after the long boat ride from the island, you would probably rather fly.) Or you can overnight at the Biltmore again (not included in half week package) and take the water taxi or flight first thing in the morning.

One final thing, you might be thinking of Ambergris Caye instead of Caye Caulker. These two islands are near each other and both have flights and water taxis, so everything here pertains to Ambergris Caye as well.

David Pogue, technology columnist for the NY Times, just posted a very interesting set of tips for travelers on his blog Pogue’s Posts: Five (And Then Some) Tech Tips for Travel.

It’s mostly about apps for your phone that help you track and keep track of your flights; he includes a great story about knowing his flight was delayed way before the gate attendants knew it.

He also reveals one website which analyzes how cramped your seat will be compared to other planes(!) And he discloses which airline recycles their beverage containers, a subject near and dear to my heart. What a bummer it’s an airline I rarely fly because they are based on the East Coast (Delta).

None of this really applies to flights to Belize, but it is an interesting read for those with travel on their minds!