We have a small airport here in Punta Gorda. It is a beautiful 50 minute flight down Belize’s coast. There are two airlines that service the Punta Gorda Airport and we usually recommend flying with Tropic Air. Cost for a round trip ticket from Belize International Airport to Punta Gorda is $325. We are licensed agents for Tropic Air and can help you get tickets. Tropic Air flies into Punta Gorda 7 times a day. While we can’t get you a lower price on their posted ticket rates, we do get you a couple perks when we arrange tickets on your behalf such as no change fees and free luggage. If your flight comes in early or late, you can simply move to the next available flight at no charge! If your package doesn’t include a shuttle we charge $55 per van for a shuttle to/from Punta Gorda.
Getting to Belize from the US is pretty easy. Airports such as Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, New York and Miami have direct flights to Belize City. Not all of them fly here everyday, Minneapolis and Denver only have direct flights to Belize City on Saturdays. Flying to Belize takes only 2 hours from Miami or Houston.
Visitors flying to Belize enter the country via the Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE).
The international airlines serving the country include American Airlines, United, Delta Airlines, Avianca, Tropic Air, COPA, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country and WestJet Airlines.
So once you make it to Belize, how do you get to us? You’ve got options…
Punta Gorda lies in the southernmost region of Belize, the Toledo District. Take our shuttle straight to the lodge or a local flight from the International Airport in Belize City (BZE) to Punta Gorda on either Maya Island Air or Tropic Air.
We offer an airport shuttle in an air conditioned van. Expect the ride to take 5 hours. Charge is $300 each way for up to 3 people. Additional charges are $100 per person over 3 people. Our drivers are safe and happy to answer questions as they drive. They will not use a cell phone while driving.
Occasionally we have someone who is up for a bit of an adventure or looking for a budget-friendly option. Belize has an excellent bus system. And most of the buses are pretty clean. Unlike most countries in Central America, only people can ride the bus in Belize (no goats, pigs or chickens!) Bus drivers in Belize are not allowed to be on phones while driving and do have to have a special license to drive a bus. We have regular buses and express buses. Regular buses are retired school buses brought down from the states. The cost to get from Belize City to Punta Gorda is around $20 per person. The express bus takes a little more than 6 hours. If you need a shuttle pick up from Punta Gorda, we charge $55 for the van.
Some want to see the country and experience driving in Belize. If you are interested in this option please read the next paragraph carefully and do some independent research on driving here. Arranging for a rental car is relatively easy in Belize. You only need a driver’s license and a passport. The cost will be anywhere from $65-$100 a day(more if you need a large van). Driving in Belize isn’t too hard if you drive only during the daylight hours and are good at watching for speedbumps. Belize issues no speeding tickets and instead places speed bumps everywhere (including along highways) to reduce speeds. One of the largest causes of traffic accidents in Belize are tourists hitting speed bumps. Also, please be aware that many many roads in Belize are not paved and rocks thrown at windshields as well as flat tires are a major problem here. Strongly think about insurance if you rent a car in Belize. If you choose to opt-out of insurance for the rental car expect to place a $1500 deposit on your vehicle. Replacement windshields and other parts are very expensive in Belize. But if after all these warnings you want to drive down-enjoy the scenery. You will depart Belize City and head to Belmopan (do not for any reason take the Manatee Highway-your GPS will try to get you to take this road-extra 2 hours on a terrible dirt road!). When you first get to Belmopan you will come to a roundabout, take the second exit(heading south). You will go straight through the next couple roundabouts in Belmopan and then enter the Hummingbird Highway. The Hummingbird Highway is named after a hummingbird due to the sharp curves. It is arguably the most scenic highway in Belize. Stay on the highway until you get to the junction just before Dangriga. There are signs at the junction telling you to turn right to Punta Gorda-follow the signs. Stay on that highway until you get to the junction for Independence-follow the signs again to Punta Gorda and turn right. Stay on that highway (and please don’t forget to watch for speed bumps all the time…) until you pass through Big Falls and the road comes to a T. Turn left, go 9 miles and you will see our sign to turn right just after a bridge. Follow that dirt road for 4.5 miles, turn left onto our road and stay to the left at the fork, we are 1 mile in. The drive from Belize City takes just under 5 hours. If you want suggestions for places to stop for food please email us. If you drive at night add 1-2 hours. There will be many, many pedestrians and bicyclists after dark on the roads. They can be very hard to see, especially on the narrower highways with no shoulders. There are no laws in Belize for lights or reflective gear on bikes or pedestrians. Simply put please do your driving during daylight hours.
Offers direct flights from Miami (MIA), Charlotte (CLT), Dallas (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX).
Offers direct flights from Houston (IAH), Newark (EWR) and Chicago (ORD).
Offers direct flights between Atlanta (ATL) and Belize City (BZE), as well as between Los Angeles (LAX) and Belize City (BZE).
Offers regularly scheduled flights between Belize City (BZE) and San Salvador (SAL). This route is popular for onward connections to Central and South American destinations, as well as Mexico and the United States.
In addition to local flights, Tropic Air offers regular flights between Belize City (BZE) and the following international destinations: Cancun (CUN), Merida (MID), Roatan (RTB), San Pedro Sula (SAB) and Flores (FRS).
Offers direct flights between Panama City (PTY) and Belize City (BZE).
Offers direct flights from Houston (HOU) and Denver (DEN).
Offers direct flights from Toronto (YYZ) directly to Belize City (BZE).
Whether transferring directly from Belize International Airport to Punta Gorda or coming from another area of the country, most of our guests choose to travel on the two domestic airlines of Belize: Tropic Air and Maya Island Air.
The flights may make stops along the way so flight time varies from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cotton Tree lodge acts as an agent for both airlines and we would be happy to assist you with booking your flights.
MAYA ISLAND AIR LOCAL BELIZE
Local Belize travel on Maya Airways is offered from Belize International Airport, Belize City, Belize (BZE) to Punta Gorda, Belize (PND).
Local Belize travel on Tropic Airways is offered from Belize International Airport, Belize City, Belize (BZE) to Punta Gorda, Belize (PND) .
Bus service is available throughout Belize.It is inexpensive (BZ$24, US$12 from Belize City to Punta Gorda) and relatively reliable, but rougher than the buses you might be used to.The majority of the buses in Belize are converted US school buses.
The journey from Belize City to Punta Gorda takes approximately six hours. A few Express’ buses are air-conditioned coaches and make the trip in about five hours. Buses stop frequently and allow passengers to board as long as there is standing room available.
James and Ushers bus lines travel all the way to Punta Gorda. James bus line also stops in Independence (near Placencia), Dangriga, and Belmopan on the route to Belize City.It is not possible to book tickets in advance.
You can also rent a car in most of the major towns in Belize, though outside of Belize City arrangements for car rentals are relatively informal. There are no one-way rentals, meaning you must return your vehicle to the place where you rented it. Frances Romero 011-501-614-3998 has buses, passenger vans, etc for rent with driver anywhere in Belize, and the following rental companies are available at the Belize City International Airport:
- Pancho’s Auto Rental
- Crystal Auto Rental
- Vista Auto Rental
- Discount Auto Rental
- Thrifty Auto Rental
- Nex Gen Auto Rental
- Jabiru Auto Rental
- Jay Crofton Auto Rental