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Mexican route to Belize

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We had a Minneapolis group of five, fly into Cozumel Island, direct from cold Minneapolis, Minnesota.. They said they could have gone to Cancun as well for choices, but their real destination was Belize. If you don’t arrive in either Cozumel, or Cancun in the very early morning, the connections by bus are going to put you into either Chetumal on the border, or Corozal across the border to sleep that night. In the case of this group from the cold freezing north, they arrived in Cozumel Island about 1:30 p.m. It took a couple of hours to explore Cozumel waterfront and then take the ferry across to Playa del Carmen on the mainland. The ferry cost them $10 and went hourly. Excellent buses in the Yucatan, first class with toilets and the latest movie selections in reclining seats for $18 and a 4 hour drive down the Eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsular, they arrived in Chetumal about 9 p.m. at night. Here they chose to take a local taxi to the Mexican frontier between $2 and $5 a person. On the Belize side, they took another taxi to Corozal Town. They stayed at a hotel and it cost them $20 a person. The next day, they took a Water Taxi speedboat from Corozal Town, ( leaves at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. and takes an hour and a half ), that went to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye for a fare of $20 usa per person.. Here they took an inter-island water taxi along the barrier reef for $7 usa, to Caye Caulker island.
This group were trying to put as many different adventures into a 7 days round trip from Minneapolis, Minnesota as they could. Here they explored the world famous lobster fishing, Great Barrier Reef island tourist village, settling in for the night on Caye Caulker and the next day took a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef and Shark Ray Alley, catching the last water taxi from Caye Caulker, to the mainland around 4 p.m. to Belize City. That day they had pre-arranged for myself, by e-mails, to meet them at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi station on the river in the port Belize City, with my pickup truck, with a rural rustic wood frame farm homemade farm casita with open air wooden seats on the back of the pickup and take them the hundred miles out Western Belize, to Falconview Tourist Backpackers Adventure Hostel. This was a flat fee of $60 for the five persons. Next time it would be more like $80, with gasoline over $10 a gallon it turned out unprofitable for me, a misjudgement on my part. We left Belize City about 6:30 p.m. and arrived at Falconview Tourist Backpackers Adventure Hostel in Western Belize, Santa Elena agriculture frontier town around 8:30 p.m. Sunset in the tropics is at 6 p.m. You only have 12 hours of daylight, year round in these latitudes. The number of daylight hours does not expand and contract at tropical latitudes like they do in temperate zones. We stopped at a local working persons Chinese Restaurant at the bottom of the hill from the hostel and they ordered various cheap, but big portion Chinese take out dishes, to take up to the hostel to eat. Enough to put in the refrigerator for breakfast as leftovers next morning. Full stomachs after that and sunburned and tired, they crashed in their bunk beds after taking showers and a little group conversation, swapping experiences. Next morning I gave them a ride down to the central taxi area in the twin towns straddling the cold Macal River, flowing from the remote scenic pristine Belize Alps into the twin towns and they hit the ATM machine at the bank and then got a taxi to the border of Guatemala on their own. Their goal was a trip to TIKAL ruins on their own and to see if they could cut the cost of a professional tour operator.out of Santa Elena Town to Tikal ruins. They were unable to negotiate a bargain fare and paid for the five of them to the border $10. Over on the Guatemalan side in the border frontier town of Melchor de Menchos they negotiated a mini-VAN for all day, to go to TIKAL and it cost them a $100 usa. They also paid $40 at the TIKAL ruins for a tour guide. You don’t really need one though. Returning very late at night after dark, they paid the same $10 for a taxi from the border station, to the twin towns and ate a meal in town, then caught another taxi for $3.50 up to the hostel. They crashed again about 10 p.m. and next morning were off at 8 a.m. on a pre-scheduled Actun Tunichil Mucknal archeological, all day cave adventure. This costs $80 each from a licensed professional tour operator and they arrived back about 5:30 p.m. and we had the pickup truck ready and they were already packed and we made the 2 hour, 100 mile drive down to the coastal port. Arriving about 8 p.m. at night in the coastal port. Their plan was to stay at a Guest House. There are no Hostels in Belize City and take the morning water taxi to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and stay at Pedro’s Inn, another hostel out on that Great Coral Barrier Reef island.. This would be a Sunday and on Monday, they could take a water taxi to Corozal on the border with Mexico in Chetumal and start winding their way back up to Cozumel Island for their flight back to Minneapolis on a Tuesday out of Cozumel island.
Hope this gives the reader some ideas of expenses coming down to Belize from Mexico airline connections into Cancun and Cozumel island. We do have airplanes from Toronto, Canada to Belize direct this year and also from Los Angelus, Houston, Miami and Atlanta. There are seven genuine Hostels for low budget travelers scattered throughout Belize. One in Corozal, another in Sarteneja, one in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, three on Caye Caulker island, two in Western Belize twin towns and some almost hostels on Tobacco Caye, a dormitory of some sort in the Jaguar Preserve, all scattered around among farms and rivers in different areas of Belize. There are many camping grounds and private farms.
Toucan Trails website gives a fairly good representation of what is low budget in Belize, but is not by any means a complete listing.

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