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Mexico is a country rich in culture, history, and Spanish heritage; and it is home to hundreds of ancient ruins, colonial cities, and nature reserves – with many of these attractions even considered as World Heritage sites.

Its neighboring country on the south, Belize, also offers an equally interesting blend of culture and history, but with British heritage.

Still, Belize has so much in terms of Mayan history and Afro-Caribbean heritage that in my opinion, it is one of the most culturally diverse countries in Central America.

If you’re traveling to the beautiful Cancun soon and wish to make a road trip down to Belize, here’s all the information you need to get to Belize by bus.

The ADO bus from Cancun to Belize is a stunning trip that serves coastal views and dense tropical forest moments as it crosses several regions in both countries.

Definitely, a trip to include in your travel plans, especially if you’re considering stopping in a few of the cities along the way. 

Cancun Aerial Shot

Travel from Cancun to Belize City by Bus

UPDATE
For a few years since 2020, the direct ADO bus from Cancun to Belize City was not operational, but as of December 2023, it is back in service!

In case the service stops again, or if you’re interested in breaking the trip with a few stops in between, you can still go from Cancun to Belize City (and vice versa) by taking the bus from Cancun to Chetumal (the city closest to the border with Belize).

You can check the cheapest and most convenient bus fares with Busbud.

Once there, grab a taxi to the Mexican border ($10-$20). That same driver will drop you at the Belize border, where you can grab another taxi to Corozal ($20-$30) and, from there, take a bus to Belize City. The same applies in the opposite direction.

Traveling from Cancun to Belize City is a fairly lengthy but beautiful trip along the southeast coast of North America.

You can choose between an overnight commute and catching up on some sleep, or you can take in the gorgeous seaside scenery on a day trip. 

The most common bus company to use for this trip is Autobuses de Oriente (ADO). Known for its luxurious first-class and executive-class buses, it is no wonder ADO is one of Mexico’s largest and most popular bus companies. 

The buses used by ADO for this service are large and modern, with air conditioning, comfortable seats, an onboard restroom, and tv screens.

From experience, I recommend wearing (or having accessible) warm clothes or a jacket no matter at which time of the year you’re traveling. The bus’s air conditioning is usually quite cold – especially at night.

Purchasing your Bus Ticket from Cancun to Belize City

If you are wondering how far Belize is from Cancun, it is approximately a ten-hour transit with seven stops where you can hop off. One of those stops is a border crossing, so be sure to have your passport on hand before boarding the bus. 

The bus schedule from Cancun to Belize lists two different options. If you just want to get to your destination without “losing” a day, you can choose the overnight bus, which leaves Cancun around 10:15 pm and arrives in Belize around 6:30 the next morning.

If you would love to sight-see on the go, there is a day trip option. The bus leaves the terminal around 6:10 am and arrives at the Belize bus station around 4:35 pm. 

Keep in mind that the above schedules can change. I recommend going to the ADO website to check their latest schedule.

Bus trip from Cancun to Belize City

Should the ADO bus not be available for purchase online, you can buy a ticket or check the departing status by calling 52 (983) 832-9877. Or, you could purchase the ticket in person at the bus station in Cancun.

While prices fluctuate, the average fare is roughly MX$1,186 or $69.

ALTERNATE NON-DIRECT BUS OPTION
Should you split the trip into two parts, make sure to buy the bus ticket from Cancun to Chetumal, and from Corozal to Belize City.

You can check the cheapest and most convenient bus fares with Busbud.

Unfortunately, the Corozal to Belize City bus ticket has to be bought either at the bus station or on board. But, you can check the schedules here for the various companies operating this route.

The Journey from Cancun to Belize City

In short, the bus route makes seven stops before reaching its final destination. These are:

  • Cancun City Center, Mexico (Start)
  • Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  • Tulum, Mexico
  • Bacalar, Mexico
  • Chetumal, Mexico
  • Subteniente Lopez, Mexico (Border Crossing)
  • Corozal, Belize
  • Orange Walk, Belize
  • Belize City, Belize (End)

Your journey begins in Cancun at the ADO bus terminal. There are many different and exciting activities to do when here, including snorkeling, kayaking, bungee-jumping, and so much more. After you have explored all day, you can party all night. The Cancun nightlife oozes vibrance and culture. 

The first stop on your trip is Playa del Carmen, a beautiful resort town located on the Caribbean coast. It is known for its stunning beaches lined with palm trees and its colorful coral reefs.

With golf courses, Mayan ruins, and dance clubs, you are guaranteed to never get bored if you hop off at Playa del Carmen. 

Next, the bus stops in Tulum, a city famous for its well-preserved ancient Quintana Roo ruins of the Mayan port city.

Tulum offers a jungle paradise with white-sand beaches and is also home to the world’s largest natural aquarium. On top of this, you can also explore the cenote caves, visit the Biosphere Preserve, and so much more.

Further south, you’re getting to Bacalar, which offers some of the most beautiful crystal clear waters in the peninsula without the crowds seen in Tulum and Cancun.

And then, there’s Chetumal, which serves as your hopping point between Mexico and Belize.

The Border Crossing Between Mexico and Belize

This border crossing is pretty smooth and easy going. Once you get to the border, you will be asked to get off the bus to go through immigration for both exiting Mexico and entering Belize.

While this takes some time, it is a very smooth process and in less and an hour (or even faster if there’s not a long queue), you’ll be back on the same bus.

Shortly after crossing the border over into Belize, your third stop is Corozal – yet another town full of heritage with so much beauty to offer.

Although there is not much to see or do here, Corozal is well-liked for its calm atmosphere and sleepy seaside scene. If you are not yet tired of exploring the Mayan ruins, you can also find the remains of Cerro Maya here.

ALTERNATE NON-DIRECT BUS OPTION
If you’re not taking the direct ADO bus, you’ll cross the border by taxi instead of the ADO bus.

Next, the bus stops in Orange Walk Town, located along the New River. Although the town’s citrus farming is a vital part of its growing agricultural economy, Orange Walk is locally referred to as “Sugah City.”

Belize to Cancun bus stop

It is known for its sugarcane farming and the sweet smell that fills the air. With even more Mayan ruins, a lagoon, some bird-watching areas, and a distillery, this is a great spot to hop off at and explore.

Finally, you will arrive at the heart of Belize, at the Belize City bus terminal. After just a short eight hours, it’s finally time to hop off and start adventuring. The city is centered between the Belize Barrier Reef and dense rainforests. 

El Castillo at Xunantunich, Cayo, Belize

Once you are in Belize, be sure to explore the mystery of the Crystal Skull at the Lubaantun ruins, roam around the stunning Xunantunich Mayan ruins, and see the crystal maiden skeleton at the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves.

Other activities include the Belize Zoo, the museum, St. John’s Cathedral, a wildlife sanctuary, and just indulging in the Caribbean culture. 

And, of course, don’t miss going to the stunning islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye – especially if you like diving. These are two of my favorite spots in Belize. No place compares to the chill atmosphere of Caye Caulker.

And when you are ready to leave, you can hop on a return bus from Belize City to Cancun, or simply continue your adventure down the coast towards the gorgeous country of Guatemala. 

Take a Trip from Cancun to Belize

bus stop terminal Cancun to Belize travel

Quick, convenient, and coastal – the Cancun-Belize bus trip is a must when visiting the southern region of North America. Whether you prefer the overnight or daytime bus option, it is the perfect activity to include in your Mexico itinerary. 

Lastly, Can You Do The Same Trip From Belize City To Cancun?

Sure thing! From Belize City, the bus leaves at 11:00 am and 7:30 pm. It makes all the same stops in reverse, with its final destination being the main terminal in Cancún.

To purchase your ticket to travel from Belize City, you must buy it from one of the following vendors. If you’re calling from outside of Belize, add a 501 area code to the numbers below.

  • Belize City: Gilberto Carlos Pérez, cell 600-8100.
  • Orange Walk: San Francisco Restaurant, 302-2240 or cell 624-8200.
  • Corozal: Cruzob Travel, cell 607-7930.

The ADO bus terminal is located on West Collet Canal in Belize City, commonly known as “Novelo’s.”

To board the bus in Belize City, you need to pay part of the fare in Belizean Dollars (around BZ$19 or $9), and the rest of the fare is paid in Mexican Dollars (roughly MX$700 or $35) upon arrival in Cancun or at the border.

Are you ready for an adventurous round trip between Cancun and Belize City?

How to Take the Bus from Cancun to Belize City and Belize City to Cancun
Adventure Awaits

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51 Comments

  1. Great article. Thank you. Question? If I get off in say, tulum and spend the night can I continue on to Belize city the next day. On the next bus? Or does travel have to be in one day? Should I just buy separate tickets along the way instead ? Robin

    1. Thanks, Robin, and sorry for the late reply. You will have to buy two tickets. One from Cancun to Tulum, and then one from Tulum (the next day) to Belize City. I’ve actually done this (in the opposite direction). You can buy both tickets at once in Cancun or you can buy them separately (like, buying the Tulum to Belize once in Tulum).

      1. Thank you. I’m actually stopping off for a few days at a time at 4 towns making my way to Cay Caulker. Thanks for the info. 😎💕

        1. Hey what other 4 places are you going. I’m thinking of trying this out this week. Any recommendations on where to stay in Belize?

          1. It depends on where you want to go and the time you have available. A bit off the bus route, but Orange Walk (to see the Lamanai Ruins) is a great option. Then, after arriving at Belize City, I highly recommend going to Caye Caulker.

  2. Awesome and very detailed! Thanks!!
    I did the trek 3 or 4 yrs ago and was wondering if anything had changed on the route. I really appreciate this article! Thanks!

    Natasha

      1. Hi, I am looking to take the bus from Tulum to Belize early December. I was intending to purchase tickets at the bus station in Cancun in advance, do I have to purchase with the route starting from Cancun and jump on at Tulum, or can I purchase with route starting at Tulum? I note that it’s no longer a direct route, is it still a smooth transition route? Thank you, really helpful and informative blog thanks

        1. Hi! You can start the route at Tulum! You can take the bus from Tulum to Chetumal, and from there, take a taxi to cross the border. Once in Belize’s bus station, you can take the bus to Belize City. WHile it’s not as seamless as before with the direct bus, it’s a pretty easy border crossing.

          1. Thank you, Is it better to purchase our tickets in Cancun or is there somewhere in Tulum we can get them, also we will be taking the ferry to San Pedro, once at Belize bus station what is the best route to get to the ferry dock please.
            Thank you again
            Miss Shabnam

          2. You can purchase them in either city. Wherever it’s more convenient for you. For the ferry route, I recommend checking the schedule and fares once in Corozal, Belize, in case the information has changed lately.

  3. Hello, I will be making this trip in October 2021 (Belize City to Playa del Carmen). My hotel in Belize says that the land border between the two countries is closed due to COVID and that there is no bus service any longer. Is this true? I see that this article was written in May 2021, during the pandemic, so I am hoping my hotel concierge was mistaken.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Duke –

      The border is actually open. You can check its current status here. Regarding the ADO bus, they may not be running all the way from Cancun to Belize City (I recommend checking the ADO website), but they are at least running to the border. The worst-case scenario is getting on a “chicken bus” once you cross the border. They are more than fine to travel across Belize.

  4. Hi there really nice article and it was helpful. I’m coming from Ghana next month and I want to do Belize in a week and also do Cancun in a week. How is the boarder crossing like and what do I need to cross because after series of research I don’t need a visa to get to Belize just my passport Buh I don’t know about Cancun. Is there any advice you can give me?

      1. Hi Norbet nice article. I will be visiting belize for the Christmas holidays from Egypt with my kids and would love to visit Cancun I hear it is a fun place to visit. Any advise on going to Cancun as vistor from belize? Will we restricted by immigration from visiting cancun as Belizean visitors?

  5. Hi

    Thank you for the article. Is there any restrictions with crossing the border in to Belize with the current covid 19 situation?

  6. Hi Norbert,

    What’s the latest info concerning the ADO bus direct from Cancun to Belize City? Is it now running or not do you know?

    Dave

    1. Hi Dave, at the moment it is only running to Chetumal. From there you must cross the border and take a separate bus in Belize. Hopefully, things will change to the original route as travel bounces back.

  7. Hi Norbert –

    I’m currently in Tulum and as of yesterday the buses were not running to Belize. The attendent could not tell me when they would be up and running. The fartherst stop along the route was Chetumal.

    1. Thanks, Rachel! I believe at the moment they are running only up to Chetumal, and from there, you cross the border and hop on a local Belizean bus to Belize City.

  8. Thank you so much for all the very useful info. I hope to be travelling mid november to Belize from Cancun for 2 weeks. Fingers crossed that the covid situation gets better.

    1. Hi, Sorry for the late reply. I’m not fully aware, but I recommend checking iVisa which tells you all the visa requirements based on your nationality.

  9. Thank you for all the useful information. Can anyone tell me how many hours it takes for the return trip from Belice City to Cancun airport? I can’t really seem to find a definite answer. I will be in Cancun and Belize, end of April and early May 2022.
    Thanks again!

  10. Hello, thank you for this article! I am visiting Belize in July and would like to take the bus to Cancun, but I believe its no longer available now. Do you know if that’s true? I tried booking on the ADO website but wasn’t able to find any routes to Cancun or Chetumal. Are there any other buses that will go from Belize to Cancun?

    1. At the moment, the bus stops at Chetumal, but there’s a separate bus you can take in Belize once you cross the border. Hopefully it will go back to a single bus once travel bounces back fully.

  11. Hello Norbert and thanks for the info.
    Does the bus run from Cancun to Belize city on weekends; or is the land border closed?
    Also are small dogs in carriers permitted on the bus?

    1. The bus is currently running only until Chetumal, but the border is open to cross. Once you cross it, you can take a bus in Belize to Belize City. Hopefully, the original route will be reinstated once travel bounces back.

      Not sure about small dogs, but I recommend contacting ADO and checking the border crossing requirements for animals.

  12. Hello How are you, I would like to know crossing from Belize to cancun through ADO Bus is it need any document checking at the border, and how much is the fare.

    1. Yes, you need your required travel documents to cross the border, just like any other border crossing. Which documents you need will depend on your nationality. For the current fare, I recommend checking the ADO Bus website.

  13. Hi Norbert,
    Can you advise if the bus is running at present from Belize City through to Playa via Chetumal?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Phil, as far as I know, the trip is still split into two sections (one in each country). Unfortunately, you’ll have to change buses at the border for the time being.

  14. Hi Norbert, thank you for this detailed article! Do you know how the crossing situation is now with the taxis? I read that you need to pay a 180$ taxi from the border to Belize city and that you must show a gold standard accommodation booking.

    I also maybe wanted to try to go from Chetumal to San Pedro or Cauye, do you know if that would be possible? Thank you so much.

    1. As far as I know, you don’t have to pay for a taxi all the way to Belize City, only to Corozal, from where you can take either a bus to Belize City or a ferry to Ambergris Caye/Caye Caulker.

  15. Excellent info, interesting and fun read! Do you have any info about where to stay once in Belize City? I have heard it’s best to get out of the city as soon as possible for safety reasons. If you don’t have any info on this, is there somewhere you suggest I read to get good, current info? Thanks!

    1. I recommend not spending a lot of time in Belize City mostly because there are better places in the country where you can spend your day in. Sure, the city might be a bit more dangerous. I would head to Caye Caulker, San Pedro, or San Ignacio, to name a few. Unfortunately, I currently don’t have up-to-date hotel info. I’m currently working on that.

  16. Update from travel on 27-12-2022, traveling from Playa del Carmen, 2 people (myself and wife) to Caye Caulker via the Belize City ferry.

    I took the 0740 ADO bus from Playa (first bus of the day). This got into Chetumal at 1250 (one hour ahead of Belize time). I got a taxi to the border from the taxi rank immediately outside bus station, taxi driver said it would be 400 pesos and I didn’t negotiate as I was in a hurry and the price wasn’t unreasonable (sources said to expect 200-400 peso charge). That took about 15-20 minutes to drive to the border.

    At the border I exited Mexico in only about 15 minutes of a short queue, and it is then about a 1km drive to enter Belize. There is a lot of activity around the building where you exit Mexico (taxi drivers wait whilst you enter Mexico then drive you to the Belize building), with a lot of taxi and shuttle drivers in the area. A taxi driver offered to drive us to Belize City for US $125, and would not do it for $100, instead agreeing to $25 to go to Corozal bus station. A shuttle driver then offered to go to Belize City ferry terminal for US $45 per person which I happily agreed to. There was also another shuttle driver we were discussing the journey with, but his shuttle was full. We got to Belize City in plenty of time to catch the 1630 ferry, and there were only 4 passengers in the shuttle.

    If I hadn’t been able to sort anything at the border, the plan was taxi to Corozal and then get 2pm chicken bus to Belize City, which would have cost US $6 per person and due to arrive at 1700-1715. I didn’t think we would make the last ferry (1730) doing this, but there would have been a chance. We would have stayed in Belize City if we missed the ferry.

    Some points to note: (1) There were no bag searches (2) There was no request for proof of onward travel or accommodation booking or evidence of funds (3) Belize no longer requires COVID travel insurance (4) You will need printed evidence of having paid Mexico’s entry fee, else have to pay it again (it didn’t apply to us, but lots of reports that electronic evidence alone is not sufficient) (5) There were no charges at all to be paid to either Mexico or Belize officials – but there will be a Belize exit fee when we leave (6) I didn’t see any money changers, but one of the other passengers mentioned that he changed pesos into Belize money – I was far more concerned about sorting onward travel so changing money wasn’t a priority for me.

    Based on my experience, I think you would have a good chance of getting a reasonably priced shuttle just turning up at the border without anything booked, but you couldn’t absolutely guarantee it. I think this is a great option, as the van was very comfortable, and avoided a taxi ride to Corozal, the bus, and also a walk or taxi from bus station to ferry (about 1.2km).

    1. Thank you so much, Kevin! Appreciate your update and am glad you were able to make the trip across the border and all the way to Caye Caulker without much hassle.

  17. The ADO Bus stopped crossing the border into Belize during Covid (while the border was closed) and as far as I can find out service has not resumed as of Jan.’23. We had to take a Belize taxi to the border, walk across to a Mexican taxi that took us to the Chetumal ADO stn. The reverse can be done when going to Belize but take a taxi to the Corozal bus stn where a ‘chicken bus’ will take you to Belize City.

  18. Good read, Thanks for putting it together. ADO use to have a direct overnight bus from Cancun to Belize City – is it no longer in operation as of Nov 2023?

  19. As of Jan 2024 there is only ONE bus ride available from
    Cancun to BZ city leaving 6.10am. No return available. I wonder what they do with the company buses once they reach Belize..

    1. That is correct. Only one bus per day from Cancun to Belize. They are for sure selling tickets for the ride up (Belize to Cancun), but for whatever reason they are not selling them online at the moment. That one you might need to buy in person.