Transport in Belize

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This article is about transport in Belize .

Public transport

Most Belizeans travel the country using public buses as their primary form of transportation. In the larger towns and cities, such as Belize City or Belmopan, there are bus terminals. In smaller places, there are bus stops. However, the most common way of catching a bus is by flagging it down on the road. On the Northern and George Price Highways, bus service is more frequent than on smaller highways and other roads. In some locations, like small towns, buses may run only once a day. Buses are classified as either Regular runs (usual prices) or Express runs (faster, for slightly higher prices). Some Belizeans prefer riding bikes due to traffic, or the time of day. Many buses are Greyhounds or school buses, although newer express buses travel the two main highways.


A new zoning system was implemented on Sunday, October 19, 2008. [1] Accordingly, the country is divided into zones: Northern (highway/rural), Southern (highway/rural), Western (highway/rural). Bus providers are restricted to assigned zones:

The major national bus lines are James, WestLine and BBOC.


Belize has four major asphalt-paved two-lane roads: the Hummingbird Highway, Southern Highway, George Price Highway, and Philip Goldson Highway. Most other roads are unpaved, rough and in poor condition. A 9-mile (14 km) stretch of the Southern Highway near Big Falls is unpaved as well. Traffic changed to driving on the right-hand side of the road on 1 October 1961. [2]


Merchant marine

Belize is often considered a flag of convenience.



With paved runways

With unpaved runways

Commercial Aviation in Belize

As of 2008, an estimated[ vague ] 44 airports and airstrips were in operation. The international airport is Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, 9 miles north of Belize City. Currently, the international airport is served by several international and local carriers. A runway expansion program set to be completed in 2007

may allow larger aircraft to land and may encourage new direct or nonstop service from Europe and Canada. There is a smaller airport with local service in Belize City itself.

Two airlines, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air, provide service within the country. Both airlines have service originating both the main airport (Philip S. W. Goldson), and Belize City Municipal Airport in the city. From here they serve San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Dangriga, Placencia, Punta Gorda, and to Flores in Guatemala, and one airline serves Savannah at Big Creek. There is also service from San Pedro to Sarteneja and to Corozal Town. The local airlines generally fly small single-engine equipment, such as the Cessna Caravan.


Belize has no railways. Dismantled lines include the Stann Creek Railway that linked Dangriga and Middlesex Estate; it was abandoned in 1937. Some of its bridges remain along the Hummingbird Highway.

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The Belize Defence Force (BDF) is the military of Belize, and is responsible for protecting the sovereignty of the country. The BDF is under the Ministry of National Security, which is currently headed by Hon. Michael Peyrefitte; the BDF itself is commanded by Brigadier General Steven Ortega. In 2012, the Belizean government spent about $17 million on the military, constituting 1.08% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

Belize City Largest city in Belize

Belize City is the largest city in Belize and was once the capital of the former British Honduras. According to the 2010 census, Belize City has a population of 57,169 people in 16,162 households. It is at the mouth of the Haulover Creek, which is a distributary of the Belize River. The Belize River empties into the Caribbean Sea five miles from Belize City on the Philip Goldson Highway on the coast of the Caribbean. The city is the country's principal port and its financial and industrial hub. Cruise ships drop anchor outside the port and are tendered by local citizens. The city was almost entirely destroyed in 1961 when Hurricane Hattie swept ashore on October 31. It was the capital of British Honduras until the government was moved to the new capital of Belmopan in 1970.

Ladyville Village in Belize District, Belize

Ladyville is the largest village in the country of Belize, eight miles northwest of Belize City in the Belize District. The Philip Goldson Highway connects Ladyville to Belize City.

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport is an airport that serves the nation of Belize's largest city, Belize City along the eastern coast of Central America. It was named after politician Philip S. W. Goldson, who died in 2001. The airport is about 30 minutes drive from Belize City's centre, in Ladyville. The airport is at an elevation of 5 m (16 ft), which means both the airport and the entirety of Belize City are at risk of serious flooding due to its low elevation and coastal location. For this reason, Belize's capital has been moved to Belmopan, but it remains the largest and busiest in the country. With stable passenger growth, Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport is currently the seventh busiest airport in Central America.

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Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson was a Belizean newspaper editor, activist and politician. He served in the House of Representatives of Belize as member for the Albert constituency from 1965 to 1998 and twice as a minister. Goldson was a founding member of both of Belize's current major political parties, the People's United Party (PUP) in the 1950s and the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the 1970s. He was also the leading spokesman of the hardline anti-Guatemalan territorial claims National Alliance for Belizean Rights party in the 1990s.

The road network in Belize consists of over 1,900 miles (3,000 km) of roads, of which approximately 357 miles (575 km) is paved.

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National Transportation Services Limited is a national transport carrier serving all major districts of Belize. Established in January 2006 following the collapse of the former Novelo's Bus Lines Limited, the reigning monopoly company in Belizean transportation, the NTSL is run by the former owners of that company, David and Antonio Novelo, on much the same permits as the original Novelo's.However this company too has failed like its predecessor. In 2010 to 2011 a massive void was dented into the transport system for Belize when the company went into bankruptcy.

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Belize–Guatemala border international border

The Belize–Guatemala border is an almost straight line 266 km (165 mi) long, close to the 89th meridian west, which separates the west of Belize's territory from Guatemala's.


  1. New Bus Transport System [ permanent dead link ], press release, Belmopan, October 17, 2008.
  2. The Rule of the Road: An International Guide to History and Practice, Peter Kincaid, Greenwood Press, 1986, page 50

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website .