Bus from Cancun to Belize City
Mexico’s Autotransportes De Oriente (ADO) provides daily express bus service from Merida and Cancun to Belize City. The cost is Mexican Pesos $576., or about U.S. $39. as of December 2014.
The most popular run with tourists is the Cancun to Belize run. The bus departs Cancun at 10:15pm, arrives at Playa el Carmen at 11:40pm, then on Tulum where it arrives at 12:45am, then on to Belize City where it arrives at 6:30am at the Belize Bus Terminal.
The return bus departs Belize City at 8:30am, and arrives at the Cancun bus terminal at 8:30am. This service was introduced in late 2011 has become popular with travelers who use Cancun as an air hub into and out of Belize to achieve substantial savings over the regular air fares on flights originating in North America.
The bus runs connect to Cancun, Merida and points in between including Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. Merida is not only a major commercial and tourist destination, but also has several tertiary medical care centers used by Belizeans.
At this time ADO does not have a terminal or permanent presence in Belize. We receive many inquiries on how to book online. At this time, this is not possible. Your best bet is to arrive at the Cancun or Belize City bus terminal at least one hour in advance and purchase your ticket from the ADO agent. A traveler who did a recent trip describes her experience on the ADO bus to Belize:
“Here are the details. The representative arrives each evening at the Belize City bus station from 5 to 7 pm only. When I arrived at 4.15, another gringo couple was there too. You can buy tickets up to 7 days in advance at this kiosk during this time period.
“At about 5.15, the rep showed up and about 8 people scurried in front of me on line. The process is very slow and very manual. If you are there first, I suggest you line up at the kiosk before 5 pm to make sure you are first to be ticketed. It takes about 10 minutes for each ticket to be processed and you get an assigned seat. But 6.15pm, I had my ticket. You pay BZ $10. at the counter and the rest of your fare (mine was another $69, Tulum and Playa are cheaper) when you cross over the Mexican border.”
You need to be ready to board 15 minutes before you bus leaves.
This Belize Mexico bus schedule will be updated on a regular basis. Belizean and expat travelers using the service are encouraged to post their comments and any updates they may come across. Your input is highly appreciated.
Passengers MUST present valid passports before boarding bus.
Added this update from Barbara a U.S. immigrant working in Belize:
For my Dec 3 – 4 overnight trip, there was a sign on the kiosk saying you should buy your ticket at a shop in the station; it seems to be open all day. I bought my ticket about 3:30 in the afternoon, so you do nott need to wait until the evening. I also later learned I could have bought the ticket at a shop at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi terminal (the two shops are run by brothers). I paid for the ticket the day before I was to travel and on the evening of travel needed to trade in the voucher for the actual ticket. Note that in Belize City, you are only paying for the portion of your ticket that takes you to the Belize/Mexico border (BZ$19); you purchase the remaining part of the ticket (~BZ$81 to Cancun) just across the border.
Just FYI, not a lot of snooze time on this trip! Between about 10:30 pm & 1:30 am, there were 4 different stops with a lot of waiting in line: 1. Exiting Belize (where non-Belizeans pay BZ$37.50); 2. Entering Mexico (where you will fill out a form & be given a card to keep with your passport til you leave the country); 3. Mexican customs; 4. Purchasing the remaining portion of your ADO bus ticket (have cash available—USD, BZ$, & Mexican pesos were all accepted, even a combination of currencies). There is a pharmacy right next door to where we paid for the tickets which was open when we were there and also sold snacks.
ADO Bus tickets can be purchased in Belize:
– Belize City: 636-5256, 669-9683
– Orange Walk: San Francisco Restaurant, Tel: 302-2240 and Cell Phone: 624-8200