I know a little bit about that.
The ADO buses are first class with 44 comfortable seats, video, toilet and air conditioning that seems to have only two settings, off and freeze, so dress warmly. These buses do not go to Chetumal in either direction.
If you're staying in Cancun, you might want to buy your ticket 1 day before your travel date to ensure a seat (also allows you to have a better choice of seat -- I prefer the front for the view, and to be away from the toilet).
In Belize City, buses use the Belize City bus terminal (commonly known as Novelo’s) located on West Collet Canal.
On the Cancún route, stops include Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Corozal and Orange Walk. On the Belize City to Cancún run, the bus stops at Cancún airport, but on the Cancún to Belize City run, there is no stop at Cancún airport.
Cancún to Belize City
Departs from ADO terminal daily at 7:30 am and 10:15 pm with stops at Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Corozal and Orange Walk.
Fare to BC: MX$840 (March 2017)
Trip time: 8.5 hours
Belize City to Cancún
Departs from BC bus terminal daily at 11:00 am and 7:30 pm with stops at Orange Walk, Corozal, Bacalar, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancún Airport.
Fare: BZ$19 is paid at BC, and the remainder of the fare is paid at Bacalar (March 2017)
For an update of the fare, check the Cancun to BC schedule on the website (the BC to Cancun route does not show for me)...
Note 1: MX$ is Mexican pesos. On the Mexican bus websites, just the dollar sign is used to represent pesos.
Note 2: ADO express buses have very good air-conditioning; dress warmly.
Telephone numbers for information & ticket sales in Belize:
Belize City: 636-5256, 669-9683
Orange Walk: 624-8200, 302-2240
Corozal: the MCD Art Shop (opposite bus terminal) opens at 8:30 pm to sell tickets; tel: 663-3014.
If dialing from outside Belize, the country code for Belize is 501.
How's that?Edited: 13 March 2017, 17:37
About the border crossing...
The bus stops for Mexican Immigration where you hand in your half of the FMM Immigration form (the form you filled out when you entered Mexico, and kept half), and get your passport stamped. Immigration will also ask you for money -- about 500 pesos. If you have already paid the Mexican Tourism Tax as part of an airline fare, you don't need to pay again at the border, but Immigration will insist. If you have your airline ticket receipt, you may be able to avoid the extortion.
Then the bus stops at Belizean Immigration & Customs -- nothing to pay.
On the way back, the fees to get out of Belize amount to BZ$40 (or US$20).
When you re-enter Mexico, you will get a new FMM form to fill out. Immigration will keep half, and you keep the other half which will be handed back when you leave Mexico. There is a fee associated with the FMM (about 500 pesos) and it can be paid at Cancun airport before you check-in.
If you flew to Mexico with Thomson, the fees you pay at the airport are closer to 1100 to 1200 pesos because Thomson does not include the fees with the airline ticket price.
Can't help with a hotel in Cancun -- I prefer Playa del Carmen.
Awesome reply! Thanks so much.
Thanks so much for that well thought out reply!
We are headed to Caye Caulker from Cancun in 2 weeks and have been worrying that we wont be able to get our tickets in time to catch the night bus as we don't fly in until almost 5pm, so it is nice to know there is a chance of getting a seat on the morning bus at least!
Question about that; Does the day trip get us to BC in time to catch a ferry ride to Caye Caulker?
Alternatively, how difficult is it to catch a boat to Caye Caulker from the north? Chetumal or...? The only info I found is Belize Express but they seem to go only every second day which still costs us a day on the Caye.
The ADO day run should arrive in BC around 4pm. That gives you 1.5 hours to get one of the last water taxis (2 companies) at 5:30pm -- should be plenty of time because the water taxi terminals are only 1 km from the bus terminal.
Links to the two services...
In Belize City, this service operates from the Brown Sugar Market at 111 North Front Street, a few hundred metres from the Swing Bridge.
In Belize City, this service operates from a terminal on North Front Street beside the Swing Bridge.
For the Chetumal option, the Cancun to BC bus does not go to Chetumal, but there are several Cancun to Chetumal runs per day.
Two separate water taxi companies provide service from Chetumal. They operate on alternate days so there is always a boat every day. Boats leave Chetumal at 3pm, so you won't be able to do the whole trip on the day you land -- you'll have to overnight somewhere.
Here are the water taxi companies...
a) San Pedro Water Jets International:
b) San Pedro – Belize Express:
Both services go from Chetumal to Ambergris Caye, then continue to Caye Caulker.
More transportation info here...
Thank you so much for being so helpful.
We are hoping to catch that overnight bus to avoid paying to stay somewhere but if we miss it, any accommodation recommendations in Cancun or nearby, in case we have to go with either 7:30am out of Cancun or 3pm out of Chetumal?
Also, I notice that the water taxi we would need has its website under construction. Do you know if they require booking in advance or can one just show up and book for that day? They aren't showing their dates right now but the other site shows that they travel on the days that don't work from us. We're aiming to get to Caulker on March 29th as we already booked and paid for accommodation there for 3 nights.
After that we'll be renting a car for a week to go see the inland sites and then bussing to Placencia to spend our last few days.
I hear Crystal is good for car rental, thoughts?
We haven't booked a car nor accommodations beyond that. Do you think we can play it by ear once we're there?
I can't help with the accommodation question, but I've read other reports of good hotels near the Cancun bus terminal. I usually stay at Playa del Carmen. I know several hotels in Chetumal if you want to stay there (maybe head to Chetumal as soon as possible after arriving). Try posting on the Cancun branch of the forum.
I also see that the website for Water Jets is down, but there is an email address so you can contact them.
Booking a water taxi in advance is not normally necessary, but it depends on your travel date, for example, it might be busier around Easter, or you might get unlucky and encounter a large group. You should be OK if you just show up and buy a ticket.
I've heard only positive comments about Crystal.
You should be able to play it by ear in Belize, but remember it will get busier the closer it gets to Easter.Edited: 13 March 2017, 22:31
Yes, there are 2 runs per day now. The last time I checked, the buses departed from BC at 11:00 am and 7:30 pm.
Another traveller has reported that the departure time for the overnight bus has changed from 7:30 to 9pm. I'm trying to find out if this is correct, so maybe you could ask and let me know.
Thanks a lot. Do you know if I can find information about those departures online?