Belize’s La Ruta Maya is a canoe race that begins under San Ignacio’s Hawksworth Bridge. Three-person teams competitively paddle over four days and 180 miles to be the first to cross the finish line at Belize City’s Belcan Bridge.
The event began in 1995, intended as a charity stunt with all proceeds going toward restoring the Belize River. Since then, it has metamorphosed into a massive international competition that draws hundreds of teams. There are multiple categories for winning teams: all-male; all-female; mixed; all from a single family; dory; intramural; pleasure craft teams and “Masters,” consisting of teams of 40+-year-old competitors.
Generally speaking, the race starts the first week of March each year. It has been so helpful to Belize’s tourism industry that its beginning overlaps with other nautical events on Baron Bliss Day, a national holiday.
While spectators are free to cheer along any stretch of the 180 mile race, many choose to cheer along each day’s checkpoint. San Ignacio, where the race begins, and its twin town of Santa Elena comprise the second-largest metropolitan area in Belize. This means that visitors will have plenty of ways to get around the country. Additionally, the end of each day’s race involves the competitors coming ashore to enjoy the local festivities of three different host villages.
If you have ever wanted to experience authentic Belizean cuisine; try the rice and beans with stew chicken, ceviche, and cochinita pibil or savor an ice-cold Beliken beer or a glass of Craboo wine…these are just a few reasons to visit Belize and bask in the energies of La Ruta Maya.
If this event sounds like something you would love to see for yourself, you will need some transportation to get around. To that end, consider renting a vehicle from Tour Belize Auto Rental. We have two offices: one within the Belize International Airport and the other in Belize City. You can rent a car and have the freedom to explore the Belizean countryside with a vehicle equipped for off-road traveling.
Belize is filled with breathtaking scenery at every turn. Driving allows you to savor all of this at your own pace. A drive down the Hummingbird Highway is a scenic outing that shouldn’t be rushed. The winding highways that lead to the borders of Guatemala and Mexico are lined with unforgettable sights. A car lets you stop and take pictures, watch wildlife and birds, or just enjoy and unwind on your own schedule.
2. It’s Easy to Drive in Belize.
You don’t have to worry about getting used to driving in Belize. You drive on the right. Belize uses miles instead of kilometers, and gas is sold in gallons. All we ask is that you observe the speed limit, which is usually under 55 mph. In bad weather or on unpaved roads, you’ll need to go even slower. Enjoy the slow, easy pace of life that makes Belize special.
3. Go More Places.
Belize is a small country, but even so, getting from one end of it to the other can take some time. What if you want to see it all? You could make plans to take buses, local airlines, taxis or water taxis. Those fares start to add up, especially if you’re in a group. Take control of your travel costs with your own, convenient transportation.
4. Design Your Own Itinerary.
Belize is packed with things to do. You might want to spend one day hiking, zip-lining or taking a wild river ride. The next day, you might be in the mood to learn more about Belize‘s rich, fascinating history. Maybe you want to pack the kids into the car and go the zoo in the morning and the beach in the afternoon. With a car, you can fit it all in.
5. Tour Belize Auto Rental
When you rent a car from Tour Belize Auto Rental, you get more than just a comfortable car that’s perfect for your Belize adventures. You get free pickup and drop-off at the airport, bus stops, water taxi marinas and select hotels. You’ll enjoy driving our spacious, rugged SUVs and crossovers.
Make your Belize adventure truly unforgettable with a rental car from Tour Belize Auto Rental.
In short, the answer is a resounding yes. Anyone with a valid driver’s license in their home country can rent a car in Belize, and the rules of the road are almost identical to those in the United States. In fact, Belize and the United States are the last two countries on the planet where distances are still measured in miles.
Driving in Belize is fairly straightforward. Drivers drive on the right-hand side of the road, and all road signs are in English. Except for gasoline being a bit more expensive (around $5/gallon), the only major difference about driving in Belize is that, traditionally, drivers use a right-hand turn signal when they want to turn left. The practice is to pull over to the right to wait for oncoming traffic to clear before making a left-hand turn.
The country has four national highways, and these Belize highways are two-land roadways that are completely paved and upgraded to modern standards. Other than that, most Belize roads are either dirt or gravel and may require rugged, four-wheel drive vehicles to traverse, especially following periods of rain. The four national highways connect all the major urban areas together, including the Mexican border south to Belize City, Belize City to Belmopan, San Ignacio, and the border with Guatemala, and Belmopan to Dangriga and south to Punta Gorda.
There are no traffic lights in Belize, even in the biggest cities. Instead, all residential areas rely on speed bumps, affectionally known as sleeping policemen. As some speed bumps are poorly marked and can be quite large, drivers are warned to slow down when entering built-up areas. Highway speeds are 55 miles per hour maximum and up to 40 miles per hour in urban areas.
Drivers in Belize can expect police road checks, but unlike in other neighboring countries, visitors will not be pressured to pay off phony offenses. As long as your driver’s license and registration papers are in order, you’ll be good to go. Be aware that hitchhiking in Belize is illegal and that every person in the car will be arrested if narcotics or other illegal contraband is found.
If you’re ready to explore the highways and byways of Belize for yourself, be sure to rent your vehicle from Tour Belize Auto Rental, a locally-owned company with two convenient locations in downtown Belize City and at the international terminal of the Philip Goldson Airport.
Looking for a car rental in Belize? The good news is that you have a lot of choices. But finding the best car rental in Belize can be difficult as you’ll have to compare and contrast each company’s daily rates, customer service, fees, and pickup and return policies.
Instead of getting a headache as you try to find which car rental company in Belize to choose, trust Tour Belize Auto Rental. With very competitive prices and an intuitive online booking system, Tour Belize makes it very easy to rent a car in Belize City or anywhere else in the country. Indeed, you can drop off your rental vehicle or have a car delivered to any destination in Belize, including Corozal, Orange Walk, Belmopan, Dangriga, Hopkins, San Ignacio, and Placencia.
Tour Belize Auto Rental has two convenient locations in the country, one in downtown Belize City and one at the international terminal of the Philip S.W. Goldson Airport. Tour Belize Auto Rental has a large fleet of modern, rugged vehicles perfectly suited for exploring the landscape of Belize, including Jeep Renegades, Nissan Armadas, Kia Sorentos, and Nissan X-Terras. In addition, Tour Belize Auto Rental also rents Nissan Frontier pickup trucks.
Tour Belize Auto Rental offers unlimited mileage with every rental. Since 1993, Tour Belize Auto Rental has been providing reliable, well-maintained, modern vehicles to visitors who want the freedom to explore the natural beauty and exciting attractions in Belize, including national parks, ancient Maya ruins, wilderness sanctuaries, and traditional villages.
Vehicle rentals start at just $65 US per day. Reservations can easily be made ahead of time using Tour Belize’s online booking system. Once confirmed, all you’ll need to do is pick up your vehicle to begin enjoying the sights and sounds of Belize.
Belize is a relatively small country with a national network of four paved highways, making it very easy to get to just about any destination in around three hours or less. Signs are all posted in English, and the rules of the road are almost identical to those in the United States, making it very easy for Americans to get around. If you’re a tourist and you have a valid driver’s license in your home country, that’s all you’ll need to drive a car in Belize!
Roads and Highways in Belize
Belize is a rather small country, but a modern network of highways and roads make it easy to get to just about any destination in three hours or less. The main roads and highways are paved and in excellent conditions, but some smaller roads and paths are unpaved.
Belize has four major highways that connect all of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country.
- The Philip Goldson Highway – Commonly referred to as the Northern Highway, this highway connects Belize City to the northern Corozal District and the border with Mexico. This highway passes through Orange Walk Town and Corozal Town before terminating at the Rio Hondo border crossing.
- The George Price Highway – Commonly referred to as the Western Highway, this highway connects Belize City towards major points in the center and western part of the country, terminating at the Guatemalan border.
The highway passes through Hattieville Village, Belmopan, San Ignacio, and terminates at the Benque Viejo del Carmen border crossing.
- The Hummingbird Highway – This highway connects the capital of Belmopan with the southeastern coast of Belize. The highway terminates in downtown Dangriga in Stann Creek District.
- The Southern Highway – This highway connects Dangriga to all major points in the southern part of the country. The Southern Highway begins in Dangriga and passes through Hopkins Village, Riversdale, Seine Bight, Placencia, Monkey River Town, Silver Creek, Blue Creek, Barranco, Crique Sarco, and Punta Gorda before terminating five miles south of Punta Gorda in Toledo District.
There is also a road in Belize called the Coastal Highway or the Manatee Highway that connects the George Price Highway west of Belize City with parts of Stann Creek District near Dangriga, but this is not a paved road, and many sections are in very rough condition. The slower driving speeds do not compensate for the shorter distance between Belize City and the southeastern coast, so drivers are recommended to use the Hummingbird Highway.
Belize has an additional 1,000 miles of smaller roads and byways, but these can be very difficult to negotiate in periods of adverse weather and require a rugged four-wheel drive vehicle.
Tour Belize Auto Rental has a complete fleet of modern, well-maintained vehicles for rent for travelers that are perfect for driving on the roads and highways in Belize. Tour Belize has two convenient locations in the country, one at the international terminal of the Philip Goldson Airport and one in downtown Belize City.