This could also be titled “Frustration in Belize”. I get asked many times in my position in sales for a development “Can I move to Belize without a vehicle? The duty seems so high.” OR… “What is the best type of vehicle to bring/buy in Belize?” These are such loaded questions I don’t know where to start. I have thought about them both and I still don’t have an answer and you will get a different answer from just about anyone you talk to here. The easy answers after looking around and being the observant person I am is “Maybe, but probably not depending on where you live” and “Toyota truck”.
Where do you go from here? Yes, the roads are not great. The speed bumps/sleeping policeman/topes will tear the undercarriage out of any vehicle if you are not prepared for them. But they are nothing compared to the roads that are away from high public use. Some of those are in the cities. Especially during rainy season, before election time or when they are doing construction. Try and time those three. haha
So, if you would like to NOT bring a vehicle… live in a major city. The bus system is pretty good here. It is not New York City good, but it is pretty reliable. Even here in the Cayo, if you want to take care of business in San Ignacio you can get around by walking and cheap taxis. But maybe you want to go to Benque or Spanish Lookout. No problem. In fact if you want to do an overnight to Placencia you can take a bus to Belmopan on the Western Highway and then get a connection to Placencia down the Hummingbird Highway. A friend recently did the Placencia to Belmopan Express and said she had a modern bus with her own seat and with only a couple of stops. Normally in Belize be prepared to be on what we affectionately call the “Chicken Bus”. These are essentially retired US school buses that carry just about anything and seem to arbitrarily stop for people on the side of the road. They are far more sophisticated than the system in Nicaragua, however. BTW, the San Ignacio to Spanish Lookout and back bus is only a few dollars and you can shop in the Mennonite village for basic needs and back once a week for much less than driving a vehicle. Combine that with the Farmer’s Market and you can go without a car. That said, you are living in TOWN!
Okay this is turning into a much longer diatribe than I expected. I will continue about the vehicle of choice on my next installment.