Flying to San Pedro is a real time saver and the cost isn’t much greater than taking a sea ferry. Flying Maya Island Air to San Pedro is one of 2 options. It’s about a 15 minute flight compared to a 90 minute ferry ride. If you’re prone to seasickness, this is the perfect option.
Going directly to San Pedro
If you’re going directly to San Pedro, you’ll by flying to Belize International Airport (officially Phillip Goldson International but I’ll refer to it at Belize International). After going through immigration and collecting your bags, you’ll come right out into the check in counters. From here, you can check in for your flight and go back through security to the departures hall.
There are 2 main inter-Belize airlines. Maya Island and Tropic Air. Both are close in terms of pricing but Maya costs a bit less so I went with them. However, on my return flight from San Pedro, Maya Island was about 40 mins delayed while the Tropic Air flights were on time. That could have been an exception to the rule but it certainly needs to be stated. If you’re like me and worry about missing your flight, it isn’t the best way to start a travel day.
If you’re going to San Pedro after some time elsewhere, you’ll be dropped off in front of the departures hall and check in from there. There really isn’t a difference where you get dropped off since it’s just one building.
If you’re going to one of the islands, you can take a water taxi or fly. The water taxi might be SLIGHTLY cheaper but you do have to get there from the airport and then the boat ride over is around 90 mins. The flight is about 15 mins. My total for the round trip airfare with taxes and everything was $140 USD. If you prefer to take the water taxi, you’ll have to take into the account the cost of the taxi from the airport to the water terminal as well as the time needed. When you consider the time and money it takes to get to the water taxi, I don’t think flying is really that much more expensive.
Belize International Departures Hall
The departures hall at Belize International is fairly small, so they have limited security checkpoints. Getting through security might be a pain if you’re here when other flights are departing. It’s basically a long room with gates on one side and restaurants and souvenir shops on the other.
Maya Island and Tropic Air have their gates next to each other and are at the far end of the departures hall. It’ll be far less crowded on this end of the hall vs. the gates that board United, American, or Southwest flights. However, if there are any announcements, you’ll want to make sure you’re within eyesight of the gate attendant. I don’t know why but it seemed like certain people couldn’t hear their names being called even though the announcement was make multiple times and the couple was sitting at a table 20 feet away.
I made it on an earlier flight so it worked out really well. It seemed like both Maya and Tropic Air were allowing passengers to fly standby on an earlier fight if space were available.
The flight went from Belize International to Belize Municipal airport (which was literally a 2 minute flight) and from there, it was a 15 min flight to San Pedro Island.
Flying may not be for everyone depending on the number of people. If you get sea sick, are pressed for time, or if the math works, you might consider flying if you’re coming to San Pedro Island.