Driving in Belize

Visitors planning to drive in Belize will need to be 18 years or older and have a valid driver license or international driving permit in order to rent a car and/or drive around legally.  If you have a US driver license do not worry, it is a valid driver license in Belize.  However, if you are planning to stay in Belize over an extended period of time, then it is expected that you eventually get a Belizean driver license.

White Driving in Belize here are some Common Road Rules to Follow

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road

  • Wear seatbelts - drivers and passengers

  • Observe speed limits: 55 mph on highways and 25 mph in cities and towns

  • Cell phones: It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless it is a hands-free device

  • Alcohol: The BAC is 80mg in Belize

  • Car seats: Car seats are not required by law in Belize

  • You can make a CAUTIOUS right-hand turn on a red light

  • Left-hand turns on the highway, as per regulation, requires the driver to indicate a left-hand turn then pull on to the right-hand shoulder of the road until traffic is clear both ways in order to complete the left-hand turn. However, keep an eye out on these turns as most drivers in Belize tend to disregard the regulations

  • Fuel: Unleaded gas is widely available at $5.06 a gallon, while Premium is $5.96, and Diesel is priced at $4.81 a gallon

  • Checkpoints: There are police checkpoints located throughout the country, where drivers will be asked to show their driver's license, and the officer will check the windshield license sticker of the vehicle

  • On-the-spot fines: On-the-spot fines do not exist in Belize. Instead, if you are guilty of violating the law while driving, you're given a penalty notice by the police officer, which will detail next steps for payment

  • In case of emergency: Call 911 for the police, fire, or ambulance, in case of emergency

  • Northern Highway (Phillip Goldson Highway): This is one of the better highways in Belize and the two-lane 85-mile highway from Belize is in good condition, leading from Belize City to Corozal Town.

  • Hummingbird Highway: This highway in Belize is one of the most beautiful roads in the entire world and stretches for 56 miles through some of the country's most breathtaking natural wilderness (including the Belize Blue Hole, located inland.) It was resurfaced in 2018, so it's in good condition, and is a must-visit for travelers.

  • Old Northern Highway: This 41-mile road leads to the Altun Ha Maya Temple, and the highway south of Maskal Village is in better condition than the road to the north. The highway has many potholes, however, and many sections are narrow, but the condition of the road is fair.

  • Coastal Highway: Also known as Manatee Highway or the Shortcut, the Coastal Highway links La Democracia with the Stann Creek Valley Road. The 36-mile gravel road isn't as pretty as Hummingbird Highway, and is subject to dust in the dry season, so the conditions are more challenging for drivers.

  • Western Highway (George Price Highway): Though the 77-mile road from Belize City to Hattieville has the largest concentration of traffic bumps in Belize, it is in fairly good condition. It also boasts a plethora of roadside attractions, including bars, restaurants, and (highly recommended) lodges.

  • Southern Highway: The condition of the Southern Highway is very good, and offers scenic views of the Maya Mountains.

  • Auto liability insurance is mandatory in Belize, and nearly all rentals include basic liability coverage in the rental rate. However, other damage to the car, such as from hitting a tree or stolen car, is not covered by basic liability insurance. Check before you come down if your insurance covers rentals in Belize. If your insurance does not cover, you can make the decision to get insurance or not.

  • There are numerous car rental agencies just across the parking lot at Philip Goldson Airport in Belize (about a 50 yard walk once you exit the airport

  • There are several car companies you would be familiar with such as Hertz and Budget but I recommend Crystal Auto Rental.

    • Crystal Auto Rental generally has much lower prices than the "American" rental companies​

    • Variety of cars available

    • Note- You won't find them on Expedia or other online standard travel sites, check link below

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  • All the roads in Belize, even the highways are simple two lane roads

  • Traffic will be sparse

  • When you driving you may come across farm vehicles or other slow moving vehicles. They will often slow down and pull slightly off the road which is a sign you can pass. Pass slowly and with caution

  • Villages or other areas are designated with 'Speed Bumps' marking the beginning and the end of the village (these are referred to as "sleeping policemen." Signs will warn you a speed bump is coming up and there are MANY speed bumps. Some of them are quite large and you will want to go over them SLOWLY. Also use caution in the areas between the bumps

  • People are frequently walking, riding bicycles or scooters along the roads. Be very cautious of this

  • DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT! The roads are not lit and people are constantly walking along the roads. Do not plan to drive at night

  • Larger towns or areas where roads diverge will be marked with a roundabout

  • The police frequently have "Checkpoints" where they may check your license or paperwork. They are not particularly interested in tourists so be courteous, answer their questions, and produce whatever they ask for (likely they will ask where you are going and tell you to have fun and be safe)

  • If you are driving from the airport to Lazy Palm Suites, it will take about 3.5 hours. You have time to stop at the Belize Zoo if you arrived around or before 1:00 and I highly recommend this quick stop. The Hummingbird Highway is one of the prettiest roads with the most interesting scenery I have ever been on. During high season there may be local vendors selling fruit, juice or food along the road- often at the speed bumps. Do not hesitate to stop and get some fruit or a snack! You do not need to be "afraid" to drive in this country but do drive cautiously and respectfully and you will enjoy the drive!

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Bumps may be huge and well marked

Or small and almost invisible

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Views of Hummingbird Highway

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Road Conditions in Belize

Renting a Car

Things to Know Before Driving