Night Bus from Belize City to Cancun Mexico

Daily Departures to Cancun!

ADO has a night bus from Belize City to Cancun, Mexico, with stops along the way in Tulum and Playa Del Carmen.  Unfortunately information on this bus service is limited and (sometimes) contradictory.  Even the website that ADO publishes for information is a dead end.  (www.adobelize.com)

We asked several tour operators on Caye Caulker and received different information from each on departure times, cost, and duration of the trip.  The only thing they agreed on was that they couldn’t sell us tickets

Hopefully this post will help future travelers take advantage of this great trip option, while minimizing hassle and stress.

Night Bus from Belize City to Cancun Mexico

Bus Station

Buses depart from Novelo’s Bus Terminal in downtown Belize City at 7:30 PM.

Tickets go on sale at 5:30 PM or so.  The line to buy tickets can be long, and if tickets sell out you have to wait until tomorrow, so it is best to arrive a little before 5:30.  One travel agent in Caye Caulker told us they were on sale starting at 2.  When we arrived at the ferry terminal in Belize City just after lunch, one taxi driver told us tickets went on sale at 3.  But then he wanted to make sure we gave him the fare.  Clearly he was a bit of a jerk

The neighborhood around the bus station is 100% sketchy.  The neighborhood seems to be a collection of drug addicts and alcoholics, many on the hunt for money for their next fix.  We were asked no less than 100 times for money, repeatedly and aggressively.  People were drunk enough to fall down when walking on level ground at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Sunday.  One nice gentlemen tried to start a conversation with my wife by saying, “You can be my bitch if you want.”

Unless this is your idea of a good time, I would time arrival at the bus station for no earlier than 5 PM.  If you do happen to arrive earlier, or want some take-out for the trip, the Chinese restaurant across the street has good food at reasonable prices

Ticket sales are awkward.  At the bus station in Belize, they collect a total of 19 Belize Dollars (BZD.)  This is $9.50 USD, with the exchange rate fixed at 2:1.  The rest of the fare is paid after crossing the border into Mexico.

Total Fare to Cancun is 83 BZD, with 19 BZD paid in Belize City and 64 BZD paid in Bacalar, Mexico.  In addition to the fare, there is an exit tax for Belize of 37.5 BZD.  All payments are in cash and in BZD, although it is possible to pay the fare in Mexico in Pesos at a less than favorable exchange rate.  Total cash required to get to Cancun is 120.5 BZD

Total fare for other destinations is detailed in the picture below.

Night Bus from Belize City to Cancun Mexico

Bus Fare to Various Mexican Destinations

The border crossing is done in a few steps.  At the first stop, everybody gets off the bus to pay exit tax and get a passport stamp for Belize and Mexico.  After a few minute bus ride, everybody gets off the bus again, this time with all of your bags and personal belongings for X-ray and inspection.  Some lucky winners get a more personal inspection of all of the contents of their bags.

Once everybody has been inspected, the bus is reloaded.  A few miles down the road the bus stops again for everybody to pay the rest of the bus fare.

The bus itself is modern and comfortable, with the exception of the air conditioning.  It is quite possible that the inside temperature was around 13 C / 55 F.  We were wearing multiple layers, jackets, and hats on the bus, trying to sleep in a freezer, only to have to get off the bus and step out into the heat and humidity at each stop along the way.  Definitely bring layers, and be prepared for a cold ride

After the fare is paid, the only additional stops are for passenger stops at Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, the Cancun Airport, and downtown Cancun.  We arrived in downtown Cancun around 6 am, about 10 hours after departure from Belize City.

We weren’t exactly well rested, but we made it.  The ideal next step is to check in to a hotel and catch up on some Zzzzzs.  Check out the hotels shown below, they might meet your needs

Happy Travels

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