When I traveled to Belize to visit Adventure Island back in 2003 I flew into Cancun, Mexico and then traveled south to Belize City by bus. The combination of the savings on airfare plus the added adventure of the bus ride south were well worth the extra time spent in transit. Personally, I prefer traveling on the ground in a foreign country because it affords me the opportunity to see so much more of the new land and people.
A cursory comparison of airfares to Belize City and Cancun from six major US cities reveals that you can save between 15 and 42 percent by landing in Cancun, with the exception of Los Angeles which was 9% more expensive. (The following sample is for a trip in late November. For a more complete list of airfares to Belize City please visit our airfare page.)
The added expenses you incur are any meals (due to the extra time in transit) plus of course the bus fare. Bus fare on the extremely clean and comfortable ADO bus is around $80 US so depending on your departure city, these extra costs could consume a good chunk of your airfare savings. But I found the extra adventure exhilarating.
On my return trip I was pleasantly surprised to find the public square in the old downtown section of Cancun near the bus terminal was filled to overflowing with a huge crowd of locals, mostly of Mayan descent, who were there to attend what I was told is an almost weekly Sunday evening festival. The highlight was the major talent show that had the crowd enthralled.
You would be hard pressed to find anything as interesting out on the Las Vegas-like “strip,” the only part of Cancun that most foreigners see.