There are a lot of stories “out there” about how to do it. How it’s been done, etc. This article, accompanied with a few pics you can see, how it's done.  The main two reasons to do it are because (A), it is far cheaper than FLYING into Belize International and, (B), travelers on a bus are far more friendly/talkative (If you like learning about where other travelers hail from and why they’re traveling to the same place, on a bus). TIP: For some reason, ALL ADO busses LOVE ice cold air conditioning. Some speculate it’s to keep the drivers awake. Regardless, dress accordingly. All information and facts are accurate as of August 2013.

 

Coming back TAKES 2 hours longer! Go figure. (From Cancun to Belize City, the bus departs nightly at 10:15 p.m. and arrives approximately 6:30 a.m. The ADO departs Belize City daily at 7:30 p.m., and arrives in Cancun at 5:30 a.m.)

You’ll start by a visit to the main bus station in Belize City, where you’ll meet “Amin”, the convenience store owner/ADO ticket agent. 

Just walk up to his convenience store prior to, say “hello” so he knows you’re there for a TICKET, not Pringles and a coke.

 

If you get there before 5:00 p.m. Don't get excited as you CANNOT buy your ticket BEFORE he opens the ticket booth until 5:00pm daily!

TIP: If you DO get there before 5:00, be nice to him and inquire if you might be able to "make a reservation" for your party. He may allow you to do this. He still won't take your name or money, merely, he will place an "X" in a box on a manifest corresponding with the number of people in your party

Once he leaves the convenience store, usually he dons a Red baseball cap signifying his new role. Step up and begin conversing with him as he is SUPER friendly. (If you look at the top of his convenience store sign in the photo, you’ll see his name.) He watches the clock and when it hits 5, he steps out from behind the store, crosses to a doorway then opens the “ticket booth”, which, seriously, is nothing more than a little kids summertime lemonade stand.

Also, use the photo’s included here to actually SEE the fees charged. It’s $19.00/person Belize ($9.50 US) for your ticket from Belize City TO the Mexican border.

TIP: If you arrive at 5:00 and purchased your ticket for a 7:30 p.m. departure, you'll be stuck in the terminal that looks…sketchy. But cabbies will even tell you, “Do not be on the streets in BZE after dark.” You’ve got about two hours to wait. And you’re hungry. Three choices…

1. Grab a bunch of snacks from Amin’s store and hunker down in the terminal.
2. Grab a cab and take your chances getting to and from a restaurant in time to not miss your bus.
3. Walk across the street from the terminal and grab some Chinese food. It’s what all the store owners like Amin eat and he recommends it. Be forewarned, it’s LOUD, small and dark, but the pork fried rice is tasty.

A few hours later you’ll pass through immigration and customs, (The SAME exact offices as when you came in – the same photos here to remind you), there is NO money paid at the Mexican border at all. You’ll be given the FM3 to complete, get stamped, then back on the bus.

The bus will drive about a mile, then stop again in Belize. You AND your luggage get to disembark again. Answer a few questions, then pay a Belizean exit/conservation fee of $37.50/$18.75 U.S./person.

You and your luggage back on the bus. There’s ONE more fee to pay…it was disclosed by Amin back in Belize, however, with everything going on, you may have completely forgotten about it as you look at all the Belizean money left in your pocket that you can’t exchange.

Just when the rhythmic whirr of the bus tires lulls you into a slumber, you hear the pressure release of the air brakes signaling of the stopping of the bus.

You AGAIN see the disembarking of people stream past you.

The driver mumbles something about “…boletos”.

You then see the other passengers lining up outside a small, unmarked strip mall building. “Where are we?” you ask.

“Bacalar”, someone responds.

Amin said there would be a stop in “Bacalar”. There wasn't a stop here on the way TO Belize. You grab your money and drag your weary self off the bus and join the others.

Answer: THIS is where you pay ($83.00 Belize/$41.50 US) for your return ticket BACK to Cancun.

After paying this fare, the money adds up.

So, doing the math, your return ticket cost is, in U.S., $9.50, $8.75, $41.50, total of: $59.75/person.

You buy your ticket and get back on the bus. In a few hours as the sun begins to rise, and you feel like you’ve been partying all night like a broke rock star, you finally arrive in Cancun just in time to grab a nice breakfast then hit the beach.

TIP: If you are flying out of Mexico from Cancun, the ADO makes a scheduled stop at the airport for your convenience.