From Cancun to Guatemala

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean From Cancun to Guatemala

1. Posted by monkeycat (Full Member 109 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I am thinking of travelling from Cancun to Gautemala, one way, checking out some of the Mayan temples. I will only have a few weeks so wanted to know roughly how long that would take on the bus.

How long would a direct bus take, and are there any luxury buses and the like?

Only have a rough idea of what i would like to do at the moment, so any suggestions would be appreciated. I would like to spend some days trekking or rafting or something similar if anyone knows of a good place to go.


2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5671 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Maybe if you want to do some active things, you can choose to go to Guatemala via Belize and take the ferry in the south of Belize to northern Guatemala.
There are some maya temples along the coastline between Cancun and Belize and in Belize it's time for some eco stuff if you like.
There probably is more than enough public transport fory you to take.
I guess that's a more rewarding route than visiting all those temples in northern Mexico like Palenque.

3. Posted by monkeycat (Full Member 109 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for that. Have now got a new plan... diving in Belize looks wonderful

4. Posted by 89GF (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey there, I did this trip almost exactly one year ago to the day. I took a bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, which was about 1 hour - 1.5 hours for memory (sooo many bus trips)and it was ridiculously cheap. I think it was around 15 pesos or something, for a virtually empty luxury coach with aircon, cold drinks and about 3/4s of a movie.

We spent a bit of time in Playa del Carmen (cool place) and then Cozumel (cool island) before pressing on. We took a bus from here to Tulum to see the beautiful sea side ruins (1st class bus). Then, we took a second class bus from Tulum which would take us all the way to Chetumal, the mex/belize border town. We got over the cramped second class bus in some town along the way (there must have been 100 people on it), where we changed over to a 1st class bus for the rest of the trip. From Chetumal you have to take a taxi to the border crossing, this was dirt cheap....10 or 20 pesos or something.

Here is where things got interesting. When we were in Belize, the national bus companys were all bankrupt. They had folded recently after one guy bought them all and couldnt manage them. We waited around in the middle of the road with a friendly local, and an incredibly insane/drugged up local for a couple of hours before a chicken bus came along. We took this to belmopan, as belmopan was meant to have more options than belieze city. There were no options there, or anywhere, as described previously the busses were all bankrupt. So we took a taxi for the 2 or 3 hour trip from belmopan to the guatemalan border. This cost us 100 US I think.

From here, you are poised to see the Tikal Ruins and Flores and etc in guatemala. Well worth doing, Guatemala was my fave country in my central american trip.

With any luck the busses will be back on in Belize, and you will have an easier (and cheaper ) trip than I did.

5. Posted by monkeycat (Full Member 109 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

thanks for that. Hopefully will be buses when i get there. Anyone know the latest situation?

6. Posted by Kerryv (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

The bus ride from Cancun to the border will take about six hours. You can easily get from Cancun, Mexico to Guatemala. You can take a bus direct from Cancun to Chetumal, Mexico or you can stop at several towns along the way. Places that I would recommend are Puerto Moralos, Tulum, Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Bacalar. I really loved Bacalar. Bacalar has the most amazing turquoise water of any fresh water lake that I have ever seen. The water is warm and crystal clear. I have stayed in each of these towns on more than one occasion.

Once you arrive in Chetumal you can take a cab to the border and on to Corozal, Belize which is very close. From there you can catch a water taxi for about $20.00 which will take you to San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye. Everyone loves San Pedro. I have been there at least ten times myself. From San Pedro you can take another cheap water taxi to the island of Caye Caulker which is also very cool. From there you can take another water taxi on to Belize City. Belize City is a real dump so don’t plan to stay there for long. You will very easily be able to book a bus and a guided tour of Tikal, Guatemala right in San Pedro or Caye Caulker. The are several dive shops along the beach that will be very happy to make the arrangements for you. You can also fly from San Pedro to Tikal if you like. If you decide to venture into Belize City you can take a bus from there to San Ignacio which is a neat little town near the border to Guatemala. San Ignacio is a popular place for the travelers to head out to Guatemala or other sites around the jungles of Belize. You can probably meet up with other like minded people. You will be able to book a bus into Guatemala from there too. I drove to the Tikal ruins from there in a rental car about ten years ago. It was cool. The roads in that part of Guatemala were all dirt roads back then. I don’t know how the roads are now. I have been to the Tikal ruins in Guatemala several times and am actually going back there this week, on The 22nd of January.

As for The road from Cancun to Belize… I know it very well. I have traveled it three time by bicycle, most recently was November 2009. The islands of Belize are my favorite places on earth. The SCUBA diving is amazing and the people are great. The language of Belize is English which is very nice. There are some very nice Maya ruins in Belize.

Another option would be to travel all the way down to Punta Gorda in the south of Belize. From there you can catch a water taxi to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala. I know you will have a great trip.

7. Posted by kate105 (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Kerry,

Just read through your last post and it's been very helpful! I wondered if I could ask you a few questions because I'm planning on travelling through central america Jan/Feb 2012.

I wanted to fly into Cancun, travel down into Belize, go on a 3 day sailing trip from Caye Caulker which ends in Placencia, then head over to Guatemala, see the highlights, travel down to Guatemala City and fly out from there.

I have 4 weeks to do this so hopefully I won't have to rush around too much! I wanted to head into Honduras but with my limited time I'd rather not be travelling all day everyday.

Is there anywhere in particular you'd suggest to see in Guatemala? Or anywhere you'd suggest not to bother with?

How dangerous is it in Mexico and Guatemala? I'll be travelling with my boyfriend so not too worried but have heard stories about kidnap and robbing travellers, as well as pick pocketing. This is my first time in CA, I've travelled South East Asia quite a bit but this seems completely different.

Would appreciate your advice,

Thanks Kate