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Driving from Ontario to Belize

Hi all; my spouse and I are planning on driving to Belize from Sault Ste Marie ON to Ladyville Belize this year.  We will be travelling with our 2 dogs and a small sailboat and planning a winter stay.  (3 months)

Would love to know the best and safest routes.

We have both flown there and really want to experience the different cultures and countries while driving.

I don't believe there are "best" or "safest" routes.  Between people using their cell phones, texting, and thieves along the way, well, good luck on your journey!

Bentley2017 :

Hi all; my spouse and I are planning on driving to Belize from Sault Ste Marie ON to Ladyville Belize this year.  We will be travelling with our 2 dogs and a small sailboat and planning a winter stay.  (3 months)

Would love to know the best and safest routes.

We have both flown there and really want to experience the different cultures and countries while driving.

Unfortunately, there are never guarantees on safety, and best route is probably more a personal thing. But there are most definitely safer and better routes. We much prefer the central route over the coastal one.

Via the central route you'll pass through or go by Monterrey/Saltillo, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, Tula, Puebla, Cordoba, Minatitlan, Villahermosa and Chetumal.

We like crossing at Del Rio/Ciudad Acuna. It's a small crossing, very easy to navigate through, and the road out leads you directly onto the highway towards Monterrey. Eagle Pass or Laredo crossings are bigger with more traffic.

The central route is mostly toll highways. Access and exits are frequent and easy. Lots of gas stations with convenient stores.  As this road is also a major trucking route, there are tons of small, permanent food stalls that serve some amazing dishes and pretty hefty portions!

We also travelled with a dog, and had no real issues finding pet friendly hotels along the way. I suggest a collapsible crate. One hotel we stopped at initially said no to our Ceiba, and then agreed when we showed them the crate. It ended up being a wonderful stay, and we used that same hotel again a couple of times. We always found places to pull over for breaks for Ceiba. Most villages/towns have small parks with grassy and shady areas, and benches. Great spots for lunch.

The toll roads go through the smallest villages and huge cities. If you need to shop for food or anything else, there are a good amount of Chedraui and Soriana stores (Sears/Walmart type markets) just off the highway through, or on the outskirts of cities. These stores also have ATM's, which is mostly where we got our daily cash. Plenty of small stores along the way as well.

There are patrols in all areas, day and night, by both military and police. Quite often, military or police are  stationed at toll booths as well. Any time we were stopped, members of police and/or military were courteous and respectful and very helpful if we had questions.

Be prepared for some delays, long and short, for road construction and occasional accidents.

If you have the time, there are a lot of archaeological sites and beautiful towns and cities to explore.

We can't wait to drive again.
Have fun!

Thank you so much for the information.  We are looking forward to our drive 😁

Bentley2017 :

Thank you so much for the information.  We are looking forward to our drive 😁

Feel free to send a private message if you have specific questions. I'd be happy to share what we know and our experiences.

How do I send private messages?  Sorry very new to this site.

Thanks so much

Bentley2017 :

How do I send private messages?  Sorry very new to this site.

Thanks so much

Click on someone's name, and you should get an envelope that says "send a message".
And to check your messages, click on your envelope on top of the page.

Brigitte B :
Bentley2017 :

Hi all; my spouse and I are planning on driving to Belize from Sault Ste Marie ON to Ladyville Belize this year.  We will be travelling with our 2 dogs and a small sailboat and planning a winter stay.  (3 months)

Would love to know the best and safest routes.

We have both flown there and really want to experience the different cultures and countries while driving.

Unfortunately, there are never guarantees on safety, and best route is probably more a personal thing. But there are most definitely safer and better routes. We much prefer the central route over the coastal one.

Via the central route you'll pass through or go by Monterrey/Saltillo, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, Tula, Puebla, Cordoba, Minatitlan, Villahermosa and Chetumal.

We like crossing at Del Rio/Ciudad Acuna. It's a small crossing, very easy to navigate through, and the road out leads you directly onto the highway towards Monterrey. Eagle Pass or Laredo crossings are bigger with more traffic.

The central route is mostly toll highways. Access and exits are frequent and easy. Lots of gas stations with convenient stores.  As this road is also a major trucking route, there are tons of small, permanent food stalls that serve some amazing dishes and pretty hefty portions!

We also travelled with a dog, and had no real issues finding pet friendly hotels along the way. I suggest a collapsible crate. One hotel we stopped at initially said no to our Ceiba, and then agreed when we showed them the crate. It ended up being a wonderful stay, and we used that same hotel again a couple of times. We always found places to pull over for breaks for Ceiba. Most villages/towns have small parks with grassy and shady areas, and benches. Great spots for lunch.

The toll roads go through the smallest villages and huge cities. If you need to shop for food or anything else, there are a good amount of Chedraui and Soriana stores (Sears/Walmart type markets) just off the highway through, or on the outskirts of cities. These stores also have ATM's, which is mostly where we got our daily cash. Plenty of small stores along the way as well.

There are patrols in all areas, day and night, by both military and police. Quite often, military or police are  stationed at toll booths as well. Any time we were stopped, members of police and/or military were courteous and respectful and very helpful if we had questions.

Be prepared for some delays, long and short, for road construction and occasional accidents.

If you have the time, there are a lot of archaeological sites and beautiful towns and cities to explore.

We can't wait to drive again.
Have fun!

I realize when driving through Mexico, safety is not going to be a guarantee, but is driving along the coast more unsafe than the central Route?
My husband and I are planning a move down there in the spring and planning to drive. The Route we're looking at is along the coast. 4-7 hour drives each day since we'll have a 2 year old and 6 month old.

mrspiatt - Most people we talk to that had issues driving through Mexico, drove the coastal route via Brownsville/Matamoros (not a nice introduction to Mexico).We drove it twice, years ago, without any problems.

People we know that have driven both, claim they felt safer, and never felt alone on the central route, as there are fewer isolated stretches, and the toll roads are pretty busy 24/7.

Thanks for the info Brigitte B!

When I saw the heading of this thread my first thought was well it will take about an hour along the western highway From Ontario village in Cayo to Belize city. Then I read the actual post. oops Sorry I should say the Phillip  Goldsten Highway but most Belizeans  still refer to it as the Western.

We drove from Edmonton to Placencia Jan 2016. We took central route through Eagle pass. Was not busy. Loved that the place we got our visas and truck permit were about 1/2 hr out if the city right along the highway. Easy to get to. We felt safe driving as there were a ton of big trucks and other vehicles. Quietest road was from Villahermosa onward to Belize. If you have questions feel free to ask I will help out if I can

I dont know but every year for 13 years my buddy and his wife came up via car from Alcapulco to South Texas as he is a white and married to a Mexican woman. Not an incident every year. But dont hold me responsable. They did have problems living there though especially being white from wisconson and mexican and knowing us from war.

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