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is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

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Henderson, Nevada
posts: 183
reviews: 252
is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

hi, traveling to belize for the first time with family--2 kids 10 and 12. we were planning on taking the water taxi from belize city to san pedro. we are staying in san ignacio for the first part of the trip and thought we would stop by the belize zoo on the way back to belize city and then take the water taxi. however, our concierge at san pedro has recommended against taking the water taxi and instead is really pushing for us to take a flight. the flight is more expensive, but not enough to where we wouldn't take a flight if the water taxi ride is truly unpleasant. i thought a boat ride would be fun.... for those who have taken the water taxi, is it uncomfortable? unsafe?

also, IF you agree with the concierge and think we should fly, how would you go about arranging the flight so that it is cheap? the concierge wants to arrange all our flights for us, but the prices sound like we're being taken for a premium.

any advice appreciated.

Belize
posts: 2,583
1. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

There's nothing wrong with the water taxi -- I'd bet the kids will love it.

In the old days, the boats were open and had bench seats running the length of the boat, so getting a LITTLE bit wet was usual. Now, most (maybe all?) are covered, and the seas are usually calm. There have been a couple of incidents where boats have hit the pier too hard, but they're mostly very safe. Certainly a lot cheaper than flying.

If you fly, go directly to the airline yourself. If someone offers to arrange your flights, he is probably adding a bit for himself (check the fares on website to see if it's worth it to save you the running around). If you go to the airlines yourself and pay cash, sometime you get a discount -- the concierge probably knows this. There are two airlines -- Tropic Air and Maya Island Air. Both have websites with schedules and fares. Tropic Air now have a flight from San Ignacio (the Maya Flats airstrip, a few miles from town). But if you fly -- no zoo trip.

Edited: 10:53 am, December 30, 2012
Belize
posts: 2,583
2. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

That should have been... if you fly from San Ignacio -- no zoo trip.

You can use buses to get from San Ignacio to the zoo and then to Belize City. Taxi to the Municipal airport for the flight.

Bus info here...

http://belizebus.wordpress.com/

eddystone lighthouse
posts: 14
3. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

the water taxi ride is cool! be careful in Belize city.

eddystone lighthouse
posts: 14
4. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

any more on safety in belize, mistebee?

Henderson, Nevada
posts: 183
reviews: 252
5. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

thanks! feel a lot better about water taxi now. i was going to try to face my semi-phobia of small prop planes but now i don't have to!

Virginia Beach...
posts: 58
reviews: 5
6. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

On the other hand, I had read in several guides that the water taxi's were often over loaded and past safety regulations . That caused concern to me, particularly since they are smallish boats going quite a lot of miles (21 +) out into sea. I have only ever taken a large ferry 7 miles.

Tropic Air lists its flight to those cayes as about 62$, right on their site.

Cape Coral, Florida
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
posts: 12,155
reviews: 10
7. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

One way adult fare from Municipal is US$41.50 + tax one way.

The water taxi stays within the reef. You're never out in open ocean. I don't think you're ever out of sight of land, at least mangrove cayes.

Belize
posts: 2,583
8. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

Hederoma,

Did any of those guides mention the plane crashes? There haven't been many, but from my memory, I think they outnumber boat incidents.

All boats have life preservers, though passengers might have to ask for them because on the boats I took, the preservers were stowed.

Cape Coral, Florida
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
posts: 12,155
reviews: 10
9. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

There haven't been any plane crashes in several years. And, other than a charter plane that crashed and killed its occupants, I don't think there have been any fatalities in any of the instances of the Tropic and Maya planes going down, at least not in the past 10 years that I've been traveling to Belize.

Belize
posts: 2,583
10. Re: is the water taxi ride to san pedro unpleasant?

I've got better things to do than look up plane crashes during Happy Hour, but in April 2011, a commercial airline's (name deleted) single engine plane slid off the municipal airstrip due to brake failure -- technically, that's a crash.

In September 2008, another one "landed" in the water just after take-off from Municipal. Yep, a crash.

There have been others, but I stress, VERY FEW, and flying is considered safe here.

Edited: 5:21 pm, December 30, 2012