tropic air belize

If you go inland in Belize, you learn in a hurry that it takes a long time to get from Point A to Point B. This may be a small country, but driving or riding from one part to another can take up most of a day, even if you’re heading to what you thought was a popular tourist spot. So what do most people with money do? Give up and fly.

Enter Tropic Air, the bus service of the skies for Belize. This is not an airline you fly to get pampered. This is an airline you fly on to shave hours off your travel time. Tropic Air uses a fleet of small prop planes—some so small they look like a toy, holding only four passengers. Others hold a few times that many, but in all cases you can see what the pilot is doing up front: there’s no wall between you and the cockpit.

Some find these kinds of planes nerve-wracking and scary—including my wife and daughter who were with me in Belize—but I think they’re kind of fun. Yes, they bump around a bit if the skies are windy, but you can really see a lot of the countryside since they fly relatively low over short distances to islands and towns.

tropic-air-belizeThese are no rickety old planes either, but a fleet of “factory new Cessna Caravans.” Flight prices are quite reasonable, often under $100 one-way. Perversely, in some cases that’s cheaper than taking a car transfer and it’s definitely cheaper than renting a car. There’s a 50% discount for children too—very nice. Tropic Air flies to nine destinations exclusively in Belize. To fly to Flores/Tikal or Cancun you need to book on Maya Island Air, which also has domestic flights on many of the same routes as Tropic. (Their prices are a bit higher but the only difference I could see is they have bigger terminal buildings.)

Note the luggage restrictions on the website before you haul down two wheelie suitcases filled with shoes and gadgets. They’ll let it slide if the flight is not full, but if the plane is sold out, you’re technically restricted to 35 pounds checked, 30 pounds carry-on.

Related reviews: Latin American Airlines

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