Four Types of Cycling in Belize


I have spent most of June chilling (and cycling) around the country of Belize.  A lot of people have never heard of this place or know where it is, and those that have probably don’t think of cycling when they refer to the country.  Little does the world know that cycling is huge over here….like a staple in the countries’ diet.  Very cool.

That’s right, in Belize it’s definitely about more than just the bike.  Over here, a bike is so much more than just two wheels on a frame…..and such an important ingredient to the daily lives of the people.  The bike also means something different to everyone who lives here, and they each have their own reason for Loving the Bike.  The bike serves many purposes, with the following being the most popular.

1.  Transportation of People

The obvious purpose is transportation, but it becomes so much more than that.  Of course there are countless people who have a bike as their only vehicle and rely on it to take them everywhere.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a child, adult, policeman, or librarian….to many, the bike is all they’ve got.

But many of these people also have kids and they use that same bike to carry their children while they ride.  Oh, and the chariots and bike trailers many of us are used to?  That would be a total luxury ride over here.  The way the kids ride with their parents is almost like a special skill acquired by the locals.  As you can see in this photo, the kids straddle the cross tube as their Mom or Dad pedals the bike.  I’m telling you man, these road here in Belize are far from smooth and I can’t even imagine bouncing around as my butt sits on a skinny metal tube.  But they do it….and they do it for miles.


2.  Transportation of Goods

Now when you think about hauling stuff with your bike, you probably think of a bike like an Xtracycle or pulling a utility trailer behind as you ride.  Once again, those luxuries are not an option in Belize so the people have to get creative….and even downright crazy.

I’ve seen a few people cycling in Belize who have so many bags and things piled up on their bikes, that you can’t even see who’s riding.  Yeah, when there is no other option these people find all kinds of ways to just make it work.  Plants, garbage bags, racks, televisions…..yep, there’s nothing that a person won’t try to carry while riding their bikes in Belize.

3.  Business

I find it very cool that many people use a bike for the purpose of business.  They don’t have Petticabs like many of us have seen in North America, which is a very cool use of bikes to do business….but they do use them for a variety of money making opportunities.

One of the greatest uses I saw in Belize was the bicycle sno cone business.  I think they actually called it shaved ice, but there were a bunch of people with these custom made bikes used to sell a nice cool treat to everyone around.  You know I just had to get in there and give one of these bad boys a spin, right?

4.  Competition

Ahhhh, then there is the good old use of bikes for competition.  From what I’ve mentioned so far about how bikes are used in Belize, you’re probably thinking that they have some sort of funky way of racing over here as well.  No way.  Road cycling is huge in Belize, and the racing you’ll find is second to none.

Cycling is treated with respect in the country and the Belize Cycling Association does an incredible job of developing riders and putting on races.  Just last weekend was the National Championship race which is only open to citizens of Belize.  At other times of the year Belize holds races that are open to anyone who qualifies, with the annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic being the most popular.  This is a 140 mile road race that brings competitors from around the world….and pretty much shuts down the country while it’s being held.  They take their cycling seriously in Belize….and are cranking out some incredible riders.

Unfortunately the one thing I didn’t see a lot of in Belize is helmets.  I’m used to seeing locals ride around on their cruisers without helmets, but I have never seen so many road bikers with nothing on their heads.  During competition, they wear them but I saw countless cyclists out on training rides without helmets and it was such a strange site to see.

The roads of Belize (even the best ones) are nowhere near in the condition of those we’re used to in other parts of the world, but compared to other third world infrastructure I’ve ridden on, these are pretty darn good.  Scary, but good.

Are you interested in cycling in Belize?  Have you ridden there?  Let me know what questions or comments you have about Loving the Bike in Belize.


Enjoy Your Ride


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39 Responses to “ Four Types of Cycling in Belize ”

  1. Labell on January 7, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Can someone please recommend a good place to buy a bike in Belize? Hoping for San Ignacio or Belmopan area

  2. Enrique castillo on November 5, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Are their Mtb guided tours and what are the levels of difficulty ? Are there bike rentals and if so what brand and model do they rent ?

  3. jair on September 17, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    it is possible to rent a bicileta in Belize City???

  4. Paul Pieri on May 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    thanks’ for taking a moment of your time…
    I’m trying to book a bike touring vacation with my mountain bike /panniers setup to Belize.
    here in California, 4 or 5K bikes are the norm… will I look ridiculous with a carbon fibre frame and some state of the art flash ?.. or should I find an older bike to setup? …its just a joy to ride the nice one.
    Also , how wet are days is sept. or oct. / is one a better month to book or about the same weather-wise?

    Thx Paul

  5. charlie on January 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I was looking for some advice on biking around Belize. I noticed that my question is similar to some of the others so maybe you could share the answers on the page?

    My girlfriend and myself are looking to travel to Belize for 3 or 4 weeks in May (from the UK). As its exceptional expensive to bring our own bikes (£100 plus each) we were thinking of buying bikes. Any information on buying bikes in Belize city and general advice on costs and the type bike we need would be appreciated.


  6. alan on December 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    a couple of years late, but maybe you still keep your eye on this. i’m heading off to belize and want to use a cycle as the main local transport option – it’s just faster lots of the time than local transport. how easy is it to hire bikes and how easy/cheap to buy a decent mountain bike?

    • Bernard Barbour on May 5, 2014 at 12:25 am

      I recently moved to Placencia and am looking for a few road bike riders to train with about 2 or 3 times a week. I love riding here, the roads are not the greatest, but the people are respectful of cyclist. I can be reached at [email protected]

  7. Emily on January 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Hello! Where would you recommend I look for a bike to rent, or buy (buy and sell back or give away)? I´ll be there in February and would like to tour for a few weeks and I´d like to be in rural areas, do you have any suggestions of routes/roads/destinations? Also, I´m traveling solo as a female, do you think that doing so is reasonably safe if I keep my wits about me? Thanks!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 28, 2013 at 7:55 am

      Hi Emily,

      Good to hear from you. I have been getting a lot of questions about cycling in Belize lately so it’s definitely a popular spot these days. I’ve actually opened a bicycle cafe in Grenada (Southern Caribbean) but can try and help you out with my input on Belize.
      If you’re starting your holiday off in Belize City you can buy a bike there. They have a few different bicycle shops, but the city itself is not very safe so be careful. Outside of Belize City, there isn’t much for rentals or purchase. You can rent a one speed cruiser but that’s about it.
      The rest of Belize is fairly safe and you should be fine. Let me know if you have more specific questions and if you’d like some help in finding a place to stay. I know a great place in Placencia and also another great place between Belmopan and San Ignacia.


      [email protected]

      • m davis on October 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm

        Would like your recommend on places to stay in placentia and on w. road to Guat.

        thanks, M

  8. Robert on January 10, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Darryl, I hope you are well, I have a couple of questions and I hope you have time to answer my questions.
    We are doing a family cruise on the Norwegian Dawn and it will leave Tampa March 31 2013, 1st day at sea, 2nd Bay Island Roatan, Honuras, 3rd day Belize City, 4th day Coasta Maya, 5th day Cozumel, 6th day at sea and 7th day back in Tampa. I love bike riding and I want to bring my bike on the ship and ride on the Island and in the ports. I have a mtb, cross trail and a road bike but not sure what I should bring and I am looking for advise on what to bring. My other question is have you ridden at all on the other port and is there a web site where I can pull up some riding trails from Belize
    Thank for helping, Robert, Commerce MI

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 11, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Thanks Robert, I’ve sent you an e-mail with my response. Have a great cruise.

      • Kaslocottage on January 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm

        I have been following this mountain biking in Belize string with interest.  I hope that it is not in appropriate to do so but I have a 9+ acre property for sale in what is the absolute heart of the Cayo district (Belize) mountain biking mecca.  We bought a 40 acre parcel 15 years ago and just sub divided it into quarters. We are going to sell 2 and keep 2.  The 9.19 acre would make a tremendous Mtn. bike business hub.  Lots of phenominal routes in and around the area.  I can be reached by e-mail if anyone is interested.  [email protected]  My name is Michael Jones.  I am from Kamloops, BC, Canada

        • Kaslocottage on January 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm

          Further to the above string.  I should have put the price so as not to waste anyone’s time.  $37,500 Cdn for 9.19 acres.  Michael Jones, Kamloops, BC, Canada

          • Aron Hoffman on May 18, 2013 at 11:50 pm

            Aloha Michael, were planning a trip to look at investing in Belize. Was curious as to were your property is located? Any info wold be greatly appreciated. Of course not having gone down yet and not knowing the area, coordinates might be helpful. Or maybe you would have place mark on Google Earth or something? Any info would much appreciated, thanks so much! eel free to contact us as well…808-281-8344. Hawaii Time, or [email protected]

  9. Alex on January 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Hi there, Im looking for more information on Mountain Biking in Belize as im planning on spending 3 weeks down there in February, would you have any information of trail locations? Possibly the length? Where I could find maps? . Im planning on taking my own bike

  10. Kelly on November 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    My boyfriend and I are getting ready to spend 2 weeks in Belize. We are very active and are seriously thinking about taking bikes as our mode of travel. I was just curious, are their places we could rent for a couple weeks, or is it a better idea to take our mountain bikes. If we do take our mountain bikes (which are fairly high-end) should we be worried about theft? Thank you for the article, it was extremely helpful!

  11. Andrew on August 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    hey ok, so I want to ride there very soon, how much would a bike trip like this cost, getting there from the states and all? thanks

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on August 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

      Hi Andrew, flights are usually quite cheap from the States. Check it out online and search Continental and American Airways as both fly direct. Let me know once you’re booked to go and I can provide more information for you as well.

  12. Kathycam on December 25, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Thanks for sharing the info.  We have cycled in Cuba for a month the past two years and are thinking of cycling in Belize this November.
    The roads in Cuba were often very rough and I found that I could cover more country if I started really early and rode all morning, resting in the heat of the day and riding again in the evening.  Westjet flew our bike to Cuba free as humanitarian supplies and we left the bikes with grateful Cubans when we went home.  We would probably try and arrange the same thing for the Belize trip.  I am having a hard time imagining it would be fun cycling in humid 110 degree heat and wonder if anyone has taken their bike out to Tobacco Caye or any of the other Cayes.  Can we take bikes in the cargo hold of busses as we did in Cuba? 

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on December 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Great to hear from you, Kathy.  Please send me an e-mail at [email protected] so we can discuss this in more detail.  I think it is so awesome that you left the bikes in Cuba and I know there would be many appreciative people in Belize if you did this as well.  I don’t think you’ll be able to take your bikes with you on the buses, but I may be wrong.  I can check into it for you. 

      • Rookie on June 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

        hello there I live in Belize and i am involved in cycling. Use to do some road racing when younger ,just do it for fun and heath now. It is possible to take your bikes on some bus routes like to the western and southern part of the country, wher it is also great cycling area

  13. Jim Wachter on September 6, 2011 at 12:17 am

    I moved to Belize in June, this article is spot on! I train and race here. I would add that seeing the locals is great motivation. When I am out training and feeling beat…I see some guy carrying about 50-75 lbs of something or someone riding “tandem” with a kid or teen sitting on the bars…I think to myself “I’ve got a 15 lb bike, what am I complaining about”. I feel hot and thirsty but then I see a guy “20 miles from no place” riding with no water bottles…he is likely on a 2 hour “cruiser” ride just going to home/work, the RealFeel temp is about 110 degrees…again I should have no complaints. I think my butt hurts from the road not being smooth like in the states and then I pass a mom with her kid sitting on the toptube…I stop complaining. The racing here is both intense and plentiful. I did two crits yesterday with crowds lining the street all the way around the 0.9 mile course. Lot’s of fun for a road cyclist.

    • Stevesavage71 on November 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

      Hi, im thinking about moving to belize from spain, cycling is a big part of my life, on and off road. Is there a better area of Belize to live to enjoy the most cycling?

      • Darryl is Loving the Bike on November 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

        That’s a great question, and hopefully some other people (like Jim) will reply with their comments.  Belize has a strong cycling community and most of the island has areas for cycling.  Any location along the Western Highway or Hummingbird Highway would provide you with access to good cycling.  Down by Placencia is also good cycling, but much flatter.  I hope that helps.

    • Kirby Fling on February 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      Hey Jim, my wife have been is serious talks about moving someplace warmer, and Belize is currently on the top of our list (warm, english langage, good cycling).  I’d love to hear how your experience was and maybe get some advice.  Drop me an email if you wouldn’t mind chatting about it k#i#r#b#y#f@e#f#n,o#r#g 

    • Jan Cohen on May 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Hope this note finds you well. I am with a Cycling Training Series in Houston, Texas and have an interest in bring a few of our cyclist to ride in your area. I am hoping you would be available to discussion and guidance. When traveling you never really know what to expect without the guidance of someone local who really knows the roads. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  14. omar on September 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    they do have mountain biking here in belize to do of road and in the jungle i can link you up to some if you like and they are good to  do let me know if you are interested in doing some  i am a cyclist and i do off road riding my email is [email protected]  just let me know and we can set somthing up you will like the off road riding here and there is alot to see if you love biking.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on September 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      Thanks for commenting on this, Omar.  I know that there has also been talks of Belize setting up more off road cycling trails as well.  Yes, it is definitely a great place for road and off road cycling.

  15. Linda Elul on September 5, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Great article! I was in Belize in May of this year, and while driving on the Hummingbird Highway we encountered two races. Most riders had their helmets on. It was awesome to watch them!!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on September 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      Awesome….glad to see that you were able to run into some cycling.  Fantastic.

  16. Jim (@bikerly) on June 25, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Great photos here, D. Brings back memories of seeing Belizean beach cruisers on last winter’s vacation. I loved that place, man. 

  17. Cycling For Beginners on June 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I remember hearing about Belize from you before — it sounds great.  I have a few questions:
    1.  Did you do any off-road cycling there?
    2.  Do you feel fairly safe cycling around Belize by yourself?
    3.  How are the “not about the bike” things about Belize — clean beaches, clear water, good food, friendly people, etc.?

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 24, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      Great questions, Rob.  Here’s what I’ve got to say:

      1.  I didn’t do any off-road but it’s funny you ask about this.  I met with the President of the Belize Cycling Association and they are currently working with the US Government on a grant that will be used to develop off road cycling trails in Belize.  He wants me to be involved with this….so I’m hoping I can make that happen.  Belize is set up perfectly for some great MTBing trails.

      2.  I feel totally safe.  Cycling is pretty much the national sport in Belize so people respect cyclists.  The roads are narrow and there isn’t a shoulder so it can definitely make things interesting.  I was run off the road yesterday because there was an on-coming vehicle passing another and he was coming right at me.  This kind of thing has happened a few times here, as well as in other similar countries I have ridden in…but this was the first time I had to actually get off the road.

      3.  Belize is nice, but definitely not your typical touristy type of place.  The beaches are nice, the water is good (you can drink it, but bottled water is probably the safer choice), good local food (and cheap), and very friendly people.  Belize also has a lot of the same issues you’ll find in other third world countries.

      I’d love to tell you more about it, so feel free to contact me any time.


      • Cycling For Beginners on June 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

        Thanks Darryl, it sounds great! Is the sea water nice and clear for snorkeling and such?

        I think we’re going to head to Antigua later this summer, so I’m now trying to see what I can find out about cycling there. I’ll post an article about it after I get back.


  18. Dave Boyd on June 24, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Before hearing it from you, Belize seemed like a tropical paradise only dreamed about. Knowing what you’ve shared, I’m going to go. I just don’t know when. Thanks for sharing!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Dave, good to hear from you.  I’m glad you’ve liked the stuff that’s been posted from Belize.  Cycling really is a big thing over here, and it’s one of the reasons we came here for a holiday.


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