Belize Airport: Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport

Philip S W Goldson International Airport

Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (or PGIA) is Belize’s largest and only international airport.

If you are planning a vacation to Belize, you might wonder what you need to know when traveling through Belize Airport.

Belize’s main airport has two terminals, a car rental building, and limited amenities. There are often long lines during the peak tourist season (December to April), so arriving three hours before your flight is advisable. Most non-Belizean nationals can get a free, 30-day visa on arrival. 

In this article, I’ll discuss where Belize’s main airport is, how it runs, and important car rental information to know.

I’ll also explain what you need to know when traveling through this airport, what Belize’s other airports are, and if you can get a visa upon arrival in Belize.

Where Is Belize’s Main Airport?

Belize is a mainly safe country to visit. Belize’s main airport is not located in the largest city, Belize City, or Belmopan, the capital, as you would expect.

Instead, it’s situated in the village of Ladyville, Belize’s tenth largest settlement.

Belize City is 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Ladyville and approximately a twenty-minute drive from the airport on the easily-accessible Philip Goldson Highway.

Belize City is on the country’s east coast, giving you easy access to the spectacular islands.

The airport has one runway, two terminal buildings, and a car rental building.

Which Destinations Does Belize’s Airport Serve?

Planes Park by the Airport in Belize

All international flights arrive in Belize at Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, as this is the only international airport in the country. PGIA has direct links to various cities:

  • Newark
  • Houston
  • Atlanta
  • Minneapolis
  • Seattle
  • Chicago
  • Miami
  • Charlotte
  • Calgary
  • Los Angeles
  • Dallas
  • Orlando
  • Roatan
  • Denver
  • Panama
  • Toronto
  • San Salvador
  • Cancun
  • Guatemala City

Most Belizean islands have a small airport or airstrip, and there are frequent flights from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport.

An alternative is to leave the airport, take a taxi to Belize City and travel in a water taxi to your island destination.

Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport is a hub for Tropic Air and Maya Island Air, two Belizean airlines.

Other airlines serving the airport include:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Delta
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Southwest
  • WestJet
  • Tag Airlines
  • Tropic Air
  • United
  • Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos

Domestic Flights in Belize

Car Rental Info for Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport

When visiting Belize, the best way to get around is by renting a car, taking a cab, or using a water taxi around the islands. Belize’s main and most affordable form of public transport is buses, but they can get crowded and are typically slow.

Most tourists opt to rent a car, and the most convenient place to do so is at the airport upon arrival.

Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport has a dedicated car rental building opposite the airport terminals. Here, you can rent a car from the following companies:

  • Hertz
  • Car One Auto Rental Belize
  • Thrifty
  • Alamo
  • JMA Budget Rentals
  • Explore Belize Auto Rental
  • AQ Auto Rental
  • A-class Auto Rental
  • Avis
  • Pancho’s Auto Rental
  • Jabiru Auto Rental
  • Crystal Auto Rentals

Some people find better deals at car rental agencies in Belize City or Belmopan, in which case, they take a taxi from the airport and into town. You can easily grab a cab outside the arrivals hall, where taxis always wait for passengers.

For safety reasons, when using a taxi from the airport, make sure that it is a Ladyville Airport Taxi cab (recognizable by a green license plate). These are the only taxis authorized to transport passengers to and from the airport.

Customs Info for Belize’s Main Airport

If you are a foreigner arriving in Belize, you may not bring more than BZD 10,000 into the country without declaring it.

For reference, the Belizean Currency rate is one US Dollar to two Belizean Dollars. You would therefore have to declare any amount above $5,000 US.

You will be provided with a Customs and Immigration form before landing in the plane, where you’ll need to make a declaration and pay duties if you’re carrying any of the following:

  • More than 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars.
  • More than BZD10,000 in cash (or foreign currency equivalent).
  • More than 1 liter/33.8 fl oz of alcohol that is 22% proof or more.
  • More than 2 liters/67.6 fl oz of alcohol under 22% proof.

Anyone 18 years or older must fill out a separate Customs and Immigration form, and it’s advisable to complete it on the plane. If multiple flights have arrived, you may find yourself in a long line if you leave it until you’re in the immigration hall.

You may bring in basic food items and medicines for personal use. However, the following items are strictly prohibited:

  • Fresh or frozen meat.
  • Live animals or carcasses.
  • Drones. If you plan to use a drone for professional purposes, you’ll need to obtain written permission from the Belizean Civil Aviation Department.
  • Firearms and ammunition.
  • Counterfeit goods or currency.

The Belizean government doesn’t impose import duties on most goods for Caribbean Common Market nationals, as long as they can provide a Certificate of Origin showing that the imported items come from the common market.

What To Know When Traveling Through Belize Airport

If you plan on traveling through Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, the good news is that most travelers have a good experience. However, there are a few useful things to know beforehand:

The Airport Is Easy to Navigate

Simple Map of Belize Airport

If you’re flying into Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport from out of the country and catching a connecting flight to a Belizean destination, you’ll be pleased to learn that the airport is easy to navigate.

With only two terminals (one for international flights and the other for domestic travel), getting to where you need to be is quick and easy.

When arriving from an international destination, you’ll be in Terminal 2 and will need to walk to Terminal 1 for your connecting flight. This should only take you five minutes as the entire airport has only seven gates.

If you have mobility issues, it’s important to arrange a wheelchair and remain seated on the plane for assistance, as the airport doesn’t use jet ways.

Belize Airport Has Limited Amenities

Most people don’t have a long layover at Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport because there are usually onward domestic flights every hour, if not every half an hour. However, if you’ll be spending a few hours there, the airport has all the amenities you need, but they are somewhat limited.

A few restaurants, bars, and stores sell snacks, most notably Jets Bar and Café Belize, so you won’t go hungry or thirsty. If you don’t feel like paying airport prices for food and have time to go through security, leave the airport, cross the parking lot, and enjoy some delicious Belizean street food from one of the food vendors.

If you haven’t had the chance to buy any Belizean souvenirs, the departure lounge is a fantastic place to do so. Some gift shops sell mementos and handmade items, making shopping an excellent way to pass the time before your flight. Each terminal also has a few duty-free stores.

Unfortunately, PGIA does not have any airport lounges. Still, there is air conditioning, free WiFi throughout the airport, and a handful of power outlets for charging your devices. The arrivals hall has a tourism center where you can find maps and guides.

There is a bank in the airport and some ATMs in each terminal.

There Is No Accommodation at the Airport

Belize Airport has no hotel, and if you need accommodation nearby, your best bet is to head to Ladyville, which has a few options.

It’s worth noting that the Belize Tourism Board recommends that visitors use Gold Standard Hotels, as these establishments have been properly vetted and adhere to the tourism board’s criteria for hotels.

Suppose your flight has been delayed until the next day, unfortunately. In that case, you can’t sleep in the airport as it closes in the early evenings after the day’s last flights have arrived and departed.

Arrive Three Hours Before Your Flight

Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport is a small airport and similar in size to a US regional airport. However, it can get very busy during the most popular tourist months, from December to April.

More flights arrive and depart during the busy season, and the lines at check-in and security can become long. If you don’t want to become stressed about missing your flight because you’re stuck in a long line, arriving at least three hours beforehand is essential.

Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport also does not have TSA PreCheck, and you will need to go through security before your connecting flight.

The Departure Lounge Often Gets Crowded

Philip S W Goldson International Airport Seating Area

Many previous travelers through PGIA have remarked that the departure lounge can get very crowded, notably during the peak tourist season.

Though there are benches, these are limited, and you may need to buy a drink or snack at one of the eating places if you want a peaceful place to sit.

The lines at the departure gates can also become chaotic as the signage is not always clear. However, the airport employees are helpful and will quickly point you in the right direction if you’re unsure.

You Don’t Need To Exchange Money at the Airport

You can use your non-local credit or debit card throughout Belize, but some small vendors require cash payments. If you want to carry some cash for this purpose, the good news is that you don’t have to exchange your US Dollars at the airport.

Belizean sellers accept payment in US Dollars, but you will receive change in Belizean Dollars.

What Are Belize’s Other Airports?

As mentioned earlier, Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport is Belize’s largest and only international airport. Its IATA airport code is BZE.

Below is a handy table showing Belize’s other airports and airstrips and their airport codes:

Airport Name Airport Code
Caye Caulker Airport CUK
Belize City Municipal Airport (Sir Barry Bowen Airport) TZA
Belmopan Airport BCV
Independence and Mango Creek Airport INB
San Pedro Airport SPR
Placencia Airport PLJ
Corozal Municipal Airport CZH
Dangriga Airport DGA
Hector Silva Airstrip BCV
Maya Flats Airport MYF
Punta Gorda Airport PND
Caye Chapel Airport CYC
Orange Walk Airport ORZ
Savannah Airport SVH

The local Belizean airlines, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air operate regular flights to and from the above airports.

Can You Get a Visa When You Arrive at Belize Airport?

You can get a free, thirty-day visa when you arrive at Belize Airport as long as you are a citizen in one of the following countries:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • UK
  • EU countries
  • Central American countries
  • Caribbean countries

If you hold another passport, you will need to obtain a Belize visa before you leave, which can be done at your local Belizean consulate or embassy.

Before leaving for Belize, ensure that your passport has at least three months of validity left and that you have at least one page for stamps.

Extending your 30-day Belizean visa is straightforward, but you’ll need to apply in person at an immigration office in one of the main cities.

The immigration officer may ask you for proof of return to your country if you’re a foreigner, so it’s a good idea to have this information digitally or printed out. They may also ask you if you can support yourself financially during your stay and might require proof of your bank balance or credit card limit.

When you leave Belize, you must pay a departure fee of USD 37.50 (or BZD 35 if you’re local). However, this is normally included in your flight ticket price, but it’s worth checking, just in case.

– Does the Guide Include Information About Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport?

Yes, the guide includes information about Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport and other airports in Belize. It provides details on facilities, services, and transportation options available at these airports in Belize, ensuring a hassle-free travel experience for visitors.


Outside Belize Airport

Arriving or departing from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport is typically a painless experience. However, if you’re traveling during the peak tourist season (December to April), you may encounter long lines at check-in and security, so it’s important to arrive early.

The airport is easy to navigate, with only two terminals and seven gates. Since they don’t use jet ways, you should arrange assistance if you have mobility issues.

There are a handful of restaurants, snack bars, and shops to keep you busy before your flight.


1. What else should I know about traveling to Belize?

Over here you can check out our Belize Travel Tips for Tourist. It’s a great resource for you to check out!

2. What is the weather like in Belize?

The Belize weather is tropical, which is a mixture of heat and humidity. During tourist season, it’s cooler and very enjoyable.

3. Is Belize a good place to live in?

Yes, there are several foreigners who have made Belize their home.

People enjoy living in Belize because of the stable government, the low cost of living, and it’s the only Central American country who’s official language is English.

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