We arrived in Belize City and walked along the streets looking for a cheap guest house feeling completely exposed when a man yells, “Look Up!” Freaked out we are taken aback and at first we worry that he was trying to distract us. Is someone lurking behind us about to relieve us of our expensive cargo? Instead, we are treated to a view of thousands of birds flying overhead as he said, “welcome to my country, enjoy the beauty of Belize.” Instantly we were put at ease and smiled knowing that we were going to love this country. This Belize travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Belize Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Belizean power voltage is 110/220 V 60 Hz; Power sockets B & G
- The Belizean currency is the Belizean Dollar (BZD) and is around 2 BZD to 1 USD. However US dollars are typically accepted alongside the BZD.
- Buyer beware: Some of the crafts being sold are overpriced imports from Guatemala. Always haggle with street vendors.
- Belize is at the forefront of eco-tourism, and boasts more eco-lodges than any other Central American country.
- Always book an express bus to avoid stopping for every passenger standing along the roadside.
- There is a $35 USD departure tax that must be paid in cash at the airport upon departure.
- Beware of Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This outbreak continues to affect parts of the Caribbean and Central America. Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear, but usually begin within 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms generally include fever and joint pain; other symptoms can include fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and rash.
Top Packing Tips for Belize Travel
Belize boasts at sub-tropical climate with a mean annual humidity of 83%. The temperatures stay quite consistent all year round varying only by a couple of degrees from the hottest to coolest times. The dry season is from January to April and the rainy season is from mid-May until November.
- The protection basics – Travellers should stock up on the essentials: sun block, mosquito/insect repellant containing DEET or a pyrethroid insecticide, sunglasses and a hat.
- Get Medical Insurance – adventure travel is common in Belize, but if you plan on trekking, paragliding and/or hiking, make sure to be covered just in case.
- Pack for Humidity – for humid weather it is best to pack fabrics that breathe as much as possible and natural fabrics, like cotton, linen or rayon (avoiding silk, wool and polyester). Clothing should be loose and comfortable to encourage the flow of air and allow moisture to evaporate.
- Sarongs – From protecting yourself from the hot island sun or keeping warm on a cool night, sarongs are a must-have.
- Personal Safety products – Certain areas in Belize (including Belize City) are known as pickpocket hotspots. Before leaving for your trip, make sure to pack some personal safety products, like money belts and locks, so that you can keep your valuables safe on your trip.
- Swimming suits (plural!) – Belize is all about frolicking under the sun, lazing at the beach or diving head first in its turquoise waters. Make sure to bring more than one swimsuit as no one likes putting on a damp suit!
- Bring a water bottle – water is not potable in Belize, so make sure to pack a water bottle that is easily refillable, especially if you plan on doing any adventure sports!
Top Things to do in Belize
- Go Scuba Diving! – Belize is known for the Great Blue Hole, amongst other amazing dive sites.