What you need to know about Belize
The languages spoken in Belize vary depending on the people group. You might hear Kriol, Spanish, or low German.
A majority of Belizean’s also speak English. Belize was a British colony for some time, and English has continued as the official language of the country.
One of our taxi drivers in Belize said: “we speak English on paper, and Spanish or Kriol at home.”
Belize uses the Belizean dollar. It has very interesting colorful images.
The exchange rate from the US to Belize is a set BZ$2 to US$1.
Using US money in Belize is not usually a problem. There are ATM’s in some places where you can withdraw Belizean cash for a fee. But if you bring US money, you’ll be able to pay for what you need.
Belizean food is as varied as the people groups represented in Belize.
Cuisine cultures include Mayan, Creole, Garifuna, and Mexican.
A typical Belizean meal comes with rice and beans, stewed meat and a small side of coleslaw or side salad.
On the coast, you can find seafood- lobster, fish, conch, and shrimp.
The water in Belize is treated and potable.
It’s generally a good idea to drink only bottled water when in another country. Your body may not be used to the minerals or bacteria in the water. Drinking bottled water is an excellent way to avoid potential stomach issues.
You can buy gallon jugs of water at the grocery stores.
Public transportation is available.
A subtropical climate.
Trade winds coming in from the Caribbean.
The average temperature in Belize is 80°F.
The dry season is approx. December through May
Wet season approx. June to November.
US Central Standard Time, no daylight savings time changes.
Democratically elected parliamentary government.
Independent from Britain since 1981. Belize was formerly known as British Honduras. It is now part of the British Commonwealth.
The tourist season is December through May.
110 volts AC power.
A passport is necessary to visit Belize from any other country. The passport must be valid through the departure date of your stay.
Private/public hospitals are available in urban areas.
There are clinics and nurse practitioners to be found in rural areas.
Police Emergency: 911
Fire or Medical Emergency: 90
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Everything you need to know about visiting
Belize is a country in Central America.
The tourist season in Belize is December through May. This is also considered the driest season.
You can travel to Belize at multiple different budgets.
Go budget travel- stay at hostels, cook your own food, do free activities like hiking and swimming.
Spend a bit more- Rent an Airbnb or vacation rental, eat out only in the evenings, choose 1 or 2 special activities.
Luxury vacation- Stay at a resort, eat the resort food or go out for every meal, take tours, do all the activities you find interesting.
As a general rule, we prefer to hit the middle of the road when traveling. We get a good sense of the culture by living closer to the locals. But also get to enjoy some of the tourist activities like tours, museums, and trying local cuisine at the restaurants.
In our experience, the restaurants had wonderful food for BZ$12-20 per plate (that’s US$6-10).
Hostel private rooms cost about US$40 per night.
Airbnb’s run about US$70 per night and up.
Bus transit is cheap.
The tourist locations in Belize are not set up for wheelchair access.
While a durable stroller could do some of the trails and ruins, there are several sections of rough trail and steep stairways.
We spent 9 days exploring Belize. This was a great length for getting a taste of the country.
We met lots of solo travelers, backpackers, and Europeans on vacation that we traveling in Central America for a month or more.
That is not realistic for everyone.
Staying 9 days and hopping around the country to visit different locations makes for a packed, busy schedule, buts its a great adventure. See our 9 Day Belize Adventure Itinerary.
Where to fly in
If you are flying to Belize from any other country you will probably land at the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City. This is in the Central Coastal region of Belize.
From here you can hire a taxi, a shuttle bus, or rent a car to get where you are staying.
Belizean people are friendly and welcoming of visitors as a general rule.
The motto of Belize is “go slow.” We noticed this most while visiting Caye Caulker. Island life lends itself to a casual, slow-paced lifestyle.
Things to do in Belize
Belize has a plethora of wonderful nature experiences to explore.
The variety of birds to see in Belize makes it a great location for birders.
Many locations and options to pursue fishing are available in Belize.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
There are tours for both snorkeling and scuba diving off the coast of Belize. Many companies offer tours, and gear to explore the Belize Barrier Reef.
Belize has a variety of cultures represented. This is a great experience for exploring.
There are many nature reserves and sanctuaries that offer hiking trails and walking paths.
Take a dip in the rivers that flow through Belize. Or swim on the coast, or in the waters surrounding one of the cayes.
Kayaking and canoeing
Rent a kayak or a canoe and go paddling.
There are stand-up-paddle-boards available at many different shops for rent.
Get an education in Belize
Visit one of the Mayan cities
There are many Mayan cities in Belize.
Read about our trip to Caracol: Make the Most of Your Trip to the Mayan City, Caracol, Belize
Here is a list of Mayan cities: Belize’s National Parks, Reserves, Sanctuaries, Monuments, Archeological Sites and Caves.
Hike in the reserves or sanctuaries
Twenty-five percent of Belize land is considered a wildlife reserve or sanctuary. There are locations all over the country that you can walk in and enjoy the natural beauty of Belize. Here is a list of the national parks, reserves, and sanctuaries.
Read about our trip to Cockscomb Basin: Make the Most of Your Trip to Cockscomb Basin, Belize
Explore the Barrier Reef with a Guide
The Belize Barrier Reef is the largest living barrier reef. The coral gardens, shark and ray alley, manatee reserve and sea turtles thrive in this marine reserve.
You will need to join a snorkel tour in order the visit the marine reserve, or purchase a pass to visit the reserve on your own.
Read about our trip to Caye Caulker and the snorkel tour we took: How to Make the Most of Your Trip to Caye Caulker
Here is a list of Belize’s National Parks, Reserves, Sanctuaries, Monuments, Archeological Sites and Caves. Included are the many marine reserves in Belize.
Accommodations and food
Where to stay
Belize offers a variety of accommodation options.
Searching for a place to stay in any of these categories is just an internet query away.
Where to eat
The food in Belize is wonderful.
One great way to find places to eat is to ask someone local where they would go. Whether its the attendant at the place you’re staying, your taxi driver or even someone friendly on the street.
Here are some places we enjoyed during our trip to Belize:
Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen, Caye Caulker