Guide to Traveling Belize

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Belize is a beautiful country situated on the Caribbean Sea in Central America. Formally British Honduras, Belize encompasses 8,800 square miles (22,800 sq km) and has a population of about 387,879 making it the least densely populated country in Central America. Belize is known for crystal clear waters, abundant wildlife, and world class scuba diving. Belize has a strong Caribbean present as well. With a conversion rate of 2 BZD to 1 USD, it is possible to travel Belize on a moderate budget. In a later post, I will lay out the details of my expenses on a recent trip to Belize.

  • Things to know before visiting

    •  Belize doesn’t require a visa for American citizens but it is best to check for
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      Cahal Pech, San Ignacio

      visa requirements and any travel notices from your home country (Americans can check here). Belize is generally a safe country with petty crime like pickpocketing being the biggest threat to tourist. Even still, it’s always best to check for any travel notices before your departure.

  • Currency
    • The Belizean Dollar(BZD) is the national currency but U.S dollars are widely accepted also. If you pay in USD you will be given change in BZD. It I best to carry small bills (1s and 5s) for tips and street food, which by the way is usually DELICIOUS
  • Food
    • Speaking of food, the food in Belize is very tasty. Make sure to try stew beef
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      Traditional Belizean Chicken, San Ignacio

      and Belizean chicken. The average meal at a food stand or take out will run you about 7-10 BZD per person.  If you are looking for something a little more formal, a meal at a 3 star restaurant will cost you about 20-60 BZD. Remember that these prices are divided in half for USD so that’s still very reasonable.

  • Accommodations
    • In Belize, you will have a couple of options for places to stay. A budget hotel will set you back 60-150 BZD while a more upscale hotel will start around 200 and go up from there. A bedroom is a hostel can vary from 20-40 BZD per night. Overall it is possible to find suitable lodging in any price range. Airbnb and rental property are also available and average about 30 BZD for a room and 150 BZD for an entire home. Given these numbers, I opted for a hotel simply because the price was comparable to an Airbnb. I’d much rather stay somewhere, where they will clean up after me and bring new towels every day.
  • Sites
    • Belize boast and abundance activities. Most are centered around nature and marine wildlife or things to do with the Ancient Mayans. Some of the major sites in Belize include:

Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley

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Shark Ray Alley, San Pedro

 

Xunantunich

Corozal

Belize Zoo

Green Iguana Conservation Project

The Great Hole

Actun Tunichil Muknal

  • Nightlife
    • While the nightlife in Belize cannot be compared to anything like NYC or London, Belize does offer a laid back club experience. Reggae music is widely played so practice that wine before you go. If you are looking for a vibrant nightlife comparable to any big city, you will be slightly disappointed.
  • Weather
    • In general, Belize has a sub tropical weather climate. Humidity can definitely drive the temperature up, especially along the coast. The average humidity per year is 83% which isn’t unbearable. Often the humidity is overtaken by the Caribbean sea breeze. The temperature in Belize averages around 79 degrees Fahrenheit with November and January being the coolest with a mean of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As always location plays a major factor in the type of weather you will experience while in Belize. The Cayo west coast often can be quite a few degrees colder than the eastern coast.
  • Language
    • English is the official language of Belize but Kriol is a hybrid language spoken
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      Palapa Bar, San Pedro

      across the country giving the country a Caribbean feel. Belizean Kriol is recognized by linguists as having all the distinctive rules and lexicon of the contact languages found in many parts of the world which were colonized by European powers. It includes words from English, African languages, Moskito Indian and a smothering of Spanish and Maya.

 

  • Electric
    • In Belize, they use the same 110 volts, 60 cycle electricity. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type so US travelers do not need a converter or adapter. Unfortunately, outlets rarely have 3 holes, so if your device has a third prong, bring an adapter.
  • Money saving tips
    • While Belize is quite expensive when compared to its neighbors to the right, Guatemala, there are ways to help keep you on budget. As always, eat locally, and assume everything is negotiable…. even if there is a sticker price. Try to share rides whenever possible. Try to find other travelers to split taxi costs. Also don’t be afraid to take advantage of the amazing wildlife Belize has to offer, not every day requires an organized tour. Get out and talk to the locals, they can let you know where the best swimming and hiking trails are.

Overall Belize is a beautiful country that should be on everyone’s list! The food is delicious, the people are not only friendly but beautiful also, and the culture here is not to be missed.

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT: I want to mention a lady cooking the most delicious food in Belize

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Mrs. Jenny and her daughter, Belize City

City! She has a food stand two blocks up from the water taxi station in Belize city Mrs. Jenny was si warm and kind when we approached her stand. She definitely hooked ya girl up! Being Jamaican I take my food very seriously and I must say, Mrs. Jenny’s chicken, rice and beans, and cabbage outdid my expectations. To check her out, walk out of the water taxi station in Belize city and make a left. Walk about 3-5 minutes and you’ll see a white on the left of the intersection. Dont forget to tell her, Brieanna sent you. 🙂

 

 

Plan on travelling to Belize soon? Check out my blog on The Hidden Cost of Seeing the Ancient Mayan Ruins and my review of the Ancitent Maya sacrificial cave Actun Tunichil Muknal.

Have you recently travelled to Belize? Tell me all about your trip below. I’d love to hear about it.

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