US dollars are also accepted as currency (US$1 = BZ$2)
Citizens of some countries (including all EU countries, The US, Canada and Australia) do not need a visa for up to 30 days. Make sure your passport is stamped on entry as lack of proof of entry can result in a fine and/or imprisonment. Visitors can get a 30-day visa extension for BZD$60 at any immigration office.
Check with a Belizean embassy to confirm if you need a visa. Visas costs are generally quite low.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Belize. You may be need a return/ onward ticket and sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Take care in the Belize/Guatemala border area because of disputes between the two countries. Only use officially recognised border crossings.
For official information visit your home government travel bureau.
More detail is to come in this section, but you can read about general advice regarding Getting Around When You Get There
Belize has hostels in major cities and tourist areas.
The average price of a hostel is 19-38 BZD (£6-12) a night. Hotels can also be relatively cheap, but vary in quality.
All hostels in Belize will provide linen and bathroom facilities. Usually there will be internet facilities as well as common and laundry rooms.
Food And Health
Food hygiene and safety is satisfactory, but isn't up to Western standards. Use your instincts; if the place looks dirty, don't eat there; if your food isn't piping hot, don't eat it.
Water is generally not safe to drink, so it is best to buy bottled or boil.
Medical facilities in Belize are limited. Serious medical cases are normally evacuated to the United States at the patient’s expense. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Mosquito borne viruses are present in Belize, so you should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Always contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Visit here for Recommended Vaccinations and read here for more about Travelling Health In General
Weather & Time To Go
The hurricane season in Belize normally runs from June to November. The climate is tropical, so very hot and humid throughout the year. It is best to visit in the dry season; January to May.
Internet and wifi is widespread and accessible in most hostels. Local pay-as-you-go SIM cards for your mobile phone and international calling cards are cheaply available.
Dangers And Considerations
Thieves, pickpockets and scam artists commonly operate in tourist areas and cities. The majority of muggings are in Belize City, but crime occurs in all districts including tourist spots like San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Placencia. Avoid dark alleys, keep valuables out of sight and don’t wear jewellery. If possible travel in groups and use a qualified guide for trips off the beaten track.
Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind; possession is considered a serious crime in Belize and can lead to a fine and/or imprisonment.
Protests are common, you should avoid all public gatherings and mass demonstrations, as they can sometimes turn violent.
There is a departure tax of US$35, which can be paid only in US dollars or with a credit/ debit card. It is included in some air tickets.
Check local weather forecasts and only use registered and licensed operators before undertaking adventure sport activities, including snorkelling and diving; some operators in Belize have inadequate safety precautions.
Dangers constantly change. Always check with your foreign office (British Foreign Office webpage) or travel advice bureau for the latest information regarding your destinations safety.
Many Belizeans are devout Christians; visitors should be mindful of their opinions and ideas that may cause offense. Sundays are considered an important time for relaxation.
Overt homosexuality is generally considered to be socially unacceptable and some homosexual acts are illegal.
Recommended For Further Information
Central America On A Shoestring: Lonely Planet
If you are heading to multiple destinations in Central America I highly recommend picking up a copy of Lonely Planet's; Central America On A Shoestring. It provides the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, what hidden discoveries await you, where to stay, and how to optimise your budget for an extended trip...
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