Hello Sirenian Bay friends!
You’ve decided that a trip to Belize is just what the doctor ordered, but you’re not sure where to start. Here’s what to bring – and what to expect!
Your passport. Basic, but essential! You need a passport with at least 6 months left on it to visit Belize. US, Canadian and EU citizens don’t require a visa; nor do those from Caribbean or Central American countries. If that’s not you, be sure to check visa requirements just in case.
Multilingualism. Belize has a rich history that has influenced the languages spoken here. Until recently Belize was a British colony, so you’ll get by just fine speaking English. Other languages you’ll hear include Spanish and Kriol, an English-inflected local creole.
Budget-friendly. Belize is great for backpacking or for the budget-conscious. It’s affordable and varied, and you’ll find plenty to do without breaking the bank. That said, if you’re planning to splurge, you’ll be in good stead. Placencia and the Cayes are home to luxury homes, eco-lodges and resorts.
US dollars. The Belize dollar is pegged 2:1 to the US dollar, so there’s no need to go hunting for an advantageous exchange rate. You can generally use either currency, but you may get change in a mix of the two. Cash is king though many places will accept Visa and Mastercard (don’t count on Amex being welcomed).
Tipping culture. Tipping isn’t mandatory, but service staff at hotels, restaurants and tour companies expect a tip. Use cash, and tip 10-15%; 20% if the service is above and beyond.
Friendly people. Belizeans have a smile for everyone. You’ll love spending time with Belize’s friendly, good-natured locals.
Great food. Belize is a cultural melting pot, so you’ll get to experience food influenced by a variety of traditions. Be sure to try freshly caught lobster, tropical fruit and the local favorite – Belikin beer.
It’s hot! You’ll be in the tropics, so expect high day-time temperatures and balmy evenings. Wear sunscreen, stay hydrated and use insect repellent. Anytime is a good time to visit, but the best time to visit is from late November to early April; the rainy season spans June to early November. During these months, it’s rains almost every day (but not necessarily ALL day – so there are still plenty of opportunities for fun!).
Casual attire. Leave the designer threads at home and enjoy kicking around in your most laid-back attire. Whether you’re at the beach or out to dinner, casual is the norm. Pack light, as you can always buy new gear locally.
Varied activities. Whether you’re into nature, culture or adventure, Belize has you covered. With Mayan ruins, incredible wildlife and plenty of options for activity, the only challenge is finding the time to do it all.
Plan ahead. Belize is small, but you want to maximize your holiday time, not your travel time. Plan an itinerary that lets you see as much as you can without spending excess time on the roads or in a boat.
Mainland vs islands. Belize’s mainland is full of spectacular jungles and ruins, while its islands offer lazy days and incredible swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. Plan your trip according to your preference!
Booking a trip to Belize and need help with accommodations or what to expect? Drop us a line!
This is Hugh Manatee signing off for now – stay tuna-ed for the next installment from Sirenian Bay!