Since visa requirements are subject to change, please contact the Belize Embassy for up-to-date information at:For the nearest place to obtain a visa please visit: Belize Consuls and Embassies.
The Belize Embassy
Duty free importation is allowed for baggage accompanying passenger, wearing apparel, jewelry, binoculars and cameras. Each person is allowed to import one carton of cigarettes and one bottle of alcoholic beverage, duty free.
Following are a few tips to help you plan your visit to Belize.
The busier time of the year for travelers to Belize is November to May, which are the winter months of the Northern Hemisphere. Still, many visitors prefer the more quiet days of the summer months from June to October for their vacation in Belize. Both times of the year have their own unique attractions and the choice of when to visit is totally up to you, your budget and the adventure you crave.
Belize in Winter
Belize has proven to be the choice location for those wanting to escape the harsh winter of the North. Besides the favorable temperature, Belize is also a favorite destination because of the following:
Belize in Summer
Belize is also the ideal place for those needing a summer break, which although tropical, may provide cooler temperatures than home. During the summer months it is also true that:
Belize is a very informal country, with a very casual lifestyle. Unless you are invited to a Government function, please leave your "after five" attire at home.
Leave your jewelry and expensive watches at home because you will not need them. If you must have a watch, bring an inexpensive watch that is suitable for diving and hiking.
If you are visiting the Cayes and/or the Barrier Reef, bring your shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits, as well as some comfortable tennis shoes or deck shoes. Sandals or watershoes may be appropriate for some situations. As the sun is probably more intense than what you are used to at home, bring a cap to protect your head from the tropical sun when you are boating and/or fishing. In addition to protecting your eyes from both the sun and the reflective glare off of the water, a pair of "polarized" sun glasses will enhance the variable colors of the coastal waters of Belize.
Loose fitting, light colored cotton pants and camping shirts, along with a comfortable pair of hiking shoes or boots are appropriate for exploring the Mainland or trekking through the rain forest. When visiting the Maya Ruins or traipsing through the jungle, a hat with a wide brim will provide shade from the tropical sun, as well as provide protection from a tropical shower.
Be aware that water, beverages, and snacks are not always readily available while sightseeing; so a day pack, to carry a water bottle, energy bars, camera, film, binoculars, poncho, hand towel, etc. is a welcomed accessory. Although you do not wear it, a hiking staff can prove to be a valuable aid to climbing ruins, crossing streams, or walking up or down steep trails.
SCUBA diving gear with certification card and dive log, snorkeling gear, binoculars, fishing tackle, etc.
The currency exchange in Belize is $2.00 Belize to $1.00 U.S. dollar. All businesses accept U.S. currency. Some smaller places do not accept credit cards so bring travelers checks or cash. The only banks in the Belize District are in Belize City. The villagers generally do not accept credit cards, travellers checks or personal checks. Be sure to have small denominations of US or BZE dollars.
There is crime in Belize City, but it rarely involves visitors. Tourist police patrol Fort George and other areas where visitors convene. If you avoid walking around at night (except in well-lit parts of the Fort George area), you should have no problems. Stay away from any kind of illegal drugs - it just isn't worth it. As with any location in the world, it is best to use common sense when moving about at night. Travel with friends and if you have far to walk, take a taxi. In other words, use the same common sense you would at home.
Outside of Belize City, you'll find Belize perfectly safe and friendly. Most communities are closely knit and live together peacefully. Although it is always best to be cautious, problems rarely arise.
Belize City has a steady supply of electricity (120V-AC) and telephone usage, including mobile service. Although some villages in the district do not have access to electricity or private phones, most do have a community telephone that is accessible during daylight hours and for emergency purposes.
While living and health conditions of the more remote villages may appear primitive compared to western standards, the villages are clean and the people are healthy. All cooking and drinking water is drawn from pump wells. Each village has a trained community health worker.
All the larger towns have health clinics and Belize City has a modern hospital.
Snacks and bottled water are easily accessible in all the larger towns. However, purified water is sometimes not sold in the villages, and snack variety is very limited. Cold, bottled soft drinks are sold in most villages.
Gas stations are few outside of Belize City. It is best to gas up your car in Belize City before heading out to explore.
All guides, tour operators and hotels are required to be licensed by the Belize Tourism Board. The Belize Tourism Board, with the assistance of educational institutions and other tourism groups, holds training and certification programs several times a year throughout the country.
If you have any doubt please email The Belize Tourism Board or when in the country call them at 223-1913.
You can search for licensed tour guides and operators HERE.
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