Caye Caulker, Belize
Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker

Little boy showing us a starfish he caught snorkeling around the island.
Photo by Claude Piché

BELIZE

Central America

Belize Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Belmopan

Location:

Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico

Currency:

Belizean dollars (BZD)

Area:

22,966 sq km

Population:

405,633 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

English 62.9% (official), Spanish 56.6%, Creole 44.6%, Maya 10.5%, German 3.2%, Garifuna 2.9%, other 1.8%, unknown 0.3%, none 0.2% (cannot speak); note - shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2010 est.)

Religion:

Roman Catholic 40.1%, Protestant 31.5% (includes Pentecostal 8.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 4.7%, Mennonite 3.7%, Baptist 3.6%, Methodist 2.9%, Nazarene 2.8%), Jehovah's Witness 1.7%, other 10.5% (includes Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu, Church of Jesus Christ, Muslim, Rastafarian, Salvation Army), unspecified 0.6%, none 15.5% (2010 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC-6

Tel Code:

+501

Weather

Climate

Belize has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The rainy season is from June to November, with the heaviest rains in September and October. The dry season is from December to May, which is the best time to visit if you want to avoid the rain.

Temperature

The average temperature ranges between 75°F (24°C) and 85°F (29°C) year-round.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Belize depends on your preferences and what you want to do during your trip.

  • If you're looking to avoid the rain and enjoy clear skies and warm temperatures, the dry season from December to May is the best time to visit.
  • If you're interested in diving or snorkeling, the sea is calmest from December to April.
  • If you want to experience the jungle and wildlife, the rainy season, from June to November, can be a good time to visit as it's the peak of the wildlife activity and vegetation is lush and green.

It's worth noting that the peak tourist season is during the winter months of December to April, so it can be more crowded and expensive during this time.

Transportation

Air

The most convenient way to travel to Belize is by air, with several international airports in the country including Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City and the Belize City Municipal Airport. There are also several regional airports in other towns and cities such as Caye Caulker, Placencia and Dangriga. Several airlines operate flights to Belize from major cities in the US, Mexico and Central America.

Bus

Another option for getting around Belize is by bus. The country has a relatively good network of roads and buses run regularly between major towns and cities. Bus travel can be a budget-friendly option, although it may not be as comfortable as other forms of transportation.

Car Rental

Renting a car is another option for getting around Belize, although it's worth noting that some areas of the country, such as remote villages and jungle areas, may not be accessible by car. Additionally, roads in Belize can be in poor condition and traffic can be chaotic in some areas.

Boat

Belize is a country of many waterways, and boat travel is a popular option for getting around. Water taxis and ferries run regularly between major towns and islands, and can be a convenient way to travel.

Taxi

Taxis are widely available in Belize and are a convenient way to get around, especially in urban areas such as Belize City. It's worth noting that fares are not regulated, so it's a good idea to agree on a price before starting the journey.

Accommodation

Hotels and Resorts

Belize offers a wide variety of hotels and resorts to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. Many of these are located on or near the beach, offering easy access to the Caribbean Sea. Some resorts are all-inclusive, which can be a good option for those who want to have most of their meals and activities included in the price of their stay.

Lodges and Ecolodges

For those looking for a more rustic and natural experience, Belize has a number of lodges and ecolodges available. These are often located in remote areas, such as in the jungle or on an island, and provide a more eco-friendly and sustainable option for accommodation.

Vacation Rentals

Another option for accommodation in Belize are vacation rentals, such as villas, apartments or cabins. This option can be a good option for those who want more privacy and space, or for groups traveling together. Many vacation rental options can also be found on popular vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO.

Camping

Camping is also an option in Belize, especially for those who want to explore the country's nature and wilderness. There are several campsites available, some with basic facilities and others with more luxurious amenities.

Home-stays

For a truly authentic experience, travelers can opt for a home-stay, which is a great way to immerse in the local culture and get to know the people of Belize. This option is available throughout the country and can be arranged through local tour operators or hosts themselves.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Belize Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Belize is a small Central American country known for its lush tropical rainforests, crystal clear waters, and ancient Mayan ruins. It's a destination that offers something for everyone, whether you're looking for adventure, culture, or relaxation. Here are the top 10 things to do when traveling to Belize:

      1. Explore Ancient Mayan Ruins

      The ancient Mayan civilization once flourished in what is now Belize, and there are many impressive ruins to explore. Some of the most famous include Xunantunich, Caracol, and Lamanai.

      2. Snorkel or Dive in the Barrier Reef

      Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and it's a popular spot for snorkeling and diving. The coral is colorful and diverse, and there are many different species of fish and other sea life to see.

      3. Visit the Blue Hole

      The Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole located off the coast of Belize. It's a popular spot for diving and is known for its clear, deep blue water.

      4. Take a Jungle Tour

      Belize is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life, and a jungle tour is a great way to experience it. You can explore the rainforest on foot, by boat, or even by zip-line.

      5. Experience a Cenote

      Cenotes are natural swimming holes that are common in the Yucatan Peninsula. They are formed when the roofs of underground caves collapse, revealing crystal clear water.

      6. Visit the Belize Zoo

      The Belize Zoo is a small but fascinating zoo that is home to a variety of native Belizean animals. It's a great way to learn about the country's wildlife.

      7. Go Cave Tubing

      Cave tubing is a popular activity in Belize, and it involves floating down a river that runs through a cave system. It's a unique and exciting way to explore the underground landscape.

      8. Take a Boat Tour

      Belize is home to many different waterways, and taking a boat tour is a great way to explore them. You can take a tour of the mangroves, visit a local fishing village, or even take a sunset cruise.

      9. Visit a Local Market

      Belize is home to many local markets, and they're a great place to find unique souvenirs and try local foods.

      10. Relax on the Beach

      Belize is home to many beautiful beaches, and they're the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. Some popular spots include Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.

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