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Frequently Asked Questions

Belize Travel

» When is the best time to go to Belize?
» What are the public and bank holidays?
» What shall I bring while vacationing in Belize?
» What is the dress code?
» What about credit cards and travelers' checks?
» What is the currency exchange rate?
» What about banks?
» What about driving around Belize?
» Can I travel by bus in Belize?
» Can I rent a car?
» How much does gas cost?
» How do I get around by plane in Belize?
» How much should room and board cost?
» Is there sales tax?
» What about tipping?
» What about shopping?
» What about getting married in Belize?
» What do I do in an emergency?
   
Q When is the best time to go to Belize?
 
A You are welcome to go to Belize any time of the year.  Mid-November through May are the driest months of the year. The rainy season starts in June and ends in mid-November. High tourist season starts in December and continues through May. The rest of the year is less crowded. Belize has a subtropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 80F. The temperature can reach the mid-90's in the summer. Trade winds flow through the coastal and island properties most of the year, keeping temperatures enjoyable even throughout the hottest months. Water temperature averages between 79 and 83F. Rainfall is heavier in the jungles and southern Belize and light in central and northern Belize and on the islands.
 
 

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Q What are the public and bank holidays?
 
A Stores, banks and government offices are closed in observance of the following holidays:
  • New Years Day - January 1
  • Baron Bliss Day- March 9
  • Good Friday
  • Holy Saturday
  • Easter Monday
  • Labour Day-May 1
  • Commonwealth Day- May 24
  • St. George's Caye Day- September 10
  • Independence Day- September 21
  • Columbus Day- October 12
  • Garifuna Settlement Day- November 19
  • Christmas Day- December 25
  • Boxing Day- December 26
     
 

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Q What shall I bring while vacationing in Belize?
 
A When hiking, bring hiking boots or sneakers with good treads, long pants and long sleeves for evening hikes, short pants and cool cotton clothes, bathing suits, sun hats, sunglasses, prescription drugs, lightweight raingear with a hood, sun screen, sun burn cream, insect repellent, binoculars, camera and film, batteries, a flashlight or headlamp for evening hikes or caving, and do not forget your passport or visa (if applicable), as well as cash, credit cards and/or travelers' checks.
 
 

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Q What is the dress code?
 
A The dress code in Belize is casual... shorts and t-shirts. Shoes are optional. Except for hiking into the rain forest areas, the dress is informal and light. Leave expensive jewelry at home since you will not need it. Should you need a watch, bring one that is suitable for diving and/or hiking.

If you are visiting Waterside, bring shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits, along with deck shoes. The sun is more intense than what you are probably used to at home, so bring a hat to protect your head from the tropical sun and biodegradable sun screen for the rest of your body. Do not forget to bring a pair of "polarized" sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and to remove the reflective glare from the water.
 
 

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Q What about credit cards and travelers' checks?
 
A Hotels, restaurants and stores in the tourist areas accept all major credit cards. Smaller vendors and storekeepers in rural areas may accept only cash or travelers' checks (US currency or Belize currency... US$1 = BZE$2). All major credit card companies may be contacted at all of the commercial banks in Belize.
 
 

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Q What is the currency exchange rate?
 
A Local currency is the Belize dollar. One U.S. dollar (US$1.00) is equivalent two Belize dollars (BZE$2.00). U.S. dollars are accepted countrywide. Major credit cards are accepted at hotels and shops.
 
 

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Q What about banks?
 
A There are several commercial banks in Belize City.
Atlantic Bank Limited, Albert Street, Belize City - Phone: 227-7301
Alliance Bank, 106 Princess Margaret Dr, Belize City - Phone:223-6783, 223-6784
Bank of Nova Scotia, Albert Street, Belize City - Phone: 227-7027
Barclays Bank PLC, Albert Street, Belize City - Phone: 227-7211
Belize Bank Limited, Market Square, Belize City - Phone: 227-7132
Banking hours are usually Monday-Friday from 8 AM-1 PM and to 4:30 PM on Fridays; and Saturdays, 8 AM-11 AM. Many of the banks have branches within the other districts.
 
 

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Q What about driving around Belize?
 
A If you have a car, a great way to experience the country is driving yourself. It is recommended, to have a four wheel drive vehicle. Belize is only 68 miles wide and 180 miles long, so it is not to far to get anywhere. The main highways in Belize are:
  • The Northern Highway from Belize City to Corozal and the Mexican Border.
  • The Western Highway from Belize City to San Ignacio and the Guatemalan Border.
  • The Hummingbird Highway from Belmopan to Dangriga.
  • The Southern Highway from Dangriga to Punta Gorda.
  • The Manatee Highway from Belize City to Dangriga.
     
 

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Q Can I travel by bus in Belize?
 
A Yes, you can travel by bus in Belize. The bus lines are as follows:
  • Novelo's Bus - Phone: 207-2025
  • Z-Line Bus Service - Phone: 522-2224
  • Battys - Phone: 207-4924
  • Venus - Phone: 207-3354

Departure is out of Belize City for most of the major towns (Punta Gorda, Corozal, Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Dangriga).
 

 

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Q Can I rent a car?
 
A To rent a car, or a golf cart on mainland Belize, a valid driver license is required. The best place to rent a vehicle is at the Belize City International Airport. Driving laws are like the rest of the world. Also, to ride a bike at night, you must have a bright white light on it.
 
 

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Q How much does gas cost?
 
A Gas costs about US$4.00 per gallon.
 
 

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Q How do I get around by plane in Belize?
 
A Travelers flying into the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City may connect to various destinations within Belize including: Corozal, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Dangriga, Big Creek, Ambergris Caye, Placencia and Punta Gorda.
 

Airlines serving destinations within Belize:
 

  • Tropic Air: (800) 422-3435 (from U.S.) or 011-501-226-2012 email tropicair@btl.net. Belize International, Belize Municipal, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Corozal, Placencia, Punta Gorda, Flores (Guatemala)
  • Island Air: 011-501-226-2435. Belize International, Belize Municipal, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Corozal
  • Caribee Air Service: 011-501-224-4253 for private charters.
  • Javier's Flying Service Ltd.: 011-501-223-5360 for private charters.
     
 

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Q How much should room and board cost?
 
A Travelers on a budget can vacation for as little as $40 a day on mainland Belize. Transportation will be extra. Room and board in upscale jungle lodges and good hotels can run from $85 to $150 a day. Outfitted group adventure trips at upscale all-inclusive lodges range from $100 to $150 a day. Reservations are always a good idea during high season. Do not forget to ask about group discounts.
 
 

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Q Is there sales tax?
 
A Yes, Belize has a value added tax of 15%. It is levied on all goods and services except hotel accommodations, where there is a 7% tax. Some hotels have a 10-15% service charge, be sure to inquire about this when checking hotel prices. These taxes are subject to change.
 
 

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Q What about tipping?
 
A Tips of 10% are acceptable, with more for outstanding service.
 
 

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Q What about shopping?
 
A There are local fish, fruit and vegetable markets. Meats, rice, corn and beans are the regular diet for locals. Other foods and manufactured goods are usually imported and sold through small stores and supermarkets. Just keep in mind that certain products cannot leave the country, such as unprocessed coral, turtle shells, pre-Colombian artifacts and marine products (unless permission is granted).
 
 

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Q What about getting married in Belize?
 
A To get married in Belize you have to be in the country for at least three days before you can apply for a marriage license, with one day notice. You must have proof of citizenship such as a certified copy of a birth certificate, notarized, with father's name, proof of divorce, if necessary, certified copy or original of divorce certificate and a copy of the death certificate for widow or widower, if necessary. You can be married by either a Justice of the Peace or Registrar General (Phone 501-227-7377) in Belize City.
 
 

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Q What do I do in an emergency?
 
A 911 is the emergency number to connect you to the local police, who will be able to assist you. The fire department or ambulance can be reached through this number also. The Belize Telemedia Directory would have a list of doctors, and very serious medical problems are cared for in Belize City at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
 
 

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Disclaimer: Waterside Limited makes no warranty as to the quality of the goods or services or the reliability of the products or services listed above. We have made every attempt to keep the list up to date, but we will not be responsible for errors or omissions.

 
 
 

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