WHEN TO GO
Belize is at its best between late November and May—the dry season months. The wet season runs from June to October, when strong winds are common on the cayes; rain can be especially heavy in July and August. Temperatures range from 79° F to 93° F by day year-round, but they can drop in the Cayo and on the offshore cayes.
Flights to the Cayes
There are regular internal flights, and many resorts can arrange transfers.
There is some street crime in Belize City and Dangriga, but otherwise this is one of the safest countries you can visit. No special vaccinations are needed, but do take plenty of insect repellent. Beware the deadly fer-de-lance snake.
Belize Tourism Board
New Horizon Building
Tel: 501 223 1913
NEED TO KNOW
Language: English, Spanish
Capital City: Belmopan
Area: 8,800 square miles
Telephone Calling Code(s): 501
Electricity: 110/220V, 60 Hz
Currency: As of Nov 22, 2011:
1 Belize Dollars = $0.51 US Calculate Other Amounts
Belize does not require visas for citizens of the United States. A valid passport is sufficient for a three-month stay.
GOOD TO KNOW
Belize is relatively new to the international tourism scene, so this small Central American nation has yet to develop an extravagant food culture. But that doesn't mean there's nothing good to eat. Towns invariably provide a range of Chinese, Creole, and Latin American restaurants, while hotels generally offer Continental cuisine with a Central American twist. Aside from amazing seafood, one of Belize's great treats is a profusion of rich game meats; almost always served with the ubiquitous Marie Sharp Sauce made from habanero and carrot. Especially recommended are local delicacies like iguana, Guinea pig, and boar. Turtle is the most prized of all, though many visitors will want to avoid the delectable creature due to its endangered status. The most unusual item on a menu in Belize is the seaweed shake: seaweed blended with milk, cinnamon, sugar, and ice. It's recommended that you get the optional shot of rum to make it actually palatable.
Belize used to be a place to find natural jewelry made from tortoiseshell, pink coral, and black coral, but the U.S. government has banned the import of these specialties in the name of wildlife conservation. For those not willing to take a chance with customs, Belize shopping has the appeal of many Caribbean destinationsgood deals on duty-free imports, but nothing local worth noting.
Tipping is voluntary in Belize, but ten percent is common. Occasionally the restaurant may add a service charge, always check the bill before tipping.
January: 1, New Year's Day
March: 9, Baron Bliss; second Monday, Commonwealth Day
May: 1, Labor Day
September: 10, National Day; 21, Independence Day
October: 12, Columbus Day
November: 19, Garifuna Settlement Day
December: 25, Christmas Day; 26, Boxing Day
Spring: Friday before Easter, Good Friday; Easter; day after Easter, Easter Monday