OVERVIEW OF BELIZE
When I first chose to travel to Belize, it was because I liked how the world sounded. Belize. It brought to mind turquoise waters, tropical waterfalls, and bright colored birds. Aaaaaand I was right. Belize is all those things and more! It’s the perfect destination for jungle activities (Maya ruins, spelunking, hiking, biking, cave tubing, etc.) and for island relaxation (fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, wind surfing, you name it).
Belize is part tropical jungle, part caribbean island charm, and do you really need any more parts besides those? Belize’s main cities include:
- Belmopan – the capital
- Belize City – its central city and location of Belize’s main airport
- San Ignacio – popular as a base for all rainforest activity in Belize’s western half
- all the islands: Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, to name two of the most popular
BELIZE TRAVEL BASICS
CURRENCY | Belize dollars (Check out xe.com for the most up-to-date currency conversion–they have a mobile app too!)
TIME ZONE | Central Time Zone, GMT -6 / The entire country of Belize is one hour behind the Eastern time zone.
VISA / PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS | If you’re planning to spend less than 30 days in Belize, no special documents are required and you can enter with your passport alone. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your trip.
LANGUAGE(S) SPOKEN | The official language of Belize is English, but in different parts of the country you’re likely to hear other languages such as Spanish (inland) and Creole (on the islands).
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR? | I have not personally experienced anything notable to apply here but word on the street (and from the U.S. Department of State) is that the high crime rate in Belize City is something to avoid at all costs. Being that the main airport is in Belize City this may sound troublesome, but I personally traveled in and out via airplanes, taxis, and boats with no issue.
Obviously, take the standard safety precautions (don’t travel alone, don’t travel at night, don’t flash your wads of cash you baller you). For more information on Belize safety concerns, see this page.
Regardless of what I’ve experienced, always be on guard, travel smart, and pick up travel insurance before you go.
WHERE TO STAY IN BELIZE
Why not start by reading some hotel reviews on Tripadvisor?
Then when you’re ready, book your hotel room on Booking.com (my go-to booking site, I mean, it’s right there in the name…).
- Book a hotel room in San Ignacio
- Book a hotel room in Caye Caulker
- Book a hotel room in Ambergris Caye
- Or just use this handy widget ⇣⇣⇣
But where do I personally recommend?
- I’ve written this entire review on my stay at Black Rock Lodge outside San Ignacio – aka – my most favorite lodging OF ALL TIME, anywhere in the world.
- I also cover the awesome accommodations I stayed in on Caye Caulker in this post.
Additionally, there’s always Airbnb and I can help you save $40 on your first Airbnb stay. Just click here to activate the no-strings discount and shop away!
BELIZE TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Belize guidebook | My choices would be:
- Fodors Belize + side trip to Guatemala (the exact one I use)
- Lonely Planet Belize
- The Rough Guide to Belize
That’s a good place to start, but I actually wrote an entire article on Belize packing essentials so why not just go straight there ⇣⇣⇣
MY POSTS ON BELIZE
Venturing into Belize’s ATM Cave is one of the country’s must-do activities–and rightly so! This is one of the COOLEST things I’ve ever done on my travels. However, there are A LOT of unanswered questions when it comes to the ATM Cave. Well, not anymore, that is. 🙂
The island of Caye Caulker has a motto: “Go Slow.” And it’s the perfect place to do so. No cars, no clocks, no reason to change out of your bathing suit. Caye Caulker, Belize is the perfect place to chill, Caribbean-style, or go snorkeling in one of the world’s biggest and most beautiful barrier reefs. Here’s how to spend a few days in Caye Caulker.
I didn’t exactly know what to expect when traveling to Belize, but I sure wasn’t expecting these 17 things. From the public transportation situation to the surprising things I ate in the jungle, here are some of the things that shocked me during my week in Belize.
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Belize has some of the best snorkeling in the world. You get to check out the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef, swim with sea turtles, sharks, rays, fish, manatees, and probably a lot of other things I didn’t know were there. Check out my experience here and watch my video!
Hands down, my favorite lodging anywhere in the world. The Black Rock Lodge, an eco-lodge deep in the Belize jungle, has everything you could want from a Central American getaway: amazing food, a plethora of activities and adventures, monkeys and toucans, and the list goes on and on. Read my full review here.
When planning my trip to Belize, “Go to Guatemala” kept popping up as one of the top things to do. So I did. My day trip to the ancient Maya ruins of Tikal was amazing – read here how to do it yourself, why you should, and what you can expect!
I had no idea what to pack for Belize before I went there – and it shows. This post covers what all I got up to in Belize and what I needed… but also all the things I can’t believe I brought. I guarantee this post will answer a number of your unanswered Belize packing questions.
But first, Pin me ⇣