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!
As you’ll see in this Belize travel guide, it’s the perfect destination for jungle activities (Maya ruins, spelunking, hiking, biking, cave tubing) 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? Well, we’ll find out in this Belize Travel Guide.
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Belize travel basics
What currency is used in Belize?
Belize dollars are the currency of Belize (Check out xe.com for the most up-to-date currency conversion–they have a mobile app too!)
What time zone is Belize in?
Central Time Zone, GMT -6 / The entire country of Belize is one hour behind the Eastern time zone.
What are the Belize 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 U.S. passport alone. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your trip.
What language do they speak in Belize?
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 are the most popular destinations in Belize?
Caye Caulker: The car-less island that’s just six tropical square miles in size. The motto here is “Go Slow”, the water is turquoise, the snorkeling is top-notch, and the friendly island vibe is addicting.
Belize city: The country’s main city (but not the capital). Though it’s not known for being the safest city, there are a number of popular tourist attractions here such as the Belize Zoo (featuring only rescued animals native to Belize).
Belize City is also home to Belize’s main airport (BZE) and where you’ll catch the ferries to the islands. Also, not that far off is the Blue Hole, the ultimate diving experience in Belize.
San Ignacio: Located in the western part of the country in the Cayo District, near the border with Guatemala. It’s home to some unreal jungle lodges and the perfect base for all your jungle adventure activities.
Ambergris Caye: Another popular island is Ambergris Caye, slightly bigger than Caye Caulker and it actually has streets and cars. San Pedro is a popular destination town here.
When is the best time to visit Belize?
As you can see from weather-and-climate.com, it’s always nice in Belize. HOWEVER, know that even though it says 90° in May, it honestly felt like 120°. Just sayin’… thermometers don’t tell the whole story, sly sons of bitches.
Belize’s wet season is typically June – October. The dry season in Belize (and the most popular time to visit) is February – April.
As is with much of the Caribbean, hurricane season lasts from June – November, with most of Belize’s hurricanes and tropical storms occurring later in the season–around September/October.
Tourism peaks during the week of Easter so if that’s a time you’re considering, reservations should be made like yesterday.
I personally visited at the very end of May. Because of the drought, it was still dry (as in, no rain–what the humidity did to my face and body is a different story) and aggressively hot.
Fun fact: The end of June is lobster festival season in Belize
Where to stay in Belize
Though Belize is small, it’s ripe with great places to stay. When you decide where in Belize you want to visit, I recommend reading hotel reviews on Tripadvisor, then booking your room through Booking.com (my favorite booking site).
Belize is an adventure junkies heaven… but, like, also perfect for those who love to do absolutely nothing more than lift drink to mouth. Repeat.
What to do in the jungle
Over on the jungle side of the country you’ve got popular activities like cave tubing, river rafting, hiking, biking, exploring caves–especially touring the ATM Cave, a must-do–yoga, horseback riding, and the list is almost endless.
What to do on the islands
Belize’s islands are relaxed, tropical, and as busy as you want them to be. While my husband would recommend simply lounging at a beach bar with a beer, you can also go fishing, wind surfing, scuba diving, fly over the Blue Hole, or go snorkeling at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve–the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef after that Great one.
What to do everywhere else
Maya ruins can be found all over Belize and exploring them is a popular activity (and rightfully so). However, one of the most popular things to do in Belize… is leave it.
While Belize has amazing ruins all over, the biggest in the Maya civilization is Tikal in Guatemala–an easy and eye-opening day trip I highly recommend!
– Travel insurance. Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
My blog posts on Belize
Below you’ll find my posts that focus on the awesome country of Belize — all the way from what to pack, helpful tips for choosing where to stay, the things that shocked me the most, and one of the best day trips you can take.