Belize is a state on the Yucatan peninsula in Central America. The eastern part is washed by the Caribbean Sea. Belize shares its borders with Guatemala and Mexico. The capital city is Belmopan.
The climate in the country is mainly tropical with trade winds. The wet season is from May to July. During these months, hurricanes and floods are not a rare thing. The best time for holidays in Belize is winter and the beginning of spring.
The official language is English. The majority of the population are the Christians. But some people adhere to Islam, Buddhism, Indus, Baha'i faith and Mormonism.
The tourists can go to excursions in the Belize City and in Corozal town and see the monuments of the Maya people.
The lovers of diving and snorkeling should go to the coral reefs in Punta Gorda and the marine preserve near Dangriga with its famous Glover's Reef Atoll.
San Pedro offers everything you need for surfing and kitesurfing. Also, in this city you can go drift diving and fishing.
In the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, the tourists can go hiking in the mountains, kayaking and visit the caves. This place is an ideal destination for ecological tourism.
The lovers of country holidays should have a trip to the Sarteneja village which is growing in popularity among the youth.
There are no direct flights from EU and CIS countries to Belize. To travel to Belize, the tourists will have to make several stops in the American cities such as Dallas, Miami, Chicago, New York and Boston. American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, US Airways, Aeroflot, Transaero and Belavia offer transit flights to Belize.
There are regular buses running between Guatemala or Mexico and Belize.
The citizens of the European Union do not need to obtain a visa to travel to Belize.
The residents of CIS countries must obtain a visa to come to Belize. If the aim of traveling to Belize is tourism and the duration of stay is not exceeding one month, the tourists can obtain a visa on arrival.
In all the other cases, the tourists must fill in the online form on the website of the UK Immigration Services and then submit the documents for a visa.
The time for processing the documents for a visa is up to three weeks.
The visa remains valid for half a year or a year.
The customs legislation of Belize does not restrict import and export of foreign currency but the amount of the national currency is limited to 100 Belize dollars (BZD).
The tourists can import in Belize duty-free the following goods:
- one bottle of perfume;
- a limited amount of alcohol and tobacco;
- clothes, shoes and jewelry for personal use;
- gifts and souvenirs the total cost of which does not exceed 200 Belize dollars;
- basic food (bread, rice, flour, condensed milk);
- medications for personal use.
It is strictly prohibited to import in Belize:
- plants, meat and meat products;
- dairy products;
- some medications;
- pets without a special permit from the Agriculture Department.
It is strictly prohibited to export from Belize:
- antiquities and objects having an artistic value;
- corals and products made of corals;
- sea shells and turtle shells.
The cooking traditions of Belize is a combination of Mexican, British, American and Guatemalan cuisines. Such an unusual mix attracts the foodies from all over the world. The staple foods in Belize are rice, maize, vegetables, poultry, pork, beef and seafood.
If you like exotic food, you can treat yourself to venison, lizards, eggs of wild birds and crocodiles, armadillo, iguana and rodents.
Breakfast in Belize typically includes oil fried pieces of dough Fry Jacks.
The tourists will be offered Burrito with chicken or beef, pork fried in coconut oil and meat pies Panade.
The lovers of seafood can treat themselves to a barracuda steak, fried sea bass, seafood casserole in a curry sauce Bile up, pasta with lobsters and pancakes with scallops Seri. All the dishes are served with maize flatbread.
We also recommend trying seafood soups such as Baruru or Hudutu. The locals like Tuna noodle soup a lot and Fiesta beans soup with coconut milk.
A traditional side dish in Belize is stewed corn Pozole, fried bananas, potatoes and beans.
At the end of the meal try a banana pie, Farine with cassava, Belizean rice pudding and a chocolate cake Kakaw.
The traditional drinks are Seaweed with algae, milk, sugar, cinnamon and creams and milkshakes with malt such as Milo and Ovaltine.
The most popular alcoholic drinks are local rum and gin.
The national currency is Belizean dollar (BZD) which is equal to 100 cents. The bank notes from 2 to 100 dollars,1 dollar coins and coins from 1 to 50 cents are in circulation. The currency exchange rate against the US dollar is strictly fixed 2:1.
In Belize, the tourists can easily pay with the US dollars.
You can exchange the money at banks, in exchange offices at airports, in hotels, right in the street and in travel agencies. The local ATMs do not accept cards issued by foreign banks. You can withdraw the money from your card account at Barclays.
Cashless payments are accepted in large cities and touristic areas. Be aware that there is a commission when you make a cashless payment.
Traveler's checks are accepted in the capital city and on the resorts. It is better to have the checks in sterling pounds, Canadian or US dollars.
It will be not easy to pay with the card or check on the resorts.
The rate of robberies and frauds is constantly growing in Belize so we strongly recommend you against exchanging money in the street and leaving your personal things unattended.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Belize
The only site under UNESCO protection in Belize is the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. This place is very interesting for ecological tourism and for the tourists who like nature. There are seven natural objects in total in this reserve system.
The Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve with the total area 130km2 is in the northern part of the Ambergris atoll and it is one of the few points when the land touches the reef. To see the reserve system, you will need to take a boat trip. The excursion includes some stops for swimming and snorkeling.
The Great Blue Hole in the very center of the Lighthouse reef is one of the environmental protection areas. The depth of the hole is 120m. The underwater cave is very popular among the divers because it is in the 10 top list of places for diving.
The coral island with reefs Half Moon Caye is also very beautiful. The island is situated not far from the Great Blue Hole. In this place, the tourists can watch the life of over 120 species of birds and enjoy the exotic nature.
The lovers of snorkeling and scuba diving should go to the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. This place is covered with mangroves. The tourists should not ignore the Glover's Reef Marine Reserve divided into four parts. The wild zone is closed to the public.
The Laughing Bird Caye National Park is on the island with the same name and it covers over 10 acres of the sea. The main attraction on the island are the coral reefs and fishes.
The travelers can go to an excursion to the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve which is famous for its shallow reefs. They are ideal for watching the diverse underwater world.
Among other interesting sites in Belize are the Ambergris Museum devoted to the ancient Maya civilization, the Maritime Museum and the Museum of Belize.
Buy these souvenirs which will remind you of your travel to Belize:
- crafts made of straw, bamboo and wood;
- Maya calendars;
- traditional musical instruments;
- handmade rugs and lace;
- jade and ritual masks;
- traditional jewelry.