Belize is a tropical paradise all year long, and its warm breezes and lush foliage make it a popular destination for travelers escaping the winter cold. Because English is the official language, it's easy for Americans and Canadians to get around, and these five tips make it a breeze.
1. The Best Time to Travel
If you’re looking for clear skies and dry days, plan your vacation between late November and mid-April. You’re more likely to find crowded attractions, but you’ll also find an array of festivals and special events for the holidays. The green season runs from June through November, but those months also offer special sites like shark whale watching, the annual Lobsterfest, and the Maya equinox at Caracol. Belizeans devote the entire month of September to patriotic festivals marking the country’s Independence from Great Britain. September is also a good time to kick back and celebrate with the locals before the crowds arrive.
2. American Dollars
It’s easy to keep cash handy in Belize because most businesses accept US dollars. If you make an exchange, you’ll get a good deal. One United States dollar (USD) is worth two Belize dollars (BZD).
3. Getting Around the Country
If this is your first visit, you'll want to plan ahead. You won't find Ubers, but you will find rental cars and shuttles. The roads aren’t as busy as in the U.S. or Canada, and a car with a GPS may be all you need to get around. If not, hop on a private or shared shuttle for a comfortable ride to your destination.
4. Packing the Essentials
You'll need your usual travel attire, along with sunscreen and insect repellent. While needs vary depending on the region and season, you’ll definitely need sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes, and clothing that suits the weather and events. Passports, fishing or snorkeling gear, swimsuits, and cameras are essential for some activities.
5. Staying on a Budget
When you’re taking in the majesty of the Maya ruins or zipping across the valley, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and spend too much money. Before you enjoy one more lobster dinner or take an aerial tour over the Blue Hole, remember you still have a few days to go before you get back home. Save a few dollars to cover unexpected expenses or last-minute deals you can't pass up.