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Frequently asked questions about Belize

When is the best time to travel?

The best time to visit Belize is during the dry season, December to April. Temperatures are cooler and there is little rainfall. Between June and December it is hotter and more humid.

What are the best festivals and when do they take place?

Most public holidays in Belize are Christian celebrations. Belize has its own holidays, such as Baron Bliss Day on March 9. This day commemorates a British philanthropic nobleman, who fell in love with a Belizean beauty. When he died, he left the Belizean people a vast fortune. Belize National Day (September 10) commemorates the Battle of St. George's Caye; its festivities last until Independence Day on September 21. Columbus Day (October 12) and Garífuna Settlement Day (November 19) are also celebrated.

Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?

Yes, you have the option to pre-book airport transfers (arrival only) and secondly the option to pre-book pre and post tour nights.These extra services should be added to your booking.

What about my passport?

You need a passport that is valid at least 6 months from the date of departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.

Do I need a visa?

UK citizens do not need a visa for Belize, but these things can change. So please click here and check out the current situation. You can also check on that website if a visa is required for any other nationalities. Make sure you find out whether or not you need a visa at least a month before departure so you do not run out of time.

If you need a visa, please contact your nearest Belize embassy (unless you use a visa service). Shoestring does not organise your visa. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. You can also obtain the visa through a specialised visa agency such as

Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?

Please click here for questions regarding vaccinations or malaria tablets for this country. You will need to contact your local GP or a specialized health clinic and make an appointment to get your injections and pills. Please make sure that you do this at least six weeks before you travel to give you time to complete the full course of injections. You are responsible for having the right vaccinations and antimalarials for your tour.

What is the recommended currency for Belize?

The unit of currency is the Belize Dollar (BZD), which is fixed against the US$ at a rate of BZ$2 = US$1. Most tourist resorts, hotels, restaurants and tour operators accept US currency and travellers cheques. Credit cards are also accepted and most banks in Belize City and Belmopan will advance cash against Visa or MasterCard. Most establishments will add a 5% service charge to the bill if you pay by credit card. First Caribbean International Bank has several ATMs in Belize City. Always make sure you understand which dollar rate is being quoted; either Belize Dollars or US Dollars.

What kind of clothing is practical and what else should I pack?

Bring along thin, cotton clothes. For the evening, a closed neck long-sleeved T-shirt or thin cotton roll neck sweater is recommended to protect yourself against mosquitoes. Also bring a jersey or sweater and a waterproof jacket. Do not forget an umbrella to protect against both the rain and too much sun. A pair of good quality, worn-in walking shoes with a good tread and flip-flops or sandals are also necessary. It's also a good idea to bring sunglasses, sun cream, toiletries, a traveller’s health kit, a hat/scarf, a camera, spare batteries, a pocket knife, a lighter, a small stock of non-perishable snacks and sweets, an alarm clock, writing materials, books, passport, sufficient money, photocopies of passport and travel insurance, your flight ticket(s), travel insurance details including emergency number, important addresses and a good travel guide. In addition, you may also wish to pack toilet paper, a towel and a portable mini reading lamp. If you bring along electr

What kind of bag should I take?

Please pack everything in a soft weekend bag or backpack, rather than a solid suitcase which is awkward to carry around on buses etc. and takes up too much space. A small backpack or shoulder bag is useful for hand luggage and everyday use. Valuable papers are best kept in a lightweight cotton money belt worn underneath your clothes. Keep a spare set of clean clothes in your hand luggage, so that you can survive without the rest of your luggage if it is delayed. Make sure, for instance, that you put medication and a toothbrush in your hand luggage and that it is not too heavy.

What is the situation with electricity in Belize?

Please click here to check the voltage and plugs used in this country. You may wish to consider taking a universal electric adaptor.

Which travel guides and maps?

If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.

What is the accommodation like?

You will stay in comfortable hotels in twin rooms with en-suite facilities.

How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?

If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller (same sex where possible) unless you have booked a single room.

Do I need a sleeping mat or sleeping bag?

You will not need a sleeping bag or mat.

Do I need to take a mosquito net?

No, you will not need a mosquito net.

Do they cater for vegetarians in Belize?

Yes, vegetarians are catered for in Belize.

What kind of transportation is used?

You will travel by bus and speedboat in Belize.

Is Belize dangerous?

In the big cities, especially in markets and bus stations, pickpocketing does occur. To prevent this, keep your money and valuables beneath your clothing, in a non-visible position. Keep a bit of extra cash to hand so you do not have to search through all your money in the middle of the street. If your day backpack contains valuables, carry it on your front. Also, carry your camera around your neck or tie it to a solid belt. Few robberies occur and when this happens, it is normally in isolated places which you should try and avoid anyway. There is no need to be worried, but there is good reason to exercise caution. If you are interested what the Foreign Office has to say, please click here.

What local customs do I need to keep in mind?

Only bargain when buying souvenirs or art objects. At markets and in shops all food is sold at a fixed price. Politeness is important throughout in Central America
Make sure you look well dressed and clean. This is important to the people of Central America, and you will notice that even the poorest people take care to look presentable.
The myth that men are strong and women are fragile and dependent is common across Central America. You’ll probably see a macho man wolf whistling to catch a female’s attention. Solo women travellers receive plenty of unwanted attention. It is best just to ignore such attention or to avoid it by dressing conservatively.

Are there opportunities to snorkel or dive?

Caye Caulker is a coral island that forms part of a 200 km long barrier reef along the coast. The island is about 7 kilometres long by 600 metres wide and has a typically relaxed Caribbean ambiance. There are fantastic diving and snorkelling opportunities.

Are there opportunities to swim?

There will be ample opportunities to swim, so don’t forget your swimming costume

What are other activities and sports I could do?

The majority of activities available on this tour are watersports such as diving and snorkelling.

How are communications?

The international dialling code for Belize is +501. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (eg. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The area code for Belize City is (0)2. International Direct Dialling is available. Mobile telephone coverage is available throughout most of the country with the Belize Telemedia Ltd GSM 1900 network, and mobile phone rental is available. There are two Internet service providers in Belize, with Internet cafes in urban centres and tourist areas. The postal service is reliable.

Time difference with home?

Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference between Belize and your home country.

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