Belize | A practical guide to planning your trip

Belize | A practical guide to planning your trip

People come to Belize mainly to discover its Caribbean islands, the Cayes, one of the country’s main attractions. But this country is little-known to European travellers. Discover our practical guide to this extraordinary journey.


Belize has it all: paradise-like islands with turquoise waters, exceptional flora and fauna and the world’s second-largest barrier reef after Australia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lovers of diving and snorkeling will be delighted to discover the seabed of dozens of atolls, including the famous Blue Hole for the most experienced divers.

The country’s interior is a subtle blend of Mayan influences, with sites lost in the jungle, and Jamaican influences, from Garifuna to British. The atmosphere is really relaxed with their motto « Go Slow »

To help you prepare for your trip and make sure you don’t miss out on all there is to see and do in Belize, I invite you to take a look at see our general article on Belize


  • Flying time: no direct flights. Allow around 15h30 with stopover to Belize city. Find your cheap flight to Belize with Skyscanner
  • Escale via Los Angeles, Miami, Houston (USA) Flores (Guatemala) and El Salvador (Salvador)
  • Time difference: – 8h in summer and – 7h in winter compared with France
  • Languages spoken in Belize : Spanish, Creole and English
  • Local currency : the Belizean dollar, not to be confused with the American dollar! Always check the currency before you buy.
  • Cost of living higher than in other Central American countries
  • There are a few Visa and Mastercard ATMs on Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, but it’s best to bring cash to these islands.
  • Withdrawing money from ATMs is much cheaper than converting euros (substantial charges apply).
  • Currencies accepted in Belize: US $, Canadian $, Pound Sterling (£) and Euro (€), convertible at banks
  • ⚠️ Please note that Belizean dollars are almost impossible to exchange outside the country, except with the money changers at the land borders, but at a disadvantageous rate.


  • No mandatory vaccinations for travelers from Europe, but as always, it’s always best to be up to date on your vaccinations: DTP, Typhoid, Rabies, Hepatitis A and B. Ask about typhoid fever as you may have food-borne infections.
  • Make sure you have adequate medical and repatriation insurance in case of need.
  • Pack good mosquito repellents for clothing and skins. You’ll avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, which carry malaria and other parasitic and viral diseases, in particular dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus.
  • Passport valid 6 months after return.
  • You are authorized to stay for 1 month with the possibility of extending every 30 days
  • Residence permit, issued at customs.
  • No visa required for nationals of EU member states.
  • No tax to enter Belize. But you will have to pay an exit tax of BZ$40 at land and sea border crossings if you have been in the country for more than 24 hours.
  • Voltage 110/220 V
  • Check your appliances carefully, you’ll probably need a transformer
  • Take a universal adapter for electrical outlets
  • Free WiFi is available in virtually all hotels, restaurants, bars and public places, and there aren’t too many cybercafés left.


  • Although the country is small, there is a variety of accommodation in Belize, from dormitories to ecolodges. Whether in the city, in the jungle or on the beach, there’s something for every taste and budget. Just bear in mind that this is surely the most expensive country in Central America, so you’ll need to budget for this destination.
  • Tight budgets will also find hostels, youth hostels and small gueshouses at reasonable prices. For backpackers, it is sometimes possible to rent a deckchair. Inexpensive hotels are usually under $80Bz. Average prices range from BZ$80 to BZ$140. The most common form of accommodation is the cabaña, a standard wooden hut on stilts with mosquito netting on the windows, found in the jungle or in more luxurious form.
  • Please note that breakfast, when offered, is rarely included in the room rate.. Similarly, you’ll pay a lot less if you use a fan instead of air conditioning. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly!
  • Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are the only islands in the country to offer affordable accommodation (less than 50 euros per double room).


If you’re looking for other types of accommodation, you can always find what you’re looking for here:


B&B / bed & breakfast

Guest houses





  • If you’re coming from Mexico, you can reach Belize by land from Chetumal or via the Guatemalan border. By sea, the Belize Express Water Taxi Service offers ferries from the town of San Pedro to the town of Chetumal in the Quintana Roo region. Check departure dates, as it does not run every day. The border crossing is very long!
  • You can also travel around the country by small plane from Municipal Airport (TZA).
  • You can rent a car to get around, but choose a good 4×4 as there are many muddy tracks in wet weather. Find here your cheapest car rental




  • It’s easy to get to Les Cayes from San Ignacio. You’ll take those famous yellow American school buses, the “chicken buses”, for the overland section. The journeys are quite long, but quite doable. From Belize City, take a water cab. The ferry stops at Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. It’s the best and most economical way to discover the islands.
  • Several companies offer these services to get you to Les Cayes: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi, Belize Express Water Taxi Service and Ocean Ferry Belize have their counters right next to each other, and offer virtually the same services. Compare prices and see which departure and return times suit you best. Ocean Ferry Belize has the lowest fares.




  • Getting around the country by public transport is fairly easy and very cheap, but distances are long and you’re not too comfortable. Practical for short trips.
  • How to take the bus to Hopkins from Belize City ? No direct bus service from the capital. You’ll need to take the James Bus Line bus to Punta Gorda (1 bus every hour) and ask to be dropped off at Hopkins Junction (trip $15), then take a shuttle cab to the village (trip $10).
  • How do I get to Placencia in southern Belize? From Hopkins, a local bus runs to Placencia every day around 9:00 a.m. (5$B). Timetables are often uncertain, so it’s best to arrive early. Regular buses run between Belize City and Independence every hour during the day (B$20). Water cabs then take you to the Placencia peninsula. Click here for bus timetables.


The food in Belize is pretty good, but like everything else, you’ll need to set aside a small budget for indulgence. Belizean cuisine is simple and straightforward. Dishes are often accompanied by rice and black beans, mayonnaise potato salad or coleslaw (grated carrot and cabbage).

If you come to Belize between June and February, it’s lobster season ! Far less expensive than in Europe or North America, you can feast on them in a variety of ways: ceviche, tacos, barbecued, boiled, burgered, grilled, in Thai sauce, in fajitas and with pasta.

You’ll also find American influences with good burgers, but also Mexican fajitas and bujitos, as well as a wide range of local dishes. pupusas, specialities from neighbouring El Salvador.

  • Cost of inexpensive dishes: – $15Bz (€6)
  • Average food prices: 15 to 30 $Bz (6 to 12 €)
  • Cost of dishes at higher prices: over 30 $Bz (12 €)


Belize is one of the main countries involved in the drug trafficking. It’s a hub for cocaine, with Colombian producers passing through Belize to export their merchandise to Mexico and the United States. Be careful when moving around, as the streets parallel to the main thoroughfares can quickly become crowded at nightfall.

Don’t display your valuables, and always carry some cash in case of savage muggings.


Because of its subtropical climate, here is a short list of things to pack depending on the season you choose:

  • Swimsuits, hats and pareos
  • Beach bag and flip-flops for the Caribbean
  • Light, comfortable clothing for your excursions
  • Sandals and a pair of sneakers
  • A pair of shoes suitable for jungle climbing or forest trekking
  • A Kway in case you get caught in heavy rain!
  • A little wool for cooler evenings after a shower
  • An excellent repellent for mosquitoes, clothing and skin
  • Light, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing with plenty of coverage for the rainy season to protect you from mosquito bites.
  • Soothing cream for severe stings
  • High-protection sunscreen and after-sun cream

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to souvenirs to bring back from Belize: beautiful baskets woven in the Mayan tradition, local sculptures in wood or slate, handicrafts made from coral and shells, hammocks, Indian textiles, wooden crockery, pottery, but also rum and local beers, local products such as cocoa or Marie Sharp’s hot sauce, which can be found everywhere, local music and instruments such as Garifuna drums.
But the golden rule: haggle!

Belize’s climate is subtropical, meaning hot and humid. The destination is exceptional, both for diving and for observing the many species of birds that live there.

  • November/December to May: the best time to discover the country, with warm but pleasant temperatures and the best months between January and April. Take a sweater anyway, as there’s sometimes a chill in the air.
  • June to November: possibility of devastating cyclones and hurricanes, the air is heavy and very humid. Don’t worry, it doesn’t happen every day – you’ve got plenty of time to find out!


  • Belize is a trip that can be combined with Mexico’s Yucatan, Guatemala and Honduras.
  • Mayan sites and museums often cost in the region of 10 $Bz/p
  • Activities require a substantial budget: you’ll find almost nothing for less than US$50, and more often US$75 to US$120, depending on location and duration. Diving is even more expensive once you get a little further from the coast. Discover activities in Belize in this article.
  • Travelling to the islands of Belize can be expensive. Caye Caulker is one of the few islands accessible by shuttle at a reasonable price, but all outings are sold in the form of organized tours, i.e. guided outings, so often not given away.


Please note that as an accredited bespoke travel designer, I offer to accompany you in the creation of your tailor-made trip to Belize and create a personalized itinerary tailored to your needs. Please send me an email at :







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