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Belize is a very different country to travel around than the rest of Central America: things move at a slower pace.
It’s a fabulous place to relax, take your time, appreciate beautiful scenery, spot wildlife and experience something new — anything from canoeing, caving and river tubing to scuba-diving, spotting manatees and swimming with sharks, all of which our specialists have extensively researched.
Despite its small size and reliance on tourism the infrastructure is poor. Many of the roads are bumpy and unpaved, and although our drivers are well accustomed to the conditions we often suggest chartering an aircraft as an alternative means of travel to your next stop.
The views from the air are spectacular and give you a completely different perspective of the country.
Combining Belize with other countries
As well as a destination in its own right a trip to Belize can easily be combined with neighbouring Guatemala.
The official language in Belize is English, although many mestizos (those of mixed Maya and European blood) only speak Spanish. The increasingly used creole language has both an English and a Spanish version, and is often a mixture of the two languages.
Food and drink
The national dish of Belize is rice & beans, but in certain restaurants you can also get lobster and tropical reef fish. Many of the hotel restaurants offer a mix of international and national dishes. The national Belikin beer is very tasty.
As always, tipping is voluntary, not obligatory. In restaurants, usually 10% is acceptable with 15% for exceptional service. In some cases, this will be added to your bill automatically, so do check this before paying.
The Belizean Dollar is fixed at an exchange rate of US$1 to BZ$2, which makes calculating costs rather easy. Generally, in conversation, most people refer to the US currency as dollars, and the Belizean as simply "Belize". Belize is generally a pretty expensive country in comparison to other areas in Central America, and prices are usually around the same as in the US. UK pounds are not easy to change in Belize so please take USD. Almost all hotels and tour operators will accept the major credit cards, although a 5% tax is often added. Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted. It is best to carry small denominations of cash, as change can be difficult to come by.
Belize is a relaxed country and the people very friendly but please ask permission before taking photographs.
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.
When to go to Belize
You'll find temperature and rainfall information, together with a month-by-month guide on visiting, on our guide for when to go to Belize.