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Visitor Information

Visitors to Belize must possess a passport valid for at least three months after the date of arrival and a return ticket. Visitors are given a one-month stay, after which an extension can be applied for with the Immigration Department.

Visas are not required for citizens of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union, Caribbean and Central American countries.

Don’t attempt to bring a Drone into the country without the proper paperwork and license prior to your trip, it will be confiscated and held until your departure.

U.S. residents returning to the States are permitted a US $400 duty-free tax exemption. You are NOT allowed to take back: pre-Columbian articles, fish, coral, or shells. These items, if found, will be confiscated and you may be prosecuted. Firearms are not permitted to be taken into or out of Belize.

Communications

Cell towers everywhere. Put your cellphone on international service and your good to go although most locals will not answer an out of country number. WhatsApp is the App of choice so save your international service fee and just down load WhatsApp and your good to call or text, free of charge. Most of the TV watched is US television and if you need money from home Western Union services are available.

Currency

The Belize Dollar is the local currency. One U.S. dollar is worth two Belize dollars, $1 = $2 BZD. U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere but be prepared to receive change in both US$ and BZ$.

Check with your credit card company to see if they charge a foreign transaction fee. Most all major credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted at your larger merchants.

Local small merchants only accept cash and will give change in BZ only. Take small denominations as most merchants do not carry enough money to accept large bills. Local banks will exchange but not at 2 to 1. When in doubt, just ask.

Dress

As Belize has a tropical climate, lightweight clothing is best, 100% cotton is not recommended.

When traveling during the rainy season (June – August) a light jacket, long sleeved shirt and long pants may be needed for cooler days.

It is advisable to bring along sun screen and insect repellant; they will come in handy.

Taking fish oil a month prior to your visit and during your visit will keep the bugs away. They don’t like the smell.

Language

The official language of Belize is English, although Spanish is also found especially in the northern and western districts. An English Creole dialect is spoken most commonly throughout the country.

Electricity
110 Volts at 60Hz

Emergency Numbers
(501) is the Country Code
(911) Police Department (countrywide)

Postal Rates (US$)
To the U.S. – $0.30 for letters & $0.15 for postcards
To Europe – $0.40 for letters & $0.20 for postcards
Belize Postal Service

Taxes
Belize does have a General Sales Tax (GST) which currently adds 12.5% on top of most goods and services within Belize. There is a 9% Hotel Tax. It is fairly customary to see a 5-10% service charge as well.

Tipping
Look at your bill as it is fairly customary to see a 5-10% service charge. If not a standard 15% gratuity is appreciated. Belize’s Minimum Wage is $3.30 BZ ($1.65 US), although the average graduate, with at least an Associates’ Degree, would expect to be paid a minimum of between $4.44 BZ and $6.25 BZ an hour.

Water

Much of the drinking water in Belize is considered safe to drink.   Placencia peninsula has some of the cleanest water in Belize and is completely safe to drink.  Other parts of Belize that tap water is currently drinkable are Ambergris Caye, Mango Creek, Big Creek, Independence and Seine Bights Village.  When in doubt bottled water is best.

Time Zone

Belize observes Central Standard Time (CST) all year. It does not observe Daylight-Savings Time (DST). Belizeans take off from noon until 1:00pm so most everything is closed except for restaurants and bars. It’s to avoid the afternoon slump and rejuvenate.

Vaccinations

Talk to your doctor! Typhoid. You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Belize. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

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