No need to brush up on your Spanish skills, pretty much everyone in Belize speaks English.
While you will run across some residents who speak Spanish or Kriol, the official language of Belize is English. This alone makes Belize an accessible destination for those traveling from other English-speaking countries like the United States.
American currency is accepted throughout the country.
Every US Dollar is worth two Belize Dollars, making your money go further. Most businesses or tours do accept US currency, but will give you back Belize dollars as change. Credit cards are also widely accepted, but a word of warning – most businesses do charge an additional 5% fee for each transaction. Make sure to avoid fees from your credit card provider by choosing a card that doesn’t charge international fees. Couple those with the Belizean business fees and your trip could rack up some huge, unnecessary expenses.
Ask if the water is safe to drink.
In areas that are popular with travelers, most places will have filtered water that is safe to drink. However, there are many places that do not have a filtration system in place – and you don’t want to take a risk and ruin your vacation. Belize has a sub-tropical climate and receives an average of 60 inches of rain in the north and 160 inches of rain in the south. Because of the large amount of rain they receive, most places have systems set up that collect rainwater during the rainy season and that water is then used in their plumbing systems. Some have filtration, some don’t. Because Belize Small grocery stores are abundant in populated areas. If you’re in doubt about the water, stop by and purchase some bottled water.
There are a large variety of food options.
No matter your budget, you’ll always be able to find something you can afford on any menu. The traditional Belize Rice and Beans meal is widely available and is CHEAP. I’m talking a couple bucks for a huge meal. And it’s delicious! But if you grow tired of the rice and beans, you’ll easily be able to find a variety of fresh seafood, chicken, beef, or vegetarian dishes. Just don’t look for chains or fast food restaurants. Everything in Belize is local. Can you imagine meeting someone in America that has never tried McDonalds? That’s how rare it is to find someone in Belize who HAS had McDonalds.
It is safe to travel in Belize – but use common sense.
No matter where you go, whether it be internationally or in your hometown, there is some level of criminal activity in the area. When you travel in Belize, use common sense and remember safe traveling tips:
- don’t flash money around or wear expensive jewelry
- don’t travel alone
- avoid driving at night as most roads in Belize are remote
- keep a copy of your passport, credit cards, and a phone number for the US embassy separate from the physical items
- do not accept offers for drugs. People will ask you – just say no. Many of them are undercover police officers who will arrest you. Others are probably not the best people to associate with and should be avoided
- don’t get overly intoxicated in public
If you can’t handle the heat – get a room with AC.
The non-rainy season is obviously the best time to travel in Belize but it can get hot and humid. Electricity is expensive there so many places will not offer air conditioned rooms and will advertise “fan-cooled” or something similar. If you want AC, you’ll have to specifically research places that list it as an amenity. You’ll pay more, but when you’re trying to sleep it will be worth it.
During the day make sure to drink plenty of water, search out the shade, and wear plenty of sunscreen – especially if you’re going to be in the water.
The best tip of all – enjoy your time in Belize! There are so many adventures that you can have on land and on the sea. Take time to explore and appreciate the beauty and culture that the country provides.