Want to know some of the basics before you travel in Belize? We've got you covered!
360,838 (we know right?! That's TINY!)
Belize City, San Ignacio, Belmopan (capital)
top tourist destinations
The two islands, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, are the undeniable hotspots of Belize. On the west of the country, Cayo is the pick of mainland with lots of nature, Mayan ruins and the ATM caves.
English is the official language, whilst Spanish is spoken and understood by most. Creole is also widely spoken amongst Belizeans.
currency and 2015 exchange rates
Belizean dollar (BZD), although you are able to use US dollars as easily as Belizean.
$1 USD = $2 BZD | £1 = $3 | €1 = $2.2
The local currency is fixed at this rate against the USD, hence the surprisingly high prices you'll encounter in Belize.
As you can see below, we pretty much didn't leave the beautiful coast during our time in Belize. Head inland and you'll find ruins, rainforest and caves to explore. Belize City isn't usually too popular, for a variety of reasons.
If you stick to the coast or islands, you'll be have your pick of island paradise, ruggedly authentic beach village or white sand hangout.
must-try food and drink
Unsurprisingly, there is a fantastic selection of seafood available, including shrimp, lobster and crab. The staple dish includes rice and beans, sometimes fried with coconut milk, alongside meat, chicken or fish whilst fry-jacks are a breakfast favourite.
And all of this will be doused in some of the best habanero hot sauce in the world: Marie Sharp's! It's the staple on any Belizean's table and, if you're a fan of the hot stuff, you're going to want to stock up for the plane ride home!
good for vegetarians?
Unless you can afford to eat at fancier restaurants, strict vegetarians may have a bit of a boring time in Belize and rely on A LOT of carbs. Even in local shops it is quite difficult to find fresh produce to cook at home.
Boat travel is going to become the norm during your time here. Large speedboats ferry passengers between the mainland and Caye Caulker / San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) and are also the method to cross over into Guatemala.
The bus network encompasses revamped American school buses, decked out in bright colours and a permanent reggae soundtrack. It's basic but absolutely joyous.
can i see it in a month?
Yes. In fact, if you're on a budget similar to ours, you'll probably have to see it all in less than a month due to the higher costs throughout the country.
can i drink the water?
No, bottled water is advisable for drinking.
is malaria present?
Although the southern part of the country has seen cases of malaria, the likelihood of contracting this disease as a tourist is incredibly low here. Generally, mosquito avoidance is all that is required.
In addition to your routine childhood vaccines, it is also recommended to have Typhoid and Hepatitis A immunisations. For those in the country for some time or undertaking high-risk activities please also consider rabies vaccine as the disease is in Belize.