1. In Belize, English is the official language
Belize being English-speaking does have its advantages. Paperwork and official forms can be completed with ease. Being able to talk with everyone you meet means you can ask locals for advice. It also allows you to socialize more easily. In some countries expats are often stuck with other expats until they learn the language. That isn’t a problem in Belize.
2. Belize is safe
Some small areas of Belize City suffer from a drug trade, gangs, and the activities that come with those cultures. However, those are localized neighborhoods. Avoid them. Otherwise, Belize is one of the safest places on Earth and far removed from 21st-century troubles.
3. You need to confirm your shuttle reservation
Belize has an abundance of shuttles to take you between the airport and all of the major towns. However, to take a shuttle from the airport, you’ll need a confirmed advance reservation. This is because the taxis have priority when it comes to walk-up passengers at the airport.
Private shuttle services are inexpensive in Belize, and the exchange rate is favorable to U.S. dollars. Therefore, a BZ$10 fare is even lower in U.S. dollars. Because you will have booked ahead, there will be no surprise shuttle charges. If your hotel offers a shuttle service for an extra charge, shop around before committing.
4. Taking a public bus or private shuttle is a great way to get from town to town in Belize
In the major cities and towns of Belize, you’ll find bus depots. In rural areas, you’ll find bus stops or you can just flag down the driver as the bus approaches. If you plan to get around Belize by bus, you may want to hire a taxi to take you from the airport to the nearest bus depot first.
Although the taxi ride seems expensive at first, keep in mind that it includes all the people in your group, whereas the bus charges per person. Gas is expensive in Belize, and that is reflected in the price of transportation. Once you get to the bus depot, you may be able to pay in U.S. dollars if you have them, but you may get a better exchange rate if you change your money first.
Expect to pay less than US$5 for most bus routes, most being significantly less. One or two routes, for example, between Belize City and Dangriga to the south, which is about a three-hour ride, may cost US$7.50 or more per person. By contrast, a similar route by taxi could cost as much as US$40 per carload.
5. No Mickey D’s in Belize
U.S. fast food favorites like McDonalds, KFC and Burger King have conquered the world. But not Belize. People here prefer home cooked, locally sourced foods. You can pick up a burger or fried chicken of course. But it will probably be served with patacones (fried green plantain) or rice rather than French fries.
Despite being fairly close to the U.S. you can’t buy American fast food anywhere in Belize. If you can’t live without your weekly fast food fix, you won’t make it in Belize. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of other overseas options where you can still get your favorite drive thru.
Average year-round temperatures are in the mid-80s, and when it does rain here, it’s mostly warm showers.
Rainy season extends from June to November, but, even during those months, skies are sunny more than they’re not. The reliable sunshine makes for happy, healthy living and also a great growing environment. Many living in Belize grow their own vegetables in small kitchen gardens, and everywhere the landscape is lush.
7. This is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground
With its barrier reef (the second longest in the world), rivers, sandy coast, offshore islands, Mayan ruins, and inland rainforest, Belize offers every kind of adventure you can imagine.
Thanks to a developed infrastructure of in-country flights (the only infrastructure in Belize that could be described as “developed”), you can hop around from one landscape to another easily and quickly. Spend the morning snorkeling on the reef offshore Ambergris Caye then hop a flight to Cayo for an afternoon of cave tubing on a rainforest river.
8. Queues will move at their own speed
Likewise paperwork, deliveries and just about everything else you can think of. In Belize a stress-free life is the top priority which means not rushing and not worrying about the small stuff.
We encourage you to take all the health and security measurements required prior to traveling to Belize.
All travelers must book their stay at Gold Standard hotels only and download the Belize Health app on their mobile phones prior to the date of arrival. Your hotel confirmation and travel information should be registered in the Belize Health app. The app will provide you a unique QR code ID, which will be requested upon your arrival at the airport in Belize City.
Visitors who bring a certified negative test (within 72 hours previous to the date of arrival) will be allowed immediate entry through the fast track arrival lane at the airport. Your test results can be uploaded to the Belize Health app.
Visitors arriving without a certified test will be required to take one upon arrival.