Belize is growing in popularity as one of the most appealing places to visit, live, and even retire abroad to. It offers Mayan ruins, colorful towns, relaxing beaches, the Blue Hole diving spot, and nature reserves! There’s so much to do, and it’s easy to get excited and begin your trip without making sure you’ve checked your list of things to do or learn beforehand. Here are some tips to help:
Most people don’t need a visa to travel to Belize, so you’re likely covered there. You will need a passport that’s valid for at least six months after your intended period of stay. There is also an airport departure tax and/or border exit fees to be aware of.
Best Time to Visit
Belize has a dry season and a rainy season. The dry season is the busiest with a lot of tourists, but the weather is warm and skies are clear, so there’s perfect weather for your adventures. Dry season is from late November to mid-April. Because it’s peak season, expect to pay higher rates for accommodations as well. April and May are the hottest and most humid months, probably not the best time to visit if you want to get the most out of your stay. Finally, June through mid-November is the rainy season. This season brings lots of rain and strong winds, but if you don’t mind bringing an umbrella and you don’t mind that some establishments will be closed for the off-season, you can visit and enjoy lower rates and a lack of crowds.
Research Your Accommodations
You may think this part goes without saying, but the point is that research into this subject is more important than simply booking the most affordable room. First, in which city will you want to stay? Ambergris Caye is the country’s most popular travel destination, with close proximity to the Blue Hole for diving and just a short boat ride to the Mayan ruins on the mainland. Then again, you may want to stay in a jungle resort on the mainland, but you may not have travel arrangements if you want to locate the nearest beach. Make sure you choose the exact right place to stay so that you have easy access to the attractions for which you’re most excited. The next step is to read reviews! It’s so important to learn what experience other travelers have had in the same hotels and/or resorts. This is what will help you determine if it’s truly the place you’re looking for.
Spending & Tipping Culture
Always important, and very easily overlooked, the tipping culture of any country is necessary to know. In Belize, most individuals who offer you a service at hotels or restaurants expect a tip. The same rule applies to tour guides. You don’t, however, have to tip cab drivers or street vendors. Tipping amounts are about 10 – 15 percent average, and 20 percent for great service. It’s also good to know that cash is king! It does happen sometimes that if you tip with a card that tip may not reach the person it was meant to. If you carry cash and use that, you can put it right in the person’s hands.
Belize is known for being a very affordable country. Having said that, the more touristy areas that are frequently traveled and bustling during peak season will have higher pricing. Many travelers have found that tools such as Groupon and Expedia can be helpful in saving on costs. Traveling during the off season can also be a big bonus when you’re looking to save.
Consider which season you’ve chosen to travel to Belize. You’ll want to protect yourself from the sun. It can be harsh even during the rainy season if you aren’t used to the strength of the sun on the Caribbean. Another essential is bug spray. If you’re planning on going to see the Mayan ruins, for example, there will be plenty of mosquitos around. Sunscreen and bug spray cannot be guaranteed enough. Remember also to plan to dress casually. Most anywhere you go in the Caribbean will be very casual and laid back. Being overdressed could draw too much attention to you, not to mention it’s not nearly as relaxing as nice, comfortable, casual clothing. Make sure if you choose the off season to travel to Belize that you prepare to layer. Sure you might get chilly in the rain, but it’s still pretty warm during this time of year and you’ll want to shed some layers if you’re out and about and the rain starts and stops.
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Photo Cred: https://pixabay.com/en/belize-san-pedro-tropical-caye-1971341/