What are the best things to know before visiting Belize?
Belize is a beautiful and wonderful place to explore. It is enriched with old Maya civilization and there are several points to check out. There are beautiful beaches to relax and underwater life to dive in. More, so because it is an uncommon travel destination.
Here are some travel tips to help you enjoy your trip without any inconvenience.
1] Currency and cash
US dollars are accepted throughout Belize, and its rate is fixed to twice their denomination in Belizean Dollars, i.e., 1USD = 2 BZD. Avoid using credit cards as the tax rate is quite high. Also, be clear about whether the prices are quoted in Belizean or U.S. dollars.
2] The Belizean Brew
Like most Caribbean countries, Belize has a small variety of beers. The Belize Brewing Company dominates the liquor market here. Their famous brews like Belikin beer, Belikin stout, Lighthouse beer are must-try. Also, you may try their seasonal varieties. However, international brews are hard to find. The Belizean beer makes it one of the favorite travel destinations for beer lovers.
3] Belize is one of the only English speaking countries in South America
Even after achieving full independence from the British in 1981, Belize has kept English as its official language. Hence language will not be a problem for U.S. citizens. You can also add a few Mayan and Kreol words to your vocabulary during your stay in Belize.
4] Beware of sand flies when the breeze is gone!
Sand flies are an abomination. You need to protect yourself. These almost invisible critters swarm out in hundreds once the trade winds stop blowing. Wear long sleeves to be safe from their stings. You may also try using DEET to keep those flies away, though some people do not agree on their effectiveness. Cover your skin fully for a healthy travel experience when you are out in Belize. That is the only sure way to avoid the stings.
5] The Belizean weather
Due to occasional rain during summer, tourism slows down and flights to the Caribbean become cheaper. This is a great time to visit Belize. The rain usually comes in the form of brief downpours spanning around 10 minutes, without causing many holdups in the daily lives of people.
Belize is home to the second longest barriers reef of the world, after Australia. The vast and varied sea life here makes Belize an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. More experienced divers can explore the depths of the Great Blue Hole, while the others can book a helicopter tour for a breathtaking aerial view. Hol Chan Marine Reserve is another popular snorkeling destination.
7] Know your streets
For a population as little as 335,000, crimes, especially murder rates are quite high in Belize. Although most of the murder cases are related to drug trafficking and gang violence, The Overseas Security Advisory Council does warn travelers against pickpockets and scams. It is advised to be careful and avoid certain areas, especially at night.
8] Choose your group wisely
Apparently, most of the tour groups offer similar tour packages for similar prices, the staff, boat and the overall atmosphere may significantly differ. Be sure what kind of experience you expect before booking.
Belize is overall a good destination for budget travel.