Q - How long is the flight from Houston or Miami to Belize City? The flight from either Houston or Miami to Belize City, is roughly 2 hours (give or take).
Q - How will I be able to communicate and get around? Yes! Belize is English speaking, so you will have no problems, communicating with taxi drivers, airline agents, bank tellers, store keepers, merchants, etc. Taxi's are readily available, and if going to the island of Ambergris Caye, you can rent either a golf cart, a bicycle, or walk most anywhere in town on foot.
Q - What is the exchange rate on US dollars? The Belize dollar is tied to the U.S. dollar and exchanged with most merchants at a fixed $2.00 (BZD) = $1.00 (USD). When exchanging money in the bank, Central Banking exchange rates apply. U.S. dollars are accepted almost everywhere. There is no need to exchange currency before arriving. Most places accept U.S. dollars and major credit cards.
Q - Will I be able to use my electrical appliances? The electricity and electrical outlets in Belize are the same as the United States using 110 volts/60 cycles. Although in some of the major remote locations, diesel generators supply the sole means of electricity. A small surge suppressor is highly recommended for computers and other sensitive equipment. Visitors from countries such as Australia and Europe bring power adapters.
Q - What is the food like? Most restaurants cuisines carry a Caribbean flare. You can find anything from stewed chicken, rice and beans to tropical salads, steaks, seafood and fruit plates. Most people love the food here.
Q - If I was going to visit Belize, what is the one thing I shouldn't miss? Now that's a tough question. That's like asking what is the one ride you don't want to miss at Disney World. Let me answer it this way. In spending time on the island, if you were to pick one activity that would really set the tone of your visit here.......this is what I recommend.
1. If you are a older couple wanting a romantic time together - definitely do the sunset sail. 2. If you are a couple on your honeymoon - the couples massage. 3. If you are a bunch of guys looking for a high impact energy adventure - ATM cave or ATV dirt bikes 4. If you are college students seeking adventure - Cave tubing & Zip Lining 5. If you are a family - Belize Zoo, Cave Tubing, the Manatee/Snorkel Adventure is great too. 6. If you are alone, seeking personal growth & spiritual awareness - Spa Massages 7. If you are with friends seeking a trilling adventures - Horseback riding in the rainforest 8. If you are the beginner scuba diver - beginning certification classes & beginner dives 9. If you are the advanced scuba diver - Diving the Blue Hole and/or Turneffe Island wall dives
Belize is an ecological wonderland getaway for many people. Know in advance, that you are not going to get to do it all - in one trip. Set your sights on 2-4 activities that are most important to you, and tag the rest for when you come back on your next trip.
Q - What is the best time of the year to come to Belize? The answer to this question, depends on your circumstances. For a family with kids getting out of school, June/July, but this time of year can also be hot. For those looking for the cheaper rates, September/October. For a couple looking for a get-a-way on their anniversary or wedding, well this date is already set for you. For those free to go whenever and wherever the wind takes them, then my favorite time of year down here is February/March. Belize also has a long list, as to calendar & special events, you may want to look this over and then decide accordingly.
Q - What diving sites would you recommend for beginners? Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, are absolutely a great place to start. Because this area is protected under government laws, Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley have experienced an explosion in marine life. Water depths are fairly shallow, and visibility is excellent.
Q - What is the best amount of time to spend on the island and see everything? We think at least (7-14) days (but I will tell you), at the end of your stay, you are always going to feel, like you didn't get to see and do it all. I think this is an important feeling to retain on any vacation, as that is the feeling which makes a person want to come back. The standard vacation for many is one week, as it is fairly easily for many to get this time off from work. Vacations stays which are much longer in length, will usually tend to offer cheaper rates, as resorts offer discounted rates for extended stays. Most of our vacation packages are designed with the one week stay in mind.
Q - What is the climate like in Belize? For the most part, Belize experience a sub-tropical climate most of the year. The rainy season, corresponds with hurricane season (June to November) each year. For this reason, many visitors are attracted to the dry season, which also corresponds to winter in the North (mid November and the end of April).
Q - What kind of medical facilities does Belize have? On the island of Ambergris Caye, a new facility is just opening up, "Belize Medical Associates", in addition to this, there are several small clinics, owned & operated by private individual doctors. On the mainland (as well), in Belize City, there are a number of large hospitals to choose from: Belize Medical Associates, and Belize Health Care Partners.
Q - Where is Belize located? Belize is one of the seven countries that makes up Central America. It is located directly South of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula and sits on the Eastern edge of the Caribbean ocean. It borders, Mexico to the North, Guatemala to the West & South, and the Caribbean ocean to the East.
Q - When is the best time to go to Belize? February-April is the driest time of year while July is the wettest month. High season runs from mid November (Thanksgiving) to April, which also corresponds to the best time to come to Belize. The rest of the year (Low season May to November) is less crowded. September & October offer great discounts, but also know that this is hurricane months. If you take advantage of the discounts, be sure to get trip insurance (to cover you if you need to cancel due to an unexpected hurricane passing by).
Q - Can I drink the water? Unlike Mexico, the tap water is potable and readily available in most areas of Belize. Water in Belize for the most part is potable, but we recommend drinking bottled water, as it is easily available here in Belize. The water used at the resort is taken city water, and is perfectly safe to use for showering, bathing and cleaning. To be on the safe side, we do not recommend drinking it. Bottled purified water comes in 5 gallon, 1 gallon, and 32 oz. drinking containers. Restaurants on the island, use bottled purified water for drinking and ice as well.
Q - Do I need shots to enter the country? None are required, but you might consider a gamma globulin shot for hepatitis A and B as they are a good idea anytime you travel, as are boosters for typhoid, and tetanus. As for malaria pills, the form of malaria found in Belize can be cured with Chloroquine. This is the same drug that is used as a preventative as well. If used over a long period of time, Chloroquine can cause liver damage (so we don't recommend it). As a general rule, it's a good idea to carry mosquito repellent with you, while here.
Q - How did Belize get it's name? The camp set up by a Scottish sea captain, Peter Wallace, eventually became Belize City. Some say that the name "Belize" is derived from the Spanish pronunciation of "Wallace", which could sound something like the word. Others speculate that Belize comes from the Mayan words belix, meaning "muddy water", or Belikin, translated as "land that faces the sea". Perhaps it derives from the French balise, a reference to the beacons used to guide pirates back to port at night. Yet another theory is that the name comes from the old British verb obelize, which means to mark a map with an obelus, a sign that suggests a place is corrupt and undesirable. English mapmakers routinely obelized Belize on the map (as well as the camp found by Peter Wallace, Belize City), no doubt due to its being a Pirate Haven. Today, Belize is one of the tropical, tourism destinations for many in the world. It is known as the Jewel of Central America.
Q - Why are airfares to Belize so high, and how can we find cheaper flights? Air service is somewhat limited and is mostly from a few hubs in the United States. To find the most affordable flights, stay flexible on your dates, avoid peak holiday travel (around Christmas and Easter), and sign up for Internet specials and e-mail fare alerts on the airlines flying to Belize—currently United, American, US Airways, Southwest Airlines and TACA.
Q - We want to spend time at the beach and also in the jungle. Where should we go? Ambergris Caye island is the top tourist destination for the entire country. If you're looking for aquatic activities, there is plenty to do here on island, to keep you busy. If you're looking for a little jungle time, we can hook you up with some of the best mainland jungle activities (so no worries here), we got you covered.
Q - Is Belize a safe place to visit? The best answer is “Yes, but…” Most visitors say they feel quite safe in Belize. Tourist Police patrol areas of Belize City, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, and elsewhere, and many hotels and jungle lodges have either security guards or security cameras 24-7. As anywhere (when traveling), you will want to follow standard travel safety precautions. Don’t wander into areas that don’t feel safe; avoid deserted beaches and streets after dark; and don’t flash expensive jewelry or cash.
Q - Got any tips for visiting the Mayan Ruins? If you're here for a short period of time, hit the best. We suggest Lamanai, Caracol, Xunatunich, and Altun Ha. If you have time for it, you can either do a day trip or an over night trip to Guatemala and pick up Tikal.
Q - What about mosquitoes? Mosquitoes are particularly present during raining season (June to October). If you are traveling to Belize during this time, you will want to bring bug repellent. If you plan on doing any rainforest jungle activities while you are here, then it really doesn't matter what time of year it is, bring bug repellent. When hiking through jungle areas, wear light cotton long sleeve shirts, pants, and hiking shoes.
Q - How physically fit should I be to enjoy an adventure vacation in Belize? Any adventure vacation is Belize can be classified as either "moderate” or “extraneous”. Extraneous adventures, which usually require extensive exertion, usually require excellent physical conditioning and previous experience. Although most adventures in Belize, are designed for the moderate traveler in mind, who are in good health and used to a reasonable amount of exercise. A little honesty with yourself here, goes a long way. Recognize your own physical fitness and limitations. Discuss this with your tour guide before signing up for any activity.
Q - Where are the best areas for spotting exotic birds? Belize has over 600 species of birds. Many of the more prominent ones, can be seen at the Belize Zoo. Keep your eye upward to the treetops, as birds can be seen all over Belize. We suggest Crooked Tree, Chan Chich at Gallon Jug, the New River and New River Lagoon near Lamanai, are wonderful areas for bird-watching. Don't forget to pack your binoculars and a bird guide book.