Belize Trip Planner

Posted September 20, 2022 in  - Last updated May 26, 2024


This travel wiki page for Belize will help guide travelers with quick and relevant information to consider when planning and visiting the country. It is difficult to find all the relevant information you need on culture, safety, travel restrictions, and things to do, so we summarize it all here. If anything is stale or outdated, please reach out and let us know! Let’s dive in and explore more high-level information as a Belize trip planner!

Posted September 20, 2022 – Last Updated May 18, 2024.

National Information & Culture


Belize is a Caribbean country on the northeast coast of Central America. It shares land borders with Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. The country’s capital is Belmopan, while Belize City is the largest city. Meanwhile, the official currency is the Belize Dollar (BZD).

Belizean culture has a unique blend of influences, including that of the British, Spanish, and African, making it a country home to many ethnic groups with their distinctive cultures. This blend of cultures allows the people of Belize to make anyone feel welcome and at home. Furthermore, this makes the country one of the top retirement destinations in the world.

Although major credit cards are acceptable in large Belizean establishments, resorts, and hotels, Belize is mainly considered a “cash society.” Hence, it is advisable always to have access to emergency cash.


Creole (or “Kriol”) culture had mixed influences from British settlers and enslaved Africans. Nevertheless, they compose the majority of the Belizean population.


Mestizo is a vibrant culture originating from the combination of Maya and Spanish. The majority of Mestizo descendants currently populate districts in Northern Belize.


The Garifuna culture is a descendant of the Carib, Arawak, and West African people. They are known to create popular hypnotic drumbeat music called punta. The rhythm of their drums will make you feel, hear, and be moved by the Garifuna culture. No wonder UNESCO proclaimed the Garifuna language, music, and dance among the masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001.


Maya culture is in Belize as early as 1500 BC. When visiting a Mayan Village, announce yourself to the village chief before exploring the vicinity. It is to pay respect to their culture and privacy. When visiting a house, it is disrespectful not to seek out the man of the house first.

The Belize official tourism web page is worth checking when planning your trip.

Special Travel Considerations


Each country and destination has rules and regulations that every traveler must consider. Hence, check the following considerations for hassle-free travel to Belize.

Covid-19 Policy

Effective July 12, 2022, the Government of Belize removed all public health measures at the points of entry (land and sea). Hence, proof of vaccination for entry into the country is no longer necessary. Also, unvaccinated travelers no longer need to show evidence of a negative PCR or an Antigen Rapid upon arrival. Lastly, wearing masks is no longer required for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Travel Insurance

The Government of Belize lifted the requirement of mandatory travel insurance for all arriving visitors in the country, effective July 12, 2022. However, flight cancellations, emergencies, accidents, and other unforeseen events can happen anytime. Therefore, while not required, it is always advisable to get travel insurance that covers emergency medical treatment, including COVID-19, repatriation, and evacuation. Travel insurance can protect you against the inconvenience of injury, medical emergencies, theft, and flight cancellations. In addition, it is comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong with your trip.

Visa Information


Belize does not require a visa to select countries for up to a 30-day stay. However, if you wish to stay longer, you must visit the Immigration Office to apply for a Visitor’s Permit Extension for an additional 30 days at BZ$200.

In general, visitors to Belize must possess a passport that is valid for at least three (3) months after the date of arrival and a return ticket with sufficient funds to cover their stay. However, it is highly recommended that travelers have a six-month-valid passport whenever they travel anywhere in the world. 

Children under 18 who wish to travel to Belize must have valid passports and a parental consent letter. In addition, if traveling with one parent, the other parent’s notarized letter of authority indicating travel consent is required.

Belize is a tropical paradise with a blend of adventure and cultural immersion. Dive into the world’s second-largest barrier reef, explore ancient Mayan ruins hidden in the jungle, or journey through underground cave systems. Travelers can also relax on idyllic islands, spot jaguars and howler monkeys in lush rainforests, or go spelunking and cave tubing for an unforgettable experience.

Belize Barrier Reef


The Belize Barrier Reef is the country’s number one attraction. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest barrier reef in the world. This site is best for fishing, diving, snorkeling, and sailing.

Great Blue Hole


The Great Blue Hole is a giant circular marine sinkhole near the center of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll and forms part of the more extensive Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. It is a popular spot for scuba divers because of its crystal-clear water. Divers can also encounter several fish species, including midnight parrot fish, Caribbean reef sharks, and other juvenile fish species. Aside from being a great diving spot, the Great Blue Hole is also Belize’s top tourist site for a scenic flyover/helicopter tour.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve


The Hol Chan Marine Reserve offers one of the best snorkeling experiences in Belize. Visitors can see pristine coral gardens and swim with marine wildlife like sea turtles, nurse sharks, and stingrays. Hol Chan is a Mayan word for “little channel.”

Ambergris Caye


Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize’s northern waters. It has a Caribbean feel, with a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere. It is also a popular destination for snorkeling, diving, and fishing. Meanwhile, San Pedro is the most significant settlement, known for its luxury beach resorts, restaurants, and fun nightlife.

Caye Caulker


Caye Caulker is a small coral island in the Caribbean Sea, accessible by high-speed water taxi or small plane. The island has become a popular Belize attraction for backpackers and other tourists for its relatively lower prices, laid-back vibe, and abundance of restaurants and bars. The primary mode of transport on Caye Caulker is simply walking, bicycle, and golf cart rentals.

The island is also semi-famous as a ferocious hurricane ripped through and split the island. Years later, the split became a tourist attraction and a local area where people could enjoy a nice beverage under the sunshine of the Caribbean.

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve


The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve offers cool temperatures and reveals splendid natural monuments in the southern central Belize Cayo District. Within its over 100,000 acres of protected pine forests, visitors will find great sites, including Thousand-Foot Falls, the most significant falls in Belize and the Central American region. It is also where travelers will find the cave of Rio Frio, a quarter-mile cave, to name a few. Moreover, venturing among the pines welcomes lush vegetation, various bird species, and other animal life, such as tapir, cougar, jaguar, and ocelot. Explorations can be done by mountain bike, on foot, or horseback for on-site hire.

Rio Frio Caves


The Rio Frio Cave is one of the best cave systems in Belize. It is one of the top attractions within the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and is easily accessible at the entry point. At 65 feet tall and around a quarter mile long, the cave offers no shortage of natural wonders, including fresh-water pools, waterfalls, and stalactite formations.

Mayan Ruins

Belize has several famous and historically significant Maya ruins and archaeological sites from 2000 BC. Today, all sites are under the management of the Institute of Archaeology and have interpretive centers and trained guides to show visitors around.



Caracol is the largest ancient archaeological site in the Cayo District of Belize, stretching over 70 sq miles at its peak around 650 AD. It is one of the most famous Maya sites in Mesoamerica and one of the most influential cities in the entire Maya world.  



Xunantunich is the most easily accessible and impressive Maya archaeological site in Belize. It is near San Ignacio and sits atop a ridge above the Mopan River. The site is an ancient settlement and has a range of various structures of different sizes and ages. The most prominent structure (El Castillo) dates to the seventh century and is the second-tallest structure in Belize, next to Caracol.



Lamanai is a former Mayan settlement in Orange Walk that can be visited as a ruin. It’s not fully uncovered yet, but archeologists are working to restore larger structures such as temples and dwellings. A trip to Lamanai is a fascinating look at the history of the ancient people who dominated Central America. Lamanai is a Mayan translation for submerged crocodiles.

Actun Tunichil Muknal


Actun Tunichil Muknal is an impressive Maya ceremonial Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve cave. It tops the list of Belize’s cave tours that contain artifacts of the ancient civilization, including what is believed to be bloodletting altars and sacrificial human remains.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary


If you want to travel somewhere bizarre, this Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is for you. It has been one of Belize’s largest protected areas since 1990 and is known as the world’s first wilderness sanctuary for the jaguar. Although rarely seen, this refuge is home to many jaguars, rare bird species, and plant types.

Primary Spoken Language(s)


English is Belize’s official language and the only English-speaking country in Central America. It is also the primary language in public education at all levels. While English is the official language, Kriol is the common language all Belizeans speak. Spanish is also widely used, while northern towns such as Corozal and San Pedro speak Spanglish, a combination of Spanish and English. Other languages spoken include Garifuna, Mandarin, Spanish, and Maya.

Safety Concerns


Safety is always our main concern when visiting a foreign country. Therefore, checking travel advisories from your government plays a vital role. Visitors can also consider the US Travel Advisory to Belize when planning their trip.

Most concerns about safety in Belize are due to Belize City’s status as a hotspot for gang activity and corresponding violent crime. However, tourists will mostly spend their time elsewhere in much safer areas.

But just because the country is generally safe doesn’t mean you can let your guard down, as petty theft is still an issue.

Belize has a history of criminal activities, sexual assault, and robbery, mostly gang-related. These problems are common in heavily populated areas, especially on the south side of Belize City. Tourists are not usually the targets of gang violence, but anyone near an incident could be affected. But that doesn’t exempt visitors from letting their guard down, as petty theft is still of concern. Hence, be observant of the surroundings. Practice common sense, and keep safe habits. Do not trust too fast, and never give any money in advance. Keep valuables safe, be discreet, and pay close attention to your belongings.

However, despite these safety concerns, Belize has been granted the “Safe Travels Stamp” by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) – the world’s first global safety and hygiene mark that indicates the destination has adopted globally standardized health protocols.

Natural Hazard

The hurricane season in Belize and the Caribbean is from June 1 to November 30. Hence, travelers should monitor local weather updates from the National Meteorological Service of Belize and follow any advice from the National Emergency Management Organization when traveling to Belize during this season. 


The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Belize is high. Hence, take precautions if you’re engaging in high-risk activities. Also, the Pan American Health Organisation reports dengue cases increase in the region, including Belize, in 2023 and early 2024.

Budget Considerations


 Belize is not as cheap as the neighboring Caribbean countries. However, considering the numerous tourist attractions and activities, it is still relatively affordable.


There are few hostels around Belize, and a dorm bed costs $30 per night. Meanwhile, an apartment costs around $60, while a budget hotel costs $75. For more comfort, travelers can stay in a three-star hotel for $120 and a five-star hotel for $200. Additionally, high-end resorts and beachfront properties offer all-inclusive stays from $400 per night.


Belizean cuisine focuses on beans, rice, cheese, and tortillas. Rice and beans are a typical lunch meal, and popular dishes include ceviche, tamales, panades (fried meat pies), onion soup, chicken stew, and garnaches (beans, cheese, and onion in a fried tortilla). Additionally, when on the islands, expect a lot of seafood, such as lobster, shrimp, red snapper, sea bass, and halibut.

Expect to pay $7 when dining in cheap restaurants serving local foods and around $7.50 for fast food combo meals. Meanwhile, occasional dining in a nice restaurant will require you to allocate a budget of $15 for a three-course meal. These prices can double or triple in the resort and touristy areas.

Travelers who want to go grocery shopping and cook can expect to spend around $50 weekly on basic staples like rice, eggs, fresh produce, and meat.

Attractions and Transportation

Tourist activities in Belize are primarily on the beach, marine reserves, and eco-parks, as well as visiting Mayan ruins and archaeological sites. While access to the beach is generally free, visitors can spend more on watersports activities. For example, joining half-day tours to Hol-chan Marine Reserve that include diving and snorkeling starts at #200. Meanwhile, admission to Mayan ruins and archaeological sites is $5.

On the other hand, the cost of traveling by public transportation in Belize ranges between $1 and $5, depending on the distance and type of transport. Similarly, renting a car in Belize costs $60 daily.

Average Two-Week Cost

Budget travelers in Belize can live with a $65 daily budget or $910 for two weeks. It covers the costs of staying in a hostel dorm bed, cooking most meals, and taking public transportation. On this budget, travelers mainly do free activities like swimming on the beach.

Meanwhile, travelers can comfortably stay in a 3-star hotel on a mid-range budget of $200 daily or $2800 in two weeks. The budget also includes dining out at local and mid-range restaurants, taking occasional taxis, and doing a few paid tours and activities.

Lastly, travelers can enjoy luxury in Belize from $350 daily to $4900 for two weeks. It includes staying in a five-star hotel, dining anywhere, vehicle rental, and availing all the paid tours and activities they want. So, for them, the sky is the limit for travel.

Customs And Import Restrictions


Belize Customs & Excise office provides exemptions from duties and taxes for items imported as accompanied
baggage of a passenger. These items include personal clothing, jewelry, toilet requisites, and any portable article reasonably for personal use. In addition, airline passengers eighteen years old and over have additional exemptions as follows:

  • 1 liter of wine and spirits
  • 250 grams of tobacco, 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes
  • other goods worth 200 BZD ($99) per person, up to a maximum of 600 BZD ($298) per family

Restrictions are imposed on some goods and require permits from other government offices. These goods include

  • meat products and processed food items
  • plants and animals
  • antiques, artifacts, and items of archaeological value or interest
  • guns and ammunitions
  • dangerous medicinal drugs
  • gaming machines

Similarly, Belize Customs & Excise prohibits entry of the following goods and items:

  • counterfeit coins or currencies and works of arts
  • live plants and animals
  • firearms
  • pornographic materials
  • drugs

For the complete list of customs and import restrictions, consider checking the Belize Customs & Excise web page.

Drone Policy

The Government of Belize currently prohibits the importation of drones for recreational/personal usage. The country is still developing requirements and regulations for recreational drone travelers to Belize that will allow all travelers to operate their devices after meeting the needs of the Laws of Belize. However, special exemptions are given to those commissioned for work/services for a registered local business or organization in Belize. They only need to apply for authorization to operate drones. For detailed requirements on drone applications, please visit Civil Aviation’s web page.

Climate Considerations


Belize is a tropical country with wet and dry seasons, although there are significant variations in weather patterns by region. The dry season typically lasts from February to May, and then the rainy season lasts through to November. Therefore, the best time to travel is from November to April, and reconsider your trip from June to November as hurricane season can bring coastal flooding, especially in the south.

Primary Transportation Options

Travelers can navigate the country by air, land, and sea. Whatever you choose, remember to pack your sense of adventure, whether going to the beach, a dive site, Maya temples, or any combination. Be ready for a journey, and capture everything you see.



Philip S.W. Gold International Airport in Belize City is the primary entry point to the country by air. It is a modern airport with over a hundred daily flights, catering to local and international flights. In addition, small airports are strategically located around points of interest in the country, making it easier for tourists to visit multiple destinations in a shorter time.

While numerous major airlines fly to Belize, the in-country flight operators are Tropic Air or Maya Island Air.



Boats, or water taxis, are the primary transportation between the islands, the mainland, and the barrier reef attractions. Regularly scheduled water taxis operate between Belize City, Caye Caulker, and San Pedro, with San Pedro Belize Express and Caribbean Sprinter as major water taxi operators. However, remember always to check their route schedules to avoid inconvenience.



Public buses are the primary mode of transportation for the locals and a more affordable way to travel around. Routes run regularly and will stop to pick up or drop off passengers at almost any location. 

If you don’t mind paying more, taxis could become your favorite mode of transportation when navigating around Belize. Just look for green license plates, and when you flag one down, ask how much your driver charges
to transport you to your destination before getting into the car.

If you opt for privacy, then car rentals are best for you. They drive to the right and become familiar with the roads and map reading.

Lastly, you can explore the Mayan temples and villages by horse. Horseback is an exciting way to discover the jungles and ancient Mayan city of Xunantunich.

Start Trip Planning


Travel-Wise is made from the ground up to help people travel more, break down the barriers that make it challenging to get going, and start your journey as painlessly as possible. Bookmark our other Country Guides to help kick-start your research for future travels. We also offer templated itineraries from our staff and community that help serve as a building block for your trip plans. Alternatively, we also utilize AI to offer a way to generate itinerary ideas. It saves much time just getting you up and running with a template. From there, you can use the trip planner to create your customized itinerary, invite friends and family for collaboration, find others from Travel-Wise to join the trip, book and track important information, journal, and share your experiences at the end or along the way!

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