Visitors Guide

INTERNATIONAL CARRIERS
United Airlines
American Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Delta Airlines
US Air
Taca Airlines

INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
All International Airlines entering Belize lands at the Belize Philip Goldson International Airport just outside Belize City, (BZE)

PORTS OF ENTRY
Land Borders: It is possible to enter Belize through the northern border in Santa Elena,the western border in Benque Viejo and at the southern border in Punta Gorda.
Private Boats: The following is a list of seaports where vessels may be entered or cleared. Ports: Belize City, Big Creek, San Pedro, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Additional information is available as you enter by calling VHF channel 16.
Private Aircraft: Planes should clear through the Philip Goldson International Airport

WEATHER
The climate is subtropical, with a cool prevailing wind from the Caribbean Sea. The annual temperature averages about 80 degrees. The rainy season is between June and early August.

The weather is similar to that of Southern Florida with slightly warmer winters and summers. In the winter the occasional cold fronts, “northern’s” do come down from the gulf of Mexico and pass through Belize. Depending on the strength of the front, at these times it can be overcast, windy and rainy. The dry season is April, May and late August to early October.

CLOTHING
Light, informal clothing is recommended, except for jungle excursions where the thick forest growth and insects should be taken into account. A sweater or jacket for cool inland mornings and evenings is advisable.

INSECTS & CRITTERS
Like any tropical country Belize have insects and critters though most are not a problem. The most common found at the islands and coastal areas are Sand flies, or noseeums, tiny creatures that bite like mosquitoes. When there is little or no wind they are more noticeable. Most hotel and resorts have adequate netting and screens to keep them at bay. We recommend that you wear DEET based insect repellant at all times.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE
Local currency is the Belize Dollar, or BZ. One U.S. dollar is worth BZ$2.

CUSTOMS ALLOWANCES
Visitors returning to the United States are permitted a $400 duty-free tax exemption per person. They can also return with 200 cigarettes, and citizens 21 years or older can bring back one quart of alcohol duty-free.

Visitors returning to Canada are permitted a $300 duty-free tax exemption per person. They can also return with 200 cigarettes and 1.1 liters of liquor duty-free.

Visitors returning to the U.K. are permitted 200 cigarettes, one liter of spirits (must be 17 years or older), 2 liters of still table wine, 60ml of perfume, 250ml of toilet water and 145 British pounds worth of other goods including gifts and souvenirs duty-free.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

A passport (the validity of which must extend beyond the duration of your stay) is required to enter, along with proof of return. All foreign nationals need a passport to enter Belize (and visa, if required). No visas are required from nationals of the following countries: United States, United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Germany/Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay. Most other countries require visas. Check with your travel representative. Visitors are allowed a one-month visit without requesting an extension.

INOCULATIONS
There are no endemic diseases in Belize. No inoculations are required for entry, but anti-malaria tablets are recommended for extended stays in the jungle. If you are on medication we strongly encourage you to bring an adequate supply with you.

GOVERNMENT
Belize is independent with a democratically elected parliamentary government and is a British Commonwealth member

LANGUAGE
English is the official language and is widely spoken, as is Spanish. Maya, Garifuna and Creole are also spoken.

POPULATION
The population of Belize is approximately 250,000 comprising Creoles (African-European), Garifuna (African-Indian), Mestizo (Spanish-Indian), Maya and European.

SAFETY
Belize is a safe country. The local people are very friendly and will go out their way to help you with anything. However, like everywhere else, you should exercise caution. Do not wear flashy jewelry and carry large amounts of cash or walk alone at night in the towns and cities. A little common sense always goes a long way.

TAXES
There is a 9% government/hotel tax. A sales tax of 12.5% has been implemented and is applicable to goods and services.

TIME ZONE
Central Standard Time. Belize does not observe daylight-saving time.

TIPPING/GRATUITY
Tipping is Voluntary. Usually 10% is acceptable with 15% for exceptional service. In some cases a gratuity may be added to your check. This practice varies with establishment. Be sure to ask before paying the bill.

WATER
The tap water in Belize is safe to drink plus most restaurants and grocery stores provide bottled water. Complementary bottled water are also provided by most resorts during your stay.

TOPOGRAPHY
Belize is an area of only 8,866 square miles. It is situated on the east coast of Central America on the Caribbean Sea. Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north and uatemala to the west and south. It possesses the second-largest barrier reef in the world (185 miles long).