What You Need To Know
Belize is easy to reach from the US, Canada, Europe, Mexico and Central America. Fly direct to Belize International from Miami, Houston or New York; or come through Cancun, overnighting there followed bya leisurely half-day trip from Mexico to Belize.
Ambergris Caye is only 15 minutes from Belize International by local air-carrier. It is a beautiful flight over turquoise seas and enchanting islands, with breathtaking views of the Barrier Reef. Local flights are timed to meet and serve incoming international flights – no worries!
San Pedro is also served by daily flights from Corozal and by express-boat service from Chetumal. Luxury boat-transfers from Belize International direct to Indigo can also be arranged.
(San Pedro & Ambergris Caye in particular)
Language – English is the official language, with Spanish widely spoken.
Time zone – GMT – 6
Currency – the Belize Dollar – fixed exchange rate $2 Belize = $1 US. US currency in small denominations (under $100) is accepted in most locations. You will receive change in Belize currency.
Banking and Instant Tellers – San Pedro has several international banks and 24-hour cash-machines.
Credit cards – Accepted by most resorts and tour companies.
Phone – Country Code 501. From the US and Canada, dial 011+ 501+ the 7-digit local number. From all other countries dial 00501+ the 7-digit local number.
Internet – Many cyber-cafes. Most hotels have complimentary internet.
Television – wide variety of stations available by cable and satellite.
Water – YES you can drink the water – bottled water is sold everywhere as well.
Healthcare – San Pedro has a decompression chamber. The island also has several excellent physicians, a Poly-clinic and three small doctor-owned clinics. Serious emergencies can be stabilized in San Pedro and then transferred by air to one of the larger hospitals in Belize City. There are many pharmacies, and common medications are consistently available.
Drive – Right side of the road. Must have a valid driver’s license and be over 18 years old.
Drink – Legal drinking age is 18. Belizean beer and rum are very popular.
Weather – Beautiful!! Winter daytime temps range from 70-80 F, and summer daytime temps are about 10 degrees warmer. Offshore breezes keep even the sunniest days comfortable. The rainiest months are October and November. Occasional cold fronts in December and January can bring cold nights and brief showers. Ambergris Caye has the sunniest weather in the country.
Insects – In late summer and throughout the fall there can be outbreaks of mosquitoes. They tend to be a dawn and dusk irritant and are easily dealt with by wearing suitable clothing and/or repellant.
Religion – Belize is officially Christian, but is a very tolerant society. Muslim, B’hai, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu and Mayan religious traditions are also celebrated.
Many Races and Cultures – Main ethnic groups are Creole, Mestizo, Maya and Garifuna – with East Indian, Asian, Mennonite, Lebanese, North Americans and Europeans tossed in the mix. Intermarriage is common and diversity is celebrated.
Packing for your visit to Ambergris Caye Casual wear, nothing Fancy!
Shorts, t-shirts, sandals and bathing suits for daily activities.
One pair of lightweight long pants and one lightweight long-sleeve shirt for the occasional cool evening.
Ladies – a lightweight beach dress (long so it won’t blow up in the wind) for a dinner at a special place (not necessary, but nice tohave).
Men – dress-up means a shirt with buttons.
Laptop & camera – (underwater cameras are especially fun to have).
Sunglasses – polarized if possible.
Spare contact lenses, spare reading glasses.
Medications – bring twice what you need in case you decide to stay a little longer – also bring copies of your prescriptions “just in case” and for ease in clearing customs elsewhere.
Divers & snorkelers – bring your own gear if you like, but you can also or rent from local shops.