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Frequently Asked Questions - Belize FAQ's
Visitors are permitted to stay in Belize for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days. The following category of persons may be granted by the Immigration Department extensions of up to three (3) months at a time. These three months would be after the thirty day period given by the Immigration Officer at the port of entry.
- Persons living in remote areas away from the Immigration Office
- Potential Investors
- Business persons
The above is on the strict understanding that the applicant presents him/herself in person and satisfies the requirement that the necessary funds (US $50.00 per person per day) are available for the duration of the period requested extension. Applicant must also have a ticket to his/her onward destination. Extensions are granted at a cost of US $50.00 per month.
The Belize Dollar (BZ$) has a fixed rate of exchange of BZ $2 to US $1. Most hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tour operators will accept U.S. currency, traveler's checks, or credit cards. When using your credit cards in Belize, most establishments will add a 5% service charge to your bill. Always make sure that you understand which dollar rate is being quoted. Is it Belize Dollars or U.S. Dollars?
Credit cards are often accepted, but many locations only accept one or two different types. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. American Express is accepted somewhat less frequently, and Discover hardly at all. Be aware, however, that some locations charge a two to 10 percent fee for credit card purchases.
In order to have mobile cellular service in Belize, an unlocked GSM (Global System Mobile Communication) 1900 MHz cellular phone is required. Phones may be activated at any BTL office or Digicell distributor in the country. Prepaid service works using phone cards that can be bought at various stores around the country.
Cellular phones can also be rented for US $5 a day from the Belize Telecommunications (BTL) office at the Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). A deposit of US $150 is required.
Power is provided to Belize by Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). More than half of the energy distributed by the company comes from renewable energy, which is quite in keeping with Belize's notoriaty as an eco-friendly country. BEL has consistently received very high customer satisfaction ratings, which means that visitors can expect their experiences with the country's power to be exemplary.
Belize's electricital service is on the same cycle as the United States, 110 volt, 60 cycle. The standard two and three prong sockets are widely available as well.
In outlying areas, most of the electricity is provided by diesel/generator sets. You can expect the power to be stable at 110 volts A.C.
Bank Hours :
Monday - Thursday 8 am - 1 pm
Friday - 8 am - 4:30 pm
**Note that hours vary by bank and destination.
Commerce & Industry :
Monday - Friday 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M - 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Some businesses are open on Saturdays
Public and bank holidays
- New Years Day - January 1
- Baron Bliss Day- March 9
- Good Friday
- Holy Saturday
- Easter Monday
- Labour Day-May 1
- Commonwealth Day- May 24
- St. George's Caye Day- September 10
- Independence Day- September 21
For international passengers departing by air from Philip Goldson International Airport
- Passenger Service Fee $15.00
- Airport Development Fee $15.00
- Conservation Fee $3.75
- Security Fee $1.25
Total Airport Departure Fees: US $35.00 Payable ONLY in US $
All fees apply to non-Belizean citizens and non-Belizean permanent residents.
These fees are sometimes included in the cost of your airfare.
In Belize, restaurants do not add service charges. Diners are therefore encouraged to tip servers between 10 percent and 15 percent of the total bill. Waitstaff at smaller, inexpensive restaurants generally expect only 10 percent, but tip more if you receive exceptional service.
If your bill does not show a surcharge for staff gratuities or you feel staffers have gone out of their way to accommodate you, then definitely leave a tip of several dollars to express your gratitude. If you are unsure whether tipping is commonly practiced at your hotel or lodge, ask the front desk.
Required documents for Tourist Travel to Belize
* U.S. Passport must be valid 3 months beyond intended stay
* Tickets and Documents for return or onward travel
* Sufficient funds for duration of stay
* No visa required for stay up to 30 days - extension possible at Immigration
* Vaccinations - International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever required if arriving from infected area within 5 days
In Belize, it is not the temperature that visitors should be concerned with, but the humidity. High humidity can make a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit feel like 80.
The best time to visit Belize is during the dry season, December to April. Temperatures are cooler and rainfall is decreased, though it is not unusual to have rain, it just tends to fall in shorter spurts.
Temperatures annually range from 50-95°F, with a mean annual temperature of 79°F.
The key to packing properly for your Belize beach or jungle adventure is the laid-back style of the country. Unless you are traveling for business, leave your dressy options at home.
Inland adventures usually require hiking gear like lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts, strong hiking boots, binoculars and a bathing suit (to plunge into the green pools at the base of waterfalls). Bug repellant is also necessary but can be bought in most tourist facilities and supermarkets in the country. Flashlights may also be required to explore the numerous caves. This is often provided by the tour operator or resort but can also be bought in any hardware store or supermarket. Early mornings and late evenings may become cool in the mountainous regions, so a simple jacket or sweater should also be packed. Depending on the time of year for your visit, rain gear will be a welcome addition to your vacation.
The US Department of State issues Consular Information Sheets for every country in the world. They list important information about each country, including currency regulations and the location of US embassies and consulates abroad. You can consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheets and obtain the most recent Public Announcements and/or Travel Warnings available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up to date information on security conditions by calling toll-free 1-888-407-4747 in the United States, or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.