Belize Travel Guide: Revealing Belize, Central America’s Hidden Treasure. Despite being the smallest Central American country by population, roughly 405,000, Belize offers an enchanting symphony of natural wonders and captivating culture. Its land mass may only be more significant than El Salvador’s, but its allure extends beyond its borders.
Belize will take your breath away with its azure Caribbean Sea shores that invite relaxation and exploration. Its crowning glory, the magnificent Belize Barrier Reef, stands as one of the planet’s most astonishing natural wonders. The reef’s crystalline waters are a sanctuary to a radiant medley of marine life, a spectacle not to be missed.
Venture beyond the coastline into the verdant embrace of Belize’s lush jungles, where the green canopy teems with diverse wildlife. Scattered throughout the country, numerous islands, each with unique charm, await your discovery. And let’s not forget the awe-inspiring Mayan ruins, silent testaments to a splendid ancient civilization.
At Martsam Travel, we’ve meticulously curated an array of Belize tours to showcase the country’s unspoiled beauty and rich heritage.
We offer more than just pre-set trips; our forte lies in designing custom Belize tours tailored to your unique preferences.
Imagine zip-lining through the dense jungle, diving into the colorful depths of the Barrier Reef, or stepping back in time with a visit to the mysterious archaeological sites.
Whether you’re craving a tranquil beach escape or a thrilling Central American adventure, our dedicated team at Martsam Travel strives to transform your dream Belize vacation into an unforgettable reality.
If you’re unfamiliar with Central American geography, let’s get our bearings first. Belize sits on the east coast of the Central American subcontinent and shares boundaries with Mexico and Guatemala.
The north of Belize is Central America’s northernmost region. This makes the country an ideal starting point for anyone looking to complete a north-to-south journey through all seven Central American countries.
Such an adventure would take you through neighboring Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Our travel guide for Guatemala is another useful resource for anyone looking to travel beyond Belize
Like all Central American countries, Belize sits in the Tropic of Capricorn. It’s little surprise, then, that it’s hot and humid here year-round.
Average temperatures only vary by around 39°F (4°C) between the hottest part of the year (May to September) and the coolest (December to March).
On a daily level, temperatures differ by around 50°F (10°C) between the day’s peak and night’s low.
Of course, the higher into the uplands you travel, the more the temperature decreases. Factor in a fall of approximately 37.5°F (3°C) for every 1,000ft increase in altitude.
Belize also has dry and wet seasons. The dry season typically runs from February to April with the wet season starting in mid-May and lasting until November.
Late November to February is a transitional period between the two and comes with limited rainfall and the coolest temperatures.
It’s also worth noting that the south of the country receives significantly more rain than the north.
The north averages around 60 inches/1500mm compared to the south’s 160 inches/4000mm.
Every traveler has their own sense of safety. Influences on this can vary from personal experiences to gender. As such, we don’t want to give a sweeping generalization here.
Belize is a country that is renowned for, and relies on, outstanding tourism. This is reflected in the country’s fourth-place finish in the Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2022 as part of Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel Awards’.
Like any other nation or city that welcomes large numbers of visitors, Belize’s most popular places are safe and welcoming.
The reality is that you only need to take the same precautions you would when traveling outside your own country.
We advise planning your trip comfortably in advance. This gives you time to gather plenty of information about the locations and attractions you want to visit.
You can also use the pre-travel period to research and assess the most trusted and most highly rated tour companies, like Martsam Travel.
English is Belize’s official language. Many Belizeans are multilingual, so it’s common to find speakers of Spanish and a creole patois too.
The Mayan people in the country also speak Yucatec, Mopán, and Qʼeqchiʼ (Kekchí).
With Martsam Travel’s English-speaking team guiding your travels in Belize, you should have no worries about communication during your time here.
Tourists have numerous options for getting around Belize. The best are car rentals, taxis (including water taxis), planes, buses, and private shuttles.
Hiring a car in Belize’s larger towns and cities is easy. However, both rental and gas prices don’t come cheap.
This is something to remember if you’re planning various road trips.
What’s more, highways in Belize may not be what you expect. They are two-lane roads with little by way of markings or lighting.
They also aren’t always well maintained, so potholes are common.
Most villages have unannounced speed bumps at entrances, so avoiding driving at night is highly recommended.
Taxi drivers are happy to drive people anywhere in the country. But you should note taxis don’t have meters, so you must discuss the price before starting the journey.
You can agree to pay by the number of stops, distance, or per hour.
Due to the high gas prices mentioned above, the rates aren’t especially cheap.
If you want to travel to Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye, or St George’s Caye, you can catch a water taxi departing from Belize City.
This is an affordable way to reach some of Belize’s most popular destinations.
Maya Island Air and Tropic Air provide scheduled and charter flights to destinations across Belize and those in neighboring countries.
Their fleets are on the smaller side, and in some cases, the planes are tiny.
You can expect reasonable prices, although traveling by plane is much more expensive than any form of travel over land.
As with many other Central American countries, repurposed US school buses are the norm in the public bus system.
They aren’t luxurious and don’t have air conditioning, but they are certainly the best way to experience real life in Belize.
Bus terminals are in every central town and city, and all villages have a bus stop.
Private and semi-private shuttles are the perfect middle-ground between public transport and costly taxis and flights.
You should be able to find services between major towns, cities, and airports.
They can recommend the best local shuttle service if you’re staying in a hotel.
Citizens who hold US, Canadian, EU, and UK passports do not need a visa to enter Belize. You can legally stay in the country for 30 days after the date of arrival.
If you want to remain longer than this, you must visit an Immigration Office and secure a Belize Visitor’s Permit Extension.
With such a wide range of activities, day trips, and tours in Belize, we can’t list everything that every visitor will need to bring on a trip here. After all, what works for a jungle and Mayan history adventure won’t apply for a relaxing beach vacation.
Generally speaking, though, it’s worth packing the following items:
The above list is only a starting point. Needless to say, you should always travel with the appropriate documents (and copies), personal medication, and spares of essential clothing.
The country’s currency is the Belize dollar. If you’re traveling from the US, you have the added benefit of being able to use US dollars as they are widely accepted everywhere. But please note that you will always receive change in Belize dollars.
Of course, it’s always sensible to exchange some of your native currency for local money in a bank on arrival.
If your perfect vacation involves days spent beside the sea, Belize is a playground to explore! Located in the Caribbean Sea, the Belize Barrier Reef is the world’s second-largest, behind only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
With warm, translucent water, over 100 types of coral, and more than 500 tropical fish species, Belize’s reef is a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers.
If you’re a snorkeler, you can marvel at the shifting kaleidoscope of coral, fish, turtles, and whale sharks. Divers can descend even deeper to investigate underwater caves and the world-famous Great Blue Hole.
Is the Great Blue Hole on your bucket list? It’s a key feature on our Explore Belize Tour.
And let’s not forget the wonderful island life on Belize’s sandy Cayes. You can spend your time swimming, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, or just lazing in a hammock.
Given its small stature, Belize has a relatively vast network of inland national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. These include Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Shipstern Nature Reserve, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and Río Bravo Conservation Area.
These protected areas offer a haven for all manner of flora and fauna. Even a brief run-through of the animals you can find here includes:
For an added touch of exhilaration, Belize has numerous excellent locations where you can zipline through jungle canopies! With outstanding hiking trails and opportunities for rappelling down waterfalls, Belize is a genuine adventure, both in and out of the jungle.
Central America was home to one of the world’s most mysterious civilizations: the ancient Maya. Peppered with fascinating archaeological sites dating back to between CE 250 and 1000, Belize has plenty in store for history aficionados.
Just two of the famous names on any archaeological tour of Belize include the jaw-dropping Xunantunich and the astonishing Lamanai. Both of these Mayan wonders feature on our Explore Belize Tour.
The Cayo and Toledo Districts are rich in historical sites, including the iconic massive stone temples with enormous steps leading to the summit. Today, that journey leads to stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape!
With intricate hieroglyphs, excavated tombs, and natural caves where kings made sacrifices and performed rituals, there’s so much to learn and explore about this amazing civilization.
Martsam Travel is the leader in first-class Central American experiences. With us, you have complete peace of mind. Our Belize tour packages take you to every corner of this beautiful country.