Belize, small and forgotten by God, is an amazing opportunity for a foreign tourist to get acquainted with the real life of Central America. Globalization has affected only a few central cities of this unique country, leaving to our joy ethnic reservations, lush national parks, beautiful diving sites and, of course, the rich cultural heritage of the Mayan civilization.
Geography of Belize
According to best-medical-schools.com, Belize is a small country in Central America, has a land border with Mexico in the north and with Guatemala in the west. The Caribbean Sea washes the east coast of Belize. The total area of the country’s territories is only 22,966 km². The main part of Belize is occupied by low plains with a large number of lagoons and lakes. In the southern part of the country are the Maya Mountains with a maximum peak height of 1122 meters above sea level. The country has been little studied and its subsoil is fraught with many mysteries, for example, there are suggestions that there are large oil reserves in Belize.
The area of Belize is 22,966 km. sq., occupies the 150th place in the world by area.
The official currency is the Belize dollar (BZD).
Official language – English
Weather in Belize
Belize has a tropical trade wind climate. The climatic background practically does not change during the year, the average monthly temperature is 26°C. There are only two seasons in the country: the rainy season from May to July, and the dry season from November to May. The northeast trade wind brings heavy rains to the country, so in the rainy period the amount of precipitation is 3500 mm, and in the dry period – 1300 mm. The rainy season is also dangerous with a high probability of hurricanes and tsunamis from the Caribbean, this is not the best time to visit Belize. The best period to travel around the country is the dry season, but it is also the time of the highest prices. 50% of the country is covered with tropical rainforests, there are many mangroves on the coast, and broad-leaved and coniferous forests predominate in the southwest and north.
Getting to Belize is not so easy, here in the suburbs of the largest city in the country – Belize, there is an international airport Philip SW Goldson International Airport, however, as expected, there are no direct flights from Russia to it. The most acceptable option is to get with a transfer to the country closest to Belize, and then fly to Belize itself with regional Tropic Air or Maya Island Air companies. Most of the country’s local residents move between cities through intercity buses that run between most of the country’s settlements. There are two types of buses in Belize – regular and Express, the latter make fewer stops and are more expensive. There are only 4 paved highways in Belize (Southern Highway, Hummingbird Highway, George Price Highway and Northern Highway), most of the roads are unpaved and in very poor condition, so renting a vehicle is not recommended for your own safety. There is a railway in the country, but at present it is completely abandoned and does not function. Inside the cities, you can also travel by bus, and locals often prefer bicycles to them.
Currency exchange in Belize
The national currency in Belize is the Belize Dollar (BZ$, BZD). American dollars are also a liquid currency and are accepted for payment everywhere. You can exchange currency at the airport, at the hotel, at bank branches, and at exchange offices. Most banks operate from Monday to Thursday from 08:00 to 13:00, and on Fridays from 08:00 to 16:30. Saturday and Sunday are official days off. You can pay with credit cards only in large restaurants and hotels, but for this you will be charged 5-7% of the amount. Please also note that many ATMs do not accept foreign cards. You can cash out your card only at branches and ATMs of Barclays Bank, which does not even charge a percentage for the transaction. Traveler’s checks can be used in large stores, restaurants, hotels and tourist places.
Mains voltage 110\220V, 60HZ. There are three types of sockets: A (two flat vertical pins), B (two flat pins and a D-shaped for grounding) and G (two flat horizontal and one flat vertical pin).
Nearly half of Belizeans, namely 49.6% of the population are Catholics, 27% are Protestants, 9.4% are atheists, and 14% adhere to various other religions and beliefs.
Compared to other Central American countries, Belize has the status of a safe state, but by world standards, there is a rather high crime rate. In downtown Belize City, outright scams, violent attacks and theft are not uncommon, but the victims are more likely to be locals themselves than foreign visitors. Tourists are strongly advised not to travel alone at night, as well as to demonstrate their financial solvency with expensive video and photographic equipment, jewelry. Try to leave all valuables, including large sums of money, credit cards and documents, in a hotel safe. Surprisingly, the safest way to travel in Belize is to remote areas, here they simply have not heard of theft and robbery. The maximum that threatens you here is begging and naive petty cheating.
If you plan to engage in outdoor activities in Belize, including diving or rock climbing, or if you are just worried about your health, it is strongly recommended to take out medical insurance before your trip. No specific vaccinations are required before traveling to Belize. The level of health care in Belize, of course, does not reach the level of Mexico and Guatemala, but when contacting clinics with mild problems, difficulties should not arise. Treating severe cases can be problematic and, if you don’t have insurance, expensive. In Belize pharmacies you can find all the basic medicines, but if you are constantly taking certain medicines, it is better to take the required amount with you from Russia. Tap water in Belize is not suitable for drinking and brushing your teeth, it is better to use bottled water for this.