What to Know Before Visiting Belize
Belize is rapidly becoming one of the most popular destinations for adventure travelers, family vacations, and honeymoons. Before packing your bags and jetting off to Belize, here are a few things you should know:
Belize is the only English-speaking country in the region, but much of the population also speaks Spanish. It’s also possible to hear locals speaking Plattdeutsch, Chinese, Maya, and Garifuna as you travel around the country.
If you’re a citizen of the United States, Canada, the European Union, and a dozen other countries, you do not need a visa to visit Belize for up to 30 days. You will, however, need to make sure that your passport has at least six months left before it expires.
The currency in Belize is called the Belize Dollar and is abbreviated BZD. The Belize Dollar is permanently pegged to the US Dollar at 2:1, meaning that 2 BZD equals 1 USD. American currency is accepted virtually everywhere in Belize.
You do not need to get any vaccinations or shots before traveling to Belize.
Tap water is potable (safe to drink) in Belize, but filtered bottled water is sold everywhere in the country. High temperatures and strong sunlight can induce dehydration, so travelers are heartily recommended to drink plenty of water during their time in Belize.
The Ancient Maya
The ancient Maya created incredibly precise calendars thanks to their detailed astronomical observations. They also built a series of enormous stone cities in the jungles of Central America ranging from Mexico in the north to El Salvador in the south. Today, Belize is home to more ancient Maya sites than anywhere else, including Caracol, Xunantunich, and Altun Ha.
The Belize Barrier Reef is home to hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with palm trees and pure white sandy beaches. The islands are a major draw for visitors from around the world who come to enjoy activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and sailing.
Not to be outdone, the mainland of Belize is more than 50% national parks and protected nature reserve. With a diverse landscape of waterfalls, mountains, savannah, wetlands, jungle, and rainforest, Belize has a biodiverse ecology where exotic animals like toucans, monkeys, and jaguars thrive.
Traditional fishing villages continue to haul in daily catches of delicious seafood like grouper, lobster, conch, and snapper. Belize also grows a variety of organic produce including pineapples, cashews, oranges, cacao (the basis of chocolate), and coconuts.
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