Before You Go
Passports and Visas
You must have a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay in Belize. You may be asked at the border (or airport immigration) to show a return ticket or ample money to leave the country. You do not need a visa if you are a British Commonwealth subject or a citizen of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States, or Uruguay. Visitors for purposes other than tourism must obtain a visa.
Technically, a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers aged above one year arriving from an affected area, though immigration officials rarely, if ever, ask to see one.
In general, before traveling anywhere in Central America, your routine vaccinations—tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, and polio—should be up to date. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all travelers over age two and should be given at least two weeks (preferably four weeks or more) before departure. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for travelers who will have intimate contact with local residents or potentially need blood transfusions or injections while abroad, especially if visiting for more than six months. It is also recommended for all health care personnel and volunteers. Typhoid and rabies vaccines are recommended for those headed for rural areas.
The vast majority of travelers arrive in Belize by air at Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), nine miles from Belize City. From there, short domestic connections are available around the country. A few travelers fly into Cancún as a cheaper back door to Belize; once there, they board a bus or rent a car and drive south through the Yucatán Peninsula to get to Belize.
Belize is small and extremely manageable, especially if you fly the domestic airline from tiny airstrip to tiny airstrip. You can also get around by rental car, hired taxi, or bus, experiences that make the country seem larger. Another option is to simply let your resort or lodge arrange your airport transfer and all tours.
What to Take
Pack for hot weather (80–95°F, both humid and dry), as well as the occasional cool front (60–80°F). At least one pair of pants and a light shell jacket are recommended, as rainy season can push all the way into February, and June through November it’s guaranteed to be damp. Long sleeves are helpful for avoiding mosquito bites and sunburn. Cayo and the Mountain Pine Ridge can drop to sweater weather in any part of the wet season. Bring a small first-aid kit, a flashlight or headlamp, and waterproof plastic bags for protection during rain or boat travel.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition