Have you ever dreamed of taking a vacation in a tropical paradise surrounded by white-sand beaches and lush rainforests? If so, consider taking a holiday in Belize. Located on the eastern stretch of Central America between Mexico and Guatemala, this destination is quickly becoming a regional hotspot. Tourists have the choice between several luxurious Belize homes for rent and can spend their time on the beach or enjoy the natural beauty. Here are a few essentials you should know before going to Belize.
Planning the Perfect Holiday
Every incredible trip starts with planning. Belize has a surprising diversity in landscapes, wildlife and activities. What this means for tourists is that you’re always going to have something to do. But to fully appreciate the country, it’s essential to do your due diligence beforehand. Buy a guidebook or spend a few days researching online. Make a list of the must-do activities and base your holiday around them.
When to Visit Belize
Peak season attracts the vast majority of tourists. The dry season lasts from November to April with Christmas being a popular time to visit. Thousands of holidaymakers from North America head down to Belize to escape the bitter cold of winter back at home. Visit during peak season and expect crowds and inflated prices but with almost guaranteed perfect weather. And if you have the budget, it’s quite easy to find a secluded vacation rental on one of the more distance cayes.
Not everyone has the flexibility to visit in the dry season. A sizeable number of tourists travel to Belize during the wetter months of the year too. The number of rainy days increases from May until November with Hurricane season beginning in June. Going to Belize during this time of the year is still possible. The rain often comes in short bursts in the late afternoon, which means you can still enjoy the beach and go sightseeing.
Where is the Best Place to Stay in Belize?
The answer to this question all depends on what you want to do on your holiday. Most tourists will arrive in the capital, Belize City, and take a ferry to one of the nearby cayes. A range of accommodation is available on the two most famous cayes: Ambergris and Caulker. If you’re looking for the ultimate level of luxury on your very own private island, check out Cayo Espanto. Other favourite places to stay include San Ignacio, Placencia and Hopkins.
First-timers often consider Belize City as a hub to explore the country. But given its poor reputation for violent crime and widespread poverty, it might not be the best place to base yourself. There aren’t that many attractions, and few even bother to visit apart from passing through on the way to or from the airport.
Where to Visit in Belize?
The two things tourists shouldn’t miss in Belize is visiting the Barrier Reef and the Great Blue Hole. Belize’s Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world covering hundreds of square kilometres. Coral of all colours as well as a vast array of fish are just below the surface making it a favourite spot for divers and snorkelers. You can visit the reef on a day trip from Ambergris Caye.
The Great Blue Hole, on the other hand, is a must-visit for a different reason. Reaching a depth of over 300 metres, the vast sinkhole has attracted divers for years. Inside, you’ll find thousands of fish, sharks and have a completely surreal experience. Visiting this on a day trip is a must for both divers and non-divers.
Belize has a large number of ancient Mayan ruins throughout the country. If you’re a fan of history and want to experience the legacy of one of the region’s biggest civilisation, join a tour and visit the ruins. Famous sights include Caracol and its Canna Pyramid that’s still the tallest building in the country today. You should also head to Xunantunich, Altun Ha and Lamanai.
Other must-visit attractions include the Jaguar Reserve (Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary) near Placencia, Glovers Reef Atoll Marine Reserve and Five Blues Lake National Park. Adventurous tourists can even choose to join a four-day expedition to climb the 1120 meters (3670 feet) tall Victoria Peak.
How Much Does it Cost to Holiday in Belize?
Tourists visiting Belize are often shocked at the prices and cost of travel. Despite being in the relatively impoverished Central America, travel costs tend to be on par with the United States. If you have ever visited the Caribbean, expect to pay similar prices in Belize. Eating out in the international style restaurants will get you excellent service and delicious food along with drinks for about the same price as back home. According to some, the cost is justified with the diversity of landscapes and activities available to tourists. Others claim Belize provides the same quality as its Central American neighbours but at twice the price.
Essential Tips and Warnings
If you’re planning to visit Belize, bring cash. Most places accept both the US and Belizean dollar. Some accept credit cards, but it’s more the exception than rule outside of resorts. You should always exercise caution when you’re travelling around the country. Use common sense and leave expensive jewellery at home. If you want to explore the island, consider taking a tour. Tours are good value for money, provide air-conditioned transport and convenience.
Anything Else You Should Know About Belize?
Now that you have the essentials about where and when to visit Belize as well as a few travel tips, it’s time to start planning your epic vacation. Millions of tourists visit each year and almost all fall in love with the country.