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About Belize

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About Belize

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Anyone who doesn’t know about Belize finds the travel destination fascinating. Belize is a Central American country nestled between Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Yet the language, culture, and vibe, mirrors the Caribbean. In addition, depending on your location within this small country, and based on the predominant culture of an area, you’ll get to see different sides of Belize.

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Basic Facts

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As a previous British colony, Belize is the only English-speaking nation in Central America. The population is roughly 330,000 and the country is almost half the size of Costa Rica. There are six districts: Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo. Moreover, the capital is Belmopan City while Belize City is the largest city and first capital.Belize’s main cultures are Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna, Creole, and Mennonites. Since Belize is near the equator, it shares the same climate as other tropical countries. There are two distinct weather periods, a dry and wet season. The dry season is usually from November to May and the wet season is from June to October. This is important to keep in mind when choosing the best time to visit Belize.

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MONEY: US$ 1 = BZ$ 2

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US dollars are accepted everywhere (bills; not coins) in Belize. While the banks charge a fee of 1.25 % to change US dollars, local businesses will just change 2 to 1.

Travelers Cheques are also accepted. Still, you usually need to show your passport when paying with Travelers Cheques. Moreover, banks and some businesses give about BZ$ 1.96 for US$ 1 Travelers Cheques.

EUROs are not accepted, however, banks will change them. Do ask the local banks for exchange rates.

Hotel rates, tour rates are usually quoted in US dollars but, restaurant and bar rates are usually Belize dollars.

Credit cards: We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express, however, American Express is not always accepted and Diners is not accepted anywhere in Belize.

Tips are appreciated, hotels (and some restaurants) usually add a service charge- in those cases no tipping is required.

There is a 9% hotel tax is which is added to your hotel charges and a general sales tax of 12.5% which applies for all sales across the board.

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Telephone:

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Telephone in Belize is provided by BTL (Belize Telephone Limited) and SMART. International dialing rates to the US are somewhat expensive.

Belize country code = 501
San Ignacio Local Code: 824/804

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Important Numbers:

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Operator – 113/115
Sprint – 812
MCI – 189
Police – 911, 804-3978
Fire Department – 824-2095
La Loma Luz Hospital – 824-2087

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Belize Representations in the World:

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    • Belize Tourist Board, 421 7th Avenue, Ste. 1110, New York, NY 10001 (800-624-0686), www.travelbelize.org
    • Embassy of Belize, 2535 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington , D.D. 20008 (202-32-9636)
    • Consulate of Belize, 862 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami FL 33138 (305-448-9684)
    • Consulate of Belize in Canada, 200 Bay St., Royal Bay Plaza, South Tower, Suite 3500, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2J7 (415-865-7000)

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EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES IN BELIZE:

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  • United States Embassy: Belize City Tel +501 227 7161
  • British High Commission: Belmopan +501 822 2146
  • Mexican Embassy: Belize City +501 223 0194
  • Belgian Honorary Consul: Belize City +501 223 0748
  • Canadian Honorary Consul: Belize City +501 223 1060
  • French Honorary Consul: Belize City +501 223 2708
  • German Honorary Consul: Belize City +501 222 4371
  • Italian Honorary Consul: Belize City +501 227 8449
  • The Netherlands Honorary Consul: Belize City +501 227 3612
  • Russian Honorary Consul: Belize City +501 223 1151
  • Swiss Honorary Consul: Belize City +501 227 7363
  • Office of the European Commission: Belize City +501 223 2070