Traveling to Belize can be an adventure, but keeping things pleasant and comfortable always makes for the most enjoyable trip. Brushing up on these basic tips below will help you get by better in Belize.
You’ll find that Belizeans are very friendly under almost all circumstances. However, remembering a few rules of etiquette will allow you to discover just how friendly the people of Belize can be.
- When walking into any kind of building, or just asking someone for directions on the street, it is most polite to greet the person first with a “good morning” or “buenos días.”
- Don’t get carried away taking pictures. While photos from inside churches and of indigenous people may look interesting, be sure to avoid snapping pictures during church services, or without asking someone for their permission first. Always remember to thank locals you photograph with a small fee.
- Remember, even business attire is casual in Belize. There’s no need to overdress; men rarely wear suits with ties.
- Gay travelers are advised to be very discreet in Belize. Homosexuality is still illegal there and has resulted in prison time for natives, though vacationers have not been prosecuted.
Belize has six districts, but the country can also be broken down into major tourist destinations.
Northern Belize consists of both Corozal and Orange Walk Districts and some is sometimes considered to encompass northern portions of Belize District as well. Travelers can explore the jungle and the Mayan world from this location, including the important Mayan archaeological site of Lamanai. There is a mix of Mayan, Spanish, and Mennonite farmers throughout the region, creating their own unique culture.
Belize District (Belize City)
The main attraction of the Belize district is Belize City, where travelers can explore many worlds and cultures, from the ancient Mayan to the colonial to a lively present. The area is most defined by its cultural and historical mix.
Belize’s cayes are popular tourist destinations, with most of the focus on travel to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. However, no matter which caye you visit, you’ll find yourself on a Caribbean island near great snorkeling at Belize’s barrier reef.
The Cayo district is a western district in Belize, punctuated by its two largest cities toward the eastern and western borders of the district, San Ignacio and Belmopan. Between the two, jungle dominates in the Mayan mountain area.
Stann Creek District
Crossing the Stann Creek district on the Hummingbird Highway offers scenic drives, if rough roads. Small coastal villages have plenty to offer travelers, as does the city of Dangriga, the historic home of the Garifuna people.
A beach-lover’s paradise, Placencia offers many aquatic activities to suit any traveler. From snorkeling and diving to carefree sunbathing while enjoying a cool beverage on the white sand, this is a popular tourist destination.
Nature lovers will truly find their spot in Southern Belize’s Toledo District or the city of Punta Gorda. Throughout the area you’ll find Mopan and Kekchi Mayan homesteads blending tradition with the 21st century. Ancient Mayan ruins, cave systems, and, of course, rainforests provide a backdrop for any adventure you choose.
No matter what kind of travel adventure you seek, Belize offers something for every sensibility.