- What are the accommodations like?
- Are meals included?
- What are the tour leaders like?
- What type of transportation is used?
- What type of planes are used on internal flights?
- What type of food is typical of Belize?
- What is the difference between an escorted and a non-escorted tour?
- When is the best time to go to Belize?
- Are these trips suitable for kids?
- What is the typical age range for these tours?
- Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?
- Do tour rates include international flights?
- How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?
- How much should I budget for tips?
- Are there any discounts available?
- How far in advance should I book?
- Are tour dates flexible?
- Can I extend or change my stay?
- What should I pack?
- How safe is Belize?
- Is the water safe to drink?
- What immunizations are recommended/ required?
- Do I need a visa/passport?
- What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc.?
- Should I bring cash or Traveler's checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?
- Can I use my cell phone?
- What time zone is Belize?
- Do I need a converter/ adaptor for the electricity?
- Is travel insurance recommended?
1. What are the accommodations like?
In Belize, we have selected a variety of charming accommodations ranging from thatched roof jungle cabanas to comfortable city hotels with all of the modern conveniences. In general, we use small, family-run lodges that are locally owned and characteristic of each area instead of luxury chain resorts. For more information, check out our Belize Lodging page or click on the bed icons next to each day of the tour itinerary to view pictures of our standard hotels/ lodges.
We have tried to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meal options. For this reason, we include meals on any of our tour days when you are traveling off the beaten path where restaurant choices are limited. In the major towns, where there are a wide variety of restaurants, we generally do not include meals, to allow our travelers the flexibility of choosing their own food preferences. Your tour leader or hotel staff can recommend some great restaurant options. Your hotel will also provide a light continental breakfast on these days. Included meals are listed in parenthesis next to the tour itinerary on each tour page. An estimated meal budget can also be found under Personal Budgeting to the right of the itinerary on the tour pages.
All of our tour leaders are exceptional! They are from the local areas where they guide and are among the very best guides available in each region. Our tour leaders treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.
Our Belize tours utilize a variety of primarily private transportation (arranged just for our groups) including vans/ cars, motor boats, flights, canoes, kayaks, etc. Each tour itinerary page has a description of the transportation included on that tour. If you have additional questions, just ask!
In general, small commuter planes are used on internal flights. The 14-passenger Cessna Gran Caravan propeller plane is particularly common.
Rice, beans, tortillas, tropical fruit, and fresh vegetables are some of the standard foods that travelers can expect in Belize. Much of the cuisine is borrowed from Mexico, the US, the UK, and the Caribbean.
7. What is the difference between an escorted and a non-escorted tour?
In Belize, we offer both escorted tours and unescorted tours. On the escorted tours, one of our local tour leaders travels with you on most stages of your trip. You will have the same group and guide throughout and your tour leader will usually accompany you from place to place. These are a great option for solo travelers as you can get to know the other members of your group better and continue on with them for your entire journey.
On our unescorted tours, local guides from your lodge will assist you at each location. Planned activities are generally guided, but tour leaders do not usually accompany you from place to place and may not be available on free days. You'll either have private guide service with your personal group or join a small group of travelers at your lodge or yacht, but you won't necessarily have the same group throughout. Though solo travelers are welcome on these trips as well, these tours often depart weekly and generally have much smaller groups. Ask your trip coordinator if these tours are a good choice if you are a solo traveler.
The best time to visit Belize is during the dry season, December to April. Temperatures are cooler and rainfall is decreased, though it is not unusual to have rain, it just tends to fall in shorter spurts.
Temperatures annually range from 50-95°F, with a mean annual temperature of 79°F.
The driest months are February and March, and the temperature then peaks in April and May. The mountains are cooler than the rest of the country, especially in the evenings. Out on the Cayes you'll enjoy tropical breezes wafting through the palm trees, providing you with natural air conditioning! Temperatures along the coast are in the 70-80s (20°C - 30°C) for most of the dry season, but can reach into the 90s during April and May. Water temperatures along the barrier reef range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. From June through December the weather is hot and humid. The amount of rainfall varies widely from north to south, from 40-60" in Corozal to 160-190" in Punta Gorda. Belize lies in the hurricane belt - these have often come later in the season, between August and the end of October. We don't offer any trips during this time because of extreme weather conditions.
Absolutely!! Belize is endowed with lush jungle, rainforest, wildlife, and beautiful tropical rivers. Additionally, Belize has a spicy diversity of cultures, mystical ancient Mayan ruins, the second largest barrier reef in the world, and an English speaking population. Despite the grand scale of beauty, Belize is roughly the same size as the state of Massachusetts. That translates into less time spent traveling, and more time for your family to explore and enjoy the sights. Activities on our Belize tours range from rigorous to relaxing, and can almost always be adapted to suit your family's preferred pace. Many of the jungle lodges do not have television. Some tours have longer travel times or more rugged accommodations than others, so these may be more suitable for older children.
Our Family Travel Page has some helpful hints for making the most of your family vacation and also has some minimum age recommendations for each tour. We realize that you know your kids best so we will be happy to answer all of your questions and try to give you the most accurate impression of what to expect. However, please remember that these are adventure tours and flexibility is essential!
To make family tours easier, we often recommend having a private group and guide, though families with well-behaved children are welcome on our group departures as well. We have special private tour rates for families- please ask your trip coordinator if you are interested.
We have had travelers of nearly every age on our Belize tours. These trips commonly attract multi-generational families as well as young honeymooners or adventurous single travelers. Travelers of any age can likely find a Belize option where they will fit right in.
Yes, for the most part. Some tours/ departure dates tend to attract larger groups than others. Hamanasi, Belize Explorer, Reefs and Cayes, Dive Belize, and Rainforest and Ruins tend to be great choices. Ask your trip coordinator for other recommendations and/or departure dates that are particularly nice options for single travelers. Solo travelers should also take a look at our exclusive Solo Traveler Departures.
Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. You can purchase international flights directly through, or we can certainly help you arrange these flights with an airfare consolidator that specializes in Central America flights.
Transfers to/from the airport are included for travelers that arrive/depart on set tours days. If you will be arriving early or staying late, we can arrange optional airport transfers for these days as well at an additional cost or you can take a local taxi.
Tips are not required on any of our tours. However, it is customary in Latin America to offer a small tip for exceptional service. Tipping amounts vary widely, though some travelers report that ~$2-$10/ day for your guide and ~$1-$3/ day for your driver is common. Other travelers opt to bring small gifts from their home to give to service providers along the way.
Absolutely! We offer select trip discounts periodically throughout the year. Check out our Travel Discounts page for the latest offers and on-going discounts.
You can book your Belize tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better. For most dry season departures, 4 months notice is recommended. For departures during school holidays (Spring break and Christmas), you will usually find better availability if you book at least 6 months in advance (12-18 months if you want custom departure dates during the Christmas/ New Year's holiday). Travelers visiting during the shoulder season (May-June and November) can often book last minute, though 2-3 months notice is still recommended.
We usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available.
We are often able to accommodate last minute travelers as well (some even departing in less than one week!!), so give us a call and we will do our best! For last minute bookings, it helps to be flexible and organized. Your first choice tour may not be available for your selected dates, but your trip coordinator can probably recommend some other similar options that would be equally interesting! Many lodges will not hold spaces less than 30 days before departure so for last minute bookings, you may be asked to send your registration form and trip payment in right away to secure your spaces.
YES. Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed on-line. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/ hotels are available.
Absolutely! Check out our Belize Extensions for ideas. Extra days can be arranged in most areas if desired. Let us know how you would like to customize your trip and we will do our best to accommodate you.
19. What should I pack?
You will receive a detailed packing list after you book your tour. Bring long sleeves and a fleece/ sweater for cool highland evenings and plenty of comfortable, breathable clothes for hot jungle days. Good walking shoes, insect repellant, and sun protection are also a must.
Though we have not had any safety concerns on our tours, crime can be a serious problem in Belize City. Travelers should take common sense precautions such as avoiding walking alone or at night and not carrying valuables. Hotels can store your valuables in a safe if desired.
Outside of the city, pickpocketing can still be a concern around crowded tourist sites and resorts. Check out the US State Department travel advisories for the latest information at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1055.html
The tap water is generally not safe to drink in Belize. Bottled water is readily available at tourist sites, hotels, and restaurants. Don't forget to use bottled water when brushing your teeth as well! Ice is not always made with boiled/ bottled water. Order your beverages without ice or ask your tour leader if the ice is safe in a particular restaurant.
No immunizations are currently required for visiting Belize except a yellow fever certificate if you are arriving in Belize after visiting an infected area, such as the Amazon. Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended. Medications to prevent malaria are also recommended, though some travelers opt not to take them. For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control web-site at www.cdc.gov.
Travelers will all need a passport valid for at least 6 months after they depart. Visas are not currently required for travelers from the US, European Community or British Commonwealth. Travelers from other nationalities should check with the Belizean Embassy or consulate for visa information. Entry requirements change with surprising frequency. It is each traveler's responsibility to check with the consulate for the most up-to-date visa information.
The local currency is the Belizean dollar. The exchange rate is US$1 = BZ$2, though many banks will give you a slightly lower rate. Most restaurants, markets, and other service providers will readily accept US dollars. They will generally give you change in Belizean dollars unless you request otherwise.
US cash is the easiest form of money to use. For security, a combination of Traveler's checks, ATM cards, and/or credit cards are recommended. ATMs are readily available in Belize City, but travelers may have trouble accessing them elsewhere. US Traveler's checks are accepted at larger establishments and can be easily exchanged at all banks, but you will usually receive a poorer rate. Credit cards are accepted in the larger restaurants and stores as well.
Check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information.
Belize is six hours behind GMT (same as CST). They do not observe daylight-savings time so during these months (April-October), Belize is on MST.
Belize uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, same as the US. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type so US travelers will not typically need a converter or adaptor. Outlets rarely have 3 holes so if your device has a third prong, bring an adaptor.
Absolutely!!! We work with a company called TravelGuard that provides reasonably priced insurance for trip cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost bags, etc. They have two different types of insurance available, depending upon whether or not you will need the cancellation coverage. Check out our Once You're Booked page for more information.