Belize travel advice

Packing tips

Adam Roberts from Exodus Travels, our leading small group tour operator to Belize:
“Pack your swimming costume as a trip to Belize isn't complete without getting wet a few times! Whether you choose to scuba dive at the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, wade through the eerie Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave system, or snorkel in the protected Hol Chan Marine Reserve, there are abundant opportunities for underwater exploration.”
Dan Hancock, from our supplier Audley Travel:
“Take a good torch – great for spotting the wildlife at night and helping to take some good photos when the light is dim. Take insect repellent, a hat and plenty of sun-cream.”

Wildlife tip

Adam Roberts from our supplier, Exodus:
“Be sure to stay at least one night in a wildlife sanctuary, and brush up on your bird knowledge in advance! The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary comes recommended and is located in a wetland area that provides habitat for almost 300 species of bird, including the migratory Jabiru stork. Crocodiles, monkeys, otters and freshwater turtles can also be spotted here.”

Culture tips

Polly Alford, from our supplier ReefCI:
“People speak English and most people are very friendly and generally want to help. Try and sample local music and culture, most places will have some Garifuna or Creole drumming playing somewhere close! Try the Marie Sharp’s hot sauce, it is a perfect complement for rice and beans!!!”

Itinerary tips

Polly Alford, from our supplier ReefCI, a marine conservation vacation specialist based in Belize:
“Personally I love the coral cayes and the diving, especially the wall dives. Go swimming with whale sharks!!! Placencia is my favourite beach town, it has a Caribbean, laid back feel and at the same time there is a lot of choice of restaurants, bars, tours etc. and more laid back and less touristy than San Pedro, Ambergris caye. Try and do as much of the country as you can and get off the beaten track! It is a small country and has a great internal plane system and bus service. The Southern cayes and Southern Belize are still undiscovered and not spoiled by tourism.”

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Health & safety


Malaria is restricted to a few regions but risks are low. But always check with your doctor and tour operator for more details. Long sleeves and insect repellent are recommended as an extra precaution. Dengue fever is also present in Belize. There is no vaccination for this painful, mosquito-borne disease so be sure to cover up and use insect repellent. Tap water is not safe to drink in most of Belize, so stick to bottled water. Boiling for one minute should purify the water if not. Keep hydrated – it gets very hot in Belize and humidity sometimes tricks the mind as to how dehydrated you are actually getting. Make sure you have all necessary medication, as chemists are few and far between outside the major cities. Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance which includes any adventure activities which you are planning to participate in, as well as emergency repatriation. Be wary of sunburn, especially on some of the caye beaches that are formed from white coral sand. Reflections off it can cause sunburn, even in the shade. Visit the NaTHNaC website for up to date health information.


Be vigilant in Belize City where gang related crime can be an issue. But the city’s tourist areas are very well policed. Always carry ID, and make copies that you can keep separately at your hotel. In general, most people don’t wander around at night. Get a cab rather than walk at night. The rest of the country is very safe in this respect. Check safety procedures with any adventure or activity companies and, in particular, with water activities, making sure there is a good instructor to tourist ratio, and that there are life jackets of helmets, in the case of white water, and that they fit children too. Check the FCO website for safety information and entry requirements.

Belize travel advice

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Belize travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation.
Heard Howler monkeys every morning. The island is small, but doesn't feel cramped. Be open to new people and appreciate the beauty and remoteness of it.
– Michelle Lamarca
“Southern Belize is a very chilled and relaxed place, be prepared to live the motto 'go slow’.” – Karen Whitham on a marine conservation vacation in Belize

“Be aware that menu prices (and, I guess some accommodation tariffs) do NOT include a 12.5% Government tax and an optional 10% service charge. I have no problem with the service charge… but it does hike the prices up when - maybe - you weren't expecting it. My husband and I both thought it one of the best vacations we'd been on. Superb destination. Fantastic people. Great culture. Stupendous wildlife. I think I've overdosed on superlatives.” – Joanna Lloyd

“One week is definitely not enough. I stayed two weeks and wish I could have stayed longer.” – Ulrike Kachel

“Pack wet weather gear. It can really rain in Belize.”– Hilary Johnson
If you're looking to do some sort of eco-diving then I'd def read up on what fish and coral life there is in the caribbean beforehand – it'll benefit you massively when you're out there.
– Richard Atkins
“Although the island accommodations are comfortable and the staff is amazing, this is not a high-end luxury trip. The staff takes good care of you, but there are a few (modest) inconveniences such as no WiFi during the day, limited fresh water and limited electricity. These are good things if you are trying to get away from it all, but would be a challenge if you are trying to conduct business. Let's face it, you should not be conducting business on a SCUBA diving trip in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, but if you want to do that, you should find another location. If you want to focus on diving with a great bunch of people, you can't do much better than this.” – Eric Strobel on a lionfish spearing vacation

“Don’t be put off by weather forecasts - the weather on the Caye is completely different to that reported for Belize City. The weather was fantastic. The only time it rained was whilst we were asleep.” – Faye Bennett

Responsible Travel would like to thank Belize for their sponsorship of this guide.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Chuck Taylor] [Packing tips: Adam] [Wildlife tip: Cephas] [Health & Safety: Pgbk87] [Michelle Lamarca quote: lowjumpingfrog] [Richard Atkins quote: Yeti-legs]