General Information on Belize & the Packages
Wikipedia has a great page on Belize - available here.
Belize's main language is English, with Spanish, Garifuna (Creole) and even Mayan still spoken in the country. They were governed by the British Crown until 1981 when Belize became an independent nation.
The country is still considered a "third world" nation by many, however you'll find that may not foot the bill anymore. The country is generally safe & stable.
Tourism to the nation has always been mostly independent - cruise ships didn't start arriving until recently, and large tour operators avoid the nation because the infrastructure isn't in place. They do NOT have the mega resorts you find in Cancun or the Dominican Republic (nor the lines).
Core areas of tourism are the Cayes (pronounced KEYS) - notably San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Inland, near the Guatemala border is the town of San Ignacio. This is the hub for eco-tourism & Mayan ruins. The southern region includes Placencia & Hopkins, which are known for their beaches and rustic resorts.
Most hotels are smaller than you'll find in other developed areas. 10 to 30 rooms seem to be the maximum, although San Pedro is now getting larger resorts (condos, timeshares) including US brands. AirBnBs and *actual* bed & breakfasts line the nation.
Transportation within Belize is easy - ferries link Belize City to the Cayes and offer an affordable option for many; the road system links the nation thru Belize City (typically 2 lanes), and there are 2 regional airlines offering extensive service on US-Built Cessna Caravans - Tropic Air and Maya Island Air. The airport is fairly modern, with an expansion taking place about 15 years ago that included an air conditioned departure lounge and additional gate space. Travelers, however, are still required to walk up and down mobile stairs to their plane. Most airlines bulk up service to Belize in December and run thru end of Spring break, however service is offered year round.
Belize's peak season is over the Christmas holiday, with high season running thru Spring Break. Shoulder season is typically summer (and wet season) thru end of August, with the slow season being September and October. Hurricane season follows that of the rest of the Caribbean - June thru October, and Belize is not quite immune to storms.
The currency is the Belize Dollar, an easy exchange rate of $2 BZD for $1 USD. Almost everyone will take US CASH, not as many accept credit/debit cards - some may charge a 5% surcharge. ATMs are available throughout the country, but be aware that some machines have been known to EAT cards. Its highly recommended you keep at least a day's worth of expenses in cash on you. All of our hotels offer safe deposit boxes, as we do strongly encourage you carry US currency on you - credit card merchant accounts are not easy to obtain in Belize and come at a high cost to the merchants, so please try to pay in hard currency if/when you can.
When it comes to food and shopping, this is one country free from McDonalds and other chains! You will not find fast-food chains, quick-markets, or super markets like those found in Canada & the US. Most are independently owned & operated - but don't let that deter you from trying out some of the best and most fresh food you will eat. The water is not quite to standards you may be accustomed to, so most hotels & restaurants will provide bottled water (still). Sodas are sometimes served in reusable glass bottles.
Covid-19 regulations: Belize was one of the first Caribbean nations to open during the pandemic and remains a leader in tourism in that regard. As of November 2021, all travelers must have a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours, or 48 hours for rapid antigen test, prior of arrival to enter the country. The airport also offers testing for $50 USD as a back-up. The country still requires you are staying at a "Gold Standard" approved hotel, and all our vendors meet that requirement.
There is presently a curfew in order between 9:00PM and 4:00AM, with rumors this will be changed to later hours soon. You should be in your resort or hotel during these times.
Masks are required in all public spaces, including outdoors.
Alaska & Yukon Tour package info
Base package is for 7 days, 6 nights - but we recommend adding another night to accomodate a Saturday arrival, and Sunday departure.
Our rates include hotel and airfare inside Belize, with options for car rentals and shuttle services. On Caye Caulker/San Pedro, taxis are plentiful and accept cash.
Golf cart rentals on Ambergris Caye can be arranged for roughly $60USD/day or $250-$300/week. Both gasoline and electric carts are available.
Hotels typically have 1 or 2 beds in each room, and we do our best to honor requests. Additional occupants, such as children or other adults, are subject to an additional nightly fee, please make sure to advise this when booking. The fee varies from $20 to $30/night plus tax (9 to 19%) as well as the age of any children.
The hotels we offer are those in which we have personally stayed while in Belize and can account for their standards.
Food & water: all hotels we use will provide bottled water for brushing teeth and drinking, the water source for plumbing is either from cistern, a deep well, or trucked in and may not be safe for drinking. Food is normally fairly safe, as restaurants tend to follow standard safety guidelines. Street vendors' food can be questionable. Most chicken, beef, and pork is locally sourced. Soda tends to be limited - however plastic bottles are now making an appearance. The local beer is Belikan, and there are many local rums & fruity cocktails.
Flights - its important that we work with you on flights to/from Belize City to ensure easy transfers for your packages. Some airlines have odd times outside the windows for the local airlines, ferries, and car rental agencies that may require you to stay the night in Belize City - we do our best to avoid this (same for the return). We also have a special rate for those booking packages for a hotel close to Goldson Intl Airport, allowing you good rest before getting up early in the morning for some of the newer flights from BZE that depart before 11AM. Despite the very few flights departing in the morning, you still need to be at PGIA at least 2 hours prior to departure.
Vaccinations - you should advise your doctor you are traveling to Belize, as they may recommend shots or even pills. The climate, water, and food are different - and while Belize has decent medical care, it is not on the same calibur as you'd find in the United States (there aren't Walgreens, for example!).
Cell phone service - we highly recommend you check with your carrier, as there will be areas without service and/or no data. Belize City, Ambergris Caye, and San Ignacio/Belmopan provide the core faster service & data. The car rental agency we use also offers FREE cell phones in Belize. We highly recommend you download and use WhatsApp, as it runs off of wifi.