Tuesday, 25 March 2014



 March, 25th 2014 by Oscar Castaneda for Balaam Eco Adventures

Planning your travel vacations anywhere in the world can be very hectic, chaotic and confusing.  As the date draws near you get excited, anxious and it’s easy to overlook some travel plans. To this effect we have outlined some inside pointers and tips to make your Belize Vacations experience a more enjoyable, memorable and affordable adventure.  At Balaam Eco Adventures our Itineraries are Customized, Personalized, with Private Tours and we work hard to exceed your expectations so that you can have the best Belize Vacations.

All travellers entering Belize must have a valid passport (valid for up to six months after visit) and a proof of return to their country. No visas are required for citizens of the United States, United Kingdom and the majority of Caribbean Islands.   Visitors from other countries must check for information about obtaining a visa. Belize allows visitors a maximum of one-month stay in the country before they require an extension.

Here are some travel tips to help you plan a well deserved Belize Vacations:

 Book your Belize Vacations with an On site Travel Agency as this has many  advantages besides living in Belize and knowing the ins and outs:

a)Getting better rates on all Tours rather than going through a third party. (More money stays in country which trickles into the local economy)

b)A local on site Travel Agency can get you better deals at Resorts & Hotels.

c)Upgrades for room types for on site Travel Agency as they have priority over third party Travel Agency.

d)Exclusive deals and discounts not available to the general public.

e)Plan your vacations with at least 30 days or more and you will get better rates for International Flights and more competitive rates at hotels and Resorts.

f)On site Travel Agency can book all your ground transportation, water taxi, domestic flights, flights into Guatemala and Mexico for day or overnight excursions.

Given our proximity to North and South America, as well as the Caribbean getting to Belize is easy.  With less than two hours by air from any major US southern gateway (Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, and Miami) Belize currently hosts five major airlines that serve Belize from the United States and neighbouring Central American countries.

a)American Airlines – www.aa.com or 1-800-433-7000
b)Continental Airlines – www.continental.com or 1-800-231-0856
c)US Airways – www.usairways.com or 1-800-622-1015
d)Taca Airlines – www.taca.com or 1-800-400-8222
e)Delta Airlines – www.delta.com or 1-800-221-1212

Having a subtropical climate Belize has only two seasons: Wet (June to October) and Green (November to April). The temperature in the coastal regions average between 85 and 90 degrees throughout the year.

Bring twice the money and half the clothes. With a tropical climate you will find that you are perfectly content and comfortable with a few simple lightweight pieces of clothing.  Avoid polyester clothing (or any blends) as it does not allow for air flow and it can be hot and uncomfortable to wear.

The climate is subtropical with annual average temperature of 85-90 degrees so dress accordingly.  You'll mostly wear casual tropical light weight clothing, jeans, shorts, and short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts.  Pack a hat to protect your head, include a sweater, lightweight waterproof jacket (for evenings on the beach or boat rides), tropical weight long-sleeved shirt and long pants (if going into the jungle).  Be sure to take a change of clothing in your carry on luggage just in case your luggage is temporarily lost or misplaced in transit.

Bright sunny days require sunglasses, polarised is best.  Lens lubricant may not be readily available therefore take plenty of eye lubricant, wetting, soaking and cleaning solution.  Lens wearers who also use eyeglasses should plan on wearing glasses rather than lenses  more often to give eyes a break.
Tennis shoes, comfortable walking shoes, sandals.  Bring hiking boots with good tread or tennis shoes and socks for jungle excursions.

 It's necessary to protect your skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays.  Pack plenty  of sunscreen.  Your favourite brand may not be readily available and an  unfamiliar brand may cause a bad reaction.  As bugs do live in jungles and in  beach areas take along insect repellent.  If have a very sensitive skin bring  along some hydro-cortisone cream.

e)CAMERAS & FILM - Specific kinds of film assuming you have not gone digital may be hard to find.  Bring extra batteries for your camera along with plenty of film.  Upscale gift shops sell pocket-type and underwater disposable cameras.  To be safe bring your own.

Bring your own or leave it at home.  It's your preference.  If you have a prescription lens mask be sure and bring that along with your PADI certification card.  Many divers will want to bring their own BC, regulator, wet suit, fins and mask.  Leave your weights at home.  They are normally included on your tour rates.  Do not bring spear guns.  They will be confiscated at the airport.  Although most fishing trips include bait and tackle, serious fly fishing and spin casting anglers will probably want to bring their own gear.

A good pair of binoculars and guide book is invaluable to increase your birding enjoyment.
Take a small flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries and water bottle for caving, hiking, and adventuring. 

Photocopy important documents such as passports, driver's license, credit cards, prescription medication forms, airline ticket and other important information.

Carry essential medications on board.  Bring an extra supply of prescription medications to carry along with you daily, especially when travelling to remote areas.  Bubble wrap is an excellent way to protect fragile gift items you want to take home, such as woodcarvings and other items.

I)Bring along any prescription medicines, that you or your kids may need while in Belize.

II)Be sure to bring, use and re-apply high protection sun-block generously.  It is hard to keep kids out of the sun and even on an overcast day one can get badly burnt potentially ruining your vacation.

III)Although life jackets are a requirement for all boat operators smaller   
sizes are not common so bring along life jackets for babies and small       children.  Kids can also wear these when playing in the pool.

IV)Stock up on high-energy snacks like granola bars and bottled water in cities or major towns before going on tours so that your children always have something available to eat and drink.

V)Pack water toys, stuffed animals and books to keep your children busy especially on the journey to Belize.

VI)You will find a selection of disposable diapers, cereals and formula in stores however if you have a preferred brand be sure to bring them.

Belize observes the Central Standard Time (US and Canada); Mountain Standard during Daylight Savings time in the U.S.  Daylight Savings is not observed in Belize.

6) Belize Public Holidays
Belize is known for its many holidays as Belizeans are generally a people of leisure and relaxation. Important dates to keep in mind include:

January 1
New Years Day
March 9
Heroes and Benefactors Day/Baron Bliss Day
Easter Week
Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday
May 1
Labour Day
May 24
Commonwealth Day
September 10
National Day
September 21
Independence Day
October 12
Pan-American/Columbus Day
November 19
Garifuna Settlement Day
December 25
Christmas Day
December 26
Boxing Day

The Belizean dollar is the standard currency in the country but almost all places accept U.S. dollars.   The exchange rate is BZ$2.00 to US$1.00 and can be done in banks, hotels and some businesses. Banking hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m and few open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

When exchanging money in a bank, Central Banking exchange rates will apply.  Most places readily accept United States dollars and/or credit cards, so there is no need to exchange currency before arriving.  However, your credit card company, may charge a slight exchange fee for processing your currency.

Belizean banks cash travellers checks, give cash advances on Visa and Master cards and have wire transfer services.  In addition, Belize have commercial banks:  Belize Bank, Alliance Bank of Belize, Atlantic Bank, First Caribbean International Bank, and Scotia Bank (Belize).  ATM machines are located countrywide, but few accept debit cards from US banks.

In Belize City you will have access to a well staffed hospital and several private doctors.  On Ambergris Caye  and San Ignacio you will find several doctors who run their own Private Clinics.

a)If you're travelling to the Cayes/Islands to sunbathe, swim, fish and dive, there are a few health precautions to take.  Your food will be safe to eat, you'll have bottled beverages or treated water to drink, and your accommodations will probably be screened to keep out troublesome mosquitoes and other insects.  Your biggest problem could be over exposure to the sun.  Take it in small doses at first and remember to wear a shirt when going snorkeling so your don't get burnt.

b)Potable water is available in most areas of Belize but it is advisable to ask and if in doubt drink boiled or bottled water.  Public water supplies in the major towns are general chlorinated.  In some rural areas water for domestic use is runoff from roofs, stored in cisterns or catchments and this may not always be safe to drink.  An easy treatment is to add a couple of drops of laundry bleach (easily carried in a dropper bottle) to a quart of water.  Shake and let stand a half-hour.

c)There are currently no epidemic diseases currently in Belize.  No inoculations are required for entry however please consult with your local health department concerning the need for gamma-globulin or Havrix injections for hepatitis, anti-malaria tablets (if travelling into the rainforest's) and an up-to-date tetanus are recommended.

The electricity and electrical outlets in Belize are the same as the United States using 110 volts/60 cycles.  Although in some of the more remote locations diesel generators supply the sole means of electricity.  A small surge suppressor is highly recommended for  computers and other sensitive equipment.  Visitors from countries such as Australia and Europe should bring power adaptors.


  • Remember no liquids in your carry on luggage.
  • Avoid polyester clothing.
  • Leave your fancy/expensive jewelry & watches (save it for city life)
  • Do not bring diving weights or spear guns
  • No fresh fruit or meat (especially pork) can come into the country
  • If you bring more than $10,000. USD in currency you need to declare it
  • No ammunition or firearms
  • No illegal drugs


Most of what you will be wearing will be casual.  For evening attire even the nicest restaurants on the island accept casual attire.  Clothing selections should be items that are lightweight, loose and cotton fitting attire.  Belize can be hot so prepare adequately for the sun.  As a basic rule if you cannot get along without it bring a spare.  This applies for contact lenses and glasses, sunglasses, flashlight and any personal medications.

o Passports - driver's license, credit cards, money, traveler's checks
o Airline tickets
o Emergency contact information
o 2 Swimming suits
o 3 Pairs shorts/capris
o Long pants - Long Shirts
o Comfortable Evening Attire (dresses, pants & shirts)
o Sandals (1 pair, comfortable)
o Tennis shoes 2/ 2-3 sets of socks (1 pair, comfortable)
o Swim Shoes (esp. recommended for elderly, we have lots of tile down  here and tile is slippery when wet)
o Lightweight jacket for walking on the beach and while riding in boats.
o Lightweight rain jacket w/ hood (f you are coming during the raining season)
o Dark sunglasses
o Sunscreen lotion (plenty)
o Hat (wide brimmed)
o Camera
o Small Flash Light (for possible power outages).
o Insect repellent
o Binoculars
o Small dry pack w/ bars & favourite snacks
o Health kit (special medicines, lotions, personal sanitary items)
o Baby items (diapers, formals, bottles, blanket, stroller, diaper bag, wet ones)
o Reading material (books, magazines, maps, guidebooks, these instructions)
o Prescription glasses & prescription diving mask (if applicable)
o Diving & snorkeling equipment (f you desire)
o Dive certification card

Now you are ready to pack and be on your way to Belize for your amazing Vacations with us.  Let us know if you have any questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you plan your unbelizeable Belize Vacations.

                         Creating lifetime memories one vacation at a time.  

 "Exploring Nature With Expert Naturalist"

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