Frequently Asked Questions
Belize Driving Tips
Does Belize Use Miles Or Kilometers?
Distances are given in miles, and gas is sold by the U.S. gallon.
Unlike in some other countries in the region where extorting tourists in rental cars is a small industry, in Belize you will usually not be pulled over for phony traffic offenses, and if you are stopped at a checkpoint, which often happens, it is rare but not unheard that you will be asked for a bribe.
Belize drivers are as well-trained as drivers in the U.S., and driving after drinking is unfortunately common.
Driving At Night
Unfortunately many of Belize's road do not have proper markings and cat-eyes (it has improved over the years).
Belizeans basically drive like Americans or Europeans.
Tips On Renting A Vehicle
If it is just two person; a car is fine. Enough space for luggage in trunk, and backseat is usually used for personal bags and stuff you will likely buy along the way, such as items from gift shops.
Basic Traffic Rules You Should Know:
Drive on the right-hand side of the road
Wear seatbelts - drivers and passengers
Observe speed limits: 55 mph on highways and 25 mph in cities and towns
You can make a CAUTIOUS right-hand turn on a red light
Left-hand turns on the highway, as per regulation, requires the driver to indicate a left-hand turn then pull on to the right-hand shoulder of the road until traffic is clear both ways in order to complete the left-hand turn. However, keep an eye out on these turns as most drivers in Belize tend to disregard the regulations.
Drinking & Driving
Drinking & Driving In Belize:
According to the laws of Belize, a person conducting a vehicle should not have more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood (0.008).
Do I Need A 4 x 4 Vehicle?
All the main highways are paved, two lanes and well sign-posted -- you don't need a 4-wheel drive vehicle unless you plan to get way off the highways.
Additional Helpful Info.
Airport Departure Fee
There is an Airport Departure Fee of $39.25US required. This consists of a $18US Airport Development Fee, a $15US Passenger Service Fee, a $2.50US Security Fee, and a $3.75US Conservation fee, which is used to promote, enhance, and conserve Belize’s protected areas.
A cleaning fee of $12.50US / $25BZ will be charged if the rental vehicle is returned in a condition considered dirty beyond normal.
Belize climate is subtropical with a crisp prevailing wind from Caribbean Sea.
Local currency is in Belize Dollar, or BZD$. US$1 dollar is equivalent to BZD$2. Belizean banks and ATM’s throughout the country include: Atlantic Bank, Belize Bank, CIBC First Caribbean, Heritage Bank and Scotia Bank.
Customs Allowance - Importation of Currency:
Under the Customs Laws of Belize, each person is allowed to import up to $10,000BZ or foreign currency equivalent. If you are importing in excess of $10,000BZ or foreign equivalent you must declare this to Customs Officials.
List of Duty Exemptions
Wearing apparel, jewelry, toilet requisites, and any portable articles in your accompanied baggage or on your person, which you might reasonable by expected to carry with you for your own regular and private use.
If you are 18 years or older (and not returning from a visit to a neighboring Border Town or City), one liter total of wine or spirits and 250 grams tobacco, or 50 cigars, or 200 cigarettes. If you are a Belizean:
In addition to the above, you can claim duty exemption on accompanied goods acquired abroad for personal or household use, or as souvenirs or gifts, with a combined value of BZD$200 twice a year through other ports or places of entry
Ports of Entry Via Airport
All international aircrafts must clear through the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, Belize.
Ports of entry via Land Borders
It is possible to enter Belize through the Northern Border in Santa Elena and the Western Border in Benque Viejo Del Carmen.
Ports of Entry via Sea Ports
Belize City, Big Creek, San Pedro, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Additional information is available as you enter by calling VHF channel 16.
Same as US, 110volts A.C. power.
Belize is an independent country with a democratically elected parliamentary government and is a British Commonwealth member.
English is the official language and is widely spoken. Other languages, dialects include: Creole, Spanish, Maya and Garifuna.
Population - The population of Belize is approximately 383,071, comprising of Creole (african-European), Garifuna, Mestizo (Spanish-Indian), Maya, Mennonite, Lebanese, Chinese, East Indian, and European. Due to racial harmony and religious acceptance, all of these cultures have blended successfully.
Public Hospitals & Medical Facilities
Medical care is available at hospitals and clinics throughout the country.
The hotel tax is nine percent (9%) and General Sales Tax on goods and services is twelve and a half percent (12.50%).
Belize occupies time zone GMT-6, same as US Central Standard time. Daylight saving time is not observed.
Tipping is voluntary. Usually ten percent (10%) is acceptable with fifteen percent (15%) for exceptional service. In some cases, a gratuity charge may be added to your bill. This practice varies with each establishment. Be sure to ask before paying the bill.
Belize is an area of only 8,867 square miles. It is situated on the east coast of Central America, on the Caribbean Sea. Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to te west and south. The second-largest barrier reef in the world (185 miles long) falls within Belize’s territory as well as three of the four coral atolls in the Western Hemisphere.
Tap water in Belize is potable.
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