ORVIS GUIDE TO ADVENTURE
What Do I Need to Travel to Belize?
The key to a great vacation is advanced planning, particularly if you’re headed to a subtropical foreign country, such as Belize. While Belize is, an exotic foreign destination, it’s not far from home, has minimal entry requirements and is an easy, delightful place to visit. It’s also breathtakingly beautiful with many opportunities for exploration and is known for some of the best fly-fishing in saltwater flats. Following is a list of what you need to enter the country.
Do I need a passport? Yes, you must hold a passport valid beyond your planned departure date.
Return Ticket and Proof of Funds: You must present proof of intended departure from Belize as well as proof of sufficient funds to maintain yourself while you’re there (a minimum of U.S. $60/day).
Tourist Visa: U.S. citizens traveling to Belize do not require a visa for stays up to 30 days. Visitors must obtain visas for longer stays and purposes other than tourism.
Entry Requirements for Children: U.S. citizens traveling with minor children may be asked by immigration officials to show U.S. birth certificates for each child. In addition, if children are not traveling with both parents, officials often request written, notarized permission for travel signed by both parents, or documentation for alternate circumstances.
Customs Requirements: For travelers flying to Belize, airline personnel will issue a Passenger Arrival form (one per family) which asks you to indicate whether you are bringing the following items into the country: plants, fruits, vegetables, meats or live animals, arms or ammunition. In addition, you must declare currency that exceeds $10,000 Belizean dollars (BZD) or the equivalent in another currency.
Are Vaccinations Required? No specific immunizations are required, though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers be current on all routine vaccinations. In addition, it recommends that travelers be vaccinated against typhoid and hepatitis A and B. Travelers who plan to spend a significant amount of time outdoors hiking and/or camping may want to consider getting a rabies vaccine.
Zika Virus Travel Alert: The Zika Virus is present in the Bahamas. Travelers should take precautions against mosquito bites. For additional information, please refer to the CDC Guidelines.
Additional Health & Safety Tip: Drinking local tap water is not recommended.
Currency: The local currency, the Belizean dollar, is tied to the U.S. dollar: $1.00 (USD) equals $2.00 (BZD). You do not need to exchange currency before you go as most service establishments accept U.S. dollars and credit cards.
Timezone: CST (no daylight saving time, so from April through October Belize observes MST).
Electricity: 110V/60Hz. Same as the U.S., though most plugs are the 2-pronged flat type, so any electronic devices with a third prong will need an adapter.
Fly-Fishing Requirements: The local law requires nonresidents to buy a fly-fishing license before fishing in the waters of Belize. You can buy a license through your local fishing guide or online in advance. In addition, you must follow the local catch and release laws which stipulate that you release bonefish, permit and tarpon immediately after catching them.
That’s it. Otherwise, be sure to pack appropriately, and be prepared to enjoy the glorious sights and adventures awaiting you in Belize.
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