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Belize is a nation on the eastern coast of Central America, with Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungle to the west. Belize’s jungle areas are home to Mayan ruins like Caracol, renowned for its towering pyramid; lagoon-side Lamanai; and Altun Ha, just outside Belize City. With one foot in the Central American jungles and the other in the Caribbean Sea, Belize may be small but it's packed with adventure and culture.
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The beauty of Guatemala and Belize is limitless, immersing you in images of picture-perfect beaches and captivating volcanic peaks. Steam rises from the heated lunar landscape of the mountainside; parrotfish add a rainbow of color to the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Pastel painted buildings frame the antique cobblestone streets of a preserved Spanish colonial city as great stone pyramids rise above the jungle canopy, revealing the ingenuity and strength of an ancient Mesoamerican civilization.
Verdant mountains surround Guatemala City, encircling the urban streets with rolling peaks draped in jungle trees. Your flight descends into La Aurora International Airport, and you can see the towering mountaintops, which are active volcanoes. Skyscrapers rise to meet the natural towering slopes along the sides of the city in impressive fashion. The Museo Ixchel, named for the Mayan Moon Goddess, displays photographs and impressive exhibits of indigenous costumes, along with the richness of traditional arts form the towns along the highlands. Your private transfer meets you at baggage claim and welcomes you to Guatemala.
The morning sun peels above the volcanic peaks, slowly bathing the city in light. The pastel facades shine with staggering life, drawing you into the indelible charm of Antigua. The Spanish founded the city in the 16th century and acted as the third capital of Guatemala until the 18th century. The architecture has a distinctly European ambiance.The gateway to the historical city center arches over the main road; the main cathedral was erected in the 16th century and crowns the Plaza Mayor. The church maintains a sliver of its former grandiosity after the city suffered a devastating earthquake in the 1770s. The ruins create a unique ambiance embodying much of Antigua, a hauntingly beautiful place with historic connections. Brick archways connect to remaining stone pillars, vegetation sprouts through the cracks in the walls. Intricate figures and delicate moldings decorate the archways as impressive spiritual works are propped against the backdrop of antique ruins.
The peak rises to a height of 8,373 feet above sea level and has erupted continuously since the 1960s; trek up the hillside, following your guide’s footsteps.
The trees lining the trails turn sparse as you climb higher up the mountain. The landscape becomes lunar, craggy and barren; steam rises from beneath the rocks. Feel the heat emanating from the earth’s surface as a small opening glows with liquid hot magma. People stand at the edge, as if on a riverbank. Pull out a bag of marshmallows and begin to roast them in the natural heat emanating from the lava. The outer layer quickly cooks and leaves the inside gooey. Look around at your surroundings and appreciate the uniqueness of standing atop a live volcano, roasting marshmallows near a leaking crater.
The aroma of fresh pupusas fills the streets, emanating from simple stands occupied by women whipping up the tasty meal. The welcoming atmosphere of San Pedro Town stems from the swaying coconut palms and cooling trade winds. You are never far away from a view of the water as locals carve wooden statues depicting turtles, whales, and Garifuna idols. Fishing boats return to shore as fishermen sell their catch of the day to the local restaurants to ensure the freshest ingredients, including decadent lobster.
Locals and visitors enter San Pedro Library, where they sell paperback books for a dollar, and people are allowed to check out a book for free without a library card.
The best time to visit Belize is from late November to mid-April, during the country's dry season. Although this peak season draws thousands of tourists, dealing with crowds is an easy sacrifice to make for warm temperatures, clear skies and easy access to the country's top attractions. You'll probably want to pass on visiting during April and May, when humidity mists the tropical landscape and temps reach triple digits. Expect showers from June to mid-November and strong winds. If you want to beat the rush of tourists and don't mind packing an umbrella, come during the rainy season in September and October. But keep in mind some establishments shut down during the offseason.
There are many things to do in Belize and you’ll find a lot of different options for places to stay.
With everything from luxury resorts, family-friendly hotels, vacation rentals, condominiums, guesthouses, campgrounds and live-aboard vessels, wherever you choose to rest your head is truly up to you.
By the beaches of the Caribbean coast or near mystical Maya temples, each location in Belize offers you many unique places to stay. There are accommodations suitable for all, including adventure seekers, divers, beach vacationers, eco-tourists, family groups, honeymooners and more.
The aroma of fresh tortillas fills the streets, and the scent of coconut curry entices your taste buds. Your customized tour guides you through the culinary customs of Guatemala and Belize with an introduction to bold flavors, rich cuisine, and a distinct amalgamation of heritages. The jungle hides dramatic pyramids; the Caribbean Sea encompasses a thriving barrier reef. Cacao trees and coffee plants flourish in the tropical climate as chefs prepare succulent dishes and teach you how to emulate their layered flavors. Indulge in the captivating beauty of the landscape, welcoming traditions, and the unending splendor of the cooking.
Passports and Documents
Passports are required to enter Belize. If you do not already have a passport, you will need to acquire one long before you depart.
The Belizean dollar is pegged to the US dollar at the standard rate of $2 BZ to $1 US. US dollars are widely accepted in Belize, but bring small denominations. Travelers checks are accepted in only a few places and there is a charge for cashing them. Major credit cards are accepted in some large towns, but generally are worthless in rural areas.
You will want to bring some money to buy snacks and drinks while traveling. Souvenirs may be found at tourist destinations in Belize, and we will take some time in places where you can shop. Please note that there is a departure tax of about $15US that is paid at the ticket counter in the airport before you can leave the country. Please stuff this money aside for that purpose.
The major annoyance that almost all travelers are likely to encounter is biting insects with sand flies being a real problem on some islands and mosquitoes pretty much everywhere.
Not surprisingly for a small, developing country, medical care in Belize is not of the highest standard. It is also fairly expensive compared to neighboring countries – expect to pay around US$70 for a visit to a private doctor and around US$500 per night for hospitalization in a private clinic.
Belize has fairly high levels of violent crime but most areas frequented by travelers are safe and by taking basic precautions visitors are unlikely to experience any serious problems. The most likely issues for travelers involve opportunistic theft both while out and about and from hotel.
Belizeans are generally welcoming and accustomed to tourists, though it’s important to remember that the country is, on the whole, quite conservative. Dress, except among professionals, is usually casual, though tourists – especially women – who wear revealing clothing will probably be looked down upon, particularly in Belize’s many churches.
Belizeans rarely tip, though foreigners are usually expected to give around ten percent in taxis and in restaurants. Haggling is also uncommon in Belize and will usually be considered rude, except at street markets.
We the leisure team brings a wide range of customized Belize tour to offer you a perfect hassle-free vacation. The plans are tailored keeping in mind your requirements and benefits. Whatever might be your choice; an adventurous vacation, a luxury vacation, a family vacation or a romantic one, we are ready with the perfect plan for you. We value your safety as well as respect your privacy, and the tour experts plan your tour accordingly, either a packaged group tour or an independent tour. In all cases we ensure a hassle-free experience with magnificent accommodations, authentic local guides, and unimaginable excursions. So whether you wish to explore the volcanic mountain or immerse yourself in the wildlife, write to Leisure and we will bring you perfect tour from the top tour experts.
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