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Backpacking in Belize

On your trip to Belize, you will visit the former British colony of British Honduras in Central America. In the north, the least populated country borders on Mexico, in the west and south on Guatemala. To the east is the Caribbean Sea with hundreds of small coral islands. The world-famous Barrier Reef and three of the four atolls of the Caribbean are located upstream. They also include the world famous Blue Hole, which is a true diving paradise.

The country is divided into 6 districts, the Corozal District, Orange Walk District, Belize District, Cayo District Stann Creek District and Toledo District. The uniqueness of Belize is due to its pristine landscape. The indescribable rainforests make up 40 percent of the landscape. They are protected by nature parks and reserves.

On your backpacker journey, you’ll encounter nearly 700 native tree species, 70 different orchid species and a variety of animals including tapirs, pumas, monkeys and jaguars. Belize has the only jaguar reserve in the world. In addition to a diverse flora and fauna, backpacking in Belize also includes ancient Mayan cities. One of UNESCO’s world heritage sites is the Barrier Reef, which is part of the history of evolution and is home to endangered species.

Hafen von Belize City

Port of Belize City

The real charm of the country lies in the combination of water and land. With around 300,000 inhabitants, the number of cities is manageable. You shouldn’t miss most cities and also many small villages during your backpacker trip through the country. The capital of Belize is Belmopan in the Cayo District with about 17,000 inhabitants. The only really bigger city is Belize City in the Belize District with about 75.000 inhabitants. On the largest island is San Pedro. The city is the tourist center.

The country has a little developed infrastructure, but in recent years a lot of money has been invested in the tourist infrastructure. On small islands at the 386 km long coast in front of Belize, tourist strongholds developed, where small propeller machines fly you for example to Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye or Placencia. The rest of the mini state on the Yucatan peninsula is a paradise for backpackers.

Travelling by water, by land and in the air is quite pleasant. Because in Belize there is a 3.000 km extensive road network, of which approximately 575 km are paved and asphalted. These so-called highways belong to the main traffic arteries. However, side roads are often not specially paved. During your backpacking tour in Belize you have to adapt to a tropical humid climate with winds from the Caribbean. There is money at the ATMs of the five domestic and several international banks.

Culture in Belize

During your backpacker trip through the country, you will encounter a great linguistic and cultural diversity in Belize, which you will encounter in a very small space. The main group of locals are Creoles and Latinos. A clear minority are Mayas, Mennonites and Garfunia. Due to the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, many refugees settled in Belize. Nevertheless, the country is more Caribbean than Spanish.

Especially in the south of the country, in the Maya regions and in Garifuna respect is the most important thing. Therefore, you should hold back a little when taking pictures. In many places the belief prevails that you take a picture of the soul with your camera. Misunderstandings and problems can be cleared up with a short request from the world if you are allowed to take a picture. You should refrain entirely from taking photographs of Mennonites out of respect for their religious attitudes. But finally, if you backpack with respect for everyone and culture, you’re in the right place in Belize.



More Backpacking Information about Belize

Belize is a bit more expensive than other South American countries. This is not noticeable in the accommodations, but rather in the transport, the catering and the different activities you want to do on your backpacker trip. You’ll especially notice this price structure on the islands. But with 50 to 60 Euro you will make a good living.
There is a variety of overnight accommodations in Belize. So you can find real bargains, where you pay for an overnight stay just 8 to 10 euros. On average a sleeping place in a hostel costs you between 10 and 14 Euros.
In addition to the many cash dispensers, you can also exchange money in exchange offices. It is not advisable to change money on the street, as you will get a much worse exchange rate there. The currency in Belize is the Belize Dollar (BZD). Since the national language is English, there is no communication difficulty, even if you want to get into conversation with locals.

In Belize, backpacking allows you to experience the variety of tastes of the Latin American cuisine with special variations of the different ethnic groups. The main ingredients are flat bread made from corn flour, tortillas, rice and beans, which are served with every dish. You should definitely try the culinary delicacies as they are prepared in a special way.

The country offers you a cultural diversity that you should definitely get involved with. Because the different lifestyles and influences in a unique pairing offer you deep insights into the culture of the country. There are many myths and legends about nature beings and spirits, which are well-disposed towards humans, but can also be evil and dangerous. The belief in spiritual healing and ethnic shamanism in the form of Obeah is widespread.
Belize City and Belmopan are ideal for an extended shopping tour, as you will find many small shops as well as large shopping centres there. You will get typical goods from different cultures and great souvenirs for those who stayed at home.

As a German citizen you don’t have to worry about a visa because you can enter Belize for 90 days without a visa. More information and important things for your Backbacker trip can be found under Visa & Vaccinations.

Backpacker Budget in Belize

Traveling and living in Belize is a bit more expensive than in other South American countries, but it is cheaper than in North America and Europe. When planning your budget, you can be sure that you will usually get along well with 50 to 60 euros. Pay attention only to where you exchange your money for Belize dollars. Don’t take advantage of the opportunities on the street that are offered to you. Banks and exchange offices offer you a much better exchange rate.

For a meal in a small restaurant you pay about 12 Euro. It will be cheaper if you eat at the many snack stands. You can get Fry Jack and Taccos for under 1 Euro, Burritos for about 2 Euro and Stewed Chicken with rice and beans for 3,40 Euro. If you want to spoil yourself with an extensive, luxurious meal in a star restaurant backpacking in Belize, you pay a much higher price. But that’s nothing new. For half a litre of local beer in a restaurant or bar you pay around 2.40 euros.

Taxi driving in Belize

Taxi driving in Belize is not the cheapest form of transportation. The vehicles are usually not equipped with a taximeter. Therefore the prices vary very strongly. Before starting the journey you should negotiate a fixed price with the driver in order to avoid nasty surprises. If you want to travel a longer distance by taxi, the price is calculated on the basis of the distance. For example, if you use a taxi in Belize City, the average fare will be between 1.70 euros and 5 euros. From Ladyville Airport to Belize you pay about 22 Euro.

Buses in Belize

Buses are the main means of transport. Therefore there is a well developed road network in the country, where you can get from A to B without any problems. Large bus terminals can be found in Belize and Belmopan. Smaller towns and villages are equipped with normal bus stops. If there is no bus stop nearby at the moment, you can stop the many buses with a wave.

The buses are often overcrowded because the locals traditionally use them as a means of transport. On the big highways from north to west there is more bus traffic than on smaller and subordinate roads. As a rule, smaller towns are only served by a bus once a day. The vehicles differ in two categories.

On the one hand there are the regular runs, which are cheaper and slower and on the other hand the express runs, which take you faster but also more expensive. Greyhounds and classic school buses can be found in the country. For longer distances over the highways, modern coaches are used. They are equipped with a board toilet and air conditioning to make the trip as pleasant as possible.

Besides buses you can also use shuttle vans or minibuses, shared taxis and water taxis. They are a bit more expensive, but much faster and more flexible.

Domestic fares in Belize

In Belize, flying is a fast alternative, especially for longer routes. It offers a well-developed flight network with around 44 airports. Four of them have paved runways. Well-known airlines such as Maya Island Air, Javier´s Flying Service, Tropic Air and Caribee Air Service take you safely to your destination.
On your backpacker trip from Ladyville and Belize City Municipal Airport, good connections to San Pedro, Caye Cauker, Dangriga as well as Punta Gorda and Placencia are provided. There are also flights to Savannah, Sarteneja and Corozal Town. For domestic flights, each passenger is charged a fee of approximately 4 euros.
Rail travel in Belize
You will search in vain for a train connection in Belize. Because this means of transport was never a standard. Once upon a time there was the Stann Creek Railway, which was mainly used by the company United Fruit. The railroad stopped operating in 1937. Maybe Belize will eventually join the planned Ferista railway line, which runs from Panama via Mexico to the USA and Canada. But that’s more like a history of the future.

Belize City Wassertaxi

Belize City water taxi

Backpacker Route in Belize

As a backpacker on your journey through Belize, you will experience an exciting country with jungle and nature parks, exotic animals, beautiful beaches and colorful wooden houses in a unique flair. Approximately 40 percent of the country is a nature reserve with hiking trails of varying lengths. There are trails that take you back to the country’s past and to the legendary Mayan ruins.

The south of the country is overgrown with rainforest and hides a multitude of ancient Mayan sites, which can be discovered on an exciting journey. Fantastic beaches with crystal clear water and fine sand are located in front of the Barrier Reef, where a dive trip is guaranteed to be a special experience. There are many things to discover and experience. Therefore, the question arises what you should definitely have seen while backpacking through Belize.

Route 1: The classic (15-20 days)

  • 3 days exploring Belize City with its sights. Pure shopping is the order of the day
    Discover 2 days of Crooked Tree Wildlife Reserve.
  • 2 days Orange Walk. Explore a lot of tradition and Maja ruins.
  • 2 days exploring Sarteneja and experiencing the beauty of the coast.
  • 2 – 3 days to explore the capital Belmopan, sights and nature parks.
  • 2 days to visit San Ingancio Maja ruins and museum of Cahal Pech, experience culture.
  • 3 days San Perdo. Hol Chan Marine Resevat discover and enjoy strandidylle.
  • 2 day Monkey River Town. Dive into the indescribable wildlife in the shower jungle.
  • 1 day Riversdale beach enjoy.
  • 1 day Hopkins with the Stand Up Paddle Board explore the sea and enjoy the beach.
  • 1 day at Gales Point, immerse yourself in Nigerian culture.

Route 2: Backpacker Intensive Trip (up to 30 days and more)

  • 3 days exploring Belize City with its sights. Pure shopping is the order of the day
  • 1 day Burrell Boom on a sightseeing tour.
  • Discover 3 days Crooked Tree Wildlife Reserve.
  • 3 days Orange Walk. Explore a lot of tradition and Maja ruins.
  • 2 days exploring Sarteneja and experiencing the beauty of the coast.
  • 3 – 4 days to explore the capital Belmopan, sights and nature parks.
  • 3 days Big Falls. Dreamlike waterfalls and Maya culture very closely experience.
  • Visit 2 days San Ingancio Maja ruins and museum of Cahal Pech, experience culture.
  • 2 days San Perdo. Hol Chan Marine Resevat discover and enjoy Strandidylle.
  • 2 day Monkey River Town. Immerse yourself in the indescribable wildlife of the shower jungle.
  • 1 day Riversdale beach enjoy.
  • 2 day Hopkins with the Stand Up Paddle Board explore the sea and enjoy the beach.
  • 2 days Dangriga. Visit Cockcomb Basin Wildlife Reserve and Davis Falls.
  • 1 day at Gales Point, immerse yourself in Nigerian culture.
Wasserfälle Belize

Waterfalls Belize

Travel Times in Belize

The climate in Belize is tropical and humid and comparatively rich in kidneys, especially on the coasts. A clearly perceptible rainy season extends between the months of May and November. It is often accompanied by violent storms and between July and November by hurricanes. It is relatively dry in January and February and in May and June.

If you are not travelling in the mountains, you will experience warm to hot temperatures all year round. Due to a lot of rain there is a high humidity. At the coasts a wind blows again and again from the Caribbean, which makes the high temperatures bearable. The best travel time for Belize is between December and May, but it is also the most expensive.

Backpacker Accommodations in Belize

Belize is not a very low budget country. This is also noticeable in the accommodation offers. Especially in the regions along the coast there are a lot of accommodations that have their price. If you prefer cheap accommodation, a bed in a simple hostel is the right choice. Much more luxurious are 5 star hotels, where you can easily pay 100 Euros or more for an overnight stay during the season.

In small hotels outside the cities and in guesthouses you can spend the night much cheaper. For your budget planning, it is worth taking a look at the Hostelworld website, which gives information about the prices for an overnight stay. You pay the following prices for an overnight stay in a hostel:

  • Caye Caulker 9 -12 Euro
  • San Pedro 14 Euro
  • San Ignacio 9 -13 Euro
  • Hopkins 11 Euro
  • Placenia 16 Euro
  • Punta Gorde 17 Euro

The prices in the hostels vary a lot, so it makes sense to check the costs for an overnight stay in the hostel via a special website. If you have an exact plan for your backpacking tour, you might want to reserve a room in advance so that you have accommodation at the desired time.

Unterkunft in Belize

Accommodation in Belize

Motels on exit roads and motorways

Motels on exit roads and highways are an alternative for an overnight stay, even if you are not travelling with a rental car. A little closer to the city centre you can also find smaller hotels that offer a pleasant price/performance ratio. For around 33 euros you can get a double room with its own bathroom, TV and internet connection.

Camping in land and on the beach

Near San Ignacio you can camp for free with your own equipment or even rent a tent, sleeping bags and a foam mat. Campsites in other regions of Belize or directly by the sea have small cabins where you can stay and spend a night. They all have quite good standards. However, the operators change again and again, which also changes the quality and care of the places. For an overnight stay in your own tent on one of the many campsites you pay between 1.90 and 10 euros per night.
Backpacker Trips & Tipps in Belize

On your journey through Belize you will encounter great contrasts. On the one hand there are the fantastic beaches with unique coral reefs and on the other there is indescribable nature to discover. In the unique flora and fauna, dense rainforest areas and exotic animals await you. The Mayan culture with its cultural sites and ruins is still very much alive.

An important aspect results from the different cultures that live together in a very small space. Respect is particularly important in the south of the country. This does not only apply to the contact with the native population. Rather, the religious attitude that dictates certain rules of conduct is in the foreground. Basically, you are always right if you treat the locals respectfully and get involved with their culture.

Tierwelt in Belize

Belize wildlife

Backpacker Trips, Tips & Highlights in Belize

On your backpacker trip to Belize you will travel to a part of the Mayan country. They left behind wonderful buildings of unique beauty. You can visit about 20 impressive ruins of Mayan cities and let the impressive buildings work their magic on you. The biggest temple is Altun Ha, the biggest city of the Mayas is Caracol.

The backpacker highlights include diving and surfing as well as the many national parks with their indescribable flora and fauna. Along the hiking trails you can discover untouched spots such as small waterfalls and dreamy lakes as well as exotic animals which you can observe in the wild.

Shopping is also a special experience on a trip through Belize. During your shopping tour you should look for handmade jewelry, textiles, wood products and art objects. Check out the delicious chocolate products from the Belize Chocolate Boutique and indulge in a delicious milk shake.

Backpacker Insider Tips in Belize

In the heart of Belize’s rainforest, the Cockscomb basin stretches over 580 square kilometres and is one of the absolute common tips. The rugged gorges and steep slopes are bordered by mountain ranges on one side of the basin. During your voyage of discovery you will encounter impenetrable thickets, which in turn offer a view of special natural spectacles.

The coast of Belize has other attractions to offer besides the Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole. The mangroves along the coast and further out are home to huge wetlands where mammals, reptiles, birds and fish live. A highlight for diving and snorkelling are the waters around Half Moon Caye, the marine reserve Hol Chan where you can admire protected corals in a 10 km long canyon and the island Laughing Bird Caye where numerous black-headed gulls live. A special experience is swimming with dolphins, which you can do at Blackbird Caye.

Belize - traumhafte Strände

Belize – beautiful beaches

Food & Drinks in Belize

If you study the tables and menus of the snack bars and restaurants during your backpacker trip, you’ll soon find that Belize’s typical cuisine is strongly influenced by neighboring countries. The most significant influences are Mexico and the immigrant Africans. In the coastal areas, you get delicious fish and seafood on your plate.

Of course there are also dishes typical for the country. They consist mainly of rice and beans as well as meat. Vegetables are rather rare. Due to the warm temperatures the main meal of the day is taken in the evening when the whole family gathers.

Food in Belize

A typical Belize breakfast dish is Fry Jacks, fried dumplings, Johnny Cakes, corn flour flatbread and tortillas served with cheese, frijoles refritos (bean porridge) or differently prepared eggs. The national dish and a main meal is stewed chicken with rice and beans, from which you get really full. As meat there is steamed chicken and additionally a small salad. The dish tastes slightly like coconut. You should definitely try it.

In the coastal region lobster is one of the absolute specialities. Despite the numerous restaurants, the animals are fished sustainably with lobster traps made of wood. Every family in Belize probably has its own recipe for the preparation of lobster. During the lobster season you can see grills in front of the snack bars and restaurants where the animals are expertly prepared.

Another delicacy in Belize is Ducunu, a dish made from grated young corn, which is made into a paste with fat, salt and coconut milk. The paste is then rolled into corn leaves and served cooked, grilled or roasted. There is Ducunu as a snack and also as a main meal, where meat or vegetables are rolled into the corn leaves.

Drinks in Belize

During your backpacker trip through Belize, you’ll be offered the local beer “Belikin” everywhere. You’ll also find Belize rum everywhere, which is not one of the best known rum varieties, but has potential and recognition value. It is served in a variety of cocktails with tropical fruits such as pineapple, watermelon, lime, orange or papaya juice.

But there are also rum varieties that will make every rum connoisseur’s heart beat faster. They have matured for a long time in barrels made of precious woods and have a very special taste. Drinking alcohol is part of the social life in Belize. The Belizeans are not coffee drinkers. In the evening, tea is the main drink, as befits a former British colony.

As you tour through smaller villages, you must not miss the local wine. It is made from berries, rice and wood sorrel, giving it a very special touch.

Backpacker visa and vaccinations in Belize

For your backpacker trip through Belize you don’t need a visa, because German citizens can enter as tourists up to 90 days without a visa. However, your entry documents must be valid for at least six months. According to the Federal Foreign Office, the entry requirements are as follows:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Provisional passport: Yes
  • Identity card: No
  • Temporary identity card: No
  • Children’s passport: Yes, with photo


Children’s entries in one parent’s passport no longer apply. Minors travelling with only one parent will require a notarized authorization document from the other parent, translated into English. If you wish to stay in Belize for more than three months, you will need to apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate.

Medical Advice & Vaccinations for Belize

You can enter the country without a vaccination. Nevertheless it is advisable to have the standard vaccinations of the Robert Koch Institute up to date. Malaria is known in rural areas. However, it can lead to infections with dengue fever and chikungunya by the Aedes mosquito. Medical care is limited. In hospitals and with physicians an immediate payment is the rule.