Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tips and Tricks for Having Fun in Belize

We learned a few lessons about Belize that we want to pass along:

1) If a restaurant/bar doesn't have tablecloths, asking for water with your meal costs you at least $2BZ for a plastic bottle of drinking water.

2) Everyone accepts US dollars. The exchange rate is two Belize dollars for one US dollar, and everyone is quite adept at making the correct transaction. No one ever tried to cheat. However, in EVERY case, when you give them US dollars, you will get Belize dollars in change, and if we asked for U.S. dollars in change at a restaurant or the hotel, they "just don't have any right now." This is no problem at all, but you have to carefully manage your Belize money collection, or you will end up with a giant load of Belize currency which you are totally stuck with if you don't spend it in Belize. TAKE LOTS OF U.S. ONE AND FIVE DOLLAR BILLS! We ended up using our Belize money as tips for the tour guides, hotel staff, and restaurant tips.

3) Take some Deet or Off insect repellent. The mosquitoes are very hungry in the early morning, early evening, and can get vicious about two days after a rain leaves puddles of water around.

4) Be a good representative of the US. Everyone we met in Belize was just great - friendly and willing to talk and explain things. However, on one of our trips a loudmouth from the East coast kept, for some not clear reason, calling on and on in a loud, obnoxious voice that he didn't like the rum punch, and he wanted "JACK DANIELS!" His poor wife was embarrassed, the tour guides were embarrassed, and we wanted to throw him overboard. The world has a bad enough opinion of the US right now, don't make it worse!

5) Wait until you get there to be sure you really need a golf cart.

6) Buy fruit from the little hole-in-the-wall places that dot the town. The very best pineapple, mango, bananas, etc. are available for not much money. We made several meals of just those fruits.

7) The tap water on Ambergris Caye seemed to be fine; we didn't need to use bottled water. Our hotel told us that it was filtered and treated. We didn't have any problems using it, and we did get ice with our drinks in most restaurants, and it also seemed to be fine.

8) The cost of food is unbelievable. Really. Unbelievable. Expect to spend a LOT on food whether you buy it in a restaurant or in the grocery store. A lot. Expect it. Big expense. No kidding!

1 comment:

K&NBeBee said...

Another Tip: The Island Supermarket located on Coconut Drive near the beach is a large, well organized supermarket. It has everything that you might need [except produce ] for your trip. We bought breakfast and lunch food and great rum and wine. It helped to have some meals and drinks in our beachfront hotel.