For outdoor enthusiasts, Belize offers endless opportunities. The small country has more in common with Caribbean islands than its Central American neighbors (its architectural style, for example). Every vacation destination in Belize has archaeological sites and national parks as well as marine and nature reserves. Mayan temples tower over tropical rainforests, and a vast array of marine life find shelter in Belize’s barrier reef. Various ethnic groups live in Belize, differing in culture and language, but have been able to integrate successfully through religious and ethnic tolerance and a relatively non-violent political culture. Known for their friendliness, the approximately 200,000 residents are of Garifuna, Mestizo, Mayan, Creole, Spanish, English, Mennonite, Lebanese, Chinese or Indian origin. See other countries in North America on programingplease.
Arriving by plane
There are no non-stop flights to Belize from Germany, Austria and Switzerland; Flight connections with stopovers are offered by – Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt/M. in cooperation with United Airlines (UA) via Houston and with American Airlines (AA) via Dallas; – Swiss (LX) from Zurich and Austrian Airlines (OS) from Vienna in cooperation with American Airlines (AA) via Miami and Swiss (LX) in cooperation with United Airlines (UA) from Zurich via Boston and Houston.
Frankfurt/M. – Belize: from 25 hours; Vienna – Belize: from 27 hours; Zurich – Belize: from 25 hours (the travel time varies depending on the length of stay at the stopovers).
Departure Tax: Approximately €34 (US$37.50).
Arrival by car
There are connecting roads to Chetumal (Mexico) and to Melchor de Mencos (Guatemala). Long-distance bus: The bus company ADO offers regular connections between Cancún (Mexico) and Belize City. Fuente del Norte (FDN) buses connect Belize with Guatemala. There are bus connections from the border cities of the USA via Cancun, Mexico City and Chetumal, among others. Tolls: There are no toll roads in Belize. However, tolls are payable at the bridge over the New River south of Orange Walk Town. Documents: The German and the Austrian driver’s license are recognized. Drivers with a Swiss driver’s license also need an international driver’s license in Belize.
Note on arrival by car
Departures by land will incur fees of approximately €17.30 (US$19).
Arrival by train
There is no rail service to Belize.
Arrival by ship
The main ports are Belize City, Corozal, Dangriga, Punta Gorda and San Pedro. Cruise ships dock in Belize City.
Plantours and Hapag Lloyd start their world cruises in Hamburg and also call at Belize. Phoenix and SeaDream, which depart from other European cities for their cruises, also have Belize in their program.
There are regular ferry services between Punta Gorda and Puerto Barrios (Guatemala) and Livingston (Guatemala). A water taxi also operates between Dangriga and Puerto Cortes (Honduras).
Traveling by plane
Maya Island Air (2M) and Tropic Air (9N) offer regular flights between Belize City and San Pedro, respectively, and many locations in the country. Small planes can be rented. Various charter services fly from Belize City to the more remote regions.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network has a length of approx. 3,000 km. The main routes are: – Northern Highway: Belize City – Corozal – Mexico border; – Western Highway: Belize City – Belmopan – San Ignacio/Santa Elena – Border with Guatemala; – Hummingbird Highway: Belmopan – Dangriga; – Southern Highway: Dangriga – Punta Gorda. Tolls: There are no toll roads in Belize. However, fees are charged for use of the bridge over the New River, south of Orange Walk Town. Gas Stations: Gas stations are plentiful on major roads leading from Belize City to the borders of Mexico and Guatemala and in major cities. In rural areas, it is advisable to use the petrol stations that are available.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Approximately 575 km of the road network is paved. The roads between larger cities are mostly two-lane and in fairly good condition. Side roads are mostly unpaved and often impassable, especially during the rainy season. Driving at night should generally be avoided.
Rental cars from international companies are available at the airport and in the capital.
Taxis can be found at airports and in larger cities; they usually do not have a taximeter. The fare should therefore be agreed before departure. Taxis can be recognized by their green number plates.
Bicycle and motorbike rentals are mainly in cities and tourist locations.
Modern, air-conditioned express buses run between larger towns. It is cheaper, but slower and less comfortable to travel with the widespread old American school buses, which can be stopped anywhere by hand signals.
Speed limits: – urban: 40 km/h (25 mph); – extra-urban: 88 km/h (55 mph).
There is no roadside assistance in Belize. The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the rental car company must always be notified first.
The German and Austrian driver’s license (EU driver’s license) are recognized for stays of up to three months. Drivers with a Swiss driver’s license also need an international driver’s license in Belize.
Traveling in the city
The cities of Belize can easily be explored on foot. However, it is advisable to take a taxi at night for safety reasons. The so-called “chicken buses” are slow and uncomfortable.
Traveling by ship
Water taxis regularly connect Belize City to offshore islands such as Ambergris Caye, Caye Chapel, and Caye Caulker. Belize Express shuttles between Belize City and San Pedro as well as Caye Caulker.