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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

TRAVELING TO BELIZE

Q: Do I need shots?

A: Shots are not required to enter the country. having traveled there myself on numeous occasions, I have never had shots before my trips. However, one may consider having a gamma globulin for Hepatitis A, Booster for Typhoid, as well as Tetanus. On occasion Malaria has been found in Belize and can be prevented or cured with Chloroquine. Chloroquine can cause liver damage when used for a prolonged time period. Often travelers on long visits choose to carry mosquito repellant while in the jungle in lieu of taking Chloroquine for a prolonged period. For professional advise, consult your local Health Department or family physician. There are no serious epidemic diseases in Belize. No inoculations are required for entry, but anti-malaria tablets are recommended for extended stays in the jungle.

Q: What about customs?

A: After getting off the plane have your passport and travel documents available to go through customs. The officer may ask you to open your bag. Your personal items are allowed in Belize. There is an import allowance of 200 cigarettes or 1/2 pound of tobacco goods, 20 ounces of alcohol and one bottle of personal perfume.

Q: How can I enter Belize by sea?

A: Boats must clear Customs and enter at Belize City, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Big Creek and San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye.

Q: What about shipping something?

A: You may by air. The airport is Phillip S.W. Goldson International Airport, P.O. Box 367, Belize City and is actually about ten miles from Belize City.

Phone: 011-501-225-2013/2014

The main seaport of entry into the country is the Belize Port Authority, Belize City. Other seaports of entry are Corozal Town, Dangriga, Punta Gorda Town, and San Pedro. The requirements of a boat are the boat's official documentation, clearance from the last port of call, three copies of the crew and passenger manifesto, three copies of stores used or a list of cargo on board (if there are not any, an imballast manifesto).

Airlines that ship: Belize Air International, Continental, American Airlines from Miami, Dallas, Houston, Taca Airlines from Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans. Ocean Carriers that ship: NedLloyd from Europe, Hyde from Miami, Harrison from Europe, Hapag-Lloyd from Europe, Hamilton Brothers from Tampa, Carol from the Caribbean and Europe, Nexos Line from Tampa, Tropical Shipping Service from New York, Houston and West Palm Beach.

Freight Forwarding Agents - Importer/Exporter Custom House Broker Ernesto Perera #7B Neal Pen Rd. Belize City, Belize, C.A. Phone: 011-501-227-3112 Home Phone: 011-501-225-2211 Cell: 011-501-614-9367 Bradley Herbert 117 Albert St, Belize City Phone: 011-501-227-0702 Speed Cargo Service 6480 Mahogany St, Belize City Phone: 011-501-222-4722 Valdes Billy 160 North Front St, Belize City Phone: 011-501-227-7436

Q: Is there duty-free shopping?

A: U.S. residents are permitted a $400 per person (or $1,100 per family) duty-free tax exemption upon returning to the U.S., and can also bring back one quart of alcohol and 200 cigarettes duty-free.

Q: Is there a departure tax?

A: A tax is charged when leaving Belize (payable in cash or travelers' check, credit cards are not accepted for this tax). This tax is not for those who have been in the country less than 24 hours. . There is a visa charge of to enter Guatemala through the western border. To leave Belize through this western border, to see Tikal, for instance, their is a charge to depart. This charge is subtracted from the US departure tax when finally departing the country at the Airport.

Q: When is the best time to go to Belize?

A: Mid-November through May are the driest months of the year. The rainy season starts in June and ends in mid-November. High tourist season starts in December and continues through April. The rest of the year is less crowded. Belize has a subtropical climate, with an average annual air temperatures of 80 degrees. The temperature can reach the mid-90's in the summer. Trade winds flow through the coastal and island properties most of the year, keeping temperatures enjoyable even throughout the hottest months. Hurricanes occasionally occur in August and September. Water temperature averages between 79 and 83 degrees. Rainfall is heavier in the jungles and southern Belize and light in the north and on the Islands.

TRANSPORTATION

 

Q: What about driving around Placencia?

A: If you have a car, a great way to experience the country is driving yourself. Always keep in mind not to leave valuables in view in the vehicle, keep the doors locked, keep the gas tank filled, do not pick up hitchhikers and try not to drive a night. It is recommended, whether or not it is rainy season to have four wheel drive vehicle. Belize is only 68 miles wide and 180 miles long, so it is not to far to get anywhere. Look below for more specific information.

Q: What are the speed limits in belize?

A: Speed signs are sporatic as is the enforcement of it. Traffic laws in general are generously waived off.

Q: Can i trust the police in your country?

A: Unlike other countries in the region, Belizean police officers are not corrupt and aren't looking to make extra money on the side "Shaking down gringos", a term widely used for white foreigners. For example, during checkpoints, you will never be offered a bribe if stopped for a traffice offense or otherwise. Usually you will instead find that you need only to procure your license, passport or visa entry card and then will be waived off with a friendly smile and a wave from the officer.

Q: What do i do when i get a flat?

A: Most gas stations have mechanics who are skilled enough to at least change a tire and check for routine problems.

Q: Miles or Kilometers?

A: Like the U.S., Belize has been slow to accept the metric system. Distances are given in miles. Some Japanese rental cars however have speed and distance shown in kilometers only, often confusing both tourist and locals alike.

Q: What about gas stations?

A: Belize has Texaco, Shell and Esso service stations totalling about 50 stations for the country. Gas is sold by the U.S gallon. Unleaded gas is widely available at about 4.15$ a gallon with Diesel at about a 1/3 of that cost. You get full service at all gas stations without the cost. Tipping is not necessary. U.S and Belizean dollars are accepted. Credit cards may be accepted at the larger stations. The noted cost above is as of 4/16/08.

Q: How about driving to Belize by land?

A: Going through rough roads will take three to six days from Texas. Driving is on the right side of the street. Signage is relatively good compared to the rest of South America and Mexico. Make sure to bring your driver's permit or license and vehicle registration certificate. To cross the Mexican border, you will need a Temporary Import Permit for your car, which you can get from Belize Customs Officials. Do not speed, as highway patrol officers are everywhere. In addition, liability or third party insurance in required. When you get to Belize, you will need a temporary driving permit if you have a foreign license. These permits are obtained from the Chief Licensing Officer in Belize City. If you have an international driving license you do not have to get the temporary permit. Overnight parking in a public place is not allowed.

The main highways in Belize are:

The Northern Highway from Belize City to Corozal and the Mexican Border.

This 85 mile, 2 laned fully black topped Highway, is equipped with a toll-booth at the bridge and a plethora of gas stations with some being open 24 hours. The toll at the new river will cost (BZE 75cents or US 37 1/2 cents). One of the main highlights on this highway is the Azure waterway in Corozal Bay. To the east of this new Northern Highway is a 41 mile section which allows you to access the 2 mile non-paved access road into Altun Ha Ruins. The narrow road itself is fair with ocassional heavy pot holes. Only 75 % of this road is paved and gas is not available.

The Western Highway from Belize City to San Ignacio and the Guatemalan Border.

A 78 mile road passing through Hattieville, the Belize Zoo, San ignacio, Santa elena and the Capitol of Belmopan. Towards the border of Guatemala the road gets renamed to Benque Viejo Road. This long road will offer some reststops, specifically past San Ignacio at "Cottage country" where a number of excellent lodges offer a good night's sleep with cold beverages to sustain yourself. The road itself is excellent with 100% of it being paved and many sections constantly being repaved. Gas is available in several sections of the highway.

The Coastal Highway from Belize City to Placencia Village and Dangriga.

A 36 mile gravel road connecting Democracia near the Mile 30 Marker of the Western Highway with the Stann Creek Valley Road(end of hummingbird highway) near Melinda. This road is also called the "Manatee Highway" or "The Shortcut". It truly does save time on long road trips to Placencia village or Dangriga from Belize City.We don't recommend driving in this direction however for the following reasons; poor gas availability, 0% paved road, bridges washing out during poor weather, no scenic views and dustry in dry weather. Gas up on the Western Highway and in Dangriga.

The Hummingbird Highway from Belmopan to Dangriga.

A beautiful 33 mile stretch through some of the most scenic part of Belize. It starts from the Western Highway and ends figuratively at the Village of Middlesex. The 2 lane road is quite comfortable to ride on and only decreases in size over a couple one laned bridges. There are numerous attractions along the route such as: Five Blues National Park or Blue Hole where you can enjoy a tropical swim in a freshwater natural pool. We suggest gassing up in Belmopan and then again at Dangriga towards the end of the 23 stretch road called Stan Creek Valley Road.

The Southern Highway from Dangriga to Punta Gorda.

Once considered the worst road in Belize is now considered the best. While there are still a few unpaved sections, specifically in Golden Stream, roads are otherwise fairly excellent with gas stations in Dangriga and on the Placencia Peninsula.

The Manatee Highway from Belize City to Dangriga.

Belize North Coast is only 8 12 miles off the North Highway. The entry is gated with manned security. 4-wheel drive rentals are available on the property. Only approved vehicles are allowed on the development.

Q: Can I rent a car?

A: To rent a car, or a golf cart on mainland Belize, a valid driver license is required. Driving laws are like the rest of the world. Also, to ride a bike at night, you must have a bright white light on it. Having a rental is a real plus in Belize as most attractions are far apart from one another with bus lines often being crowded and hard to get on. Rental prices may not be cheap but spending your money wisely around the country will more than make up for that.

Q: Can I travel by bus in Belize?

A: There are many bus lines, they are: Battys 011-501-207-4924 Venus 011-501-207-3354 Departure is out of Belize City for most of the major towns (Punta Gorda, Corozal, Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Dangriga).

Q: Are there a lot of bumps in the road?

A: Roads in general have improved tremendously in recent times and most roads are paved. You may see occassional potholes in some areas, usually acting as entry ways into reserves, but those are far and few between. Expect speed bumps upon entering cities but expect no advance warning signs.

Q: Are traffic accidents common?

A: It is the number one cause of death in belize as most drivers are not well trained. Drinking and driving is also not enforced and unfortunately common. Watch carefully therefore when passing stopped buses, as kids may suddenly dart around the bus to cross the road. Outside of large cities, one may drive for hours and never see another car for an hour or more untill one finally pops around the corner, so always be prepared.

Q: Is it safe to park your car?

A: Tourist are "ipso facto", meaning they are viewed to have money and therefore prone to cartheft. Never leave your valuables in your car, locked or unlocked. When visiting Belize city, it's best to park in secure lots with guards or in well lit areas.

Q: Is it safe to drive at night?

A: Driving at night in developing countries is never a great idea, but in belize night driving is easier than elsewhere due to the lack of cars on the road as mentioned above. The amount of jaguars and snakes will actually outnumber people. Potholes and topes should be your biggest concern though as they are hard to spot.

Q: What should i bring with me on a long car drive?

A: Bring a spare tire, food and bottled water, rope, a flash light, a cell phone, and basic supplies in case you get stuck on the road. Our biggest advice is always to tell someone where you are going prior to going on such a long trip. We also advise purchasing a general road map about Belize.

Q: What are the best raod maps about Belize?

A: The best general road map about Belize is from ITMB. The latest 7th edition, printed in 2007 is a good start. The 1:350,000-scale map retails for US$8.95. Also recommended is the Driver's Guide to Beautiful Belize, a 81/2 x 11" guide which is reliable and easy to use and printed by the famous Emory King.

Q: What are the best vehicles to have in Belize?

A: 4-wheel drive vehicles on the Western and Northern Highways aren't required but four-wheel drive is good insurance just in case you hit a stretch of soft muck or sand during the rainy season. In the dry season, even back roads generally are passable without four-wheel drive if you have sufficient road clearance. an Isuzu trooper, Jeep Cherokee or Ford Explorer are the most common-type vehicles you'll have to choose from as they offer a smoother ride on washboard roads and their large gas tanks cut down on the need to stop for gas so frequently. Rental rates for these larger vehicles however are high. 80 to 110$ a day or more in most cases. They also have low mileage to the gallon. So choose wisely as gas is currently quite high around the world.

Q: Are taxis available?

A: Taxis are available at Belize International Airport, towns and resort areas, and they are easily recognized by their green license plates. Although there are no meters on the taxis, the drivers charge somewhat standard fares, but it is always important to understand what your fare will be, prior to hiring a taxi.

Q: How do I get around by plane in Belize?

A: Travelers flying into the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City may connect to various destinations within Belize including: Corozal, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, Dangriga, Big Creek, Ambergris Caye, Placencia and Punta Gorda.

Q: What are the fees?

Airport Departure Fees*:

Departure Tax U.S. $15.00
Conservation Tax U.S. $3.75
Security Fee U.S. $1.25

=Total Airport Departure Fees: U.S. $20.00

Border Departure fees**:

Border Processing Fee U.S. $10.00
Conservation Tax U.S. $3.75

=Total Border Departure Fees: U.S. $13.75

**Charged upon departure via Santa Elena, the northern border with Mexico and, Benque Viejo, the western border with Guatemala. The border fee is applicable to tourists 12 years and older.

Visitors from border towns, Melchor & Chetumal, are exempt from these fees if they remain in the country for less than 24 hours.

* / **The fees are subject to change without notice.

 

PUBLIC AND BANK HOLIDAYS

 

Q: What are the public and bank holidays?

A: Stores, banks and government offices are closed in observance of the following holidays:

Dec 25 - Christmas
Dec 26 - Boxing Day
Jan 1 - New Year's Day
March 9 - Baron Bliss Day(Flag Day)
May 1 - Belize Labor Day
May 24 - Commonwealth Day: Recognizing the British empire; Belize is a former British colony.
Sep 10 - St. George's Caye Day
Sept. 11 - National Day (St. George's Caye Day): Recognizing British victory over Spain in 1798.
Sept. 21- Independence Day: Belize celebrates its independence from Britain.
October 12 - Columbus Day
Oct. 13 - Pan American Day: Celebrating Mestizo culture.
Nov. 19 - Garifuna Settlement Day: Reenactments of the landing of the first boats of the Garinagu in Belize are performed in town celebrations with cultural drummers and dancers and traditional food.

Q: What are the business hours?

A:

Banks :
Monday - Thursday 8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Friday 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Commerce & Industry :
Monday - Friday 8:00 A.M. to 12:00P.M - 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Some businesses are open on Saturdays:




GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Q: What shall I bring while vacationing in Belize?

A: When hiking, bring hiking boots or sneakers with good treads, long pants and long sleeves for evening hikes, short pants and cool cotton clothes, bathing suits and sun hats, sunglasses, prescription drugs, lightweight rain gear with a hood, scuba diving gear with certification card, dive log, snorkeling gear, fishing tackle (scuba diving gear as well as fishing tackle may be rented), sun screen, sun burn cream, insect repellent, binoculars, camera and film, batteries, a flashlight or headlamp for evening hikes or caving, and do not forget your passport or visa (if applicable), as well as cash, credit cards and/or travelers' checks. Go Here for more info on what to bring to The Placencia Hotel & Residences in Belize.

Q: What is the dress code?

A: The dress code in Belize is shorts and t-shirts. Shoes are optional. Except for hiking into the thick jungle areas, the dress is casual, informal and light. Leave expensive jewelry at home for you will not need them. Should you need a watch, bring one that is suitable for diving and hiking. If you are visiting The Placencia Hotel & Residences, bring shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits, along with deck shoes. The sun is more intense than what you are probably used to at home, so bring a hat to protect your head from the tropical sun and biodegradable sunscreen for the rest of your body. Do not forget to bring a pair of "polarized" sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and to remove the reflective glare from the water. When exploring mainland Belize or hiking through the rain forest wear loose fitting, light colored cotton pants and shirts, along with a comfortable pair of hiking shoes or boots.

Q: What about credit cards and travelers' checks?

A: Hotels, restaurants and stores in the tourist areas accept all major credit cards. Smaller vendors and storekeepers in rural areas may accept only cash or travelers' checks. All major credit card companies may be contacted at all of the four commercial banks in Belize City.

Q: What is the currency exchange rate?

A: Local currency is the Belize dollar. One U.S. dollar (US$1.00) is equivalent two Belize dollars (BZ$2.00). U.S. dollars are accepted countrywide. Hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tour operators will accept US currency, traveler's checks, or credit cards. When using credit cards, most places will add 5% service charge. Make sure you understand which dollar is being quoted, US$ or BZ$

Q: What about banks?

A: There are many banks and branches throughout Belize. There are five commercial banks in Belize City. Atlantic Bank Limited, Albert Street, Belize City Phone: 011-501-227-7301 Bank of Nova Scotia, Albert Street, Belize City Phone: 011-227-7027 Barclays Bank PLC, Albert Street, Belize City Phone: 011-501-227-7211 Belize Bank Limited, Market Square, Belize City Phone: 011-501227-7132 Banking hours are usually Monday-Friday from 8 AM-1 PM and to 4:30 PM on Fridays; and Saturdays, 8 AM-11 AM. Many of the banks have branches within the other districts.

Q: How much should room and board cost?

A: Travelers on a budget can vacation for as little as $50 a day on mainland Belize. Transportation will be extra. Room and board in upscale jungle lodges and good hotels can run from $100 to $150 a day. Outfitted group adventure trips at upscale all-inclusive lodges range from $100 to $150 a day. Reservations are always a good idea. Do not forget to ask about group discounts everywhere they are available. We do recommend visiting The Placencia Hotel & Residences as the place to stay for your Belizean vacation.

Q: What taxes will i be expected to pay?

A:

Property Tax .................................

Property taxes range between 1% and 1.5% of the value of the property set by the Department of Natural Resources. These taxes are due April of each year and can be paid at any lands department countrywide.

Speculation Tax ............................

This tax applied only to undeveloped property of 300 acres or more. It is 5% of the undeveloped value of the land set by the Department of Natural Resources.

Transfer Tax ..................................

Currently a new lower transfer tax has been put in place and the percentage depends on the purchase price amount. Details below in table.

Property Value
From
Property Value
To
Rate
0.00$
10,000$
Free
10,000$
Above
5%

 

Q: Is there sales tax?

A: Yes, Belize has a value added tax of 15%. It is levied on all goods and services except hotel accommodations, where there is a 8% tax. Some hotels have a 10-15% service charge, be sure to inquire about this when checking hotel prices.

Hotel Tax ....................................................7%

Sale Tax .....................................................8%

Service Charge Varies ..................................5 - 15%

These taxes are subject to change.

Q: What about tipping?

A. Tips of 10-15% are acceptable, with more for outstanding service.

Q: What about shopping?

A: There are local fish, fruit and vegetable markets. Meats, rice, corn and beans are the regular diet for locals. Other foods and manufactured goods are usually imported and sold through small stores and supermarkets. Just keep in mind that certain products cannot leave the country, such as unprocessed coral, turtle shells, pre-Columbian articles and marine products (unless permission is granted). The Placencia Village will be your main stop for these items as well as the hotel convenience store.

Q: What about getting married in Belize?

A: You have to be in the country for at least three days before you can apply for a marriage license, with one day notice. You must have proof of citizenship such as a certified copy of a birth certificate, notarized, with father's name, proof of divorce, if necessary, certified copy or original of divorce certificate and a copy of the death certificate for widow or widower, if necessary. You can be married by either a Justice of the Peace or Registrar General (Phone 501-227-7377) in Belize City. Special plans can also be arranged by Preferred Lifestyle Advisors. So if you wish to be married on the beautiful waters of Belize, or atop an Mayan Pyramid your wish is our command. The Placencia Hotel is our recommendendation.

Q: What do I do in an emergency?

A: 911 is the emergency number to connect you to the local police, who will be able to assist you. The fire department or ambulance can be reached through this number also. The Belize Telephone Directory would have a list of doctors, and very serious medical problems are cared for in Belize City at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital or Chetumal. There is also a hospital available in nearby San Pedro and Dangriga which in addition to standard modern medical services also has herbal and hollistic services available.

Q: Where is Belize?

A: Belize is located in the Western Caribbean just below the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Guatemala borders Belize from the west and south.Check the location's tab for more info.

Q: How large is Belize?

A: Belize is approximately 8,866 square miles. Its mainland is approximately 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide.

Q: How large is the population in Belize?

A: Belize has approximately 300,000 people. There is a great deal of ethnic diversity among Belizeans, who include Hispanic, Creoles (African-European), Mestizo (Spanish-Indian), Mennonite, Garifuna (African-Indian), Eastern Indian, Creole, English, Lebanese, Chinese, Mayan, Anglo-European, Middle Eastern and Asian. The largest single group is Hispanic.

Q: Is Belize law similar to U.S. law?

A: Belize law is similar to U.S. law and in fact Belize is an Independent British Commonwealth. Their Government was modeled after the British Parliamentary System. Also, Belize is an English speaking country with a stable government and growing economy.

Q: What about drinking water?

A: Bottled water is available throughout Belize. Major towns have chlorinated water. Small villages rely on filtered rainwater for drinking, you should not. Do not drink water that has not been treated. Many shops and Hotels will have bottled drinking water. Water from municipalities is chlorinated and aerated. It is recommended that you buy purified bottled water in gallons, which can usually be refilled for about US$.50.

Q: What is the electrical voltage?

A: In Belize electricity is supplied at 110 volts, 60 Hz., which is the same as the standard U.S. service. It is suggested that you do not bring a portable computer or TV into the country. If you do bring a computer or TV, you would need to also have an adjustable time delayed voltage protector that detects when the voltage goes to high or low or short cycles. This is something that is needed, in addition to a surge protector, which alone, would not solve the problem.

Q: What about crime?

A: The people of Belize understand that tourism is a big part of the economy, so crimes against tourists are not common. But to be on the safe side, be cautious, do not leave your possessions alone, and do not walk alone or at night in unknown parts.

Q: May firearms be taken into or out of Belize?

A: It is illegal to take firearms into or out of Belize.

Q: What about drugs?

A: Illegal drugs in Belize are punishable with strict laws, prison terms and fines.

Q: What time zone is Belize in?

A: Belize is on United States CST (Central Standard Time) - Time observed year round is Greenwich Mean Time -6(GMT -6). Daylight Savings Time is not observed in Belize.

Q: How is the telephone service in Belize?

A: Telephone service is quite good. Cell phones are available for rental. Belize Telcommunications Limited (a monopoly) provides telecommunication between Belize and the rest of the world. Service is also available for communication with other countries. The BTL main offices (www.btl.net) are located at the corner of Albert and Church Streets in Belize City at telephone number 227-7085 and the corner of Princess Margaret Drive and St. Thomas Street at telephone number 223-2868. Phone cards are available at numerous locations.

Important telephone #'s in Belize:

113 for directory assistance
114 for local and regional operator assisted calls
115 for international operator assisted calls
90 for fire and ambulance
911 for police

Q: How are the communications?

A: Telecommunication services are available. Direct dialing, cellular telephone service and paging are also available. Postal rates to the United States are BZ$0.60 for letters and BZ$0.30 for postcards. Postal rates to Europe are BZ$0.75 for letters and BZ$0.40 for postcards. Postal rates are subject to change. Residents may bring their own PDA's or laptops and connect to the network.

Q: How much does a telephone call cost?

A: To call the U.S., it costs about a $1.50 per minute and after 10:00 PM it is about $1.00 per minute. It is anticipated with current deregulation that these costs will be reduced.

Q: What about calling Belize?

A: 501 is the international dialing code for Belize and there are 17 different area codes in Belize (if your dialing from a phone outside of Belize, the zero in not necessary). The country has all of the telecommunications services available. Calls from Belize are more expensive than the same call to Belize. Secluded tropical rain forest places will usually have radio communications hooked up to a cellular assistance to make an outgoing call. Getting a Belize phone card (BTL) is recommended for making national and international calls.

Q: What languages are spoken?

A: English is the official language in Belize. English is also the language that is taught in schools, and most of the people speak some kind of English dialect. Spanish, Maya, Garifuna and Creole are also spoken. Spanish is taught in schools and is spoken by many.

 

Q: How do I get on the Internet?

A: You can get a temporary Internet account by contacting Belize Telecommunications (BTL).

Email: sales@btl.net.

Note: The Placencia Hotel has Internet Acess.

Q: How can I find charter or dive boat operators in Belize?

A: The Placencia Hotel works with many rated charter services in Belize.

Q: What about fishing?

A: There is great fishing all year round. You will find no better, whether on the east side of the barrier reef for bill fish, or in the intercoastals system of Corozal for Bone fish or Tarpon. Placencia is especially great for fishing and supplies are readily availabe in the village, at the hotel or in Dangriga.

Q: What is the Belize Barrier Reef?

A: The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef in the world and the finest manifestation of a coral reef ecosystem in this Hemisphere for its size, unique variety of reef types and abundance of corals thriving in pristine conditions. Aesthetically and ecologically, its integrity is virtually unharmed. Forming a nearly continuous wall for 150 miles along the continental shelf edge, the Belize Barrier Reef provides life and security to the entire country. Immediately seaward are three oceanic atolls including Lighthouse Reef, which is unequalled in the Caribbean for its development, variety of reef types and biological diversity. The Belize Barrier Reef ecosystem has remained pristine because the small, subsistence-level population has not stressed it unduly, and because Belize has existed on the periphery of global commerce.

Q: How is the diving around Placencia?

A: The crystal clear water in and around the peninsula and elsewhere in Belize is second to none. You'll find diving here an absolutely therapeutic experience and incredibly mindblowing.

 

INVESTING IN PLACENCIA REAL ESTATE

 

Q: Do you expect property values to rise at the Placencia Hotel & Residences?

A: The pricing is based on pre-construction at this time and as development progresses, we expect the prices to appreciate. Due to the uniqueness of our development much international attention is expected. As the project matures over the next few years, we would like to see values comparable with national resort averages. Many purchasers are real estate professionals buying for investment purposes.

Q: What are some of the incentives to relocating a business to Placencia?

A: Some of the incentives to relocating a business to Belize include: --No capital gains tax in Belize --Belize is a tax shelter haven --Very low property taxes --Many retirement incentives

 

RETIRING IN BELIZE

 

Q: Can I retire to Belize and are there incentives?

A: You can retire to Belize and there are many retirement incentives. We can direct you to many offices in Belize. The cost of living in Belize is less than in the U.S., but may depend on the standard that you are accustomed to.

Q: What is the Belize Retirement Program?

A: The Belize Retirement Program is created especially for people who wish to live in Belize and can prove permanent and consistent income from investment (abroad and in Belize), pension or other retirement benefits.

Q. Who Qualifies?

A. Anyone forty-five years and older from the United States of America, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada and Belize can qualify for this program. A person who qualifies can also include his or her dependants in the program. Dependants included spouses and children under the age of eighteen. However, it can include a person under the age of twenty-three if enrolled in a university. For more information about Retirement in Belize, click Here.

 

VACATIONING IN BELIZE

 

Q: What are the requirements for entry into Belize?

Visas:

Citizens of the following countries are not required to obtain a visa in advance - United States, Canada, nationals of Caricom countries, the European Community member nations (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, UK, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Finland, Sweden)

Visas are required for nationals of the following countries - Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Columbia, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Japan, Korea (North and South), Libya, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, and Zaire.

Visitor's Visa Application Form Instructions for Completing the Visa Application Form: The application form below must be completed in its entirety, signed by the applicant and returned to the:


Embassy of Belize
2535 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

with the following:

1. A passport size photograph
2. The applicant's passport, and;
3. If the applicant is a resident in the United States, a legible photocopy of the applicant's Alien Registration Card or the applicant's passport with valid re-entry Visa to the United States

Application fee, shipping and handling fee as follows:

Application Fee 25.00 USD - Month Visa 37.00 USD - 3 month visa
Shipping and Handling 10.00 USD 10.00 USD
Addtn'l Overnight mail charge 25.00 USD - US Postal Service /20 USD - FEDEX 25.00 USD - US Postal Service / 20.00 USD - FEDEX

Please be advised that all visitors to Belize MUST be in a possession of a valid Passport, an onward/return ticket and sufficient funds (US $ 60.00 per day) to cover the cost of your length of stay.

Processing time for applications is approximately 48 hours.

Application fee plus shipping and handling charge (and additional overnight mail charge if required) must be paid via money order, certified checks or bank drafts to the order of the Embassy of Belize. The Embassy cannot accept Personal Checks.

Q: How long can I stay?

A. Visitors are permitted to stay in Belize for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days. Most people are granted extensions upon request. The Immigration Department will allow extensions of 90 days per request.

To obtain an extension, the applicant must appear in person in Belmopan and satisfy the officer that they have sufficient funds (US$50 per person per day). They must have a ticket to their onward destination. Each extensions cost BZ$25.

To obtain a visitor's permit, an application must be submitted to the:

Belize Immigration and Nationality Department
Belmopan, Cayo District
Belize, Central America
Telephone 011-501-822-2423
Fax: 011-501-822-2662

 

 

 
 
 
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