Visitor Information

Language
English is the official language of Belize, although Spanish, Creole, Garifuna and Mayan are widely spoken throughout the country.

Population
The population of Belize is approximately 250,000 comprising Creoles (African-European), Garifuna (African-Indian), Mestizo (Spanish-Indian, Maya and European).

Time Zone
Central Standard Time. Belize does not observe daylight-saving time.

Currency Exchange
Local currency is the Belize Dollar, or BZ. One U.S. dollar is worth BZ$2.

Taxes
There is a 7% government/hotel tax. A sales tax of 8% has been implemented and is applicable to goods and services.

Tipping/Gratuity
Tipping is voluntary. Usually 10% is acceptable with 15% for exceptional service. In some cases a gratuity may be added to your check.This practice varies with establishment.

Climate
The climate is subtropical , with a brisk prevailing wind from the Caribbean Sea. The annual temperature averages about 80 degrees. The rainy season is between June and August.

Topography
Belize is an area of only 8,866 square miles. It is situated on the east coast of Central America on the Caribbean Sea. Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. It possesses the second-largest barrier reef in the world (185 miles long).

Clothing
Light, informal clothing is recommended, except for jungle excursion where the thick forest growth and insects should be taken into account. A sweater or jacket for cool inland mornings and evenings is advisable.

Communications
Direct dial telephone, telex, facsimile, cable, radio, television, cellular, e-mail and Internet are available. For easy calling to the U.S. from Belize, just dial 811 and you will be connected to an English-speaking AT&T operator.

Electrical System
Same as the U.S., 110 volts A.C.

Government
Belize is independent with a democratically elected parliamentary government and is a British Commonwealth member.

Map:


Useful Belize Sites:
http://www.belize.net
http://www.travelbelize.org
http://www.belizetourism.org
http://www.belizediving.com


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