Belize is the latest Caribbean nation that officially opens to international tourism, welcoming back visitors as of today, October 1. Like most countries reopening to travelers in the wake of COVID-19, Belize outlines precautions when visiting. Within the days before departing, tourists are strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 test, otherwise they’ll need to be tested on arrival inside the airport’s testing health clinic for US$50.00 per person. Additionally, all visitors to Belize will be required to download and fill out relevant information on the Belize Travel Health App within 72 hours of travel. Find out exactly what makes Belize such a curious destination, and why it’s worth a visit.
Having one foot in the Caribbean and one foot in Central America, meet Belize. Here, we boast see-through shoals of the Caribbean Sea alongside an intoxicating raft of culture and heritage. Travelers can get in touch with their eco-warrior thanks to a bounty of luxury jungle lodges. Meanwhile, sun-kissed relaxation awaits at exclusive private isles. And did I mention you can get from one to the other in just half a day? For all intents and purposes, this tiny but mighty destination—long hailed as Mother Nature’s best kept secret—still remains an off-the-beaten-path option. Given the diversity in its inherent natural beauty and warm people, it’s hardly surprising that Belize draws a really broad range of travelers. Although, they all share one characteristic—curiosity.
Awaken a Sense of Discovery
The UNESCO-attested composite site of the Blue Hole Natural Monument is a real treat, although each of the seven sites composing the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System shines individually. On the mainland, the waves lap like rhythmic Garifuna Drums against the soft, sugar-like sands of Belize’s Southern Coast; thatch and wooden structures in Hopkins, Placencia, and Dangriga culminate its rustic coastal vibe. However, don’t be fooled—Belize does open adventure tourism just as well as hotel suites and bespoke cocktails. Although, it has a party side too, especially on Ambergris Caye where live music bursts from bars onto cobbled streets after dark. Directly south, Belize’s second-most popular island, Caye Caulker, has an unmistakeable magnetism that lies within its colorful wooden homes, sandy streets and verified go-slow schedule.
Inland, waterfalls gush and carve the landscapes too; like those running swiftly over the rocks of Mountain Pine Ridge or those of Tiger Fern’s Double Waterfall, accessible only by an inclined hiking trails through the mountains of the world’s first jaguar preserve. Oh, and let’s not forget the human side of things. The endearingly “old capital” of Belize City is also home to the beloved Belikin Beer—imported straight out of Ladyville from the outskirts of the city.
Be Responsible, and Stay Curious
Belize enters a new travel era as the country opens tourism on October 1, and it’s up to us to also protect this curious destination. Ensuring safe, responsible behavior is a shared responsibility between visitors, residents, business owners and employees. For those who do travel—to rediscover Belize’s bounty of cultural and natural heritage—please do so safely. And, expect the highest level of safety from our tourism industry. After all, respect is the key to keeping each other safe and the longevity of Belize, for today and tomorrow. Belize awaits, perhaps with a cocktail in hand.
Belize’s travel regulations and requirements are subject to change as new developments in COVID-19 arise. It is important to visit www.travelbelize.org/health-safety before booking travel or visiting Belize.
Header photo: Silk Cayes in Southern Belize by Duarte Dellarole