Belize has long been a hotspot for eco-tourists, snorkelers, and young travelers, and is exceptionally well known amongst backpackers. The little country in Central America is full of life, and has numerous opportunities for site-seeing and flora and fauna spotting that are off the beaten path. A few of the best reasons to visit Belize with only a backpack in tow include:
While backpacking throughout Europe or other parts of Central and South America can also deliver an amazing experience, the language barrier can often prove to make traveling difficult. Unless you’re bi- or multi-lingual, hopping from country to country isn’t always easy. One poor turn and you could be lost and clueless.
Because Belize is a British Commonwealth, English is its first language – and is the only Central American country where this is so. The lack of language barrier for native English speakers makes it incredibly easy to get around or to ask locals about great local eateries or sites.
Belize has one of the best bus systems in Central America, and it is incredibly cheap. Backpackers can get to nearly every corner of the country via the Hummingbird, Coastal, or Southern Highway for around 7 USD. Not only are the buses cheap, but they also offer a great way to interact with locals.
Flights to Belize from the States are also relatively inexpensive. A flight into Belize City or into Cancun, which is only a short taxi away, can easily be secured with the miles saved from a Capital One Venture 100,000 card or another frequent flier card.
Belizeans are some of the friendliest people to travelers. If you happen to hop on a wrong bus or are simply looking for a great place to grab an authentic meal, they will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. For backpackers, the Belizean willingness to help is often a godsend, and can provide a much more intimate look into the little country.
Because of Belize’s history as a backpackers’ paradise, lodging is incredibly easy to find, and rarely requires reservations. If you stay away from the touristy cayes, such as Ambergris, you will easily be able to find a hotel or bed and breakfast room for around $30 a night for a single to two person room. In more touristy areas, prices are higher, but again, rarely require reservations.
For backpackers this is great, as it allows them to pick and choose how much time they would like to spend in certain areas and travel on a whim when necessary.
In Belize, the US Dollar is just as good as the Belize Dollar, and nearly every vendor is willing to accept US currency – if not more so than their own Belizean dollar. This is great for US backpackers because it keeps them from having to exchange currency or paying currency exchange rates.
Major cities, such as Belize City, San Ignacio, and Dangriga, all have ATMs as well so you don’t have to carry around large lump sums of cash. However, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid bringing a credit card with you for emergencies. A good no foreign transaction fee credit card can be a life saver when cash is lost or stolen.
While staying in a luxurious resort is often what many think of when considering vacation, they shouldn’t shy from a backpacking vacation in Belize. Although the country does offer 5 star stays, it is on its open roads where the country can truly be found. So if you are looking for a bigger adventure for your next vacation, consider grabbing a backpack and heading to Belize. The diverse countryside and friendly people will be sure to do anything other than disappoint.
Source: Beachcomber Pete