Traveling to Belize: Everything You Need to Know About Money Matters
If you’re planning a trip to Belize, it’s essential to know how to handle your money while you’re there.
Although the Belize Dollar is the official currency, it’s pegged to the US dollar on a 2:1 ratio, so US dollars are widely accepted. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you don't encounter any issues.
Accepted Forms of Payment
In Belize, both US and Belize dollars are widely accepted, but it's best to carry smaller bills as they are more widely accepted than larger ones. If you pay in US dollars, you will receive change in the local currency.
However, US coins are not accepted, so it's best to leave them at home. Credit cards are gaining popularity, but they may not be accepted everywhere, especially in smaller shops and restaurants.
Also, Amex and Discover cards are rarely accepted due to their high merchant fees. Therefore, it's best to carry cash for tips, especially for tour operators, hotel staff, and service providers.
Denominations to Carry
When in Belize, it's advisable to carry smaller bills as larger denominations may not be accepted everywhere.
Smaller shops and restaurants may not have change available for larger bills, and some establishments may not accept bills that are worn, torn, or bent.
Therefore, it's best to ensure that your bills are in good condition. If you receive large denominations, bigger supermarkets or bars in tourist areas may be able to help.
Pricing in Belize or US Dollars
Sometimes, it may be hard to determine whether a price is in US or Belize dollars.
Generally, more expensive items such as tours and hotels are priced in US dollars, while items on menus or in shops and restaurants are priced in Belize dollars.
If you're unsure, always ask to avoid any confusion.
ATMs and Withdrawing Money
ATMs are readily available in major towns and tourist areas, but they dispense only Belize dollars.
Keep in mind that there are daily withdrawal limits, and you will be charged two fees each time you withdraw money.
Therefore, it's best to avoid taking out too much cash, particularly towards the end of your stay.
If you're arriving in Belize with US dollars, it's not necessary to exchange them as they are widely accepted.
However, if you're coming from another destination, it's best to exchange your money into US dollars before arriving in Belize for better rates.
What to Do with Leftover Belize Dollars
If you have any leftover Belize dollars at the end of your trip, consider tipping maids, drivers, and attendants in cash.
You can also inquire at your resort or hotel about exchanging your leftover Belize dollars.
Knowing how to handle your money in Belize is essential for a stress-free trip.
While US dollars are widely accepted, it's best to carry smaller bills, ensure your bills are in good condition, and always ask if you're unsure about the pricing currency.
With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your trip to Belize without any money-related worries.