Facts and Frequently Asked Questions
Facts About Belize
- The official language of Belize is English.
- Belize is a 2 hour non-stop flight from Houston or Miami.
- US and Canadian citizens need a Passport but do not need a VISA.
- The Belize dollar is tied to the US Dollar $2 BZ = $1 US.
- You can spend US dollars in Belize without any problem.
- Most hotels and larger restaurants accept AMEX, VISA, and MC.
- Cash will be necessary for smaller establishments and off the beaten path.
- Electricity is 120 volt, 60 cycle. There is no problem in using appliances from the US and Canada.
- When you leave Belize there is a $35.00 dollar US departure tax.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should we dress?
Dress is casual both on the islands and throughout the mainland. A popular saying is "no shoes, no shirt, no problem," and this is an accurate description. Even at the nicest restaurants on the island, barefoot is the norm and although you will see a couple dressed up once in a while, really a polo shirt and shorts for men and a summer dress for women is the most you will need. If your tendency is to over pack, bring extra t-shirts and shorts. Other than Government business, formal attire is not required or expected. Be aware that it can also get cool in the evenings with temperatures in the mid 60's on a clear night. You will want to have a light jacket or long sleeve for this occasion. The rainy season runs August through November. It usually is showers in the afternoon and then again in the early evening. Ponchos are helpful if you intend to be out and about in the storms.
What will we need to bring?
You will want to bring items that are of necessity for health or hygiene reasons such as contact lens fluids and solutions, prescription medicines, and any other items that would make your life difficult if you could not find them. I would also recommend that you bring along sunscreens and bug sprays from home where they will be much more economical to purchase.
What shouldn't we bring?
You should not bring fancy cloths and expensive jewelry. Nobody will be impressed, since there is no place to wear them, and there is a chance that you could lose something. Crime is not a serious problem on Ambergris Caye. In fact, it is much safer than most of the Caribbean islands.
Can I cook in the condos?
Each condo suite is equipped with a complete kitchen with sink, stove, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, pots and pans, plates and silverware. Two grocery stores are within a 5-minute walk of the resort.
Are there grocery stores nearby?
There are two grocery stores within a five-minute walk. One is an Island original called "Rocks" with a small restaurant attached to the store called "El Patio", serving very fresh foods for lunch and dinner. "Rocks" is located south on Coconut Drive approximately 200 yards and taking the road to the right another 50 yards. The other store is the "Island Supermarket", which can be found by walking north on Coconut Drive about 400 yards. Both store have all standard food items, such as bread, fruit, veggies, meats, cheeses, chips, etc. including many North American favorites such as Corn Flakes and Ragu. Basic essentials like diapers, aspirin, bug spray, etc are also available.
How do we get around on the island?
Once on the Island most people choose to walk (barefoot). Everything is close with the town less than one-half mile, a lovely ten-minute stroll up the beach. You can also rent a golf cart at approximately $50-60.00 US per day and taxicabs are also available for between $5-10.00 BZ anywhere on the island. Water taxis are available to take you to some restaurants and resorts north of town and the resort staff can assist you with any of these arrangements.
What type of fishing is there?
You are in luck. Belize is a fisherman's paradise. We have all three types of fishing right off the island. Salt-water fly-fishing is excellent because of the tremendous flats area around the islands and atolls. Bonefish, permit, and tarpon are plentiful and it is possible to get a grand slam here. Reef fishing is also excellent and the reef system, which is only one-fourth to one-half mile offshore, runs over 180 miles along the coast of Belize. Along with fishing for snapper or grouper, deep-sea fishing offers you the opportunity to land the "big one". Trophy marlin, Wahoo and king mackerel await you in the 2000-3000 foot deep water just a mile off shore.
Can I go birding?
Thanks to its location on the north-south flyway, the mangrove lagoons of the Cayes are blessed with an incredible abundance of waterfowl. Egrets, herons, ducks and eagles as well as parakeets and other exotic species are common. Fall is the best season for birding.
Can I go sea kayaking?
Yes you can rent sea kayaks by the hour or the day for use along the front side of the island. But for a real adventure, join a small group for a tour of the lagoons of the backside, where you will see herons, egrets, schools of bonefish, orchids while you meander through tunnels in the mangroves. Some are lucky enough to spot the elusive saltwater crocodile. If you happen to be on the island for the full moon, you will want to take part in the full moon kayaking through the mangroves.
Why is there sea grass in the water?
Sea grass is along the entire island of Ambergris Caye. It is due to the lack of wave action at the beach because the reef breaks them off shore. The sea grass is the spawning ground for the plentiful conch and many of the fish species that inhabit the reef. Although it is illegal to remove the sea grass from the water, some resorts do this anyway to make a swimming area. We offer a swimming pool and will soon have a swimming area at the end of the dock.
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, Ambergris Caye has a desalination plant and the city water is as safe to drink as any in the States. Bottled water is available for sale for those still worried. Fruits and vegetables are safe to eat as well. Use common sense and you will stay healthy.
What if I get Sick?
Ambergris Caye is a small island and there is more medical care represented than the population might warrant. There are two medical clinics and several doctors who maintain independent offices. For minor accidents or illnesses there is ample treatment on the island. A hyperbaric Chamber is also located here for dive emergencies. For serious illness or accidents Belize City has a hospital equipped with modern technology. In extreme cases there is a "Wings of Life" plane stationed on the island to medivac a patient to either Merida, Mexico, and the Catholic Hospital, or to the international airport for evacuation to the United States, two hours away. The island has two pharmacies with a good supply of medications for the normal ailments. It is advised, however, that whatever prescriptions you will require on your stay, you bring with you. Items such as saline solution for contacts and other specialty items should also be brought along.
Belize Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T.) operates two airplanes for those of you within easy reach of an airstrip, (originally Wings of Hope), in addition to the land ambulances. We will respond to your call with trained Emergency Medical Technicians and equipment, whether by air or land.
Where are we?
Ambergris Caye, Belize is located in the Western Caribbean, just south of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, a 2 hour non-stop flight from either Miami or Houston. Three major airlines, American Airlines, Continental, and TACA airlines service Belize from the United States.
What do we do when we get to Belize?
The major carriers will bring you to Belize City International Airport where you will clear Customs and Immigration. You can then board a commuter flight for a 20-minute flight to the island. Once on Ambergris Caye, Exotic Caye Beach Resort is just a five-minute taxi ride. Call 800-201-9389, if we can schedule the commuter flight over to the island for you.
If you are interested in taking the "ferry", the ride of about one and one-half hours costs $25 BZ one way. The water taxi schedule can be located through our website's Belize link. You will need to take a cab from the International Airport to the dock, approximately 30-minutes, where the last ferry leaves at 3:00 p.m. daily. Please make sure you arrive in Belize with enough time to clear customs, and go through immigration, and get to the Belize City dock before 3:00 p.m.