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Belize - Frequently Asked Questions
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Belize | Frequently Asked Questions

General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.

What is the population?
In mid-2005, the population of Belize was estimated at 291,800.

How big is the country/island?
Belize is 174 miles long and 68 miles wide at its greatest lengths, for a total of 8,867 sq miles, including 266 sq miles of islands.

Can I drink the tap water?
Most tap water is safe to drink. Bottled water is available everywhere.

What are the best things to buy here?
Belize is not known for its shopping. If you're looking for local souvenirs you'll find wooden and slate carvings, Mayan calendars and baskets, pottery, ceramics, furniture made by the Mennonites, locally made Marie Sharp's hot sauces and jams, native punta music and Belizean rum.

Are there nude beaches?
There are no nude beaches and topless sunbathing is not socially acceptable.

What are the main industries?
The main industries are agriculture (sugar, citrus, fisheries and bananas), manufacturing and tourism.

What native dishes should I try?
For a traditional breakfast try buttered johnny cakes (like biscuits), which are sometimes served with ham and cheese, or a morning taco (a flour or corn tortilla filled with shredded chicken, onion, cabbage and cilantro).

The national staple is rice and beans (cooked together in coconut oil and flavoured with a mild ground pepper), usually served with chicken, pork, oxtail, fish or beef, which is often stewed. Other popular dishes include lobster, conch (pronounced konk), fish such as red snapper and grouper, beans and rice (the difference being the beans and rice are cooked separately and then the beans and gravy are spooned over the rice), split peas and pigtail over rice, and game meat such as deer, hicatee (turtle), iguana and gibnut (a large forest rodent). For a side dish try fried plantain, coleslaw or potato salad.

For something lighter try conch soup or escabeche (onion broth soup with chicken) or dukunu (corn and chicken tamales).

Can I use my calling card from here?
Directory assistance:
Enquiries, 113
Operator assistance, 115

Foreign calling cards are accepted for calls made to Canada, the UK and the US at specified BTL phones and pay phones at Philip Goldson International Airport, some major hotels and BTL offices.

AT&T: Service is available from pay phones (dial 811) and hotel phones (dial 555) for calls to the US only using AT&T Calling Cards, AT&T Corporate Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard and Visa. Dial 555 or 811 + area code + local number and follow the voice prompts.

BT: Dial 552 or 814, input your account number and PIN, then dial the number you require.

Canada Direct: Service is available from hotel phones (dial 558) and public phones (dial 816) with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus.

MinutePass Plus: Service is available at certain hotels (dial 557) and certain pay phones (dial 815).

Sprint: Dial 812 from certain airport phones or 556 from hotel phones. Calls can only be made to the US (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, and Saipan/Mariana Islands).

For more information see the section in General Info: Telecommunications.

How should I dress to go out?
Dress in Belize is informal and casual. Loose-fitting, light-coloured cotton clothing is appropriate. If you plan on trekking through the rain forest bring comfortable hiking shoes.

Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver?
Electricity is 110 volts, which is the same as in North America. If you're using sensitive electronics you may want to bring a surge protector as most electricity is provided by generators.

How much should I tip?
Tip 10-15% in restaurants. Some hotels automatically add a 10% service charge to your bill so check first as it is not necessary to leave more. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers.

Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All information should be verified prior to travel.

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