1 US $ = 2 BZE $ US cash is accepted everywhere in Belize at a rate of 1 to 2.
The amount of personal spending money you bring will largely depend on your own needs. The opportunity to purchase souvenirs, alcohol, a cold drink, or a wayside snack does exist. You may also have an opportunity to purchase village-made crafts and having small denomination US bills will enable you to participate.
We recommend you bring a combination of US cash - a few $50's with the majority in small denominations such as $20's, $10's, $5's, and a few $1’s. We also strongly recommend you separate your cash so you are not carrying it all in the same place.
Tipping is customary in our industry. We suggest you budget between 5 and 10% of your trip cost as reasonable. This can be divided across the number of guides and number of days in your trip. Typically you will have two sets of guides – one for your inland portion and another for the reef portion. You can tip individuals for outstanding service within your guiding team, or provide a general tip for the entire guiding team - whichever you feel most comfortable with. For the inland guiding team we suggest giving them any monies before you board you charter boat as you will not see these people at the end of the trip. When providing a general tip for the island guiding teams, a tip box with envelopes will be put out on the last day and will be shared proportionately amongst the guiding staff, the cooks, the support camp staff, and the operations staff. Please feel free to tip anyone else along your way from this recommended budget.
In addition to your spending and tip money, it is good practice while traveling to carry an amount of emergency cash. A contingency fund of $200 to $400US above and beyond what you expect to spend on incidentals will help with any additional charges that may occur due to late arrival, missed connections, lost luggage, and other circumstances beyond yours or our control.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted in some establishments in major centers such as Belize City but you cannot entirely depend on this.
Cash advances can usually be made on Visa & MasterCard at local banks or bank machines. Also, drawing money from an ATM should not be depended on as part of your budget plan but they can be used if emergency funds are needed. Bank machines are becoming more and more frequent in the cities and towns of Belize.
For those exiting Belize overland there is a departure tax of approximately $20 US at all land borders and this fee is not included in the trip cost.