Morning all, I’m getting this question a bunch – from people (mainly those partially or fully vaccinated, those from the US) asking me how “it feels” to travel to Belize? Are most things open? Are residents welcoming tourism yet?
Thank you for all the questions…it’s SO exciting to hear that SO many people are getting excited about travel. I’m one of them. Over this seemingly endless pandemic year, travel and tourism (basically the entire economy of many parts of Belize) has been hit SOOO hard.
BELIZE IS OPEN. And things feel really good…really hopeful.
From what I am hearing, occupancies and travel numbers are at about 30-40% of “normal” here on Ambergris Caye and a bit lower in other parts of the country. Caye Caulker, from what I hear, is lagging due to their usual tourism base – many Europeans and backpackers. And Europe is falling behind the US in vaccinations right now.
It’s a LOVELY time to visit Caye Caulker…though, in my book, it always is.
Obviously, it is a very personal decision – to weigh the risks…whether to travel now or not.
But I have been out and about in San Pedro and now, over the last few weeks, to Ray Caye Resort (flying from San Pedro to Placencia) and to the Cayo District and the San Ignacio Resort Hotel and here’s how it felt to travel…
(Note: I have not traveled internationally since October 2019! Here is an interesting article on what to expect when flying this summer from Conde Nast Traveler)
- Optimism is high in Belize. I am finding that everyone is very happy and hopeful and ready to get back to work. Tours are small and feel very personalized – and I love that. Cruise ships have not returned yet and so you can find, like I did last week at Xunantunich, that you have the place to yourself! At least part of the time…
Just me and my fantastic guide Onil from the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.
- There are protocols still in place to protect you and those around you. Masks are mandatory in public places. No matter where I go in the country – EVERYONE is wearing a mask. It really stands out if you are not. It also makes you subject to a fine from the police. Staff at hotels and restaurants are very careful about masking. Social distancing is also mandatory – tables at restaurants are limited to 10 people. There is a curfew during the week at 10pm and on Fridays and Saturdays at midnight. Nightclubs remain closed. But schools are just starting to re-open. Yippee!
- Aside from nightclubs, just about everything IS open. Restaurants and all your favorite beach bars, hotels (with additional cleanliness and safety standards) are almost all open. I just saw that FAVORITE lunch spot, Wild Mango’s on Ambergris Caye opened this week! Real Estate is BOOMING. I think many people are throwing caution to the wind and adjusting their former “10-year plan” to a RIGHT NOW plan. The pandemic has most certainly adjusted priorities!
Their cute old sign by the RC School! I could SO go for one of Amy’s Chef Salads right now! The ONLY way I like to eat papaya. (I hate PAPAYA!)
- The Entire Tourism industry is eligible to get vaccinated: Like most countries – the elderly, the vulnerable, and those on the front line of the pandemic were first eligible to receive the vaccinations that became available in Belize in early March. We are now in Phase 2 (of 5) I got vaccinated almost 2 weeks ago – my second Astrazeneca shot is scheduled for the 3rd week in June. I saw a good-sized line outside the vaccination center in San Pedro earlier this week. Very very grateful!
- People around the country are really hurting: Unemployment has become very high over the last year – any cash infusion from visiting is VERY welcome. It feels really good to be able to spend some money in a place you love and give a boost to the economy.
- And thankfully, COVID numbers are quite low right now right now and have been for the last few months. Almost all activities here take place outside! From snorkeling to watching the sunset at The Truck Stop to taking the water taxi from San Pedro to Caye Caulker…getting outside i recommended by all health organizations around the world. And what better place to do it than BELIZE!
Here are the details about getting into the country – the requirements on testing (those who are fully vaccinated are welcome to come without going thru that process!)
So whether you are planning a vacation for real or just in your head…hopefully this information helps. And if you have any additional questions TOTALLY LET ME KNOW! [email protected]
And those in Belize, in the travel industry, let me know what you are seeing or hearing or thinking…I love the inside Scoop 🙂