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Belize is country located on Central America that shares a border with Mexico to the North and Guatemala to the South.

Despite its location in Central America, Belize is a Caribbean nation through its ties with the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom).

Belize is part of the Commonwealth and as such the Head of State is His Majesty King Charles III.

Belize is a unique destination for a vacation because it truly is diverse.

There are gorgeous beaches, caves, mountains, Mayan ruins, reefs and jungles. Several options are available for various types of visitors.

If you are planning an upcoming vacation to the Caribbean Country of Belize, you may be wondering what currency is best for your trip.

The best currency to use in Belize is the Belizean Dollar. The US Dollar is accepted everywhere on the island. It is best to carry small denominations of the US Dollar for ease of doing business. Change is usually given in Belizean Dollars. Credit and debit cards are accepted by large businesses.

What Is The Official Currency of Belize

The Central Bank of Belize is body responsible for issuing and managing the Belizean Dollar.

Bank notes are available in $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Alternatively, coins are available in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and $1.

From 1978, the Belizean dollar has been pegged to the US Dollar at a rate of BZ$2 to $1 USD.

Do I need cash in Belize?

Cash is usually required when dealing with street vendors or when visiting places such as the farmers markets as the option to pay by credit card will not be available.

If you are using US cash, expect change to the in Belizean dollars. 

At times, you may receive change in a mixture of US and Belize dollars. You can also pay vendors using a combination of both currencies.

Can you use US dollars in Belize?

US dollars are widely accepted everywhere across the island. The exchange rate is US$1 for BZD2 by businesses across the island.

Kindly note that if you exchange your US dollars at a commercial bank that the rate may be lower such as BZ$1.96.

US bank notes that are worn, torn or have markings are usually rejected. Generally, if you are spending US dollars, expect to receive change in Belizean dollars.

Smaller denominations of the US dollars are easier to spend that larger ones like US $50 and $100 respectively.

At times businesses are weary of accept larger notes for fear that they may be counterfeit.

Can you use Canadian dollars in Belize?

Occasionally, there may be businesses that may accept the Canadian dollars despite the fact that it fluctuates against the Belizean dollars.

However, this is very rare and travelers from Canada should consider converting their notes to US dollars prior to arriving in Belize.

The main commercial banks in the country are Atlantic and Belize Bank.

Can you use British Pound Sterling dollars in Belize?

Along the same lines as the Canadian dollars, there may be businesses that may accept the Pound Sterling despite the fact that it fluctuates against the Belizean dollars.

However, this is the rare exception than the norm.

It is extremely beneficial for travelers to Belize from the UK to convert their notes to US dollars prior to arrival in the country.

Can you use a debit card in Belize?

Foreign debit cards can be used in Belize as long as cirrus is enabled. Most Visa and MasterCard tend to work in the country.

Kindly note that there is usually a fee that is charged by your bank for each transaction. Banks do have varied maximum withdrawal limits per day.

General Tips To Remember In Belize

  • If you exchange you US dollars for Belize at the bank, a stamp duty of 2 % is usually charged.
  • Ensure and notify your banks prior to traveling to prevent credit cards from being blocked as you begin using it on the country.
  • It always best to travel with more than one card in case one is not accepted.
  • US notes with markings or a small tear is usually rejected. It is best to carry US cash in smaller denominations. The banks in Belize are extremely particular and inspect the condition of US notes carefully.
  • Tipping is customary in the country and it is best to have smaller US denominations for this purpose.
  • If you have sensitive skin, don’t forget to carry insect repellent and creams for insect bites especially if you plan to visit the jungle.
  • Pack waterproof pouch for your phone as well as a bag that is waterproof especially if you plan on visiting the jungle.
  • You can purchase Belize dollars on the airport. However, the exchange rate tends to be less favorable.
  • Some hotels may provide some currency conversion at their front desk area. Kindly note that the rate may not be as favorable as a commercial bank.
  • Ensure and spend all your Belizean Dollars in the country as you will not be able to exchange them abroad once you leave.
  • Carry at least two pieces of identification especially if you need to change money at the banks. At times, an additional piece of id may be required.
  • Some businesses have a minimum for credit cards such as Belizean $25. Therefore, it is wise to have some cash for small purchases.
  • American Express cards are not widely accepted due to high merchant fees.
  • It is easy to move around the island by renting a golf cart during your trip.
  • Land borders are available for crossing into Mexico and Guatemala.

Final Thoughts

As a general rule, the best currency to use in the Belize is the Belizean Dollar. US Dollars are accepted by businesses. For ease of use, travel with US Dollars of smaller denominations especially for tipping. Credit Cards and Debit Cards are easy to use at large businesses such as hotels.

Need More Information?

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