Currency: Belize Dollar (BZ$), fixed exchange rate of BZ$2 to US$1
Ethnic Groups: Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, Spanish, Maya, English, Mennonite, Lebanese, Chinese and Eastern Indian
Population: 340,844 (July 2014 est.)
Total Area: 22,966 sq. km
Independence: September 21, 1981
Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy, part of the British Commonwealth
Language: English is the official language; Spanish, Creole, Garifuna and Mayan are also spoken
Electricity: 110 volts AC. (The same as the United States of America)
Time: GMT-6, which is the same as United States Central Standard Time. However, Daylight Savings Time is not observed, as it is in the United States Central Standard Time Zone.
Climate: Subtropical with a prevailing wind from the Caribbean Sea. The country has an average temperature in the winter of 23 degree Celsius (°C) and 31 degree Celsius (°C) in the summer.
Rainfall: Annual rainfall ranges from 50 inches in the north to 170 inches in the south.
Location: Belize lies on the east coast of Central America in the heart of the Caribbean Basin. It borders Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and the south, and is flanked by the Caribbean Sea to the east. It is a two hour direct flight from either Miami or Houston in the United States.
Visas: United States citizens and nationals of the European Community member nations do not require visas for short stays in the country. Visas are required for the nationals of the following countries: China, Columbia, Cuba, India, Libya, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, and Taiwan.
To obtain a visitor’s permit: An application must be submitted to the Belize Immigration and Nationality Department in Belmopan, Cayo District, Belize. (Telephone: +501-822-2423) Visa requirements are subject to change; please contact the Belize Embassy in the United States for up-to-date information, at 2535 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008-2826, USA. (Telephone: 202-332-9636 Ext. 221)
Entry Requirements: A valid passport and, when necessary, a visa are required for entry into Belize. Visitors are permitted to stay in Belize for up to 30 days. For US$25.00, extensions may be granted upon application to the Immigration Office. (Telephone: +501-822-2423)
Health Services:There are three hospitals in Belize City; one public and two private. Several private doctors are also available. The district towns and larger villages also have hospitals or clinics.
Water: Potable water is available in most areas of Belize, but it is advisable to ask, and if in doubt, to drink boiled or bottled water.
Diseases: There are no serious epidemic diseases in Belize. No vaccinations are required for entry, but anti-malaria tablets are recommended for extended stays in the jungle.