A current passport, valid through your departure date, is required for entry into Belize. Driver's licenses and birth certificates are not valid travel documents. In some cases you may be asked to show an onward or return plane ticket.
Visas -- No visas are required for citizens of the United States, the European community (including Ireland), Great Britain, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand. Nationals of certain other countries do need a visa or consular permission to enter Belize. For a current list, see the Belize Tourism Board website (www.travelbelize.org) or call the nearest Belizean consulate or embassy.
Tourists are permitted a maximum stay of 30 days. The Belize Department of Immigration and Nationality in Belmopan (tel. 822-2423) will sometimes grant an extension of up to three months. These extensions are handled on a case-by-case basis and cost BZ$100 (US$50/£27) per month.
If you have additional travel or visa questions about Belize, you can contact any of the following Belizean embassies or consulates: in the United States or Canada, 2535 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202/332-9636; www.embassyofbelize.org); in Great Britain, Belize High Commission, 22 Harcourt House, 45 Crawford Pl., London, W1H 4LP (tel. 020/7723-3603); and in Australia, 5/1 Oliver Rd., Roseville NSW (tel. 02/9905-8144). There is no Belizean embassy or consulate in New Zealand.
For an up-to-date, country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "Foreign Entry Requirement" Web page of the U.S. State Department at http://travel.state.gov.
Medical Requirements -- No shots or inoculations are required to enter Belize.
What You Can Bring into Belize -- Visitors to Belize may bring with them any and all reasonable goods and belongings for personal use during their stay. Cameras, computers, and electronic equipment, as well as fishing and diving gear for personal use, are permitted duty free. Customs officials in Belize seldom check arriving tourists' luggage.
What You Can Take Home from Belize -- It is expressly illegal to take out any pre-Columbian artifact from Belize, whether you bought it, you discovered it, or it was given to you. Do not traffic in Maya artifacts.
U.S. Citizens: For specifics on what you can bring back and the corresponding fees, download the invaluable free pamphlet Know Before You Go at www.cbp.gov (click on "Travel," and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure"). Or contact the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20229 (tel. 877/287-8667) and request the pamphlet.
Canadian Citizens: For a clear summary of Canadian rules, write for the booklet I Declare, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).
U.K. Citizens: For information, contact HM Customs & Excise at tel. 0845/010-9000 (from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152), or consult their website at www.hmce.gov.uk.
Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure available from Australian consulates or Customs offices is Know Before You Go. For more information, call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to www.customs.gov.au.
New Zealand Citizens: Most questions are answered in a free pamphlet available at New Zealand consulates and Customs offices: New Zealand Customs Guide for Travellers, Notice no. 4. For more information, contact New Zealand Customs, The Customhouse, 17-21 Whitmore St., Box 2218, Wellington (tel. 04/473-6099 or 0800/428-786; www.customs.govt.nz).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.