Passports and Visas
To enter Belize, only a valid passport is necessary for citizens of the United States; no visa is required.
If upon arrival the immigration official asks how long you expect to stay in Belize, give the longest period you might stay—you can be granted a stay for up to 30 days on the free tourist stamp you'll get for your passport on entry—otherwise, the official may endorse your passport with a shorter period.
You can renew your entry permit at immigration offices for a fee of BZ$50 per month for the first six months; after six months, it costs BZ$100 a month for up to six more months, at which time you may have to leave the country for 72 hours to start the process over (sometimes this rule isn’t enforced). Note that renewals aren't guaranteed, but normally are granted.
If you're young with a backpack and entering Belize by land from Mexico or Guatemala, there’s a slight chance you’ll be asked to prove you have enough money to cover your stay. You're supposed to have US$60 a day, though this requirement is rarely enforced. A credit card also may work.
Citizens of the United States do not need a visa when entering Guatemala from Belize.
Info in Belize
Belize Immigration and Nationality Department. The Belize Immigration and Nationality Department's head office is in Belmopan City, with regional offices in Belize City and towns around the country where you can apply to extend your stay beyond 30 days. Immigration General Office, Dry Creek St., Belmopan, Cayo. 822/3860 ; www.governmentofbelize.gov.bz.
Belize Tourism Board. The Belize Tourism Board is Belize's main official tourist information organization. BTB's website is useful in planning for activities, travel, and lodging in Belize. 64 Regent St., Commercial District, Belize City, Belize District. 227/2420; 800/624–0686; www.travelbelize.org.
Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA). The BTIA is a private-sector umbrella organization for Belize's tourism industry. Based in Belize City, it has visitor information offices in Placencia, Punta Gorda, and Orange Walk Town, with local chapters in other areas. 10 N. Park St., Fort George, Belize City, Belize District. 227/1144; www.btia.org.
U.S. Passport Information
U.S. Department of State. 877/487--2778 ; www.state.gov.