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On your own
Nada, Nada! The tarpon win again...
The Belizians are a strange and charming mix of Mayans, Caribbeans and assorted other groups of people and colors of skin. Their attitude towards strangers seems to be one of kindness and curiosity more than plans of exploiting the stupid and rich tourists.
The country does not seem poor as such, but of course you will see places that are more South American than American or Western European. Even so the standard of living seems acceptable, and beggars and thieves are far apart. We had no problems whatsoever during our stay, and quickly learned that we could leave our packs on the public beaches while swimming and our clothes on the piers while snorkeling. No one approached us with offers except a few kids selling bracelets and the wood carvers selling their craft on the beach and in the main street. All of them accepted a no thanks at first prompt, and never did we feel that we were pushed or pressured.
In the shops we were allowed to browse the goods with no one on our necks - all a very pleasant change compared to many other tourist destinations.
Most people speak English without problems, but both Spanish, Mayan, Creole and Jamaican English is heard. US dollars are accepted everywhere as is the Belizian counterpart, worth about half a US$ per BZ$. Credit cards are readily accepted in most businesses.
The price level is high - almost European levels - so do not expect a dirt cheap holiday.
A place to live
Accommodation is nowhere near luxurious. If you want the best, you might find it in some of the remote resorts, but in town the level seems somewhere between very low and acceptably high.
We had rented cabins in a place called Mayas Katut, which was a catastrophy! The owner had obviously sold the place between us reserving and arriving, and the place was now mostly inhabited by women of 'a doubtful reputation'. The location is way out of town away from the beach. Our room was cleaned once in two weeks, sheets and towels were not changed once and we had to buy our own toilet paper! All for 35 US$ per day per person! Not recommended!
Some decided to move to a place called Hideaway, which was the same price level, but orders of magnitudes better (Update: Hideaway seems to have closed since our stay). For the real cheapskate Ruby's on Barrier Reef Drive (front street) seems a good choice, and for the more picky both Banyan Bay and Ramon's Village seems good choices.
Most locations mentioned can be found on this small town map.
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