The only English-speaking country in Central America, Belize is an expensive, small country that can be visited with a budget of $60 to $200 a day.
My one-week trip to Belize cost a total of $1,923 USD. In this post, I share:
- 💰 Expected travel costs
- 💡 Budgeting tips
- 💵 How much cash to bring
- ✈️ My trip’s costs by category
- 📍 My trip’s costs by destinations
Planning a trip? Here are things to know about Belize before going.
- Is Belize Affordable?
- How Much Is a Trip?
- About My Trip
- Total Trip Cost: $1,923
- Cost Breakdown by Location
- Do You Need Cash in Belize?
- Belize Trip Planner
Disclosure: Lists By Lukiih is readers-supported. If you buy through an affiliate link on this post, I may earn a small commission. Thanks!
Is Belize Affordable To Travel To?
Belize is the second most expensive country to visit in Central America. Part of the reason is that Belize imports almost everything, so prices are higher.
For those hoping to do a budget trip to Central or South America, you can find other countries that are much more affordable to visit, including Panama, Ecuador, and Peru.
💰 Trip Daily Budget for Latin American Countries
For comparison, I visited these countries in Latin America within a year of visiting Belize, and here’s how much I spent per day at each one:
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||$233|
💰 Trip Daily Budget for Popular Destinations
Belize is one of the most expensive vacations I’ve taken. Here’s how my Belize trip cost compares to the cost of other popular destinations I’ve visited:
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||$233|
|🇵🇷 Puerto Rico||$182|
How Much Is a Trip to Belize?
Here’s how much money you can expect to spend in Belize on a daily basis and during a one-week trip, depending on your travel style.
🎒 Belize Trip Cost for a Budget Traveler
A budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $60 per day or $420 for one week of travel in Belize, excluding flights.
To travel on a budget in Belize, here are some of the best ways to save money:
- Travel season: The best time to visit to save money is during the low season, which runs from June to November. You’ll find the best deals during the low season as tour operators and accommodations will offer discounted rates. I booked multiple tours with the same operator and was able to negotiate discounts.
Belize’s low season coincides with Belize’s rainy season.
- Destinations: Instead of going to the more expensive and popular Ambergris Caye, visit and stay at budget-friendly Caye Caulker, Placencia, or San Ignacio. All of these are popular tourist areas.
Here are the best places to visit in Belize.
- Accommodation: Stay at hostels for $30 per night, which will be cheaper than budget hotels that cost approximately $50 per night in Belize. The cheapest hostels will even have a private room for as low as $20 per night.
- Food: Eat a $5 meal at a local restaurant or street food market (e.g., Central Park in San Pedro, San Ignacio Market), which can save you more than $10 per day compared to eating at a mid-range restaurant.
- Transportation: Take public transportation when possible (e.g., $4 public buses, $3 taxi rides) and opt for group shuttles instead of private ones when traveling around the country. Taking local flights to get around Belize can save significant time, but adds over $100 to transportation costs.
- Attractions: Many of Belize’s top attractions will require a tour and cost around $60 for a half-day tour and over $100 for a full-day tour during the high season, so limiting the number of tours can help you save money.
- Packing: Pack essentials instead of buying them in Belize. Bring a reusable water bottle and avoid paying $1 for water bottles at restaurants and stores. I brought my reusable water bottle everywhere, which also helped keep my water cold for hours. Pack reef-safe sunscreen and shoes for the ATM cave tour so you don’t have to buy them in Belize.
💰 Belize Trip Cost for a Mid-Range Budget Traveler
A mid-range budget traveler, such as myself, can expect to spend approximately $150 to $200 per day or $1,050-$1,400 for one week of travel in Belize, excluding flights.
I break down my Belize travel expenses by category below.
About My Belize Trip
To give context to the expenses below, here’s what you need to know about my trip to Belize:
🗓️ One week. I spent four days on the island, Ambergris Caye, and three days on the mainland in San Ignacio doing an itinerary similar to this one.
San Ignacio and Ambergris Caye are Belize’s #1 mainland and island stops, respectively. San Ignacio, on average, is more affordable than Ambergris Caye. Between Belize’s two most popular islands, Caye Caulker is also more affordable than Ambergris Caye.
🌧️ Rainy season. I traveled in July, which is the low season in Belize, so accommodation and tour costs were slightly discounted.
Belize’s high season coincides with the dry season, which runs from December to May.
✌️ Two travelers. I traveled with a friend, so I was able to split accommodation, transportation, and food costs while in Belize.
💰 Mid-range budget. I don’t aim to travel on a budget, but I’m thoughtful about how and where I spend. I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler and these expenses reflect that.
💵 US dollars. All costs listed in this post are per person and in US dollars, converted from Belize’s local currency, the Belize Dollar. The exchange rate was $1 USD = $2 BZD at the time of writing.
Belize is one of the few countries in the world that has pegged its currency to the US dollar at a constant exchange rate. The Belize dollar has had a 2:1 exchange ratio with the USD since 1978, so you don’t have to worry about getting a bad exchange rate when paying with USD.
Total Cost for a Belize Trip: $1,923
My one-week trip to Belize cost a total of $1,923, including flights.
My trip’s highlights are featured in this one-week Belize itinerary.
💰 Cost Breakdown for Belize
Here’s a quick overview of my Belize travel expenses by category:
|Category||Cost||% of Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
💵 Daily Budget in Belize: $207
My Belize trip cost $207 per day, excluding flights.
A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $150 to $200 per day in Belize. This generally means not staying in a hostel or luxury hotel, eating at some $$ restaurants, but also many $ local restaurants, and going on several popular tours.
✈️ Flight Cost to Belize: $475
My round-trip flight between Belize City’s airport and the United State’s east coast was $475.
The most expensive months to fly to Belize from the United States are December and January and the cheapest month to fly to Belize is May, according to Kayak.
Belize doesn’t have an entrance fee, but it has a $55.50 airport departure or exit fee for tourists. This amount is usually already included in your airline tickets under “taxes and fees”, so check your ticket. If it’s not included, you must pay in cash.
🏠 Accommodation Costs in Belize: $365
My average cost of accommodation in Belize was $52 per night. I was able to split accommodations with one other person at all times.
Here are all the places I stayed at in Belize and how much I paid for each one:
|Accommodation||Total Cost||Cost Per Day|
|Ambergris Caye Hotel||$225||$56|
|San Ignacio Hotel||$140||$46|
Accommodation Tips for Ambergris Caye
Staying in San Pedro, the downtown area of Ambergris Caye, is generally more affordable than staying north and south of it where many of the resorts are located.
A cost-saving advantage of being in San Pedro is that you don’t need to rent a golf cart to get around on most days because you can walk everywhere, which can save you over $100 on rental costs.
Read more details on where I stayed in Ambergris Caye.
Accommodation Tips for San Ignacio
Most of San Ignacio’s resorts are located a 20 to 30-minute walk from the downtown area, so you’ll likely have to pay for taxis to get around.
The walk from the resorts to downtown is very doable, but not the most pleasant for women because Belize has a problem with cat-calling. I traveled with another woman and we experienced it almost every other walk we went on.
Read more details on where I stayed in San Ignacio.
🚙 Transportation Cost in Belize: $400
My average cost of transportation in Belize was $57 per day.
Here are all the transportation methods I took in Belize and how much I paid for each:
|Local flight (Ambergris Caye → San Ignacio)||$200|
|Local flight (Belize airport → Ambergris Caye)||$100|
|Shared shuttle (San Ignacio → Belize airport)||$55|
|Golf cart rental (Ambergris Caye)||$30|
|Taxi rides (San Ignacio)||$15|
Tips on Getting Around Ambergris Caye
There are several ways to get around Ambergris Caye. Here are some tips on traveling around this Belize island:
- Tip #1: The most efficient way to get to a Belize island like Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker is to take a local airline like I did and that usually costs more than $100. The alternative way of traveling from the Belize City airport to an island is by taking a water taxi, which takes longer (90 minutes vs. 20 minutes), but is much more affordable (~$30 vs. ~$100).
- Tip #2: Once you’re on an island, the primary way to get around is by golf cart. Some golf carts do not have gas included, so ask about it in advance. During the low season, golf cart rental prices are negotiable, but you may have to spend time visiting several rental places to do so.
Tips on Getting Around San Ignacio
There are several ways to get around San Ignacio. Here are some tips on traveling around this area:
- Tip #1: San Ignacio has a small airport you can fly into, but local airline flights usually cost more than $100. An alternative way to travel from an island like Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye to the mainland is by taking a water taxi and then a shuttle. It’s significantly longer (3 hours vs. 45 minutes), but much more affordable (~$120 vs. ~$200).
- Tip #2: Once you’re in the San Ignacio town area, know that taxis have a flat rate of $2.50 per person.
The quality of the San Ignacio taxis can vary (e.g., I rode a taxi that didn’t have any seat belts), so if you find a driver and car that you like, you can ask for their number and arrange rides through WhatsApp in the future.
🍛 Food Cost in Belize: $220
My average cost of food in Belize was $31 per day.
Ambergris Caye Food Costs
- My most expensive meal in Ambergris Caye was $60 at Elvi’s Kitchen. The octopus was worth it, but the lobster (market price) was not, in my opinion.
- My cheapest meal in Ambergris Caye was $5 at the San Pedro’s Friday night market in Central Park. I highly recommend having a meal here if you’re around on a Friday night. I had a delicious pork rib hot dog from one of the stall vendors.
Check if your accommodation provides complimentary breakfast. My hotel provided it, which was especially helpful during the days I had an early start time for snorkeling tours.
San Ignacio Food Costs
- My most expensive meal in San Ignacio was $12 at My Secret Deli.
- My cheapest meal in San Ignacio was $5 at San Ignacio Market. I highly recommend this delicious and very local experience.
🤿 Entertainment Cost in Belize: $320
My average cost of tours and entertainment in Belize was $46 per day.
Many popular tours cost about the same in Belize ($90 to $120 for full-day tours) and prices are fairly consistent across tour operators.
Here are all the activities I paid for in Belize and how much each cost:
|ATM Cave tour (San Ignacio)||$110|
|Xunantunich Mayan ruins tour (San Ignacio)||$105|
|Belize Barrier Reef snorkeling (Ambergris Caye)||$65|
|Drop-in yoga (Ambergris Caye)||$20|
|Green Iguana Conservation tour (San Ignacio)||$20|
Belize’s primary industry is tourism, so expect many experiences to be packaged in tours. During the low season, if you book multiple tours with the same company, you can potentially negotiate a discounted rate in person. This is how I got a lower rate for the Xunantunich tour.
🖼️ Miscellaneous Cost in Belize: $143
- Travel insurance: $18
At the time of my trip, Belize had mandatory travel insurance that cost $18 and covered 21 days of travel. They have since removed this requirement.
- Three-piece painting: $125
Cost Breakdown by Location in Belize
Below are my trip expense breakdowns for Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio.
🤿 Ambergris Caye Cost Breakdown
I spent a total of $610 for four days in Ambergris Caye, so my average cost was $153 per day.
I stayed at a mid-range hotel, Blue Tang Inn, and mostly ate at local restaurants. One of my favorite things to do there was snorkeling in the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’re required to book a tour to snorkel there.
Check out great things to do in Ambergris Caye.
|Category||Total Cost||Cost per Day|
|⭐ Activities & Misc.||$85||$21|
🦎 San Ignacio Cost Breakdown
I spent a total of $695 for three days in San Ignacio, so my average cost was $232 per day.
I stayed at a mid-range hotel, Cahal Pech Village Resort, mostly ate at local restaurants, and booked several tours. My favorite tour was the ATM cave. I also did a horseback riding tour to Xunantunich, one of the well-known ancient Mayan ruins.
|Category||Total Cost||Cost per Day|
|⭐ Activities & Misc.||$235||$78|
Do You Need Cash in Belize?
Even though most places in Belize will take credit cards, there are some instances where you’ll need cash in Belize, so bring some cash when traveling there.
Here are some tips on bringing and using cash in Belize:
💵 1. There’s no need to exchange US dollars for Belize dollars.
Belize accepts both US and Belize dollars. Belize is one of the few countries in the world that has pegged its currency to the US dollar at a constant exchange rate.
The Belize dollar has had a 2:1 exchange ratio with the USD since 1978, so you don’t have to worry about getting a bad exchange rate when paying with USD. My hotel was willing to exchange and break bigger bills at any time.
💰 2. Bring at least $20 worth of cash per day to Belize.
During my one-week trip to Belize, I spent roughly $250 ($36 per day) in cash. I otherwise used my credit card whenever possible.
🏧 3. Certain places in Belize are cash-only.
In Belize, you will need cash for:
- Tipping tour guides, waitresses/waiters, and taxi drivers
- Buying street food at local markets (e.g., San Pedro’s Central Park night market, San Ignacio’s Market)
- Buying art or other large purchases where cash will have a significant discount compared to using a credit card as the latter might have a fee.
💵 4. Tipping in Belize is welcome, but not mandatory.
It is not uncommon for tourists to tip in Belize and since the US dollar is widely accepted, it’s easy to tip with cash. Here are some tipping guidelines:
- For tour guides, it’s common and even a bit expected for tourists to tip 5% to 15% if they enjoyed the tour.
- In restaurants, tourists can add a 10% tip, or even higher for nicer restaurants.
- For drivers, you don’t need to tip a taxi driver for short, flat-rate trips, but consider tipping your driver 5-10% for long-distance rides that take over 30 minutes.
See other essential Belize travel tips before visiting.
Belize Trip Planner
To make your travel planning easier, download the trip planner below and use it as a starting point. The planner has country-specific travel information as well as an itinerary, packing list, and map with key places pinned.
The trip planner is built on Notion, which is what I use for all my travel planning (I genuinely love this tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.
Belize Travel Guides
- 🐠 7 Days in Belize: Best Itinerary + Things To Do
- 🇧🇿 Belize Travel Tips: 10 Practical Things To Know
- 💰 Trip to Belize Cost: 2023 Travel Expense Breakdown
- 💀 ATM Cave Belize: What To Wear + Things To Know
- 🐎 Horseback Riding to Xunantunich: Honest Tour Review
- 🌧️ Visiting Belize in Its Rainy Season: What To Know & Pack
🧋 This site is run entirely by me, Lukiih. I spend hours researching each destination to ensure its accuracy. If you find my tips helpful, say thanks by buying me bubble tea!