Belize Trip Budget: Costs & Tips
In our brief time in Belize, we managed to spend double our daily budget for our Central America trip. We stayed in Caye Caulker, the cheapest island here, and the usual destination for backpackers. While we did splurge a lot, the main reason for our overspending is that Belize is simply more expensive than its neighbours. Here is a breakdown of our Belize trip budget:
Hostel dorms, when available, cost around BZ$30. However, throughout much of Belize, budget hotels are more common than hostels, and cost anywhere from BZ$50-100 for a single.
Caye Caulker, however, caters more to backpackers, with a handful of hostels for around BZ$20. There are also plenty of reasonably priced splurges- we splashed out on a nice hotel for just BZ$64 for a double room.
Belize Food & Drink
The food in Belize is incredible. We splashed out on meals every night in Caye Caulker, feasting on jerk veggies and coconut curries. Thankfully, even an all-inclusive meal with several side dishes and unlimited pineapple rum only set us back BZ$24.
Eating from street stalls will, as always, cost less than going to restaurants. A slice of tasty banana bread from a bicycle vendor in Caye Caulker costs just BZ$2.
Spending our evenings sipping cocktails while lounging in the sea also made a large dent in our Belize trip budget, with an average of around BZ$6 per drink.
As we spent our time in Belize in Caye Caulker, where everything is within walking distance, we didn’t spend much on transport. We opted for a shuttle to get from Tikal in Guatemala to Belize City. From here, the ferry cost BZ$50 return.
When leaving the country, don’t forget to factor in the departure tax of BZ$37.50.
Activities & Entrance Fees
As always, activities took the biggest toll on our budget. We initially planned to dive the Big Blue Hole, but couldn’t scrape together the whopping BZ$400 fee. So instead, we opted for a far more reasonably priced day trip, for BZ$130.
Belize Trip Budget Total
Between the expensive day trip, and our splurging on food, drink and accommodation, we went way over budget in Belize. In just four days, we managed to spend BZ$500/ US$250 each! This works out at a budget-busting BZ$125/ US$62.50 per day.
Could we have done it cheaper? Without a doubt, but we simply weren’t willing to! Staying in a hostel would have knocked around US$6 per night off our expenses. We often cook for ourselves to keep our costs down, though the food in Caye Caulker supermarkets was limited and not all that cheap, plus there was no way I was missing out on all of those tasty meals!
Overall, the most obvious way we could have cut costs was to skip our expensive day trip. However, travelling all the way to Caye Caulker only to stay on the island and not explore the surrounding sea was out of the question.
So, although we could have stuck to our typical US$30 per day budget, to do so would have meant missing out on all that we came to see (and eat). My advice to those travelling to Belize is to double your usual Central America budget, and enjoy spending every penny!