Preparing For Your Trip
Preparing For Your Trip
A valid passport is required to enter Belize. Those coming from the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, or the UK can get a tourist visa on arrival which will be valid for thirty calendar days. If staying beyond thirty days, you will need to renew your visa (for a fee) for each additional thirty-day period. Visa extensions can be obtained at the Customs Office in Punta Gorda. Citizens of other countries need to contact the Belizean embassy to make arrangements for a visa.
Participants are asked to check the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/camerica.htm for the latest information. The clinic is located in a rain forest area where malaria is prevalent and prophylactic chloroquine is suggested.
Getting to Belize
Participants are responsible for arranging their own airline tickets to and from Belize.
Airlines serving Belize from the United States include Delta, American Airlines, US Airways and Continental Airlines.
All international flights arrive and depart from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City (Code BZE).
Travel from Belize City to Punta Gorda can be via bus or air. You can take an economically priced (about $12 USD) bus ride from the terminal in Belize City that will be a little crowded and will take about seven hours. One hour flights to Punta Gorda can be booked on Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. Tickets should be booked in advance online:
Upon arrival at the International Airport, you will be required to show your passport after you collect your luggage, and then pass through customs. If traveling to Punta Gorda via air, just ask to be directed to the Tropic Air or Maya Island Air desk which is in the same terminal. It is only a short distance from the customs area. The flight from Belize City to Punta Gorda takes about one hour.
The Belizean dollar is fixed to the U.S. dollar at a 2:1 ratio ($2 BZ = $1 US). U.S. dollars are accepted at most places without question at the 2:1 rate. Credit cards are accepted only at tourist sites and often have a surcharge required for their use. Both the Belize Bank and Scotia Bank in Punta Gorda have an ATM machine that will dispense up to $500.00 BZ per day to U.S. ATM cards.
Off-Campus Housing OptionsWhile we would love to be able to offer free or reduced-cost housing on-campus for all our volunteers, we simply don't have the space. Below is a comprehensive resource for alternative lodging options in the PG Area to suit all budgets and preferences: Housing Options in the Community
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