BELIZE

BELIZE

BELIZE

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Name: Great Blue Hole
Location: Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, 318 m (1,043 ft) across and 124 m (407 ft) deep. It was formed during several episodes of quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower. Analysis of stalactites found in the Great Blue Hole shows that formation took place 153,000; 66,000; 60,000; and 15,000 years ago. As the ocean began to rise again, the cave was flooded. The Great Blue Hole is a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This site was made famous by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it one of the top five scuba diving sites in the world. In 1971 he brought his ship, the Calypso, to the hole to chart its depths.

It is a popular spot among recreational scuba divers who are lured by the opportunity to dive in sometimes crystal-clear water and meet several species of fish.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blue_Hole
Name: Xunantunich
Location: Cayo District, Belize
Xunantunich is an Ancient Maya archaeological site in western Belize, about 70 miles (110 km) west of Belize City, in the Cayo District. Xunantunich is located atop a ridge above the Mopan River, well within sight of the Guatemala border – which is a mere 0.6 miles (1 km) to the west. It served as a Maya civic ceremonial center in the Late and Terminal Classic periods to the Belize Valley region. At this time, when the region was at its peak, nearly 200,000 people lived in Belize.

Xunantunich’s name means "Sculpture of Lady" in the Maya language (Mopan and Yucatec combination name Xunaan(Noble lady) Tuunich (stone for sculpture)), and, like many names given to Maya archaeological sites, is a modern name; the ancient name is currently unknown. The "Stone Woman" refers to the ghost of a woman claimed by several people to inhabit the site, beginning in 1892. She is dressed completely in white, and has fire-red glowing eyes. She generally appears in front of "El Castillo", ascends the stone stairs, and disappears into a stone wall.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xunantunich
Name: Altun Ha
Location: Belize District, Belize
Altun Ha is the name given to the ruins of an ancient Mayan city in Belize, located in the Belize District about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Belize City and about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of the shore of the Caribbean Sea. The site covers an area of about 8 square kilometres (3.1 sq mi).

Stones from the ruins of the ancient structures were reused for residential construction of the agricultural village of Rockstone Pond in modern times, but the ancient site did not come to the attention of archeologists until 1963. The Old Northern Highway connects Altun Ha to Belize's Northern Highway, and the site is accessible for tourism. The largest of Altun Ha's temple-pyramids, the "Temple of the Masonry Altars", is 16 metres (52 ft) high. A drawing of this structure is the logo of Belize's leading brand of beer, "Belikin".

Altun Ha was occupied for many centuries, from about 900 B.C. to A.D. 1000. Most of the information on Altun Ha comes from the Classic Period from about A.D. 400 to A.D. 900, when the city was at its largest.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altun_Ha
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO BELIZE.
FACTS:
Official Languages: English
Currency: Belize Dollar (BZD)
Time zone: CST (UTC−6)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +501
Local / up-to-date weather in Belize City (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Belize travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Belize, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO BELIZE.

The currency of Belize is the dollar (ISO code BZD), divided into 100 cents.

The Belizean dollar – sometimes written as “BZ$” or just as a dollar sign: “$” – has been officially pegged to the US dollar (USD) at a 2:1 ratio since 1978 (i.e. BZ$2 = US$1). Since this is by statute, there is no floating currency exchange rate as there is between the US dollar and the Mexican peso. However, those exchanging other currencies for Belizean dollars such as British pounds, Guatemalan quetzales, Mexican pesos or euros should be mindful of this.

Because of this simple and consistent exchange rate between these two dollar currencies, US dollars are widely accepted, but this means you should be careful to clarify which “dollars” you’re talking about when negotiating prices. It’s often better to assume Belize dollars because many merchants will jump on your uncertainty and attempt to double their price by saying, “No, in US dollars”. Change can also be given in US dollars or a combination of US and Belizean dollar bills and coins. Belize dollars come in denominations of BZ$2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. B$1 and smaller amounts are coins. The 25-cent coin is often called a “shilling”.

Three banks’ ATMs in Belize take Mastercard: the Belize Bank, Scotiabank, and Atlantic Bank.

BY PLANE:

Tropic Air and Maya Island Air both have multiple flights daily to various towns around the country and to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. They fly out of both of Belize City’s airports, but flights from Belize City Airport (TZA IATA) are often significantly cheaper than those out of Phillip Goldson International (BZE IATA). Domestic flights are generally pretty reasonable priced, and thus popular if your time is limited and budget is not. Flights are operated with planes ranging from 8 to 68 seats. Because of the limited capacity, booking in advance is advisable. For bookings from outside Belize, there is only one airviva internet agent, who can make bookings, take payment (credit/debit cards/PayPal) and then send e-tickets. Some hotels do also offer to make the flight reservation on your behalf.

BY BUS:

Several competing bus lines operate on the main road in the north-south direction from Punta Gorda to Belmopan and Belize City. There are bus stations in the main towns, or simply stand on the side of the highway and wave at an approaching bus. Most buses have a conductor in addition to the driver, who stands by the door and will come to your seat to collect the fare at some point during the trip. Fares run anywhere from BZ$2–25 depending on distance travelled.

Express buses can save up to an hour and a half (depending on the distance of your trip); they do not stop for passengers waiting on the roadside, making only scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs in towns.

Most buses in Belize are retired US school buses (Bluebirds), that have been given a slight makeover, a luggage rack installed, and sometimes a new paint job. They generally aren’t too crowded, but you may have to stand occasionally. Some are the older MCI (Motorcoach Industries) buses that once served as a Greyhound bus (or for some other commuter or intercity bus company) in the U.S. The MCI buses are typically used for some Express services or for international trips to Chetumal or chartered buses to Flores.

Children selling snacks and soft drinks often board the buses at stops, and this is an inexpensive way to have a snack if you’ve exhausted what you’ve brought along or just want to try some home-made travel foods.

See Belize Bus blog for updates, schedules and/or links to other sites regarding bus travel in Belize. The Belize Bus blog site is constantly updated. Since the break up of the Novelo’s monopoly in 2006 the government of Belize has divided the country up with which company to go where from Belize City:

  • The Northern Zone (Belize City – Orange Walk – Corozal – Chetumal) Not all buses continue to Chetumal from Orange Walk. Others may deviate east or west from the Philip Goldson Highway (Northern Highway) to other surrounding towns. They are: Albion’s, Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (BBOC), Cabrera’s, Chell’s, Frazer, Joshua’s, Morales, Tillett’s, T-Line and Valencia. Northbound buses depart from Belize City about every half hour from 05:30 to 19:30. Jex and Sons Bus provides bus service between Belize City and Crooked Tree.
  • The Western Zone (Belize City – Belmopan – San Ignacio – Benque Viejo Del Carmen) They are: BBOC, D and E, Guerra’s Bus Service, Middleton’s, Shaw Bus Service and Westline. Westbound buses depart from Belize City between 05:00 and 21:00. Some may continue west from San Ignacio to the Guatemalan border at Melchor del Mencos but they do not cross into Guatemala. Others may continue north or south from Belmopan, San Ignacio, etc to reach other towns not on the Western Highway.
  • Southern Zone (Belize City – Belmopan – Dangriga – Placencia – Punta Gorda) Buses to the Cayo and Stann Creek Districts to the south are: James Bus Line, G-Line Service, Ritchie’s Bus Service and Usher Bus Line. Buses authorized to operate in the rural areas of the Southern Zone are Chen Bus Line, Yascal Bus Line, Smith Bus Line, Richie Bus Line, Martinez Bus Line, Williams Bus Line, Radiance Ritchie Bus Line, and Polanco Bus Line.

BY TAXI:

Taxis are common and relatively cheap in Belize. Most taxis do not use meters, so be sure to negotiate the price beforehand.

BY WATER TAXI:

For those wanting a truly Belizean experience, take the water taxis from city to city. The San Pedro Belize Express has the most daily runs and departs from the Brown Sugar Terminal in Belize City at 09:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 15:00, 16:00 and 17:30 to San Pedro and Caye Caulker.

Departure from San Pedro Town pier on Black Coral Street next to Wahoo’s Bar and Grill and leaves at 07:00, 08:30, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30, 14:30, 16:30 to Caye Caulker and Belize City as well as a last boat to Caye Caulker only at 18:00.

There are boats departing from Caye Caulker to Belize City and San Pedro Town and they leave from the pier in front of the Basket Ball Court. Caye Caulker to Belize City: 07:30, 09:00, 10:30, 12:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00 and Caye Caulker to San Pedro: 07:00 (connection to Chetumal), 09:45, 11:45, 12:45, 13:45, 15:45, 16:45 and last boat 18:15.

Chetumal Runs are available from Caye Caulker at 07:00 and from San Pedro at 07:30.

Travelling from Chetumal to Belize, the boat leaves the Municipal Pier at 15:30 en route to San Pedro (90 min) and Caye Caulker (120 min).

Rates: Belize City to San Pedro or return: BZ$30 or US$15 (one way), BZ$55 or US$27.50 (round trip). Caye Caulker to San Pedro, Belize City to Caye Caulker: BZ$20 or US$10 (one way), BZ$35 or US$17.50 (round trip).

BY CAR:

Compared to most Central American countries, driving in Belize is relatively safe. There is not much traffic, and the four major highways are all in good condition. Unfortunately, almost every road off the four major highways is unpaved so a 4-wheel drive vehicle is advisable. It is best not to drive late at night because there is almost no lighting, road signs are poor, and the last stretch is almost certain to be on an unpaved road (you risk breaking an axle on an unseen, but immense, pothole!) You won’t need a map because there are few roads and it is hard to get lost.

Rental rates often include insurance so you usually don’t need to buy insurance separately. If you plan on using a rental car to visit Tikal in Guatemala, you should plan ahead and you must rent from Crystal Auto Rental because no other company will let you take your car out of Belize. Belize insurance is not valid in Guatemala so check with your credit card or car insurance company to see if they’ll cover you for a trip into Guatemala.

Highways:

  • The Northern Highway (aka Phillip Goldson Highway) goes from Corozal on the Belize-Mexico border to Belize City via Orange Walk. This is the highway you’ll use for the international airport, Altun Ha, and the Lamanai.
  • Western Highway (aka George Price Highway) stretches from Belize City, via Belmopan and the Cayo District, to the border with the Guatemalan state of Peten at Benque. Along the way are the Belize Zoo (mile 29), the Hummingbird Highway (mile 47), Belmopan, and San Ignacio (mile 68). Major sights along this route include the adventure itineraries in the Cayo District, Mayan ruins at Xunantunich and access to the road to Caracol, and, from the Guatemalan border, the ruins at TIkal. To get to the Western Highway from the airport, go north on the Northern Highway, make a left at Burrell Boom, and follow the road for 19 km to the Western Highway at Hattieville.
  • Hummingbird Highway goes from Belmopan to Dangriga connecting the Western Highway to the Southern Highway. You’ll use this highway to get from Cayo, Belize City or the North to the Southern part of Belize. An alternative, slightly shorter, Coastal Highway takes you from Belize City to the Southern Highway but is a mess that is best avoided!
  • Southern Highway runs from Dangriga (the Hummingbird Highway) to Punta Gorda, with a recently built section heading to the southern border with Guatemala. Along the way are the coastal towns of Hopkins and Placencia.

EAT:

  • The primary meal found virtually everywhere is red beans, clean rice, and chicken.
  • Most chicken in the country is prepared and served on the bone.
  • Rice and beans is a mixed dish with some spices and usually coconut milk added to make a sweet and hot staple of the Belizean diet. Beans and rice is white cooked rice with a side of stewed pinto beans.
  • Citrus plantations are numerous, so fresh oranges and grapefruits are abundant. Pineapples, papayas, bananas and plantains are also grown and sold in roadside markets.
  • A famous hot sauce in Belize is Marie Sharp’s made from the very potent local habanero pepper. It comes in a variety of flavours (mild, hot, extremely hot).
  • That odd looking salsa on your table is really ceviche. Ceviche -also spelled as cebiche or seviche- is a citrus-marinated seafood dish. The Belizeans use fresh raw conch and vegetables.
  • Papusas are maize pancakes with different toppings sold in stalls on the streets in San Pedro town. It is the cheapest option if you want to eat on a budget.

Eating in San Pedro can be expensive if you eat at the tourist restaurants; however if you find the local places, meals can be very inexpensive and very tasty.

DRINK:

Belikin is the national beer and comes in four varieties: Premium, Beer, Stout, and Lighthouse Lager. Guinness Stout is also available in Belize but it’s also brewed by the Belikin Brewing Co. All are sold in returnable bottles, so make sure you are aware of the deposit if you are taking your beverages to go.

One Barrel Rum is the locally-distilled molasses-tasting rum and Traveller’s Liquors’ distillery is on the Northern Highway about 6 miles from Belize City with a gift shop and hospitality bar. You can purchase rum in a variety of colours and sizes, up to a 70 gallon cask.

Both are widely available around the country. But if you also like wine there is cashew wine (which is very popular in Belize), ginger wine, sorrel wine and blackberry wine.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Belize
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PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Great Blue Hole
Location: Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, 318 m (1,043 ft) across and 124 m (407 ft) deep. It was formed during several episodes of quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower. Analysis of stalactites found in the Great Blue Hole shows that formation took place 153,000; 66,000; 60,000; and 15,000 years ago. As the ocean began to rise again, the cave was flooded. The Great Blue Hole is a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This site was made famous by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it one of the top five scuba diving sites in the world. In 1971 he brought his ship, the Calypso, to the hole to chart its depths.

It is a popular spot among recreational scuba divers who are lured by the opportunity to dive in sometimes crystal-clear water and meet several species of fish.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blue_Hole
Name: Xunantunich
Location: Cayo District, Belize
Xunantunich is an Ancient Maya archaeological site in western Belize, about 70 miles (110 km) west of Belize City, in the Cayo District. Xunantunich is located atop a ridge above the Mopan River, well within sight of the Guatemala border – which is a mere 0.6 miles (1 km) to the west. It served as a Maya civic ceremonial center in the Late and Terminal Classic periods to the Belize Valley region. At this time, when the region was at its peak, nearly 200,000 people lived in Belize.

Xunantunich’s name means "Sculpture of Lady" in the Maya language (Mopan and Yucatec combination name Xunaan(Noble lady) Tuunich (stone for sculpture)), and, like many names given to Maya archaeological sites, is a modern name; the ancient name is currently unknown. The "Stone Woman" refers to the ghost of a woman claimed by several people to inhabit the site, beginning in 1892. She is dressed completely in white, and has fire-red glowing eyes. She generally appears in front of "El Castillo", ascends the stone stairs, and disappears into a stone wall.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xunantunich
Name: Altun Ha
Location: Belize District, Belize
Altun Ha is the name given to the ruins of an ancient Mayan city in Belize, located in the Belize District about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Belize City and about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of the shore of the Caribbean Sea. The site covers an area of about 8 square kilometres (3.1 sq mi).

Stones from the ruins of the ancient structures were reused for residential construction of the agricultural village of Rockstone Pond in modern times, but the ancient site did not come to the attention of archeologists until 1963. The Old Northern Highway connects Altun Ha to Belize's Northern Highway, and the site is accessible for tourism. The largest of Altun Ha's temple-pyramids, the "Temple of the Masonry Altars", is 16 metres (52 ft) high. A drawing of this structure is the logo of Belize's leading brand of beer, "Belikin".

Altun Ha was occupied for many centuries, from about 900 B.C. to A.D. 1000. Most of the information on Altun Ha comes from the Classic Period from about A.D. 400 to A.D. 900, when the city was at its largest.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altun_Ha
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN BELIZE / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

Global Immigration Leader, Big 4

“Manny. You have really gone the extra mile in supporting the US Business Visitor Service. You have demonstrated real commitment and energy, working a late shift night while we try and find others to fill the position. I know that the other night you stayed until 4am. You are always so positive and your cheerful disposition and attention to detail has resulted in excellent client feedback. On Monday the key client came to London and she was effusive about the service. This is largely due the cover you provide.”

Internal stakeholder, Big 4

“Manny is a big reason why the move from (external provider) to the UK firm’s passport and visa provision has been so smooth. He’s an extremely likeable honest hard working guy who takes his role very seriously. We’re very fortunate to have him leading our dedicated team”

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“Most of my contact was with Manpreet Singh Johal. He did the best job someone could imagine. Extraordinary service from his side.”

Team member, Big 4

“Working on two priority accounts is naturally pressurised especially where he has also been responsible for billing on both accounts; yet Manny delivers every time and this I believe is an exceptional quality.”

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