BELIZE

Getting Here, Property Map & More

Although in different parts of the country you’ll also hear Belizean Kriol, English, Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna, Mennonite German, and Mandarin spoken.

Belize Dollar (BZD). The BZD has a current and set exchange rate tied to the US Dollar of 2:1 ($1 USD = $2 BZD). Additionally, nearly all service providers, stores, and shops accept US Dollars directly. Many vendors also accept credit cards, and ATMs are available in all of the larger towns.

Although a former British colony, all driving is done on the right hand side of the road. All major highways are paved, although some areas experience states of disrepair. To drive in Belize it is only required that you have a valid Driver License from your home country. The only traffic signals in the country are found in Belize City, although around most population centers there are speed bumps to slow traffic.

Phone communication systems are fairly reliable, with most of the population utilizing cellular phones. Most foreign cell phones will work in Belize. Cellular phones are also available to rent at the local phone company. When calling Belize from the United States, dial 00, then country code 501. To call internationally from Belize, dial 001, the country code and phone number. Internet cafes are readily available countrywide in all larger towns and some villages. Table Rock offers free local calls from the lodge, and international calls at a small fee. WiFi is available in the common areas of the lodge with the use of your own handheld device or laptop computer.

Parliamentary Democracy with an English legal system. There has never been a war, uprising, or revolution in Belize and you get the impression from the people that they would like to keep it that way. Crime, compared to most large cities in the U.S., is minimal and infrequent.

BELIZE

 

Belize, a country slightly smaller than the state of Massachusetts, was once home to a number of Mayan city-states. Formerly the colony of British Honduras, Belize, became an independent nation in 1981.

Located on the Caribbean Sea, Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west, and Honduras to the south. Its small size hides a surprising variation of geographical features, ranging from reefs, saltwater cayes and mangrove swamps in the coastal areas on the east, to lush hills, mountains and rainforests only a two-hour drive to the west.

Belize boasts the world’s largest population of wild jaguars and is home to the world’s second-largest reef system (after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef). Indeed, Belize has become one of the most biologically diverse nations on earth. As a member of PACT (Protected Areas Conservation Trust — “an environmental trust fund serving an enabling and empowering role in the conservation, preservation, enhancement, and management of Belize’s natural resources and protected areas”), 28% of Belize’s land is under some form of legal environmental protected status. With over 61% of its lands under forest cover, Belize is able to take pride in the fact that it is home to over 500 species of birds, as well as a healthy population of tapirs, kinkajous, howler and spider monkeys, peccary, puma, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi, margay, iguanas, and anteaters — most of which have either been seen or heard on the grounds at Table Rock.

With a population of less than 370,000, Belize has one of the lowest population densities in the world, and is home to a unique variety of cultures unlike any other. Mestizo (Spanish/Maya descent), Kriol (descendants of Black Africans mixed with other ethnicities), Maya, Garifuna (descendants of Carib and African peoples), and Mennonite ethnic groups comprise the majority of Belize’s population. But you will also find Chinese, European, American, East Indian, and Middle Eastern cultures represented, as well as everything in between. Belize is one of the rare nations where such an intermingling of groups seems to be natural and expected, and experiencing it yourself is one of the added treats of your time spent here.

GETTING HERE

Table Rock is located 70 miles west (approximately 2 hours) of the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City and 5 miles south of San Ignacio Town on the Cristo Rey Road (the road to Caracol) in the Cayo District. There are several ways to reach us:

Sit back and relax while we do the driving for you. Our driver will personally meet you and drive you directly to or from Table Rock to most locations in Belize — US$140 (+tax) from the International Airport, water taxi terminal, or anywhere in Belize City to Table Rock for 1-4 people, one way. We can also transport you to other locations around the country with advanced arrangements and/or make a stop at the Belize Zoo, Cave Tubing, or the Baboon Sanctuary. Click here for more details and pricing.

Want to get here as quickly as possible and have the exciting experience of flying on a small aircraft? We can arrange for your domestic flight from Belize City to San Ignacio and then pick you up. The flight takes less than 45 minutes (US$92-US$120 pp) and the transfer from the airstrip to Table Rock takes only half an hour (US$60 +tax for the trip). Flights are also available to and from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. There are only a few flights per day, so ask us for more details about booking your flight. Helicopter transfers are also available, starting at US$1700 for the trip of up to 4 passengers—ask us for more details!

The countrywide public transportation system runs a route to and from all major towns, and there are buses traveling from Belize City to San Ignacio every hour (every two hours on Sundays and  holidays). This is a very safe and economical way to reach us, and is a lovely way to get to know the locals. These are converted U.S. school buses, so be aware that there won’t be air conditioning, toilets, or much room to stow your luggage. From the airport, take a taxi to the Belize City Bus Terminal (US$25), and then ask which bus is going to San Ignacio (this is the one marked “Benque”, the last town on the route). The Regular Bus, which stops at every village along the way, runs from early morning until about 6:00 PM, US$4 per person (3-4 hours). There is also an Express bus running twice a day in the mornings which is direct to San Ignacio, US$5.00. Once in San Ignacio, you can take a taxi from the bus station to Table Rock (US$25). Click here for more information on Bus Service.

US$130-US$160 is standard fare for a taxi ride in a privately owned older model vehicle from the International Airport to San Ignacio (it may be a bit extra for the last 5 miles to Table Rock). Taxis are specially licensed, fare controlled, and a safe way to travel.

US$50-US$100 per day plus fuel is the typical rate for renting an SUV in Belize. There are several car rental companies conveniently located at the international airport in Belize City (we recommend Crystal Auto Rental). Be sure to reserve your vehicle online well ahead of time, as they can be hard to come by at the last minute. We definitely recommend getting a four-wheel drive for easiest travel. We do drive on the right hand side of the road and there is not much traffic. But be sure that you’re comfortable dodging pedestrians, animals, and speed bumps, and that you have experience navigating unpaved roads—3 of the last 5 miles to Table Rock are unpaved and so are many of the roads to the sites. A valid driver’s license from your home country is required. And be sure you download our Detailed Driving Directions—they’re better than GPS!