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1 Belizean Dollar = $2 US Dollar
At the property Montagna Ristorante offers classic Italian cuisine in a romantic tropical setting. Our menu features traditional Italian dishes with a special focus on the Coppola's private family recipes, drawn from their history in the southern region of Basilicata. Pastas, fresh fish, and braised or grilled local meats are all prepared with organically-grown herbs and vegetables from our own garden. We also offer made-to-order pizza, cooked in an authentic brick oven. Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the nation of Belize and their respectively wide variety of foods. Breakfast consists of bread, flour tortillas, or fry jacks that are often homemade. Fry jacks are eaten with various cheeses, refried beans, various forms of eggs or cereal, along with milk, coffee, or tea. Midday meals vary, from lighter foods such as rice and beans or beans and rice with or without coconut milk, tamales, panades, (fried maize shells with beans or fish) and meat pies, escabeche (onion soup), chirmole (soup), stew chicken and garnaches (fried tortillas with beans, cheese, and sauce) to various constituted dinners featuring some type of rice and beans, meat and salad or coleslaw. In the rural areas meals may be more simplified than in the cities; the Maya use recado, corn or maize for most of their meals, and the Garifuna are fond of seafood, cassava (particularly made into cassava bread or Ereba) and vegetables. The nation abounds with restaurants and fast food establishments selling fairly cheaply. Local fruits are quite common, but raw vegetables from the markets less so.
Fly to Belize City. You can request a transfer from the reservations office at the property. You can also transfer by helicopter by calling Astrum Helicopters. Driving is also an alternative but please make sure you rent a 4x4 vehicle as some of the access roads get extremely muddy and difficult during rainy season.
English is the official language of Belize, a former British colony. Although only 4 percent of the population speaks it as their first language, a majority speak English very well. Spanish is also spoken widely as well as Kriol, an english based Creole language. Mayan languages and Garifuna are also spoken by a minority of Belizeans.
Belize City is the closest major city, home of Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport.
San Ignacio is not necessarily known for its nightlife, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a place for a drink after a long day exploring the countryside. It’s a small town, so finding the party is not difficult. Just follow the masses as they trek between bars. Start your evening with the popular happy hour at Mr. Greedy’s (34 Burns Ave.) or one of the copy-cat happy hours at other restaurants on Burns Avenue. For a more upscale bar scene and occasional live music, check the Stork Club Bar at San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Meluchi’s (across from the cemetery, next to the Big H Juice factory) is another good bet for happy hour and nightly events like movie night (and they serve tasty local dishes). Mi Cocina (across from the Victor Galvez Stadium, on the left side of the climb up to Cahal Pech) is a clean bar with reasonably priced drinks. One mile east of town, Happy’s is another popular bar and gathering spot, with reasonably priced cold drinks and a pool table. For dancing, you can try the loud DJ mix at Club Next, in the casino, or downtown at Blue Angel’s (on Post Office Rd.), which can be a bit dicey late at night. On weekends, ask if there is a party up at Cahal Pech Village.
For all trips: • Binoculars • Camera or video camera with case for protection against humidity and rain • Plenty of film • Sun block lotion • Sunglasses with a strap • Swimming trunks • Broad-brimmed hat or cap • Insect repellent • Personal toiletries and medications • Photocopy of your passport • Reading material If you are heading for the jungle do not leave without: • Lightweight, light colored, long cotton pants • Long sleeved, light colored cotton shirts • Absorbent socks • Ankle-high hiking boots • Sneakers • Sandals • A powerful flashlight with batteries • A water bottle or canteen • Rain suit or poncho
Activities: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Moonlight Jaguar Quest, Guided Mountain Biking, Swimming, Bird Watching, Workshops. Cave Explorations in Actun Tunichil Mucnal, Barton Creek Cave, Offering Cave and Caves Branch Nohuch Che'en Reserve Cave Tubing. Tours to Caracol, Rio Frio Cave and Rio On Cave, Xunantunich, and Tikal in Guatemala.
Belize is in Central Standard Time Zone UTC/GMT - 6
All U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in Belize and proof of an onward or return ticket. No visas are required for citizens of the United States for tourist visits of up to 30 days, but they must have onward or return air tickets and proof of sufficient funds to maintain themselves in Belize. No specific immunizations are required for visitors to Belize.
Belize is typically hot and humid day and night year-round. Temperatures vary by only about 4°C between the coolest part of the year (December to March) and the hottest (May to September). The daily temperature range is around 10°C from the hottest part of the day to the coolest part of the night. In the uplands (Mountain Pine Ridge and the Maya Mountains) you can expect temperatures to fall by about 3°C for every 1000ft rise in altitude, making things noticeably more comfortable. Belize has distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season runs from mid-May to November in the south and from mid-June to November in the north. November to February is a transitional period, with the year’s coolest temperatures and a limited amount of rain. The true dry season is February to April. In Belize the high season for tourists corresponds roughly with the dry season: December to May. The shoulder months – especially December – receive a fair amount of rain, but not enough to scare away the multitudes of travelers who want to spend their holidays in the tropics. Most hotels and resorts are more expensive during this period (high-season rates are quoted throughout this book). The biggest influx of tourists comes between December 15 and January 15, and during the weeks around Easter. Some hotels and resorts, especially top-end accommodations, charge extra-high prices during these peak periods. If you’re using top-end or some midrange accommodations, you’ll certainly save money by avoiding these seasons. The rainy season runs from June to November. The early months, especially May and June, are actually a wonderful time to travel to Belize: you can avoid the tourist bustle and lodging is slightly cheaper.
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