What is the common currency in Belize?
US $1 = BZ $2. U.S. currency is accepted throughout San Pedro. Most hotels quote rates in U.S. dollars. Local currency is the Belize Dollar. U.S. dollars should be exchanged directly in purchasing goods and services, as banks will charge a fee (currently is at .0125) to exchange U.S. to Belize dollars. U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere in Belize.
Common paper-money denominations are the 100-, 50-, 20-, 10-, 5- and 2-dollar bills, with the one-dollar bill occasionally still seen. Belize coins come in one-dollar, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 Belizean cent units. The 25-cent piece is called a shilling. U.S. dollars (bills, not coins) are accepted everywhere in Belize, although you often will receive change in Belizean money, or in a mix of Belizean and U.S. money. There’s no need to exchange U.S. currency for Belize dollars at banks, and if you do you will lose a percent or two in conversion fees.
TIP: When bringing cash in U.S. dollars, it’s best to have most of your money in 20-dollar and smaller denominations, as large bills may be difficult to change. Money changers at the Mexican and Guatemalan borders often will give a higher rate than 2 Belize for 1 U.S. dollar, sometimes as much as 2.20 to 1, depending on the current demand for American greenbacks.
Canadian dollars, Mexican pesos and European currencies are not widely accepted. These should be exchanged at banks.
Traveler’s checks in U.S. dollars are accepted by most hotels and at some stores, restaurants and other businesses. You usually need to show your passport when paying with a traveler’s checks. Banks and some businesses only give about 1.96 Belize to 1 U.S. for traveler’s checks.
Here’s what the bills look like: