Culture and Etiquette in Belize

Belizeans are generally welcoming and accustomed to tourists, though it’s important to remember that the country is, on the whole, quite conservative. Dress, except among professionals, is usually casual, though tourists – especially women – who wear revealing clothing will probably be looked down upon, particularly in Belize’s many churches.

The country’s laidback attitude usually carries over into conversation; when approaching Belizeans, it’s best to be friendly, relaxed and patient. Women travellers may receive advances from local men. Ignoring such attentions completely will sometimes only be met by greater persistence; walking away while flashing a quick smile and wave usually gets the message across, while remaining polite.

Belizeans are not particularly accepting of homosexuality and rarely open about sexual orientation. Though it is unlikely that locals will express disapproval, it is a good idea to avoid public displays of affection. There are no gay venues in the country.

Belizeans rarely tip, though foreigners are usually expected to give around ten percent in taxis and in restaurants. Haggling is also uncommon in Belize and will usually be considered rude, except at street markets.

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