Kayaker, I took your advice and checked out your pictures of Belize. They're reaylly great! Now I want to go even more!
I have a question thougt that might be kind of stupid , but I read on the Lonely planet homepage that one of the health issues that you should know about is the mosquitos from which you can catch dengue fever, as I understood it there is no vaccine against it. When we were in Cuba in may 2005 I realised that the mosquitos really love me (but they don't like my boyfriend apparantly, cause he hardly got bitten at all) I got quite bad bites that seemed to get a bit infected, should I worry about this in Belize?
Glad you liked the pictures. You'll like Caye Caulker even more. We're going back in February.
We've never had any trouble with mosquitos. Not even when we were in the "jungle" and Mayan ruins. Both times we went we got hepatitis shots and took malaria pills because that's what the US's Center for Disease Control suggests. On Caye Caulker, I'm not sure that's necessary.
Last February, it was breezy all the time. I don't remember seeing or hearing mosquitos. The chances probably go up if you go inland. We had lots of "bug" spray with us and didn't use it.
It sounds like, if they're there they'll find you though.
Two boards you can ask Belize questionsare on
The answers/opinions you get there are pretty varied but that's because of different opinions people have. Several folks from Belize respond as well as fans of the country. You'll see what I mean.
I'll be happy to answer any questions I can.
Here's a link to the US Center for Disease Control. They list shots, etc they think you should get. There's a link to dengue information. They don't really mention Belize and talk more about Costa Rica. They talk about it being a bigger problem in the city than the country. Caye Caulker isn't city by any standard I'm familiar with.
Here is the link for the specific Dengue Fever page: Dengue Fever
Kayaker is correct - Belize is not mentioned in the list of countries seeing outbreaks of DF.
This site also mentions that the cayes are a bit more isolated from the "normal" tropical health risks: BelizeCabana.com
I do recommend that you get both the Hep A&B vaccinations. Hep A is a series of 2 injections givenat 0 and 6 months. Hep B is a series 3 three, given at 0, 1 and 6 months. If your travel plans do not allow you that much time - receiving the initial injections will afford you partial immunity. You can then finish the remaining injections upon returning home. Being covered for Hep A&B will protect you no matter where you go, even at home. Most Hep A cases are directly related to street food vendors and restaurants who have not cleaned their utensils adequately.
I also strongly recommend taking an anti-malarial while traveling. Many travelers on this site will tell you to skip it and just use a 30-50% DEET insect spray instead. While visiting Panama, we found that 90% of the travelers we met along the way "just kept forgetting to use the spray" and hoped all went well. Chloroquine is the recomended drug of choice for Belize and it is also one of the cheapest. You take it once a week - starting a week before your journey begins and finishing up 2-3 weeks after returning home.
Yellow Fever vaccinations are not required for Belize - unless you will be entering Belize from a country classified as endemic. If you are, a certificate of vaccination will be required upon entry into Belize. (Since you are traveling from the US to Belize, the certificate will not be needed.)
hope its not too late to suggest hamanasi resort in belize, a special place from which you can explore the best of Belize on and offshore. Check this out for discounted rates hamanasi resort
It's definitly not to late for more tips and advices! If all goes as I hope we'll be going the first two weeks in mars. I know that the highseason starts in the early spring, but since we're travelling on stand-by tickets it's hard to book in advance. We have a quite small budget, how hard is it to find a place to stay on short notice and not too much money? We don't want to stay in too shabby places, but we're not looking for luxury lodging. What kind of price should we expect to pay? Hopefully we'll be travelling around a bit to experience both laid back beachlife and historic mayaculture as well as a bit of jungle and nature. I've bought the lonely planet Belize book, but it would be interesting to hear your experiences, and thanks again for all your very valuable words!