Electricity, Electronics & Cell Phones 

Return to the The Maine Stay FAQ page

Electricity and outlets are exactly the same here as in the US and there are plenty of outlets in the Cabanas. You might want to consider bringing a surge protected power strip if you intend to leave anything plugged in or for when you are not around to unplug them... just in case of electrical storm or power spikes/dips (these are not frequent, but do happen).

FREE DSL/WiFi Internet

If you bring a laptop, iPhone, iPod Touch or Blackberry, you can email on The Maine Stay free WiFi network. Some folks use their cell phone for calls to the states, but the per minute rates are usually pretty outrageous. We have good cell phone coverage on the peninsula. BTL (Belize Telemedia) is the carrier and is on the GSM system. Check with your cell phone provider to see about compatibility.

For those of you bringing an internet enabled device, each of the Cabana Suites has free internet access providing both wireless and hardwired (ethernet) connections. If you don't bring a laptop (or other device), and there is a need for family to get an urgent email message to you, it should be sent to drewtravers@gmail.com and belizekaren@gmail.com.  

CELL PHONES 

Belize now has both GSM and CDMA cell phone systems nationwide. If you have an unlocked multiband cell phone, or buy one on eBay, and your service provider uses the GSM 1900 digital system (AT&T and T-Mobile phones do) you can use your GSM phone in Belize on the Belize Telemedia Ltd. DigiCell network. (In late 2010 BTL also introduced a CDMA system, mostly for internet services and voice service in areas not currently served by its GSM system, but I won't get into that.)

You’ll need a new SIM card, which costs US$25 plus 12.5% tax. The SIM card comes with a prepaid card with US$5 worth of time and a local phone number. You’ll pay US 30 cents per minute for the first five minutes of outgoing cell calls within Belize, and then US 12.5 cents after that. (Rates subject to change.) Incoming calls are free. If you don’t have an unlocked GSM phone, you can rent one from BTL for US$5 per day. The same outgoing call rates apply. 

Both rental cell phones and prepaid phone are available at the BTL office at the international airport, near the rental car offices across the airport parking lot. BTL prepaid phone cards and SIM cards also are sold at some other BTL offices around Belize and at private shops and stores in the country.

Another option is Smart, which operates a cell phone system using CDMA technology (like Verizon in the U.S.). At any of the Smart offices—in Belize City, Corozal Town, Orange Walk Town, Belmopan City, San Ignacio, San Pedro or Benque Viejo—you can have your CDMA phone reprogrammed for use in Belize. There’s an activation fee of US$20, and you’ll need to purchase a prepaid plan with per-minute rates for outgoing calls of US 22 1/2 cents to US 35 cents (incoming calls, text messages and voice mail are free).

Depending on what carrier you use back home and what plan you have, you may be able to use international roaming in Belize on your existing cell phone without buying a SIM card for your GSM phone or having your CDMA phone reprogrammed, but be prepared to pay dearly for it – you may have to pay up to US$2-$3 a minute.

--Lan Sluder

Our US phones are 1-877-458-7580 (Toll Free) or 207-512-2381