This small country, a former English colony which gained its independence in 1981, is a diamond wedged between Guatemala and Mexico, covered almost in three-quarters of tropical forest. There is a mixture of people ranging from descendants of slaves from Jamaica to traders from Lebanon, China, India, mennnonites from Canada, Mexico … and expatriate pensioners that the country warmly welcomes. Belize is home to a great cultural and natural wealth, including many Mayan sites, a large fauna and flora, trekking trails, waterfalls, rivers, a multitude of water activities such as kayaking , kite surfing, snorkeling and exceptional dive sites. On the west part, jungle, small mountains, waterfalls and ancient Mayan sites. Then, drive three hours on the highway and you already touch the East Coast, a coastline open to the Caribbean, bordered by the second largest barrier reef (300km) and dotted with cays (islands).
Climate Subtropical (hot and humid)
Official language English
Currency Belize Dollar (BZD)
International Airports Philip Goldson international airport (BZE)
Did you know? In Belize, there is the second largest barrier reef after Australia.
Area, capital 23000 km2, Belmopan
This region is the most populated. We can feel a typical Caribbean atmosphere caressed by an English touch. We find in the North very beautiful Mayan sites like Altun Ha; in the center, the Belize River around which different animal sanctuaries are organized; in the south, the Sibun River which is a sanctuary of Ibis and Herons. Then, off Belize city, Turneffe Atoll welcomes dolphins, turtles, sharks and a little further the famous “blue hole”.
Forgotten but charming region, it is located in the south of the country. The Mayas, concerned about the value of their environment and their culture, try to promote ecotourism. They grow cocoa (which has its own festival in May), rice, corn and beans. At the water’s edge, Punta Gorda is a quiet fishing town, where different activities are possible such as trekking, fishing, cultural encounters and kayaking.
Here nature reigns. Next to Guatemala, without contact with the sea, this region where brooks are sometimes hidden in caves (canoeing in caves on the Barton creek) has been using ecotourism for a long time. There are many Mayan sites such as Caracol, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech … We go horseback riding, canoeing, cycling, we visit the capital San Ignacio for its market farmers Saturday (the most alive ) …everything is possible! Moreover, many “expats” have seized the potential of this area of the country by settling there.
Less visited, this region begins about 60 km south of Belize City by the big city of Dangriga. A large agricultural area extends along the east coast with two major landmarks to the south: the village of Hopkins where culture and music of the Garifunas (proclaimed immaterial cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2001) and then Placencia with its beaches and marine inhabitants like the lamentines and the crocodiles. To the west, there are various reserves in the middle of the jungle like Mayflower Bocawina where there is a Mayan site leading to a waterfall or the Cockscomb basin sanctuary a lush haven where one scrutinizes every movement of believing leaf see a jaguar or a cougar!