Belize Travel Guide

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Belize, Barrier Reef, South Water Caye, Sunrise through Palm Trees

Belize, Barrier Reef, South Water Caye, Sunrise through Palm Trees

Belize is a relatively small country located  in Central America, the only one that doesn’t have a coastline on the Pacific and also the only one in Central America where English language is actually the official language. This means good news for us, chickens, we’ll feel right at home, isn’t it? Being a former British colony, Belize is very similar from a cultural point of view to the other former West Indian island colonies of the last great empire. Its population is a mélange of African-European mixture, creole as they call it while the inland is populated by the native Maya indigenes. Along with the official English, in the Northwest and North of Belize Spanish language is also spoken widely. Belize is located between Mexico in the North and Guatemala to the South and West. Having a land surface of 22,966 square kilometers and a population just shy of 300,000, this is basically a mini-country, but home for a proud and friendly people, with an ancient culture and filled with world-class touristic attractions. Being actually sandwiched between the aforementioned countries (Mexico and Guatemala) plus the Caribbean Sea, Belize is a piece of paradise on Earth, bursting with wildlife and natural beauty. Its infrastructure is relatively poor, but that means that its scenery swathed in jungle remained virgin, untouched by human hand and you can visit ancient archeological sites and cities covered by the luxurious forest canopies and feel like travelling back in time. Even if Belize has a fascinating history, most of the tourists who arrive here are mesmerized by its stone pyramids and crumbling temples, dating back to the powerful Maya civilization that peaked hundreds of years ago. Another great reason for visiting Belize is represented by its admirably conserved natural beauty. To name just a few hot-spots, let me tell you about the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary(here you can admire jaguars in their natural habitat), the protected Belize Barrier Reef (bursting with marine wildlife) or the Half Moon Caye (dedicated to birds and the like). While in Belize, you can take a swim in the Caribbean Sea along with stingrays and sharks, admiring the colorful coral reefs and explore magnificent places like the Blue Hole, a top-notch diving site for water sports enthusiasts.

belize-blue-hole-barrier-reef

The country’s small population is also very interesting and making for a powerful and vivid culture, being a melting pot of East Indian, Garifuna, Creole, Chinese, Lebanese, English, Mennonite, Maya, and Spanish heritage, all these people living in perfect religious tolerance and racial harmony, making a real life example for “why can’t we be friends”, seriously.

What to see, what to do in Belize

The tiny Belize City is an interesting alternative for city slickers; I mean, If you don’t want to “wash your eyes” with the country’s great outdoors, this city presents you with a different side of the country, being a gritty and cosmopolite urban area which does not make a living solely on tourism. One of the best preserved Mayan sites is the Caracol Ruins, a very interesting archaeological site for history buffs which sits very close to the Guatemalan border.

Caracol RuinsAnother great point of interest is the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, a place that is pretty hard to reach, being located into “the green Hell”, i.e. the jungle. You’ll have to hike for a full day through the jungle to get there and after that you can hike, swim and climb in this huge ancient cave that was used by the Mayas in ritual-sacrifices for their bloody Gods. Keep in mind that this trip is not for the faint hearted or the claustrophobics, but all things being equal, this is my favorite itinerary in the Belize.

Actun Tunichil Muknal CaveSome of the most complex and equally beautiful Maya ruins are to be found in Xunantunich, dating back from AD 200 to 900 (they’re almost 2000 years old folks) and they also sit pretty close to the border with Guatemala.

Xunantunich

jpg Fair warning: you should travel in these “border” places under police supervision at all times, in organized touristic convoys and stuff like that, for your own protection. The Crooked Tree Life Sanctuary is the perfect place for bird watching, in their natural habitat off course, while the Belize Zoo harbors indigenous mammals and birds, being world famous and also known for its tiny size. The aforementioned Blue Hole is basically an impressive sinkhole 300 meters deep and it’s regarded as being maybe the best diving site in the whole wide world. Sailing, snorkeling, imbibing into the ancient Mayan culture, discovering nature and taking historical boat trips are all things worth doing while visiting the Belize.

Food and Drink

As you probably imagine, the Belize cuisine is a mixture of foods of all the country’s nationalities, being very rich and fully flavored, with various influences from Africa, Spain or the Caribbean. The prices are decent while the “traditional dish” is very simple yet nutritious: rice and beans and a steak/piece of meat. Specialties include tacos made from flour/corn tortillas filled with chicken meat, cabbage, onions and cilantro, rice and beans, fry Jacks aka sopapillas, conch fritters, plantains, garnaches, ereba and all kinds of hot/spicy sauces. Regional drinks are coconut rum (a cocktail with pineapple juice mostly), Belikin beer, Guiness, fresh lime/orange/papaya/watermelon juice, seaweed shake and 1 Barrel.

food

Visa Requirements

All you need for visiting the Belize is a valid passport, no Visa is required.

International calls to Belize

Call Belize and save money with 011Now. Easy dialing, No pin. Free trial.

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