“Where is Belize?” That’s probably one of the first questions you asked yourself when you first heard the name of this little-known Caribbean country.
Here’s your chance to get to know all about this Central-American paradise:
Where is Belize?
Belize is part of Central America. It lies just south of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It is directly north of Honduras and east of Guatemala, two other Central American countries.
You may have thought that all Caribbean countries are islands, but the Caribbean Sea graces Belize’s east coast. For that reason, Belize is considered a Caribbean country.
Belize: A Caribbean Vacation Destination
That’s right– Belize is a Caribbean vacation destination, and it’s one of the least-spoiled ones, since tourists tend to flock to more well-known Caribbean hotspots such as the city of Cancún in Mexico.
However, you may not have realized that Belize lies not too far below Cancún, and it’s certainly a less-crowded alternative (especially during Spring Break!)
Furthermore, prices in Belize can be a great deal lower than in Cancún, due to the fact that it’s not as well-known.
In addition, here’s one more fact you probably didn’t know: the official language of Belize is English, which means you’ll be able to communicate easily when you pay this unique, beautiful country a visit. In fact, it’s the only Central American country whose official language is English.
10 Quick Facts about Belize
Don’t know much about this Caribbean country? Here are a few quick facts to get you started:
- The world’s second largest barrier reef, the Belize Barrier Reef, lies just off Belize’s shoreline in the Caribbean Sea. (The world’s largest reef is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef).
- Belize is small–its land mass is smaller than most US states.
- Belize used to be known as “British Honduras.”
- The first known prominent people group to live in Belize were the Maya.
- This country has a rich multicultural heritage. The Maya, pirates from Europe, slaves from India, and immigrants from the Yucatan have all helped shape its fascinating culture.
- Belize didn’t obtain independence from the United Kingdom until 1981.
- Its currency is called the “Belize dollar”.
- Although its capital city used to be the famous Belize City, the government had to change it to Belmopan in 1961 after the former was practically destroyed by a hurricane.
- You can visit the only jaguar reservation in the world in Belize. It’s called the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Love the thrill of exploring ancient Mayan ruins? Belize has at least 900 excavated Mayan temple sites!
Essential Belize Facts to Know
Here’s what to know before you go…
The climate in this gem of a Caribbean country is perfect for beach-goers: average annual temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and Belize’s climate is subtropical.
If you’re wondering what to pack for a trip to Belize, your best bet is to bring light, breathable clothing. Natural fibers are best, such as cotton.
If you go during the rainy season (from June to November), be sure to pack your umbrella or a poncho or two!
Before you automatically decide to avoid the rainy season, consider the fact that going during these slightly less sunny days will enable you to avoid tourist crowds. In addition, hotel rates will be lower.
Belize Time Zone
Here’s a fun fact: Belize does NOT observe Daylight Savings time. This Caribbean country is in the Central Standard Time Zone (GMT-6).
Best time to travel to Belize
Here’s the bottom line: summer is the low season for tourism in Belize. However, part of the summer also falls during the rainy season. You could get caught in a drizzle or downpour on occasion, but crowds will be thinner and hotel rates often much lower than in more popular months, such as March and April.
The worst time to travel to Belize is during the traditional “Spring Break” week which falls close to Easter. However, you may find Belize beaches much less crowded than those in Cancún or elsewhere in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Did you know?
Here are several facts that you probably didn’t know about Belize:
Most of the tourists who visit Belize (about 70%) hail from the United States.
However, very few tourists actually go there compared to other Caribbean countries. About 1 million tourists visit Belize each year. That may sound like a lot, but it pales in comparison to the amount of tourists flocking to Mexican annually: a whopping 23 million per year.
According to the Telegraph, Belize is the least-explored country in Central America.
That means that there is plenty of untouched jungle, virgin beaches, and secluded places to spend a truly memorable vacation, should you choose to travel to Belize.
There’s much more to do in Belize than you think.
There’s much more to Belize than just beautiful beaches. Plenty of unspoiled jungle means you’ll have the opportunity to see the flora and fauna at its finest: in its natural habitat and where nature intended it to be.
In addition, the mountainous regions afford some spectacular hiking trails.
What to do in Belize
Here are some other awesome activities for passing a memorable time in Belize:
See the Great Blue Hole
This ultra-famous diving site was discovered by Jacques Cousteau, and has since given adventurous divers the experience of their lives.
However, you don’t have to be an experienced diver to see it. Instead, you can book a private charter plane and see it from above. Some would argue that this is actually the best way to view this blue wonder, since it allows you to view the entire circle in all its grandeur.
Explore the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal
These ancient caves filled with amazing Mayan relics and skeletons are a must-do if you’re headed to Belize. A tour will involve hiking, climbing, and swimming, since a river flows through these mysterious caverns. In fact, its waters are so clear, they have been used as a drinking source.
Check out Ambergris Caye
A caye (pronounced “key”) is a small island. Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island, and it’s home to some of the country’s best beaches. It is also one of the best spots for water sports and scuba diving.
Heading to Belize? Find your perfect private accommodations here.