Belizean culture blends Hispanic, African and West Indian elements with its own traditions to form a uniquely colorful and friendly society, Belize is an exciting holiday destination for nature lovers and archaeology buffs. Its Barrier Reef, dubbed an “underwater wonder of the world”, is an irresistible temptation for snorkelers, divers and marine biologists from around the world. Some 200 small cayes along the coastline offers beautiful sandy beaches and crystal blue water.
Its virgin jungle holds the world’s only Jaguar Preserve and is home to over 500 species of birds. Within its area of 8,864 square miles, Belize has over 600 known sites of ancient civilizations, many which are easily accessible.
English, Spanish, Kriol, Cantonese
Doyle’s Delight, 1,124 m
Roman Catholic (50%), Protestant (27%), other (23%)
Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1300-1700. Some businesses are open Saturdays.
Belize enjoys a subtropical weather with a brisk prevailing wind. Annual temperatures and humidity are fairly constant and high. The dry season is from January to April and the rainy season is from mid-May until November.
It is customary to leave 10% in cafeterias and restaurants.
Public telephones work with cards, which are tokens organised in kiosks and at telephone company offices, or with legal tender coins. There are also call boxes where you can pay cash and which are open 24 hours a day. Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good along most of the coast and along the main routes to Mexico and Guatemala. Turn your phone local by inserting a SIM chip. Stay away from the blue and yellow phones in tourist areas. You'll pay close to $US40 per minute for long distance calls.
Belize is packed with nature reserves, national parks, archaeological ruins and a barrier reef. Much of the mainland is covered with protected jungle. Scattered among the wilderness are well-preserved Mayan temples, and out in the waters of the cayes lives an incredible array of marine wildlife. You can swim with sharks and stingrays off the islands or track the elusive jaguar in the jungle. Its cities and towns are small, low key and often dusty and rural. Belize has over a dozen archaeological sites and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is considered to be the best jaguar sanctuary in the world. Belize very much has its own laid-back, relaxed identity and a widespread reputation for its friendly peoples.
Most towns and cities are very walkable; however each city has its own taxi system and they are not very expensive. Belize is pretty flat and not very big, which makes cycling quite a pleasant way to get around. You can hire bikes in most tourist destinations. Several small bus companies run services across the country.