Tourists will find a small Belize in one of the last untouched corners of the Earth, in the Caribbean. Once upon a time, the civilization of the Mayan Indians existed on the territory of this country, and it should be noted that they chose an excellent place to live. Travelers will meet in Belize the ruins of Mayan temples, dense forests, snow-white beaches, as well as a very long Barrier Reef off the coast. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and camera!
Geography of Belize
Belize is located on the northeast coast of Central America. Belize borders Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. In the east, the country is washed by the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Total area – 22,966 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 516 km.
The north of Belize consists mainly of coastal swampy plains with dense forests. In general, tropical forests cover probably more than 50% of the country’s territory. To the south is the Maya mountain range. The largest local peak is Mount Victoria, whose height reaches 1,122 meters.
The longest rivers are Rio Hondo, Belize, Sarstun and Makal.
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Belmopan is the capital of Belize. About 20 thousand people now live in this city. Belmopan was founded in 1962 specifically as an administrative center.
Official language of Belize
Belize has one official language (English) and 8 regional languages (indigenous). More than 50% of the country’s population speaks Spanish and Creole.
40% of the population are Catholics, and more than 31% are Protestants (Adventists, Anglicans, Methodists, etc.).
State structure of Belize
According to diseaseslearning.com, Belize is under the rule of the Queen of Great Britain, who appoints her “manager” there – the Governor-General. Those. in fact, this Central American country is a constitutional monarchy.
However, the country has a Cabinet of Ministers and a Prime Minister with certain executive functions.
The bicameral parliament in Belize is called the National Assembly. It consists of the Senate (12 senators) and the House of Representatives (31 deputies).
The main political parties are the centre-left United Democratic Party and the centrist People’s United Party.
Administratively, Belize is divided into 6 provinces – Belize, Orange Walk, Cayo, Toledo, Corozal and Stann Creek.
Climate and weather
The climate in Belize is tropical with two distinct seasons – the rainy season and the dry season. Dry season – from February to May (according to some sources – from December). The rainy season is from June to November. During the rainy season, hurricanes are possible, and often they are destructive.
The average annual air temperature in coastal areas ranges from +24C in January to +27C in July.
Sea in Belize
The length of the Caribbean coast in Belize is 386 km. The Barrier Reef stretches along the entire coast at a distance of about 30 km from it. Diving is recommended inside the Barrier Reef. Underwater visibility reaches 50 meters. The average annual sea temperature near the coast is + 21-24C.
Rivers and lakes
The longest rivers are Rio Hondo, Belize, Sarstun and Makal. Rivers link the coast of the country with the hinterland. In spring, local rivers often overflow their banks.
Culture of Belize
In Belize, as in any other Latin American country, a lot of attention is paid to holidays and festivals. The most popular of them are San Pedro Carnival (February 9), Baron’s Day (March 9), San Ignacio Fair (March 25-28), Cocoa Festival (May), Lobster Festival (June 25-27), Columbus Day ( October 12), Garifuna Day (November 19). In addition, Belizeans celebrate Christmas and New Year on a large scale.
Belize cuisine is a mixture of Latin American, Caribbean, Spanish and English dishes. The staple foods are rice and beans, which the Creoles have always preferred. They are served with almost all main dishes.
The “calling card” of Belizean cuisine is seafood and fish. For a long time, this country was the world’s largest supplier of lobster. True, now the lobster population off the coast of Belize has declined markedly. However, they are still available and inexpensive. But you need to keep in mind that the lobster season lasts from June 15 to February 14.
Traditional dishes of the inhabitants of Belize, along with “Rice and Beans”, are also stewed chicken, stewed beef and stewed fish.
No meal is complete without Marie Sharp hot sauce; many tourists also buy it as a souvenir.
When ordering dishes, tourists should be careful – Belizeans also eat iguanas (their meat tastes like chicken), armadillos and other exotic animals. Sea turtle soup is popular with tourists.
As for desserts, in this country their choice is not very large – homemade coconut pie, chocolate pie, bread pudding.
In Belize, you can try a seaweed cocktail (dried seaweed, milk powder, cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with water and ice).
Traditional alcoholic drinks are rum and liquor.
Sights of Belize
Once upon a time, Maya Indians lived on the territory of modern Belize, who created a unique civilization. Until now, in this country you can see the historical monuments of the Mayan era. The Top 5 most interesting historical monuments of the Mayan era in Belize, in our opinion, include the following:
- The ruins of the Xunantunich complex near the Mopan River, 8 kilometers from the border with Guatemala. This complex was the main ceremonial religious center of the Mayan Indians in the classical period.
- Cahal Pech in the Cayo region, is the home of one of the Mayan leaders of the classical period.
- caracol. Many archaeologists and historians consider this complex to be the most grandiose of all the surviving monuments of the Maya Indians. It is located in the depths of the forest, 7 kilometers from the border with Guatemala.
- Pyramid of Lamanai near the New River. This monument dates back to around 1500 BC.
- Altun Ha. These ruins of the Mayan complex are located near Belize City. Tourists can visit the Altun Ha complex for one day, i.e. leave your hotel in Belize City in the morning, and return back in the evening.
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are San Ignacio Cayo, Belize City, Orange Walk, Dangriga and Belmopan.
Along the entire coast of the Caribbean Sea in Belize, there are white sand beaches, to which mangrove forests come close. At a distance of about 30 km from the coast is the Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. Tourists will find the best beaches on the Placencia peninsula. In this section, many beaches have been cleared of coastal mangrove forests. Of the seaside resorts with the best beaches, Caye Caulker and San Pedro should be singled out.
The amazing Caribbean Sea, corals, exotic fish make Belize an excellent place for diving.
From Belize, tourists bring handicrafts, traditional drums, Belizean dolls, bags, Habanero (pepper sauce), chocolate, tropical fruit jam, coconut oil, coffee, and, of course, rum (we recommend paying attention to coconut rum).
Mon-Fri: 08:00-13:00 (on Fridays – until 16:00)
Many stores have their own opening hours. Shops close early on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Ukrainians need to apply for a visa to visit Belize.
Currency of Belize
The Belize dollar is the official currency in Belize. Its international designation is BZD. One BZD = 100 cents. Credit cards are not very widespread.
Foreign currency can be imported and exported without any restrictions. As for the local currency, you can bring in or take out of Belize no more than BZD100.
Art and antiques can be taken out only if there is a special permit for this. It is forbidden to export turtle shells, shells, and raw corals.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Embassy of Great Britain in Ukraine:
Address: 01025, Kiev, st. Tithe, 9
Phone: (044) 490-36-60
Fax: (044) 490-36-62
Embassy of Ukraine in the UK:
Address: 60, Holland Park, London W11 3SJ
Phone: (020) 7727-6312
Fax: (020) 7792-1708
911 – call the Police
90 – call the Fire Brigade or Ambulance in Belize City
Time in Belize
Behind Kyiv for 8 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv it is 13:00, then in Belmopan it is only 05:00 in the morning.
Tipping is not required in Belize. Foreigners sometimes, at their own discretion, in restaurants, hotels, after excursions for “tea”, leave 10% of the bill.
Doctors recommend that tourists who want to visit Belize get preventive vaccinations against typhoid, rabies, malaria, Hepatitis A and B.
Crime in Belize cannot be called low. There were cases of attacks on foreigners. There are many different gangs in the country. Therefore, foreigners are advised to stay in tourist areas, avoid dark alleys, do not show money and do not wear jewelry. With reasonable security measures, a holiday in Belize will be a real treat.