The tiny Central American country of Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north, Honduras to the south, Caribbean Sea to the east, and Guatemala to the west. The second largest living barrier reef sits just offshore Belize with hundreds of low-lying islands, called cayes, dotting the coastline. Belize is also home to a lush rainforest housing numerous Mayan Ruins within the Maya Empire, most noteworthy are Caracol, Lamanai, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich. Animal lovers can also experience the Maya Forest Biological Corridor which is home to endangered and сrіtісаllу endangered ѕресіеѕ like the јаguаr, thе Сеntrаl Аmеrісаn River Turtle (or hісаtее), thе Сеntrаl Аmеrісаn Ѕріdеr Моnkеу, and thе Ваіrd’ѕ Таріr, аmоng many оthеr аnіmаlѕ that rеquіrе thе соvеr of the fоrеѕt to move асrоѕѕ thе lаndѕсаре in ѕеаrсh of fооd and brееdіng орроrtunіtіеѕ.
The biggest selling point in Belize is its sub-tropical climate. With an average yearly temperature of 84° F, it’s always warm, yet comfortable. In short, the climate is pretty much near perfect. Even in winter (November-March) the temperature in Belize rarely falls below 60°F, while the summer months (May-September) are around 86°F. Belize's dry season runs from February to May and has significantly lower rainfall than the rest of the year. June through December is considered the wet season and the hurricane season, which runs from June to November, falls right within this period. While statistically Belize does not attract many major direct hits, it does get its share of tropical weather every now and then.
With a current population of only 388,041, Belize is truly a melting pot of cultures made up of various ethnic groups like the Maya, Mestizo, Kriol, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese. With migrants representing more than eight diverse cultures and hailing from countries like Canada, the United States, Europe, Turkey, India, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico among others, the people of Belize are the country’s greatest natural resource.
The language is as diverse as the people and though Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America, Kriol (creole) is widely spoken by the majority. The Kriol dialect is a mixture of broken English words adapted by Belizeans. However, with the large influx of immigrants, many other languages have been introduced such as Spanish, African-based Garifuna, Maya-Kekchi, Maya Mopan, Mandarin, Turkish, German, and much more.
Belize has a steady currency exchange at $1 USD to $2 BZD. Just about everywhere readily accepts US dollars with almost all of them offering a $2 to $1 exchange. Most places also accept traveler's checks so long as you include your passport number or driver's license number on the back. However, large bills (anything above a $20) are a little more difficult to cash with counterfeit dollars on the rise. Rest assured if you prefer not to carry too much cash, there’s also ATMs available across the country that accept most major international credit cards.
Traversing the country is easy. Most travelers prefer to hop from one place to another on one of the local airlines or renting a car for a reasonable rate to take advantage of the sights, flavors and sounds of the country. For those wishing to spend time in the Islands, water taxis are on hand on the hour to take you to your destination of choice. Helicopter rentals and personal tours are also an option for the private traveler.