Home to some of the most breathtaking sceneries in Central America and friendly English speaking people, visiting Belize is a prime first stop for a Central America tour. Belize, the second smallest country in the region, neighbors Mexico and Guatemala, and is the only country in Central America without a volcano. Gaining independence from Britain in 1981, Belize is equally Caribbean and Latin influenced. Thirty-five percent of Belize is protected-Belizians recognize the importance of conservation allowing the densely forested and exotic animal population of the interior, including the highest waterfall in Central America, to remain unscathed by development.
Just off the coast of Belize is the longest barrier reef within the Americas. Also off the coast is a chain of islands known as the cayes. The cayes protect the mainland shoreline from most swell, so the Caribbean ocean of Belize is best for diving and snorkeling. Visit the Belize board of tourism for more information (Belize Tourist Board or BTB).
- Public Transport
Belize International Airport (BZE) – Fly into Belize International and fly from here to other countries.
Belize City Municipal Airport – Fly to other cities within Belize.
Buses – There are a number of buses ready to take you from city to city.
Taxis – Licensed taxis are everywhere-negotiate a rate before getting in.
Boats – Use the boats to get out to the cayes and some international destinations
- Currency and Exchange Rates
The US dollar is widely accepted in smaller bills. Travelers Checks can also be used, but may need to be exchanged at local banks.
Belize dollar – All notes and coins (shillings) carry a portrait of Queen Elizabeth of Britain.
Exchange Rates US $1 = Bz $2 ; 1Eur = Bz $2.52
Primary Language – English
Secondary Language – Spanish
Other Languages – Creole
Belize’s climate is moderate and considered warm year-round; Belize lies on a sub-tropical latitude. The coast of Belize is generally hot, but is often cooled by a calm ocean breeze, while the mountains are generally cooler (towards the top) and humid (towards the base).
Best Time to Visit December to April
Rainy Season May to November (worst September and October)
- Capital and Country Population
Belmopan – An administrative center with little excitement for visitors.
Population – 291,800
- Travel Highlights and Activities
Belize Zoo – Referred to best zoo in Central America.
Belize City – The hub of the country’s public transport system. Appears run-down at first, but visitors will spend many hours exploring the former British Empire.
Maya Ruins – Find these throughout the country; Lamanai, amongst the most popular.
San Pedro – A resort town.
The Cayes – Caya Caulker being the most popular of the islands.
Nature Preserves – Visit any of the many nature preserves or the open rain forest.