Belize - Insider Tip in Central America
Belize is one of the smallest countries on the American continent and has been spared from mass tourism so far. It offers an abundance of sights. Lovers of nature enjoy its untouched jungle landscape, culture enthusiasts follow the traces of the ancient Maya and divers fall in love with the breathtaking reef caves of the Caribbean.
Geography - Hidden in the jungle
Belize is America's second smallest state after Honduras. It borders on Mexico and Guatemala and lies at the coast of the Caribbean Sea. The country is divided into six provinces and its biggest city is the former capital of Belize City. The climate is tropical throughout the year. Depending on the region, the climate zones range from tropical to subtropical. It is usually very hot from January to May with temperatures of up to 40 °C. The rainy and hurricane season last from June to October.
Nature - Wild jaguars and the sunny Caribbean
Belize is one of the best-kept secrets of nature. You could say the world is still all right here. The smooth hilly land is vegetated by vast jungle forests. It is home to wild jaguars, toucans and colourful butterflies. The country's fauna is very diverse. Sycamore trees and cypresses, tropical hardwoods, palms and vines dominate the regions' panorama. The highest mountain is Victoria Peak (1,122 m) in the Maya Mountains. Impressive formations are the gigantic coral reefs in front of Belize's Caribbean coast. The atolls, reefs and sandbanks constitute the second largest reef system on earth after the Great Barrier Reef.
Natural sights - Belize's Blue Hole
Although Belize is not a very popular travel destination yet, a particular group of people has already taken a fancy to the country - divers and snorkellers. The untouched coral reefs and extraordinary formations at the coast are perfectly suited for an exciting underwater trip. A special attraction is the Blue Hole of Belize. Divers can explore Belize's endlessly deep underwater world here. About 50 percent of the country's area are protected. After all, Belize is not considered Central America's green heart for no reason. Guided jungle tours through the tropical world of the mainland are popular with visitors. Other attractions are the natural underground cave systems, which were already used as temples by the Maya centuries ago.
Culture - The treasures of the Maya
Like that of its neighbouring countries, Belize's history is closely linked to the advanced civilisation of the Maya. Although this culture does not exist any more, its heritage lives on in its descendants to the present day. Belize strives to maintain its ancient cultural assets and already managed to expose parts of the magnificent ruins and temples. Despite all these efforts, countless temple complexes are still hidden in the thick green of the jungle. For a long time, Belize was a British colony but the country gained independence in 1981. A remnant of this time is the English language, which is the country's official language to the present day.
Cultural sights - To the cayes
The country's former capital, Belize City, lies at the Caribbean coast and was nearly destroyed by a disastrous hurricane in 1961. Th city could still not be rebuilt completely. Nevertheless, the region is full of Caribbean atmosphere and is one of the country's important trade centres. The city of Belmopan became Belize's new capital in 1960. It is located in the country's centre and constitutes the new political and cultural heart. The most important sights in Belize are its Maya ruins. You find 60 ruins in the archaeological reserve of Lamanai. The temples of Xunantunicu, which means as much as "stone woman", are even more impressive. The Maya site lies at the Belize River and was once the centre of the Maya's rituals. An attraction of a different kind are Belize's cayes. The term refers to over 1,000 smaller islands and island groups just off the coast. White sandy beaches and green palms promise relaxation in a Caribbean atmosphere.
Experience - Belize Zoo
Lots of rice, freshly caught fish and lobster dominate the country's menus. Beans, chicken and beef are equally popular in Belize. The Creole cuisine is common too and very delicious. Belize is not known for having a vibrant nightlife but there are a few bars and night clubs in Belize City. A great experience for the whole family is a visit to Belize Zoo. Holidaymakers can marvel at over 100 characteristic animal species and numerous plants here. The toucans with their colourful beaks are real eye-catchers.
Activities - An insider tip for divers
The white palm beaches of the cayes are ideally suited for relaxing beach holidays in Belize. In some places, water sports are offered and you see surfers. The reef landscape offers excellent conditions for a dive. Due to its extraordinary geographical position, not many divers have enjoyed this region yet.
The best time for a trip to Belize is from November to May. There is less rain during this time. Since English is the country's official language, tourists hardly have any difficulties communicating. Spanish is common too. Some community use an old form of Low German.
Belize offers a wide range of natural beauty and is ideally suited for educational or cultural trips. The younger audience enjoys the white sandy beaches as well as the extraordinary diving and snorkelling opportunities.