Belize: A Mystery to Some, A Hidden Gem to Many

by McNab Editorial Team

What Makes the Jewel of the Caribbean Unlike Anywhere Else

Despite growing interest and its continued growth as a top travel destination, Belize remains a mystery to many. When listening to friends tell tales of adventures in Belize, many respond with…..

Belize …Where is that?

Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize is located on mainland Central America with the Caribbean Sea to the east. The country sits between Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. To clear up any confusion, Belize is both in Central America and The Caribbean – a beautiful fusion of the two.

Belize was once the heartland of the Maya civilization. Today, with fewer than 400,000 inhabitants living in just less than 9,000 square miles, Belize has the lowest population density in all of Central America. To put that into perspective, if we were to directly compare the size of Belize to the United States or the United Kingdom, for example, Belize is a little bigger than the state of New Jersey, and would fit almost exactly into the UK country of Wales.

Small, yet Packed with Adventures!


Cave Tubing in Belize. Image via Belize Tourism Board

Despite its small size, Belize boasts some of the most incredible sightseeing destinations in the world. Belize is home to the largest living barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and is famous for its mysterious Great Blue Hole. Inland, Belize is home to the world’s first and only Jaguar Preserve, an astounding number of ancient Maya sites, and the tallest waterfall in all of Central America – The 1000 Foot Falls.

Belize’s long list of natural attractions is mirrored by a unique cultural diversity. Ethnic groups include most prominently the Kriol, Garifuna, Mestizo and Maya peoples. This modern melting pot further includes groups such as West Indian, Eastern European, North American, Mennonite, Chinese and Lebanese. Altogether, the people of Belize have formed a rich and distinctly Belizean culture of their own.

Belize, a Laid Back Caribbean Destination


Hopkins beach at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef. Image courtesy Belize Tourism Board

If you are accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle, Belize can take some getting used to… Belize has its own version of island time. “Right now” may mean a little while. “A lee while…” may mean later, or tomorrow. For some travelers, however, this is a welcome change. Perhaps a siesta in a breezy hammock is just what you needed.

This laid-back approach extends further, into food. Some of the best traditional Belizean food is slow-cooked and hard to resist. If you’re in the mood for fast food, the closest thing you’ll find comes fresh from the fryer at one of Belize’s many Chinese fried chicken stops. Every menu is unique. There are no international fast-food chains here, not a single one.

Photo by the Belize Tourism Board

The majestic beauty of Belize’s Caribbean coast, combined with its many inland adventure opportunities, often inspire travelers to return. Repeat visitors are common, as the country is known for its friendly locals and eye-opening exploration opportunities. With countless cayes and many mountains to explore, for the modern paradise seeker, there is always another adventure to experience.

With that said, if you’re here already, you may as well start planning your next visit!

Written by: Clara Dobson. Featured Photo of Butterfly Falls by the Belize Tourism Board.
Similar: Adventure all year round in Belize

Note: This article has been slightly modified since it’s original publication on September 13, 2018

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