On World Book Day, Here Are 8 Books About Belize to Help Spark Your Wanderlust

by Khaila Gentle

Kicking back and relaxing with a good book—there’s nothing quite like it. And if you’ve ever found yourself wholly transported to another country or location while reading, then you’re likely to agree. Whether fiction or nonfiction, books have an amazing power to take us to places we’ve never been. They can also teleport us to those places we’ve been dreaming of since our last visit. To help spark (or soothe) your wanderlust on World Book & Copyright Day, we’ve decided to share some books about Belize worthy of being added to your TBR list.

Beka Lamb by Zee Edgell

Photo by @therosepetals__ on IG


After booking a trip to Belize, the search for Belizean authors was on. Once I learned about Zee Edgell, I knew it was her novels that would accompany me on my trip.”

– Good Reads reviewer


Belize’s most renowned novel, Beka Lamb is a classic and certainly a household name. Penned by the late Zee Edgell and published in 1982, the book follows the life of its titular character, Beka, and her friend Toycie during a time when Belize is still under colonial rule. From bougainvillea lattices to Catholic school, this coming of age story features some quintessential and rather iconic locations from throughout Belize.

Get it on Amazon here

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw by Bruce Barcott

Photo by @congruity on IG


The story of a bitter fight against a dam in western Belize. No, it doesn’t sound thrilling, but Barcott makes it so, mashing up adventure travel, biography and nature writing in a steamy climate of corruption and intrigue.

The New York Times


Fans of the late Sharon Matola (who founded The Belize Zoo) will enjoy this tale about “one woman’s fight to save the world’s most beautiful bird.” Penned by American editor and environmental journalist Bruce Barcott, it tells the story of how Matola became one of Central America’s greatest wildlife defenders. In this thrilling nonfiction book that reads like a drama, get a look at how Belize’s “zoo lady” along with a rag tag group of locals and expats fought to save the habitat of the Scarlet Macaw.

Get it on Amazon here

Flavors of Belize: The Cookbook


Your culinary journey would be incomplete without sampling the flavors and traditions of some of Belize’s most diverse cultures: Maya, Mestizo, Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Lebanese, Chinese, Mennonite, Caribbean and British


Here’s a book for the gourmand that’s missing Belize. Flavors of Belize is a cookbook that perfectly encapsulates the beauty (and deliciousness) of Belize’s diverse culinary scene. It was originally published in 2012 by McNab Publishing and just recently went digital via Amazon Kindle. Inside, find recipes for local cuisine that range from breads and desserts to savory cultural delights. After all, the best way to experience a country is through its food.

Get it on Amazon here

On Heroes, Lizards, and Passion by Zoila Ellis

Photo by @passportbookclub on IG


This book, even though it is fiction/folklore, really speaks the Belizean culture. I feel like if I want my friends/family to understand Belize reading this book is the best way.

– Good Reads reviewer


Written by Belizean author Zoila Ellis, this collection of short stories grants the reader several snapshots of life in Belize. At only 154 pages long, this entry makes for an easy but enjoyable read. Get a look at what life was like in this tiny Caribbean nation before telephones and computers and before Independence.

Get it on Amazon here

Sastun: My Apprenticeship With a Maya Healer by Rosita Arvigo

Photo by @astounding_books on IG


This book is a work of peace and beauty. Each chapter starts with a quick note on unique Mayan herbs and identifies their healing properties. This alone is a treasure. Sastun also gives an insightful, sensitive look into the character of a true healer who deeply cares for his patients


Don Elijio Panti was a legendary Maya shaman (H-men), having even earned a feature in the New York Times in 1996 when he died at the age of 103. Throughout his life, Don Elijio used ancient healing arts to treat thousands of people yearly, including persons from beyond Belize’s borders. Rosita Arvigo was his long time apprentice. Sastun: My Apprenticeship With a Maya Healer chronicles Arvigo’s quest to preserve Don Elijo’s knowledge and practices.

If the name Don Elijio Panti sounds familiar to you, it might be because of the Don Elijio Panti National Park in Western Belize, named after the healer himself.

Get it on Amazon here

Bent Pin Press Issue No.1

Photo by Bent Pin Press


What we ended up with, I think, came together to represent a truly Belizean experience…a very intimate personal experience that Belizeans can relate to.

-Samantha Singh, Bent Pin Press Editor-in-Chief

Released in 2022 by literary journal Bent Pin Press, this eclectic collection of poetry and prose features the works of seventeen Belizean writers (including yours truly) both established and emerging. What connects each entry is the fact that they all, in some way, embody truly intimate Belizean experiences seen through the eyes of the authors. This is seen even in the collection’s cover art by Taiwanese-Belizean artist Yao Ling Lee.

While currently out of stock, you can get updates about Issue No 01 and other works here.

The Ultimate Belize Bucket List by Larry Waight


For thirty years, the smell of hand-made corn tortillas, refried beans, stewed chicken, and hot coconut oil working toward the creation of the perfect fried jacks woke up the author of this Belize travel guide.


More than just a compilation of advice on traveling to Belize, The Ultimate Belize Bucket List gives readers (and travel enthusiasts) a look at the country from a local’s perspective. Entrepreneur and author Larry Waight pours into his creation the love for Belize that he’s held since he was a boy growing up in the village of Bullet Tree Falls. Through The Ultimate Belize Bucket List, Larry now offers up that love to the rest of the world.

Get it on Amazon here.

Fifty Big Experiences on Ambergris Caye, Belize by Rebecca Coutant


I wanted to write a guidebook, a Belize travel guide that outlines the experiences that made me fall in love with Belize. The ones that I suggest to friends and family when they visit and the things that I still do on a daily basis,”

-Rebecca Coutant, The San Pedro Scoop.

For lovers of Belize’s La Isla Bonita, this witty and informative guide by Rebecca Coutant (who has lived on the island for over a decade now) will have you dreaming of visiting in no time. In 2019, Coutant wrote and self published the guide book, which she says is the exact type of guide she would have wanted when visiting Ambergris Caye.

Get it on Amazon here

About World Book & Copyright Day

Photo by Victoria House Resort & Spa

Every year on April 23, countries around the world celebrate all things books and reading. Officially dubbed World Book & Copyright Day by UNESCO, it’s a day to recognize the importance of the book industry. This year’s theme is Indigenous Languages. It aims to highlight and promote linguistic diversity and multilingualism.

Fun Fact: the date April 23 was chosen because it’s the date on which William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (famous authors) all died.

Have you read any of the books on our list? What other books about Belize have you checked off your “To be Read” list already?

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