In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, Here Are 10 Things About Belize We’re Thankful For

by Khaila Gentle

It’s the season for gratitude, and we’re feeling extra grateful for everything that is Belize. Boasting 8,865 square miles of rich biodiversity, dynamic cultures, historical treasures, and so much more, this dually Caribbean and Central American nation offers much to be appreciated. That is why, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re listing ten things about Belize that we’re thankful for. 

1. Belize Is Covered In Lush Rainforests 

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve. Photo by Oliver Pilcher

Over half of Belize’s mainland is covered by verdant rainforests, and almost 40% of it is protected. From La Selva Maya in the north to the Mayflower Bocawina National Park in the south, Belize is a leader when it comes to all things green.  

2. Belize Is Protected From Offshore Drilling 

Photo Credit: OCEANA

In addition to having a moratorium on all offshore drilling to protect its seas, Belize also recently saw the passing of a new law that ensures Belizeans are consulted on matters related to offshore oil exploration. 

3. A total of 180 Miles of Barrier Reef Hugs the Country’s Coast

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Belize Barrier Reef is also the largest of its kind in the northern hemisphere. Hugging the country’s eastern coast, the reef is home to a world of diverse wildlife and marine ecosystems. 

4. Homegrown Meals and Mom and Pop Shops Are King

Puffy fry jacks are a Pop’s Restaurant signature. Image via Belize Tourism Board

Did you know? There aren’t any chain restaurants in Belize. In fact, the nearest McDonald’s is across the border in Chetumal, Mexico. But that’s not a bad thing. In Belize, farm-grown food is king, and so are small restaurants serving up good eats. 

Similar: Sample the Flavors of Central America and the Caribbean with Belize’s Street Food Culture

5. Belize Is The Land of Boutique Resorts 

Photo Credit: Chabil Mar Villas

There also aren’t many hotel chains in Belize. Instead, the country is mostly home to unique and intimate boutique resorts and hotels like Chabil Mar in Placencia, Matachica on Ambergris Caye, and Hamanasi in Hopkins. Here, travelers get to enjoy truly authentic and uncrowded experiences. 

6. Belize Is A Multi-Cultural Gem 

 

In a feature video on Belize by travel influencer Passport Heavy, one local guide was quoted saying “we speak English, dream in Spanish, our nightmares are in Maya, we text and drink in Creole…and we dance in Garifuna…” And as eccentric a quote as it is, it does well to capture the diverse and eclectic nature of Belize’s beautiful population.

7. Foodies Love It Here 

Photo Credit: Belize Tourism Board

From the streetside eats to fine dining experiences, Belize’s is undoubtedly a foodie haven. Travelers get the chance to sample a wide range of dishes that perfectly capture Belize’s multicultural identity. Rice and beans, fry jacks, relleno nego, hudut, cohune cabbage–we have it all.

Similar: November and December: The Months for Foodie Travels in Belize

8. Belize Is a Historial Treasure Trove 

A Museum in the Belize River Valley. Photo Credit: Belize Tourism Board

Like the foodies, history buffs love it in Belize. That’s because traveling throughout the country can easily double as a history lesson. Delve into everything from the Mundo Maya to the arrival of the Garifuna and even the history of iconic locales like the Belize River Valley.

 9. Belize Is Home to Stunning Naural Wonders

Barton Creek Cave in Belize

Beyond just The Great Blue Hole–a captivating natural wonder in itself–Belize is home to many more spectacular and bucket-list-worthy sites. Venture into the jungles of the Cayo district and discover Actun Loch Tunich. Bask in the beauty of the Sleeping Giant Mountain Range. Tap into your inner explorer and visit Barton Creek Cave. Adventure awaits. 

10. Belize’s Is Small but Mighty 

A perfect testament to the phrase “big things come in small packages”, Belize – measuring just 170 miles from North to South – holds a wealth of beauty, biodiversity, adventures, and experiences. And, from being hailed as a giant in conservation to a leader in slow travel, the country is small but mighty indeed. 

What are you feeling thankful for this year?  

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