BELIZE

Belize, formerly the colony of British Honduras, is the only country in Central America without a coastline on the Pacific Ocean (only the Caribbean Sea to its east), and the only one in the region with English as its official language. Belize is located between Guatemala to the west and south and Mexico to the north.
With a long Caribbean coast, Belize is a culturally diverse and mixed race country with one foot in Latin America and the other in the Caribbean. There is the creole(Afro-European mixture) population as well as the native Maya people and the Mestizos that tend to live the north and northwest of the country Spanish is often spoken. In the south east along the Caribbean coast live the Garifuna (Black Caribs) an Afro-Amerindian culture. German speaking Mennonites also call Belize home. In addition people of East Indian, and Lebanese decent.

World class attractions include exploring the lush jungles with exotic plants and animals, deep sea fishing, swimming, snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean sea with its attractive reefs, and visiting the Mayan ruins. Income levels are still very low and the infrastructure is very basic. The Belizeans are very proud and friendly to visitors and the tourist industry grew greatly in the last decade.

Operated by:

Solana Tours

Culture

The neighboring parts of Guatemala and Mexico were settled for thousands of years by the Maya people. They are still an important part of Belize’s people and culture. The Spanish Empire claimed the area in the 16th century and made little progress in settling here. The British settled first on the coast and offshore islands for logging. In 1798 British Belizean forces defeated a Spanish attempt to drive them out in “the Battle of St. George’s Caye”, whose anniversary is still celebrated as a holiday each 10 September.

The colony of “British Honduras” grew in the 19th century. At first Africans were brought in as slaves, but slavery was abolished here in 1838. Many refugees from the 19th century Caste War of Yucatan escaped the conflict to settle in Belize, especially the northern section.
The government of Guatemala long claimed to have inherited the Spanish claim to Belize; the territorial dispute delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1991.
Belize escaped the bloody civil conflicts of the 1980s that engulfed much of Central America, and refugees from the conflict in Guatemala arrived, mostly settling in the west. While Belize has not been immune to the rampant drug crime and grinding poverty of its neighbors it is a comparatively safe destination in a conflict prone part of the world.
Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy as the old agricultural products – sugar, banana, and oranges – have lost ground. The country remains plagued by high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, and increased urban crime. In 2006 commercial quantity oil was discovered in the Spanish Lookout area.

Nature

One of Belize’ main attractions is its beautiful nature. It is hard to image a more perfect place to encounter nature than Belize. With its proximity to North America, English-speaking people, exotic wildlife and rich diversity of resources, Belize is unbeatable for travelers wanting to discover nature and its treasures. In Belize you will experience rainforests, reefs, caves and caverns, rivers and trails at its best.
Half of Belize is covered by dense rainforest, and eighty percent of its rainforest remains under government protection, much of it unexplored. These tropical forests provide habitats for a wide range of animals including jaguar, puma, ocelot, armadillo, tapir and crocodile. For those with the spirit to venture off the beaten track, the natural and cultural diversity of Toledo makes a visit to Southern Belize a unique adventure.
The underwater world of Belize is as rich and varied as the country’s interior… beneath the turquoise sea is a tapestry and range that exceed every other Caribbean dive destination in diversity, size and scope. Diving in Belize is definitely world-class. Belize counts with the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, three magnificent atolls, 400 species of fish, 70 types of hard coral, brightly colored sponges, layers of gorgonians and an endless array of dive sites. The mystique of the Blue Hole (nearly 1,000 ft in diameter), and the lure of the immense atolls share headlines with the hemisphere’s longest Barrier Reef.
Belize has a magnificent network of underground caves and caverns. Visitors journey into an undiscovered world with cool breezes flowing from the misty entrances! Canoe or tube your way along a subterranean river system to new exploration. This journey into Belize’s cava system is like a trip into an underground library, an opportunity to learn about the ancient Maya and exotic animal species, both living and extinct. Fast becoming one of Belize’s most popular activities, caving provides thrills to suit any fitness lever. Go ahead; let your caving journey begin.
From north to south, east to west, Belize is blessed with sparkling rivers that provide plenty of opportunities for visitors, including tubing, canoeing, rafting and more. Rivers wind and weave through Belize like glistening thread against a tapestry of green. Cool refreshing waters rush from the headland, following their natural paths across the countryside to meet the distant sea. From border to border, they swirl and curl through the land providing many resources for locals and travelers alike.

Numerous trails, designed for all types and ages, explode with natural excitement. Whether you are adventurous or not so adventurous, Belize has a path through its environmental wonderland that’s just right for you. You can participate in organized tours for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking – or set out on your own. Trails can be found in National Parks, resorts, private lands and archaeological sites throughout Belize. Learn about and Enjoy the flora, fauna, birds and wildlife.

Numerous trails, designed for all types and ages, explode with natural excitement. Whether you are adventurous or not so adventurous, Belize has a path through its environmental wonderland that’s just right for you. You can participate in organized tours for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking – or set out on your own. Trails can be found in National Parks, resorts, private lands and archaeological sites throughout Belize. Learn about and Enjoy the flora, fauna, birds and wildlife.

Climate

Tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May). Hurricanes season (June to November) brings coastal flooding (especially in south).

Time & Date: GMT -6

Currency:
The Belize dollar is the official currency in Belize (currency code BZD). It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively BZ$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies.It is divided into 100 cents. The official value is pegged at 2 BZ$ = 1 US$.

Languages:
The major languages spoken in Belize include English (official), Kriol, and others.English is the primary language of public education, with Spanish taught in primary and secondary schools as well. Bilingualism is very common. Literacy currently stands at nearly 80{cade3cd6ea44c9e099402f61e95e983e8f83ab951f3ff944c0038bbba399d24f}.

Travel Insurance:
When buying your travel insurance, always check the small print – some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’, which could be anything from scuba diving to horse riding. You should check whether the medical coverage is on a pay first, claim later basis and, more importantly, ensure that your medical coverage includes the cost of medical evacuation.

Visa:
All visitors to Belize must present a valid passport before entering the country. The exception is for cruise ship passengers. They do not require an entry visa.
Driver’s licenses and birth certificates are not approved travel documents and cannot be used to enter the country. Visitors must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 3 months after the date of arrival and a return ticket with sufficient funds to cover their stay.
If you decide you really like Belize and would like to stay longer, you can request a one-month extension from the Immigration and Nationality Department. Prospective immigrants renew every month or eventually decide to apply for Belize Permanent Residency.
This British Commonwealth country has a small population and for entrepreneurs and individuals with skills or determined to make a fresh start, the country offers opportunities in the tourism, light industry, consulting, real estate and other areas.
Citizens of most countries do not require a visa to enter Belize. (See below. If your country of nationality is not listed, you need to apply for a visa.)
As of 2017, individuals with valid U.S.A. or Schengen Treaty Visas in their passports, as well as individuals with valid U.S. residency, do not require a Belize visa to travel to Belie.

Visas for those who require them, should be obtained prior to coming to Belize and a this can usually be facilitated by your travel agent or the hotel or resort that you have booked for your visit to Belize

International Airports::
Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport

Capital: Belmopan
Currency: Belizan Dollar
Population: 366054
Official languages:English, Kriol

Operated by:

Solana Tours
2017-12-01T12:54:38+00:00