The country of Belize once called British Honduras is located in Central Americas Caribbean Coast. Mexico borders it to the North, Guatemala to the West and South. It is as subtropical country that is about 176 miles long and 63 miles wide covering about 8870 square miles. One of the more interesting facts on Belize is that it includes the world’s second largest barrier reef. This 185 mile long reef contains three coral atolls all of which makes it an ideal location for diving. Snorkeling and fishing.
The mainland consists of varied and diverse landscapes and topography. The North end of the country is a flat plain with shallow soils that support tropical hardwood shrubs and forests. The Northern coast is best described as consisting of mangrove swamps.
Central Belize consists of large sandy savannas to the North and large hills to the South. Elevations rise to approximately 3600 feet above sea level providing the country with the only pine forest in Central America. Called the Mountain Pine Ridge Area and the Maya Mountains this area contains the headwaters of the Belize River.
The Southern Part of the country contains the Maya Mountains and subtropical rainforest. It receives more than 168 inches of rain each year. The coastal belt produces abundant citrus and bananas.
One of the most sought after facts on Belize are the many cayes or islands, atolls and barrier reef are the main attraction to Belize. The most famous are Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker where visitors have direct access to the beautiful blue Caribbean. There are many additional islands and cayes that lay behind the barrier reef that provide habitat for birds and marine wildlife.
Belize is the only English language country in Central and South America. However Creole, Garifuna, Mayan and Spanish are also common. Probably the most interesting facts on Belize’s are that its population is about 260,000 and consists of a mixture of many cultures including European, Creole, Maya, and Mestizos. Racial harmony makes the people very friendly to all.
Belize’s currency is the Belize dollar (BZ$) and its value is tied to the US dollar. One US dollar equals 2 BZ$. Credit cards are readily acceptable in most hotels and restaurants with a 5 percent surcharge. The cost of living in Belize is very low making it very economical to visit the tropical paradise.
Entry to the country requires a passport, a return ticket to another destination and sufficient funds to support themselves during their visit. Normally this equals $50 per day. Visitors may stay for a period of 30 days but may purchase an extension from the government for $25. A visa is not required for citizens of the US, Britain, Canada and European Economic Community. A visa is required for entry for all other nationals.
Belize is a beautiful subtropical paradise with many dedicated natural areas. The cost of living is low making it one of the most economical places to visit. The people are friendly and the lifestyle is relaxed. Many people from the US and Britain are retiring and moving to Belize to enjoy this beautiful country. The facts on Belize show why so many people visit this great travel destination each year.
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